Obtaining cash in Europe

I will need to get euros when I go to Rome this summer. Is there a good US bank that I can open account with that doesn’t charge a lot of fees? seems like everyone wants to charge me 3% plus a $5 fee just to get euros.

Add to that you’ll probably get a poor exchange rate to boot. Best to get Euros in Europe. There are a number of ways to do that such as using a debit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees such as Schwab, getting a cash advance on a CC that does not have foreign transaction fees or large cash advance fees, or taking cash and exchanging at the airport when you get to Rome. I have a Schwab checking account and debit card specifically for this purpose. Note that if you need a large amount of cash (like over $1000), then you may run into daily limits at cash machines or even on your debit card. Because of that, I have a few cards I can use if I ever need large amounts (sometimes needed when paying for VRBOs). I have the Schwab debit card, a debit card from my CU that doesn’t kill me on cash advances, and a CU credit card that has no foreign transaction fees and only charges 1% for cash advances, but I keep money at the CU and if I need to get a cash advance on that card then I can immediately pay the balance on the credit card and pay almost zero interest on the cash advance. Best to have multiple ways to get cash as I have run into situations where a card will not work at an ATM for some unknown reason.

Hope that helps. Have fun.

I have a Schwab card for this purpose as well. Some U.S. banks have alliances with other banks around the world. In theory you can use your U.S. ATM card to withdraw local currency without any fees. For example, I have a Bank of America checking account and when I’m in France I look for a BNP Paribas. I can withdraw Euros without fees. At least in the past - always check for current rules.

Actually just about every place I’ve been to in Europe and UK takes credit cards and if you have a smartphone try Apple Pay or Google Pay. I can think of one place in Switzerland where francs were required - it was at the top of a mountain that we had hiked up. There was no Internet or cell service so credit cards weren’t accepted.

I’ll echo this. The last few trips I’ve needed actual cash almost never. However, it is nice to have some for the occasional quick stop for some gelato. I have a trip to Italy coming up in June where I’ll need 55 Euros cash for a wine tasting tour, but I don’t think I’ll need much more than that for the whole two weeks.