EU Bank Account?
Replies: 22 - Last Post: Dec 1, 2012 10:38 PM Last Post By: jrood
Nov 20, 2012 6:24 PM
EU Bank Account?Hi, I was wondering what is the best way to hold your money while you travel?
I am planning a Eurotrip starting May '13, I have an EU passport, is there a way I can open a bank account and take money from there during the trip? I don't want to have to carry a wad of cash around with me the whole time, nor do I want to have to pay huge transaction fees taking money out of a Canadian card.
How have others dealt with this issue?
Nov 20, 2012 6:34 PM
1forget this whole local bank account idea,w hich only makes sense if you move somewhere, not if you travel.
In terms of exchanging and carrying money, in 99% of cases the cheapest and safest way to get local currency is using ATMs with a debit card issued by your local bank. Period. A credit card is complementary and reduces the amount of cash needed.
if you want a more detailed explanation, please read this link, which provides a full explanation:
Nov 20, 2012 8:00 PM
Nov 20, 2012 8:02 PM
Nov 20, 2012 10:46 PM
Nov 21, 2012 12:00 AM
Nov 21, 2012 12:27 AM
Nov 21, 2012 1:38 AM
7Agree....just find the ATM card with the least fees possible in Canada,and use that card.
With a credit card as back-up/emergency.
Even European citizens often have to pay fees to use their card in other European countries (indeed in Italy many card holders have to pay to take out money even in their own country,from their own account ;-)
You will probably pay a bit more,but those fees will be easily absorbed over the cost of a trip around Europe..you will be spending so much on other things that you won't really notice it!
Nov 21, 2012 4:01 AM
Another practical first-step is suggested by #3: go to your bank and check their options. You should do this anyway, to inform them of travel plans, to prevent a card from being blocked.
And I'd also second #7's comment:
Given that you have to pay for bank services anyway, no matter what you do, there are two matters to consider:
1. convenience: you pay for this. See it as a service gain (as with any form of insurance), not as robbery.
2. relative bank charges: evaluate against various forms, not against other trip expenditures. Thus, bank debit card used with ATMs is usually the cheapest alternative. Using CC's seems common for daily use in N America (not as common elsewhere) but this might be costly depending on how you arrange paying your CC. I use mine mainly for internet bookings, and I pay everything each month, so don't run up interest costs.
Another forum member has posted something on this (I can't recall where, or who). Money cards were also discussed, and these generally seemed to carry higher charges on average than bank debit cards.
T-cheques are separate issue. Not common in Europe so not practical for you, but still some misinformation out there about relative costs.
Nov 21, 2012 7:27 AM
9You can open a non-resident bank account in Spain but it will cost you 20 Euro a year. Not sure about other EU countries.
BthDth has it right that you won't notice the bank fees too much... The only problem you might run into is that US residents sometimes have problems with their US cards as they have a 6-digit PIN and all (most?) European ATMs have only 4-digit inputs. Is it the same with Canadian banks?
Edited by: imogenzedder
Nov 21, 2012 7:47 AM
10Re: the 6digit pin. I am ready to call this an urban legend. First of all, not all european counties have 4 digit pins. (My italian card has 5). Second, all my US cards (5 or so) have 4 Digit pins.
Lastly, I have NEVER heard a first hand story of somebody who had a 6 digit pin and had problems. Never. Lots of warnings, but not a single first-hand experience.
I am happy to be proven wrong though.
BthDth, the post you're thinking of is probably the one I linked to in #1.
And there is no need to justify ATM fees by saying it's a expense cpmpared to beer or overal costs. In 99% of cases ATM cards are cheaper than other methods of exchange. The assumption that ATM cards have fees and therefore are more expensive than changing cash is wrong as fees for cash are generally higher.
Nov 21, 2012 8:23 AM
11In France many ATMs display space for 5 or 6 digits code, but the first four only are read, so no problem. Cards must have a chip, for many automats.
If you can do it (and the extra fee that goes with it...) get both Visa and Mastercard, one card as backup (some ATMs seem to "prefer" one network upon another...)
Nov 21, 2012 11:28 AM
Nov 21, 2012 1:39 PM
13I am a non resident and have 2 bank accounts in Germany
Nov 21, 2012 11:56 PM
14I have both 5 pin cards (Italian) and 4 pin cards (British) and have used them interchangeably,in Western Europe and indeed all over the world,without major problems.
So I wouldn't worry about it.At some point in the past I guess the pin thing was a problem (its in many guide books including LP) but I don't think it is these days.
(4 star Hotel)
From US$134.33 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$101.20 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$171.47 per night