Where to Buy Euros for Spain Travel
Having a few Euros in your pocket upon arrival to Spain offers a little bit of peace of mind and a good amount of convenience. But where do you buy euros?
Buying euros ahead of time in the US for a trip to Spain is as easy as going to your bank, credit union or even AAA can provide foreign currency for members. Each charge different fees though. Availability also varies. Most places have to order the euros from their central facility and this takes a few days and usually not more than a week.
A large metropolitan city bank may even have foreign currency on hand – especially Euros because the Euro is a major currency – also usable in France, Germany, Italy and several other European Union countries.
This best advice is to call your local bank and maybe another bank or two in town and do a comparison. If you have a credit union, be sure to check with them too – oftentimes a credit union offers the best deal!
Some banks and credit unions charge a per-transaction fee for US dollar to euro conversions. Others charge a percentage. If you’re converting a large amount, the per-transaction fee might be a better deal.
Is getting Spain currency ahead of time really necessary?
No. There are plenty of ATMs at the airports and usually some form of currency exchange booth. Even the smaller Spain airports have at least one ATM.
Still, buying euros for Spain travel might be worth doing. After a long flight, worrying about exchanging money is the last thing you want to do. Buying money ahead of time also offers that peace of mind factor of being prepared for the unknown.
Know the current US Dollar to Euro exchange rate
Before you do anything, know the exchange rate. Not all banks and exchangers will trade at the same rate. Be prepared just in case. A good website to see the current rates and to see what X amount of US dollars is worth in euros is XE.com.
The best way to avoid surprises is to tell your bank and credit card companies that you are traveling in Spain. Give them a call and have them mark it in your account. You don’t want to joy of your bank turning off your card because it thinks the charges are fraud.
The next best way is to bring multiple credit cards and ATM cards.
Me, I have about 100 euros left over from my last trip that I’m saving for the next trip. After a long overnight flight, at least 20 euros are going towards a meal and a few cups of cafe con leche upon arrival. The rest should be enough for a taxi ride to the hotel.