For Those Who Do International Travel

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recyclersteve
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For Those Who Do International Travel

Postby recyclersteve » Tue Mar 27, 2018

Several years ago I was getting ready to do some world travel and realized that instead of going to a bank or airport to get the foreign currency, why not try a coin dealer instead?!? I did and feel that I got a much better rate than I would have by going the typical bank/airport route.

I've gotten foreign currencies for the following countries from dealers:

Australia
Canada
Mexico
New Zealand
Singapore

You should also be able to get Euros, Japanese yen, British pounds, and Swiss Francs as well without too much trouble. The other currencies will likely be harder to much harder to get.

A few tips for those who are interested. You should have no problem getting lots of coins. Try to get larger denominations if possible- otherwise you will be carrying some heavy baggage and you could potentially have a surcharge for the extra weight of your bag. Check this out in advance, but I didn't have any baggage surcharge issues for any coins I got.

If you can get coins worth roughly 25 cents to $2 each, that should be ok. I wouldn't want to lug around a bunch of pennies or nickels. Also, I would carry the coins in something like a transparent Ziploc type baggie- sorted by denomination. If you roll them, you may have to crack open rolls at the airport or when crossing a border and that would NOT be fun. Be prepared to roll any large quantities of coins after you get to the destination country.

On a trip last year to Vancouver, BC I took $760.00 in Canadian quarters to an RBC bank branch and was surprised that they took the whole lot, even though I didn't have an account! They charged no fee whatsoever for the service. I had to roll the coins in the lobby, but the bank gave me a card table, chair and a bunch of coin wrappers to do the job. It did take about 2 1/2 hours to count and wrap the coins. I saved about $86 U.S. by doing it this way, but didn't mind. If I was in a huge hurry or my wife was breathing down my neck, I may have avoiding taking so many coins across the border.

We had no problems getting rid of the coins (converting them to bills in the foreign currency) in any of the countries. Also, the dealers in my area (location being kept quiet for privacy reasons) will let me return any unused coins without charging any penalty. Try getting that type of service from a bank or airport- you won't!

In speaking with the local dealers, I am told that VERY FEW people even think about doing this before they travel. Has anyone else had any experience in getting circulating foreign coins or currency from coin dealers?

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SilverDoge
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Re: For Those Who Do International Travel

Postby SilverDoge » Tue Mar 27, 2018

I did a swap with a member here before leaving for Italy: $300 for 300 Euro. The conversion rate was much closer back then and the 300 Euro was mostly in 1 and 2 euro coins. When I landed in Rome, I had no other local currency so when we took a taxi cab I ended up paying him about 150 euro in all coins! :lol:
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Diggin4copper
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Re: For Those Who Do International Travel

Postby Diggin4copper » Tue Mar 27, 2018

I'm looking for some euros.. anyone selling?
Outstanding!

silverhead
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Re: For Those Who Do International Travel

Postby silverhead » Tue Mar 27, 2018

SilverDoge wrote:I did a swap with a member here before leaving for Italy: $300 for 300 Euro. The conversion rate was much closer back then and the 300 Euro was mostly in 1 and 2 euro coins. When I landed in Rome, I had no other local currency so when we took a taxi cab I ended up paying him about 150 euro in all coins! :lol:


Hopefully that was a long taxi rise for 150 euro :o
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SilverDoge
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Re: For Those Who Do International Travel

Postby SilverDoge » Tue Mar 27, 2018

silverhead wrote:
SilverDoge wrote:I did a swap with a member here before leaving for Italy: $300 for 300 Euro. The conversion rate was much closer back then and the 300 Euro was mostly in 1 and 2 euro coins. When I landed in Rome, I had no other local currency so when we took a taxi cab I ended up paying him about 150 euro in all coins! :lol:


Hopefully that was a long taxi rise for 150 euro :o


Perhaps 70 kilometers or so. I could have taken the train but we had a lot of luggage. It was worth the cost.
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iron-pyrite
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Re: For Those Who Do International Travel

Postby iron-pyrite » Tue Mar 27, 2018

FYI if traveling in the middle east and caring cash from one country to another the locals may accept nearby Muslim countries over most others and give you a great deal on exchange rate that can be negotiated.

I had a guy refuse USD but took another at a 10:1 loss to him. Many others also accepted weird rates biased only on their feeling of the countries not the going bank exchange.
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highroller4321
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Re: For Those Who Do International Travel

Postby highroller4321 » Tue Mar 27, 2018

I actively buy and sell coins from around 57 different countries....

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t458
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Re: For Those Who Do International Travel

Postby t458 » Tue Mar 27, 2018

I'd like to buy some Euros, may be 1000 Euros. Any suggestions?

recyclersteve
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Re: For Those Who Do International Travel

Postby recyclersteve » Wed Mar 28, 2018

Check with highroller4321. He has an established business and, from what I can tell, an outstanding reputation for fair dealings. His website is portlandmint.com in case you want to reach out to him that way.

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chris6084
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Re: For Those Who Do International Travel

Postby chris6084 » Wed Mar 28, 2018

I used to dump Peso coins when I would visit Mexico. It always surprised them when I would be in a store and they would quote me a price in US $ and I would say "No, I want to pay in pesos!"

One should also consider using a credit card as much as possible. Many cards will convert the funds with no fee. I call my credit card company in advance to tell them which country I plan to use the card in so that they don't put a hold on it or cancel it if I can't be reached by cell phone.

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CaptainW
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Re: For Those Who Do International Travel

Postby CaptainW » Wed Mar 28, 2018

Maybe I’m missing something here, but if you only need trip currency, it’s very simple and easy to avoid exchange fees (if that’s the goal).
I take a “no foreign fee” credit card (Capital One or Discover It); and my checking debit card to withdraw cash at ATM’s. On my recent trip to Holland, Belgium, Spain, I made at least 6 ATM withdrawals and never paid a fee. Though one in Barcelona wanted to charge 5 euro. I cancelled, walked a block and found one that was free. I learned this trick while in Colombia. Of course I use my credit card for any purchase over $20 or so to get the cash back.
Tip: if you’re in Amsterdam and want to give one of the coffee shops some patronage, they are cash only. Thats what a friend told me anyway. :pop:

recyclersteve
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Re: For Those Who Do International Travel

Postby recyclersteve » Fri Mar 30, 2018

CaptainW wrote:Maybe I’m missing something here, but if you only need trip currency, it’s very simple and easy to avoid exchange fees (if that’s the goal).


No the goal was to buy the foreign currency for a DISCOUNT, not exchange it for fair value and avoid fees (which would be a surcharge).

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CaptainW
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Re: For Those Who Do International Travel

Postby CaptainW » Fri Mar 30, 2018

recyclersteve wrote:
CaptainW wrote:Maybe I’m missing something here, but if you only need trip currency, it’s very simple and easy to avoid exchange fees (if that’s the goal).


No the goal was to buy the foreign currency for a DISCOUNT, not exchange it for fair value and avoid fees (which would be a surcharge).


I'm still not following. Where are you getting the currency at a discount, the dealer or the bank? And why would they sell the currency below the actual exchange rate?
The only dealer I've approached wanted a premium almost as high as an airport store.

recyclersteve
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Re: For Those Who Do International Travel

Postby recyclersteve » Fri Mar 30, 2018

I'm buying it at a discount from the dealer. Why would they sell at a discount? Because most people don't want to lug around a bunch of heavy coins. They want currency.

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dae2dae
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Re: For Those Who Do International Travel

Postby dae2dae » Fri Mar 30, 2018

CaptainW wrote:
recyclersteve wrote:
CaptainW wrote:Maybe I’m missing something here, but if you only need trip currency, it’s very simple and easy to avoid exchange fees (if that’s the goal).


No the goal was to buy the foreign currency for a DISCOUNT, not exchange it for fair value and avoid fees (which would be a surcharge).


I'm still not following. Where are you getting the currency at a discount, the dealer or the bank? And why would they sell the currency below the actual exchange rate?
The only dealer I've approached wanted a premium almost as high as an airport store.

quite often you can buy currency from coin and paper and even stamp dealers at a considerable discount since they pay sh*t when people bring it in ;)
“Paper is poverty, it is only the ghost of money, and not money itself.” Thomas Jefferson
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CaptainW
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Re: For Those Who Do International Travel

Postby CaptainW » Fri Mar 30, 2018

Got it now. Thanks!

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AGgressive Metal
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Re: For Those Who Do International Travel

Postby AGgressive Metal » Thu Apr 05, 2018

highroller & I buy/sell a lot of foreign coin, and has been mentioned the primary drawback is weight, since its starts adding up fast if you are just a normal business traveler trying to pack regular bags

credit cards are able to do the no fee thing since they are not paying to sort/ship/store/insure/hedge any physical currency and so they just pay the inter-bank spread which is very tiny compared to retail cash spreads
did somebody say bullion? :D


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