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Before going to Europe last month I had to figure out the best way to deal with the money issue. When I went to Vancouver a few years ago I stupidly neglected to research international credit card fees. Needless to say, I came home with about $35 in charges. Mind you I was only there for a few days! That’s the last time I just trust whatever my Aunt says! So here’s my tips for handling money in Europe, the foreign exchange.
So before my Europe trip I had to make sure to investigate before hand! I found that the Chase Sapphire card charged no international fees. The card is free for the first year, $90 every year after that. You can of course cancel the card before the first year to avoid paying if you’re only getting it for a trip. Chase also had a deal on the card, spend $2,000 in the first three months and get $400 back. I definitely was going to spend that, between costs for my Aunt and I, so this was great news for me! The card was easy to use in Europe, only had one problem at a small boutique shop in Paris. I didn’t need that dress anyway!
For cash withdrawals I opened a Bank of America debit card account. With this account you can only make transactions online or at the ATM. Note, you can’t transfer money between banks on your iPhone. They haven’t found a secure way of doing this yet. So if you’re only bringing over your iPhone, not a laptop, make sure to transfer all the money you’ll need before you go! Barclays and BNP Paribas are the international partners of Bank of America so they won’t charge you any extra fees. Yes! More money for shopping! There are tons of these banks in London and Paris. Ireland, unfortunately didn’t have any partnership with Bank of America. Luckily, I only visited the ATM there once so it wasn’t too much of a ding to my pocket. Check the Bank of America website for international partners in other countries.