1

This question relates to foreign exchange from GBP (on suitable international UK debit card eg Monzo) to USD whilst being in Munich.

I believe I can withdraw EUR from an ATM and then go to a foreign exchange shop- but I am trying to avoid the double handling of exchange rates if possible (and also the poor foreign exchange shop rates). Is there a suitable method (a USD bancomat/ATM perhaps?) that would avoid the double handling of exchange rates?

As a postscript, the reason I am seeking USD (circa US$400) is we are flying from Munich to Nairobi and I believe I need USD cash for the visa at the border.

Many thanks

  • Won't there be ATM fees also? I don't think there are any good solutions. Going to a bank is probably the cheapest. – Tomas By Jul 12 at 9:33
  • @tomas I figure if there are ATM fees they would apply whether EUR or a USD withdrawal. But a bank might indeed be simplest. – Ellipsis Jul 12 at 9:38
  • Yes? But if you go to a bank you may avoid that. – Tomas By Jul 12 at 9:39
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There are at least ATMs at the airport where you can get cash payouts in US$ and I am relatively sure that ReiseBank has an ATM at the main railway station, also able to give you US$ notes.

I would however not assume that this is the cheapest solution. German ATM operators notoriously hide all kind of strange fees and I would expect that if you try to make a US$ payout on a German ATM from a UK card, the ATM operator will convert the amount in US$ to EUR at a poor exchange rate and then charge your card in EUR and not directly in US$.

Currency exchange in regular banks is often only provided to the bank's customers and is also usually quite expensive. The most prominent exchange offices, e.g. Western Union or ReiseBank neither provide very good exchange rates. I would assume that the best solution is to get EUR with your card from an ATM and then go to any of the smaller, independent exchange offices. Many of them are located in the area south of the main railway station between Bayerstraße and Schwanthaler Straße.

  • Thanks Tor Einar – Ellipsis Jul 12 at 10:22
  • Hmm, why not pay with the card at one of those independent exchange offices? In my (very scattered, anecdotal and unscientific) experience, exchange counters tend to accept card payments as well as cash in the local currency -- so even though they'll charge the card in euros you'll avoid any ATM-specific fees the card charges. – Henning Makholm Jul 12 at 11:42
  • Thanks Henning. I will try if it is fee free, the (small, independent) forex shop I visited earlier did not accept card as payment. – Ellipsis Jul 12 at 12:08
  • @HenningMakholm If they do, they will likely charge extra for it or at least hide a charge in a worse exchange rate. Even if an exchange office offers a cash withdrawal and charges the card as if it were a 'purchase of goods' transaction, they will have to pay for the transaction and the fee for charging a foreign credit or debit card is usually a percentage of the amount. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Jul 12 at 12:14

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