4

I am returning to USA in August and will have some money left on my German account. I would like to know the best way to exchange Euro to USD. I am flying to DFW airport, Dallas and have an account in Sparkasse Bank.

  • 2
    Cheapest would be withdrawing money from your German account at an US ATM. I don't know the pricing scheme of your Sparkasse but there are definitely cheaper option in that use case (i.e. free account, no withdrawing fee, good exchange rate). In any case this method wins over almost any other thing you could do (except if your bank charges exorbitant fees). If you don't want to open another German account, services such as Transferwise would be a good option. – neo Jul 11 '15 at 16:44
  • 3
    What's your understanding of best, is it cheapest ? least hassle ? least red tape ? fastest ? – blackbird Jul 11 '15 at 16:51
  • I don't understand why this is closed but What is the best method for exchanging dollars for Euros? is not. – Martin Thoma Dec 17 '18 at 22:22
3

I would call ahead before bringing Euro notes into a random branch on a non-major USA bank. I see Bank of America accepts foreign currency at full-service branches. A small local bank, only at the two largest offices.

The USA is an exception to the general rule that you do best to get Country X's currency while in Country X. The rates are bad, and the fees are much higher than in Europe or the Middle East. At this moment, xe.com is quoting 1 Euro = $1.1156, while Bank of America is buying at $1.0528.

Many US Banks do not charge a flat fee to receive wired money, so I would check the fee for wiring money from Germany. Wires appear to be more common there than here. You may also be able to use the "SWIFT" transfer system. For an electronic transaction you may get a better rate than cash, but I would check.

If your German debit card does not charge for use of out-of-network ATMs and does not charge a currency conversion fee, that is another possibility. USA banks offer such cards, to preferred customers. Check, first, that the American ATM will not assess an out-of-network charge. Some states, I believe including California, are now permitting such charges against non-USA cards (as they have long been charged to other domestic banks’ cards); this was either illegal or at least not customary before.

  • 1
    I just want to add to the last paragraph that two German banks (DKB and comdirect) even refund such third-party surcharges on request. On the other hand, wiring money to non-European accounts is pretty expensive at all banks. – neo Jul 12 '15 at 12:23
2

Best bet is to close out the German account and then deposit the Euros in your USA account. Most major US banks will accept deposits in Euros.

You can exchange them at the Dallas airport, but airport rates are usually pretty poor in the USA.

You could buy dollars in Europe, but again buying is never the best rate.

You could use the ATM card, but that might not let you withdraw everything, as you won't know the exchange rate used until you get your next bank statement (and discover you overdrew your account)..

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.