When to buy some US $ for trip in Nov.

The question is in the subject. I’m headin over to the States (Sarasota, Florida) for the first time ever, to go to a mates wedding at the end of Nov. Just wondering if any of ye intelligent pinsters (flattery will get you everywhere) have any suggestions as to whether I buy some dollars now or leave it till later. If later then when? Or should I just buy on my credit card when I’m there?


You might find you’ll need these sooner rather than later (AMERO)


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Definitely do not buy on your credit card when you are there…

I’d say wait it out, likelihood is the rate will continue to improve, if you’re only there for a few days you won’t need so much but you’ll need tipping money don’t forget…

If you’re worried about the rate disimproving (which it won’t) get half now, half later… :wink:

If you asked me a month ago, I’d have said the dollar won’t fall much further.

But current prospects for the greenback are not looking good AT ALL, as TUG says.

bring two-ply :wink:

What do you base that on?


If you have a clear credit card, load it up with cash, so you have a credit balance. You can then use that in ATMs in the states without paying a cash advance fee. That’s likely to be cheaper than using your ATM cards.

If you have two credit cards, load one with cash for ATMs and use the other for purchases, e.g. in restaurants etc.

The exchange rate you’ll be charged will be set by your own bank, so check that out before you go. But the convenience of not carrying a lot of cash around makes the credit card the way to go.

If you fly into Tampa, then you’ll probably be taking a trip accross the
sunshine skyway bridge on the way to Sarasota. Great fun, and a great
introduction to the country, it’ll cost you $1. Compare that to the West
Link and how much it costs.

I’m jealous by the way, we’re very keen to get back over there for a while.


Dollar/Euro at $1.593 now.
Good chance of $1.63 by tuesday 22nd of july.
November? To far away to know… the World could be a very different place by then.

Whichever way you do it, you are sort of screwed!

Credit card - good rate, but generally you pay a currency conversion fee (about 1.75% for a BoI mastercard). You may also face charges for taking cash out at ATMs.

Cash - generally a poor buying rate if you buy cash before you go, but a better rate in the country you are going to (sometimes!). You also pay a fee for the conversion and
maybe even a percentage of the amount you convert!

People get awfully worked up about tiny amounts of money.

How much spending are we talking about? Even if it’s 2000 yoyos (that’s $3000) 1.75% is only 35 euro. With the exchange rate like it is that’s nothing, you’re still quids in.

Absolutely the way to go is the credit card. If the card is preloaded with a credit balance then use it at ATMs. If you haven’t preloaded the card, then use the credit card for purchases and your ATM card for cash.

The few quid you’ll be spending in terms of enchange rates, commission/fees is nothing compared to the comfort of not carrying hundreds of dollars in cash around with you.


Right so. That’s great advice by ye all. Thanks for that.
If I use the CC then I will defo Load it with cash. Rd you read my mind - €2k was what I plan to bring.

I’m flying into Orlando (Aer Lingus) and then we’ll hire a car to take us down. Hope to do a bit of surfing one of the days if there’s any bit of swell at all.

Ah! if you drive direct from Orlando to Sarasota you’ll miss the bridge. If you have time, and you’re in the mood for a bit of a drive, when you get to Tampa, carry on over the causeway to Clearwater and then head down through St. Pete to the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and on to Sarasota.

The best surfing is more on the Atlantic Coast, Cocoa Beach etc.
If you’re thinking of doing any of the theme parks, I’d go to Busch Gardens (more roller coasters and it’s basically a Zoo and theme park in one.

If you’re thinking of blowing cash on clothes there’s a big outlet mall in Ellenton which is in the vicinity of Sarasota. If you go to Ellenton check out “Pizza and Pipes”.

Fairly ordinary food (pizza, fries etc.) but the entire room is part of a huge Wurlitzer Pipe Organ, and they guys who play it will play pretty much any tune you can name. Try catch them out, they wouldn’t be great on Irish Trad. :wink:

Have fun, it’s a great part of the world.


I agree about loading the CC, I always do it. When I buy online or with draw abroad as long as I’m in credi the rate i usually get is in and around the mid market rate posted on XE with a charge of 1.75% (PTSB ICE). Look at rates in branches its never much better if at all.

Only thing is not all CC’s allow you to withdraw without a fee even if the card is in credit (MBNA for one). Make sure you check with your provider BEFORE you travel

Also worth mentioning. Credit Card companies will sometimes reject a transaction (particularly overseas transactions) on the grounds that it’s out of character.

A quick call to the number on the back of your card should be enough to sort that out. It’s happened to me twice and both times the stores let me use their phone (I don’t know if they realised I was calling Ireland).

Anyhoo it’s worth having some cash in your current account that you can get at with your ATM, just in case your credit card stops working.

The BBC did a show about this a while back and It seems UK banks are a lot less trustworthy than Irish ones. It seems no amount of phone calls was enough to reactivate the card.

It might be worth giving the Card Company a quick call before you go, just to let them know. I don’t know if it will make a difference, but it won’t hurt.


I have heard this from some of my friends that they had transactions rejected because the credit system decided that the behaviour was outside what might be considered normal. A quick call usually sorts it out.

I have never had this happen to me and I have been to a lot of countries where one might suspect the alarms might go off, I have put thousands of Euro on my card in a single transaction, I have used it in Asia, Israel, Russia, Eastern Europe, Central Europe, Western Europe, Southern Europe and the US and never a bother. Anybody here involved in writing software that flags what might be considered dodgy transactions, I’d like to know the type of stuff that is considered dodgy.

I’d heard John C Dvorak (TWIT & Cranky Geeks) mentioning that in the US they look out for purchases that might be easily converted into cash, one example was that if you make a couple of transactions at a filling station the alarms go off because in some cases if children make off with their parents cards they will fill their friends cars with petrol on the card and get some cash in return.

I bought two cars and didn’t have a problem.

I tried to buy two laptops and it flagged it.

The other time it flagged it was at a chinese buffet.

It seems to be almost random. I had eaten at that chineese buffet dozens of times, and while I hadn’t bought two laptops, I had spend similar sums of money in that particular store.

I think mrs daltonr had a problem at a hair salon. That would need to be a seriously dedicated identity thief. “I need you to make me look like her”.


buying 5 iphones also flags it… ok that one I understand.

Sometimes the US banks will disallow any foreign transactions on their cards. This is for security reasons, basically to protect their customers, many of whom will never use their cards abroad. They all recommend calling them before traveling abroad to let them know you’ll be making foreign transactions.

I don’t know if the Irish banks have a similar way of flagging your account so that it’s less likely to reject foreign transactions, but it might be worth calling them before you leave to see. That way you might avoid having your card rejected and having to call Ireland.

Wow, Thanks for the tips. Just logged on - I was on a first aid refresher today so no internet access.

I’m with AIB so I’ll defo give them a buzz before I fly, that’s for sure unsure. (I’ll get me coat)