I recently visited Frankfurt for a week and was lucky enough to have in my possession:

a) A credit card with no foreign transaction fees

b) A debit card from a credit union that allows free global ATM withdrawals

My financial needs were therefore very well taken care of for the duration of the trip, but at the conclusion I was faced with a bit of a difficulty- I had no way to convert my remaining Euros back into USD.

The withdrawal of money from an ATM was absolutely painless (and considerably cheaper than the horrid rates provided by airport exchange bureaus,) but my credit union informed me that I would not be able to make deposits in a foreign currency.

Does anyone have any experience in converting EUR to USD in an efficient and affordable fashion?

As a French national, I also have an account with Société Générale; could this be of any use?

  • I'm guessing from the question that you're in the US. If you're elsewhere - do tell. – littleadv Mar 6 '13 at 6:25

Well, you could just deposit the Euros in your French bank.

In the US, you'll have to deal with foreign exchange services, unless you're talking large amounts for banks to want to handle (they'll handle small amounts too, of course, but not without a significant fee).

Best thing I can think of is keeping them in a drawer with your passport. You'll use them on your next flight. Being French national, you're undoubtedly bound to visit the Euro zone again.

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  • Unfortunately, this seems to be the route I will have to take. I was very much hoping that in today's world, the technology for seamless currency pair conversions would exist, but evidently it does not. – nitrl Mar 6 '13 at 22:57
  • @nitri I'm not sure I understand the meaning of "seamless currency pair conversions", but if you mean the ability to easily convert - it exists. You just don't want to pay for it. Why are you expecting to receive services for free? – littleadv Mar 6 '13 at 23:31
  • @littleadv- My credit union offers spot-rate foreign to USD conversions for 1%, from any ATM in the world, without any additional fees. I was just hoping that the reverse process could be as "seamless." I understand that it is quite easy to convert currency, but at comparably unsatisfactory rates. – nitrl Mar 7 '13 at 0:20
  • @nitri it is always cheaper to convert electronic currency than physical currency. The same terms your US bank gave you in Europe, your French bank may be giving you in the US. But converting physical USD in Europe will cost you more, so why is it surprising that converting physical EUR in the US costs you more? – littleadv Mar 7 '13 at 0:23
  • @ littleadv Understood. I suppose I'm just surprised that banks don't offer the ability to simply deposit one's remaining foreign currency into a foreign ATM (just as a citizen of the foreign country would,) and then convert back at the same 1% fee. – nitrl Mar 7 '13 at 0:40

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