Exchanging money for guests

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Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

We have some guests here who didn't think to get any US dollars and will probably need to hand over their cc at a bank for a cash advance. We're figuring we can do this for them by running their card and giving them cash. BUT, we would definitely need to charge a fee for that.

The question is - what % would cover the processing for that? It would go thru as a 'sale' so there's 3% right there for a foreign bank. Then there's the exchange fee, around 3%. But not every card charges that. So what do you think is a fair %?

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OnTheShore's picture
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FWIW, our US bank accepts Canadian checks at face value IF the writer has made the notation US$ -- then the exchange rate falls to them at their bank. Don't know how this helps in your situation. I guess I would send them to an ATM... (that's where I went for cash when I was on a foreign island).

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Arks's picture
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ATM will generally get them the best possible deal. Best exchange rate, lowest fees.

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Joey Camb's picture
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I wouldn't do it - but we have banks, shops and atm's that will do it all over my town (at least 20 places)

for us to do it would be (1) card processing 3%

(2) foreign currency crap at 3%

(3) plus I pay Value added tax on my turnover so 10% of that would be on top as well

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Breakfast Diva's picture
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ATM is the only way to go. They can charge during their trip and get whatever cash they have in their bank by using their ATM card. I'm afraid I wouldn't get involved with swiping their cc & giving them cash back!

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

We will exchange actual cash (foreign) for guests from time to time, but it's easy around here and I have one foreign currency trader that I deal with who gives good rates.

If you really want to do this (and I don't suggest it), charge 5%. You get dinged with your percentage plus your foreign transaction. Their CC company will likely charge from 2.5% to 3% for the foreign exchange. 

If they have an ATM, they can just use an ATM, it's usually cheaper than a cash advance anyway. There are two alliances that can sometimes save people money on the ATM transactions. One is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_ATM_Alliance which is world-wide and the other is the ACCEL/Exchange which covers US/Canada, but otherwise they need to see if the bank is Cirrus or Plus.

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Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

I could do that but they didn't seem to have much in the way of cash either. I can only exc Canadian. My bank won't take any other foreign money.

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

I wouldn't do the CC only because you can still get a CB. If it's a currency you will use in the future, you can do it and keep it. If it isn't, tell them to use CC and ATM. Or, if they have a car and can do a drive, there is a Travelex office in Peabody, MA which should be able to convert almost any currency.

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Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

I wouldn't do the CC only because you can still get a CB. If it's a currency you will use in the future, you can do it and keep it. If it isn't, tell them to use CC and ATM. Or, if they have a car and can do a drive, there is a Travelex office in Peabody, MA which should be able to convert almost any currency.

My first gut reply as well.  They may be as sweet as pie but so are most con artists.  Let the banks work with them.

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05/22/2008

Why can't they just go to the bank?

 

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

Banks here won't exchange money for strangers. They could do a cash advance but that's big bucks. I told them to try an ATM but I am now wondering if they have ever left their country before.

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05/22/2008

Then they should go to the ATM. It is not your problem if they don't know what to do. I wouldn't take the chance with your CC with strangers. Chargeback is a real possibility.sorry to say.

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