Moacir P. de Sá Pereira on July 22nd, 2008

Part of stressing about a trip to Europe these days is trying to milk the most value out of the terribly weakened dollar, which limps even in comparison to the wee litukas. I have wondered for a very long time what the most economical means of converting money might be, so today I ran some numbers and did some research in a post on Donkey Hottie.

The actual post is sort of interesting, but there’s lots of math. If that frightens you, here is my conclusion, based on my specific account with Citibank:

Always go to Lithuania with as many US dollars as you feel comfortable bringing. Once you’re there, if you convert to Litai via cash or via a bank account at a Lithuanian bank is up to you—the account saves you not even $1 per $1000 in exchange versus cash, making the hassle of opening an account potentially not worth it. And though you’ll lose money emptying out the account back into dollars to bring back home (assuming you did not spend it all), the rate the bank will give you will still be in the vicinity of 2% off the real rate. That means that even still you lose less money converting from USD > LTL > USD at Hansa Bank than you do converting USD (> EUR) > LTL at Citibank in your neighborhood.

If anyone else has any tips about stretching the dollar in conversion, I would love to hear them.

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