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Chase Bank / buying euros

1 Ft Wayne, IN, United States Review updated:

I went to a Chase Bank branch on the North side of Ft. Wayne, Indiana to purchase Euros for our upcoming trip to Germany. I was told by a teller that there would be a $5.00 service fee since I was not a member/customer of Chase Bank. Then I was told that I had to pay cash in U.S. dollars to purchase the Euros. Credit cards and checks on my local Credit Union would not be accepted. Since I did not have enough cash on hand, I left. Two weeks later, I returned to another Chase Bank branch on the Southwest side of Ft. Wayne, Indiana. I had $300 U.S. currency which I presented to the teller. She said that this amount would purchase $200 in Euros
plus the $5.00 service fee. I agreed and gave the teller my $300 U.S. I was told
that I had to pick up the Euros in person in either one or two business days. Upon returning home I checked the exchange rate and discovered that it was $1.30 U.S. equaled One Euro. Doing the math on my just completed purchase, I calculated that the rate used by Chase Bank was $1.49 U.S. equaled One Euro. I was not informed of the excessive extra fees being charged by Chase Bank for exchanging my U.S. dollars for Euros. I called the branch bank where I had just made the purchase to complain about the high extra fees and was told that this was the corporate rate charged by Chase Bank and that the branch could do nothing about
my complaint. I then called two other Chase branch in Indianapolis, IN and one in Muncie, IN and inquired as to how many Euros my $300 would purchase in Euros. The Indianapolis branch stated: 212 Euros and the Muncie branch quoted 220 Euros. Using the current exchange rate of $1.30 U.S. = one Euro, the 212 Eurose quoted by the Indianapolis branch was the most accurate
computation. I then called the Ft. Wayne branch again and told the banker about the quotes I had received at the other branches. He asked who I had talked with: was it a banker or a teller. I really didn't know in either case . His explanation was that the teller's have the exchange rate in their computers and would be able to quote the current exchange rate ( the rate which included the Chase Bank extra fees at it turned out ). I think that this distinction between a banker and a teller and their knowledge lever was absurd ! There was never any information given me regarding the true exchange rate charged by Chase Bank. The explanation given me regarding the other quotes I received was equally absurd. I suspect there will be no followup or communications from Chase Bank on this matter.

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  • Tr
      8th of Sep, 2014
    0 Votes

    It is indeed frustrating, because unless a customer researches the exchange rate in advance, in particular the wholesale exchange rate (what banks charge each other for exchanging currency) vs. the retail exchange rate (what banks charge customers for the "privilege" of exchanging currency for them) it can be a huge shock. The terrible exchange rate that US banks charge customers when exchanging currency in advance of foreign travel can be equal to paying a $30-50 fee on the exchange! It's better to use an ATM in the country that you are visiting after you arrive in another country, then the exchange rate you get is typically about 1% over wholesale, plus a few dollars for using the ATM.

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