Airport Currency Exchange is a Ripoff

And I’m foolish

Although one of my good friends published an article on good ways to get foreign currency without paying out the rear, I was foolish and did not prepare for my recent trip to London. Since I wanted to be prepared for my next foolish decision of overpaying for a Taxi in London, I decided to change $500 USD into Euros using a Travelex booth at the San Francisco Airport. When I walked up the lady was nice and informed me that if I did not convert at least $500 then I would pay a $9.00 service fee. Knowing that was a rip off I decided to take the “smart” approach and convert $500 of my US Dollars into Euros with no fees or service charges. After I left the booth I felt great about the decision and decided to take a look at todays exchange rate. Being an avid Google user I decided to google the keyword “330 Euro to USD”.

I was unhappy with what Google Told Me

After Googling 330 Euro to USD I was astonished to find that Google’s math was clearly off. According to Google, the answer was: $441.47 US Dollar. After realizing that I had just paid the nice lady at the booth $500, I was rather pissed. Although they don’t charge a service fee or other fee’s they make it up in their pitiful exchange rate.

How Bad Did I Actually Get Ripped Off

That’s over a 13% difference in the actual exchange rate and the Travelex rate. Since the purchase was in California I decided to review the California Department of Justice’s regulations for the maximum interest on loans. If this was a loan it would have been regulated by the state at 10%. Considering I can buy a $30,000 car for 3% Interest I have to say this was one of my least savvy financial decisions.

Moral of The Story
Although it feels comfortable to have the local currency the reality is that most other countries accept our Visa and Mastercards. I didn’t really need the cash. However I was a sucker and paid the $50+ fee which would have been better spent on ten beers. Don’t use Airport Current Exchange Booths. They are ripoffs!



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