Money and Currency Exchange

In general, there's a 2-3% exchange fee charged when withdrawing money from an ATM or using a credit card. This is usually better than the rate you'd get at exchange booths.

As of writing (October 2011), the Capital One Venture Rewards Card has no foreign transaction fee, which could be a big deal, depending on your needs. (It does have an annual fee.) More info on the NerdWallet list of rewards cards.

In Europe particularly (though this applies to some other countries as well), to use a credit card, you often need a gold chip and/or a pin. You should be able to call your credit card company to set up a pin if you don't have one.

Bank of America is part of the Global ATM alliance– you may be able to take money out of select atms without being charged the $5 withdrawal fee. Bank of America will then charge a $5 international withdrawal fee, themselves, plus any currency exchange fee.