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I just arrived in Paris for a one-year stay. I brought dollars (cash) with me and plan to open an account with an HSBC office near where I live. Will I get a fair exchange rate there from dollars into Euros? Or should I go to an exchange bureau? Does anyone know who offers the best exchange rate in Paris? Many thanks!
 

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You always get knicked for a higher "service fee" or exchange rate if you're exchanging cash - in part because of the risk that it's counterfeit. And exchange bureaux always add a service fee.

I'd go directly to the bank with your cash and let them handle the transaction as part of opening your account. They can give you their best rate, largely because if the cash turns out to be bad in any way, they can just "adjust" you account later on.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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If you have HSBC in the states you can link the two accounts online, and easily transfer money between them. That's what we did, works great!
 
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