Exchange Rates & Paying Bills
Paying Italian Bills
There are a few ways that you can pay your bills in Italy:
Tobacco Store (“Tabaccheria”): ~2€ fee/bill
Take your bill to the counter of a tobacco store and pay your bill with cash or debit card.
Bank Teller: ~2€ fee/bill
Take the payment stub from your bill to your bank. They’ll deduct the bill amount from your bank account and transfer it to the utility company.
Online Bank Transfer: ~1€ fee/bill
Ask your local bank how to setup “payee” accounts so that you can pay your utilities online from home. In the memo line of every online payment, ALWAYS include your account number (“codice cliente”) and bill number (“numero fattura”). Without this info your payment could get lost with no way for the payee (e.g. utility company) to track it down.
Online via Company Website: Free
You’ll have to have a credit card issued by an Italian bank. Italian companies cannot allow you to pay your bills online via credit card unless you have a credit card issued by an Italian financial institution.
To pay Italian bills by means other than cash, you’ll need a local bank account. There is one DoD bank system, run by Bank of America, located in Area 1 between the Exchange and the Deja Brew/ Bowling Center. The bank is tucked further into the building, around the corner from Deja Brew. You can get good interest rates here and it’s the only bank that can transfer money to your landlord’s Italian bank account. It is advised that you visit the bank once you arrive in Aviano for the most up to date information and to set up your bank account here.
ATM (“Bancomat”) Exchange Rates
When getting Euros from an ATM, the exchange rate is generally more favorable if you take out a higher amount in a single transaction, rather than take out smaller amounts via multiple withdrawals.
NOTE: Most debit cards include a foreign transaction fee when converting your foreign purchase or ATM withdrawal into U.S. dollars. It’s usually 1-2% of the total transaction. However, for cards without a fee you may just get a lower exchange rate. Shop around for the best card.