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Germany and Payment Choices
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03/08/2011 13:39
Chobe2 
03/08/2011 13:39
Chobe2 
Germany and Payment Choices

Well I did it - I have booked my flight to Germany! I'll be getting treatment March 21 - 25. We were able to allow a few days after so my husband and I can do some sight seeing and maybe drive over to Holland where he was born. Now I'm getting excited!

To all you people that have had treatment in Germany - were you able to pay by credit card? I think my credit card company charges some pretty hefty currency conversion fees so I may check around. Just curious what options are available.

Diane

03/08/2011 17:10
Maddie 
03/08/2011 17:10
Maddie 
Re: Germany and Payment Choices

Sounds like we will just miss each other! I am scheduled for treatment with Dr. S. Monday 3/14 - Friday 3/18, and will be am leaving Hamburg Friday afternoon. I will spend the weekend in Paris (hey, it's on the way) before heading home to the U.S.

I have been researching payment options too. Dr. S. told me that they do take credit cards. Unfortunately all my credit cards also have the 3% foreign exchange fee. (Some banks apparently have been dropping this, so I called my credit card issuer and urged them to drop it too-- however, even if they do it won't be in time for this.)

I think my best option will be to use my Visa debit card. This is what my bank issues in lieu of an ATM card. It is supposed to be accepted any place that accepts Visa, but as a debit card it pulls funds directly from your bank account. They charge a foreign transaction fee for this card too, but it's only 1%.

Unfortunately from the research I've done, it looks like there's no way to avoid having the banks take a cut one way or another. And, the dollar has been dropping against the Euro too. It's just one of those things where I've had to shrug and say "oh well."

But if anyone has any better suggestions I'd love to hear them!

Maddie

03/08/2011 17:11
Maddie 
03/08/2011 17:11
Maddie 
Re: Germany and Payment Choices

P.s. I forgot to say congratulations about making your decisions and getting plans finalized! It's a good feeling.

03/08/2011 18:14
LubaM. 
03/08/2011 18:14
LubaM. 
Re: Germany and Payment Choices

Maddie,
It might be too late to help you for this trip, but in the future...if you get a Capitol One credit card, they DO NOT charge foreign transaction fees...look into it. That is the card we use when we travel out of the country.

03/08/2011 18:45
spanishbuddha 

Administrator

03/08/2011 18:45
spanishbuddha 

Administrator

Re: Germany and Payment Choices

They do take credit/debit cards. Also direct bank transfer using IBAN codes I think.

Another option if you're comfortable doing it is take cash. For one 'extremity' the treatment is quoted in advance as being €500 (Euros) and you may be able to get a good exchange rate in advance for that from a bank or foreign currency exchange. The treatment did not come to exactly that in my case but the difference was quite small. But if you're having both hands and feet done then perhaps cash is not the way to go.

03/09/2011 13:52
Chobe2 
03/09/2011 13:52
Chobe2 
Re: Germany and Payment Choices

Thank you all!

LubaM - Thanks for the Capitol One credit card tip. I just applied, got approved, and now will keep my fingers crossed that I get the card before we leave. Otherwise, I guess I'll be using a debit card. But even if I don't get the Capitol One card in time, it will come in handy in the future - so thanks again.

Maddie - Sorry that we will miss each other! It would have been fun to meet for lunch or something. Have a very safe and enjoyable trip. Just curious...which hotel are you staying at? I just went with the Courtyard Marriott but it's a little pricey at $129 a night. We can cancel with no penalty so I'm still looking at other options.

Diane

03/09/2011 19:45
Larry 
03/09/2011 19:45
Larry 
Re: Germany and Payment Choices

I had been in Hamburg with Prof. Seegenschmiedt for my RT of one hand ; cheaper options are:

http://www.meinhotelinhamburg.com/index.html
http://www.meinhotelinhamburg.de/ only 44 € about 60 USD per night without breakfast

http://www.leonardo-hotels.com/germany-h...g-airport-hotel
starting at 62 € about 80 USD per night without breakfast


I am interested about you reporting back to us about your experience with Hamburg, and the PROF

All the best for You, Larry

Edited 03/09/11 21:46

03/09/2011 20:10
spanishbuddha 

Administrator

03/09/2011 20:10
spanishbuddha 

Administrator

Re: Germany and Payment Choices

Chobe2:
Thank you all!

LubaM - Thanks for the Capitol One credit card tip. I just applied, got approved, and now will keep my fingers crossed that I get the card before we leave. Otherwise, I guess I'll be using a debit card. But even if I don't get the Capitol One card in time, it will come in handy in the future - so thanks again.

Maddie - Sorry that we will miss each other! It would have been fun to meet for lunch or something. Have a very safe and enjoyable trip. Just curious...which hotel are you staying at? I just went with the Courtyard Marriott but it's a little pricey at $129 a night. We can cancel with no penalty so I'm still looking at other options.

Diane

I think that the basic choice comes down to better value (cheaper) and close to the clinic, or stay in Hamburg.

In February I stayed in the Mercure airport hotel. It's slightly cheaper than the Marriott, and slightly closer to the clinic, but only by about 5 minutes walking. I found the Mercure to be clean, pleasant, efficient, not luxurious but comfortable, good continental style breakfast with lots of choices of rolls, cereals, fruit, cheeses, meat and so on, but the breakfast a tad expensive for me. It's 15 minutes walk to the clinic and 20 minutes walk to the airport, but they have a shuttle which I used at 5:30 in the morning on my return.

The thing about staying close to the clinic is what to do in the evenings? I used to go for treatment in the morning, then walk to the Langenhorn Nordic U1 (5 minutes) and travel in to Hamburg which took half an hour. "27 minutes sir" the hotel desk told me. I'd then spend the day in Hamburg, sightseeing, shopping, lunch and usually dinner, sometimes an evening concert, then back to the hotel to rest. There is a small bar area, and an open dining area. I used the bar to catch up with email and stuff on the Internet.

For my second trip in June I've already booked a hotel in Hamburg rather than close to the clinic. It's slightly lower class than the Mercure, 3 star instead of 4 star, and slightly more expensive. For June long summer evenings I'm hoping this will be more convenient to explore the city using the hotel as a base, especially in the evenings. It does mean a daily trip by underground to/from the clinic, takes an hour for the round trip plus approximate 20 minutes for wait+treatment. You 'lose' this time no matter what if you plan to see Hamburg anyway. As I say the choice is which way round to do it, and there are cost + hotel comfort implications in your choice.

03/09/2011 20:32
Chobe2 
03/09/2011 20:32
Chobe2 
Re: Germany and Payment Choices

Thanks again for the great information. I am definitely looking forward to the trip and will report back to the group my experience.

Diane

03/10/2011 01:03
LubaM. 
03/10/2011 01:03
LubaM. 
Cost of RT in Germany

To those of you who have been to German for the RT treatments in Hamburg....

would you mind posting what the total expense of the trip was for each of the two sessions (including Dr. fees for the RT, flights, plus hotel expenses, maybe food?), and indicate what part of the US you live in (the cost would be different for flights from the East or West coasts).

It would be helpful in comparing to the cost in the US, especially for those of us who have Medicare if they stop paying for these treatments and we have to consider paying out of pocket in the future...

Thank you

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