Credit-Card Option That Travelers Should Avoid

May 22, 2013
Seattle Times  
credit card news

With a service called "dynamic currency conversion," overseas merchants can process a credit card charge in the cardholder’s native currency rather than in the merchant’s currency; but it could cost travelers extra. Companies that allow merchants to run DCC transactions promise increased revenue, because merchants can charge for making the conversion. This can lead to markups that cause the customer to pay more in their native currency than in the local currency. The cost of each conversion depends on the company and the consumer's bank. Some DCC fees come as a surprise to consumers. Visa DCC agreements require merchants to disclose the currency conversion rates as well as any associated fees, and allow for DCC only with the cardholder's express agreement. To avoid extra DCC fees, travelers should pay either with cash in the local currency, or make sure card charges are made in the local currency.
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