'Using plastic overseas? Always PAY IN EUROS...' blog discussion

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  • Bell98Bell98 Forumite
    16 Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    I have a Nationwide Select CC. I was in Cork, Ireland at the weekend paying the bill, handed the m/c to put my pin in and it had already been set to pay in GBP without me knowing. 3 days later I've just seen the receipt. There's a message at the bottom stating I'd opted to pay in GBP. I hadn't. I wasn't asked. Based on the rate on a € transaction 2hrs later I'd lost over £6 with the hotel's exchange rate.
    Based on the other posts it would be nice if we could get a € Credit Card to use in Europe to stop these scams. I'd rather pay my bank a little extra than paying these rip off foreign banks.
  • bsnowbsnow Forumite
    12 Posts
    If I see the amount in GBP in Spain I just remove the card from the reader and ask to be charged in Euros, this annoys them as they have to do all the transaction again and they wouldn't like me removing the card all over again.

    However, I must say that after a recent trip to Switzerland, I found that using GBP was cheaper because of all fees the CC charged me
    Anything in excess is bad for you including moderation
  • I used my Halifax Clarity card at a Fund Grube store in Tenerife and, without being asked, I was charged in Sterling. I complained and made them credit back the transaction and charge me in Euros. When I checked the credit card statement I found they had cleverly credited the transaction in Euros rather than Sterling so I ended up nearly £3 out of pocket. They obviously know what they were doing so I will be avoiding Fund Grube in future.
  • Was v annoyed today to be told by Inghams ski resort reps in Finland that I had to pay in pounds for credit card transactions for their excursions. They say it's because they are a UK company. They are also charging 2.5% on credit cards, not unusual, but £2.50 for direct debit which if they are claiming that they have to charge in pounds because of being a UK company seems a bit off to me.
    We had very deliberately not got a lot of cash as I have a Halifax Clarity card which we are planning to put everything on. With their exchange rate it has cost me £3.50 more than it would with Clarity and that was only 1 excursion, lots of people were spending much more. We are considering not doing the other 2 excursions with them that we had in mind because if this as I feel they are taking the p***!
  • kernowalankernowalan Forumite
    3 Posts
    Seventh Anniversary Combo Breaker
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Had a similar experience paying for fuel where I was not offered the eur option and was given the receipt stating I had elected to pay in pounds - just a downright lie. The cashier said I had to pay in pounds with a UK card - again a lie.
    Sadly this is with MSE much vaunted Halifax Clarity card. I have contacted Halifax who say they are not responsible for merchants breaking T&C. I also wrote to MSE, no reply so despite the frequency of occurrences like mine, it appears MSE is indifferent. In my view the card issuer must take responsibility for behaviour of merchants. I have registered a complaint with the Financial Ombudsman.
  • MothballsWalletMothballsWallet Forumite
    15.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    I always pay in local currency when using my cards abroad.

    Some cash machines abroad do give you the choice of local currency, US$ or £, so I always go with local currency (this does happen in Russia to name one place).
    Always ask yourself one question: What would Gibbs do?

    I live in the UK City of Culture 2021
  • every visa card would work fine even if your currency is different but they di charge a minimum fee
  • WattNextWattNext Forumite
    104 Posts
    Seventh Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    In March this year we were in Lanzarote and found ourselves buying a backpack and handbag from a store on the beach front. We take with us a certain amount of cash in euros and have a Nationwide visa credit card with no charge for purchases in euros. We get the wholesale exchange rate. Gave the card to the trader and asked to pay in euros the amount came back in pounds. He cancelled and tried again it came back in pounds. He mumbled that it was not his fault it was the card machine one supplied by Santanda. He said all the traders on the front had the same problem. He cancelled and tried again and it came back in pounds.

    We said no thanks and offered to pay in cash. A bit of haggling and we got 2 euros knocked off the price. He was very convincing about it being the machines fault. Later we bought a meal from a restaurant and I related what had happened. He said that by law the machine must offer a choice of payment in euros or pounds and his did. I had previously asked to pay in euros.

    Were the traders we bought from telling fibs or were they victims too of their merchant provider. Because we got low on cash we used a bank atm to get more cash and got charged for it. The same card scam happened to us in Tenerife last year in a beach front cafe.

    Motto, always have the cash to cover things.
  • edited 16 May 2015 at 9:02AM
    Nada666Nada666 Forumite
    5K Posts
    edited 16 May 2015 at 9:02AM
    You have to be careful. Many places have lax controls over cadmium content so always take your own drinking bottles and sandwich box.
  • I booked a Berlin hotel on Booking.com, with immediate payment. I was shown a sum in euros but found after my stay that the hotel had changed the sum to pounds; my card receipt saying I had chosen to pay in GBP. I wasn't even asked. Very underhand - but is it illegal to do this?
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