paying in euros with a card

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I have used my credit card to pay for something in Turkey and I was asked if I wanted the charge in sterling or Lira. In sterling I only paid the amount of the bill and no extra charge for being in Turkey but I have just made a payment in Euros and had a £32 charge put on my bill. What is the best way to pay in different currency to avoid a charge or to pay as little as possible?

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  • reclusive46
    reclusive46 Posts: 2,698 Forumite
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    Your almost always better off paying in the local currency, even if your bank charges foreign transaction fees as the exchange rate on GBP transactions is usually awful.

    Have a look at http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-money to see all the credit cards currently available that don't charge any fees abroad.
  • forgotmyname
    forgotmyname Posts: 32,572 Forumite
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    I have a prepay master card (Kalixa) I paid for something i euros recently and it worked out cheaper than using ebay with no extra charges.

    Card cost nothing also found a link on here or the moneysupermarket site?

    Originally i got it for the kids to have emergency money without carrying money.
    Censorship Reigns Supreme in Troll City...

  • zerog
    zerog Posts: 2,478 Forumite
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    I have a prepay master card (Kalixa) I paid for something i euros recently and it worked out cheaper than using ebay with no extra charges.

    As paypal uses DCC (and it is difficult or non-obvious where you need to click to opt out), even a 3% charge will be cheaper than "ebay"
  • lisyloo
    lisyloo Posts: 29,636 Forumite
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    It's pretty much always cheaper to pay in the foreign currency.
    This is because what your UK bank or credit card company will charge you for converting the currency is almost always cheaper than what the shop in Turkey will charge you for that privilege.

    If you do it a lot then it's worth getting a card with 0% commission - like Halifax Clarity.
  • forgotmyname
    forgotmyname Posts: 32,572 Forumite
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    silly me i meant paypal.. not ebay.
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  • eskbanker
    eskbanker Posts: 31,495 Forumite
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    joselle wrote: »
    I have used my credit card to pay for something in Turkey and I was asked if I wanted the charge in sterling or Lira. In sterling I only paid the amount of the bill and no extra charge for being in Turkey but I have just made a payment in Euros and had a £32 charge put on my bill. What is the best way to pay in different currency to avoid a charge or to pay as little as possible?

    Even though no explicit extra charge applied to the sterling transaction in Turkey, the conversion rate used would have been very poor, so you will probably have lost out by choosing to pay that way, hence the advice of previous posts above.

    I don't quite follow where a euro payment comes into it - is this another transaction still in Turkey and if so, why pay in euros rather than lira or even sterling?
  • joselle
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    no the conversion rate was ok in the shop
    the euro bit was because on another occasion I paid on my card in euros but not in turkey - and got the 32 quid fee added on
    thanks tho
  • peaceandfreedom
    peaceandfreedom Posts: 2,005 Forumite
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    joselle wrote: »
    no the conversion rate was ok in the shop
    the euro bit was because on another occasion I paid on my card in euros but not in turkey - and got the 32 quid fee added on
    thanks tho

    I'm confused - who added on the £32 fee - sounds extortionate unless the Euro amount was a very large amount.

    I was recently charged some extra fees for paying in Euros with my Cap1 Mastercard. The fee though was a percentage of the Euro bill and it still worked out cheaper than having the retailer convert to sterling themselves.

    Ryanair are the worst for this - their sterling equivalent is much higher than paying in Euros and letting the credit card convert, even allowing for the non-sterling charges.

    I noticed also that almost everywhere in Dublin airport they default to charging in sterling and you have to press a couple of buttons to ensure they charge in Euros. Common ploy everywhere in Ireland actually.

    I have decided to take out a credit card that doesn't charge for foreign currency transactions and close down the Cap1 card, since it is likely I will be using a card abroad more often.
  • Aquamania
    Aquamania Posts: 2,112 Forumite
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    joselle wrote: »
    no the conversion rate was ok in the shop
    the euro bit was because on another occasion I paid on my card in euros but not in turkey - and got the 32 quid fee added on
    thanks tho

    You asked:
    joselle wrote: »
    ...What is the best way to pay in different currency to avoid a charge or to pay as little as possible?
    The answer given was
    Your almost always better off paying in the local currency, even if your bank charges foreign transaction fees as the exchange rate on GBP transactions is usually awful.

    Have a look at http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-money to see all the credit cards currently available that don't charge any fees abroad.

    But if you want to carefully do the calculation for each transaction, you can. That will take time & effort ... lets hope not 3-4 weeks though :cool:

    You were lucky if you got a good rate. When I was in Turkey recently, I bought some petrol and the filling station first automatically billed me in GBP. How was I to know if it was correct as the pump price was in TL. So I told him to change it to TL.
    Good job I did as I later calculated the exchange rate he used was a total rip-off.

    And yes, any chance of an explanation of what your credit card charges you £32 for??? Which credit card issuer is that??? That sounds like another rip-off
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