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    • Former MSE Helen
    • By Former MSE Helen 12th Mar 13, 4:31 PM
    • 2,324Posts
    • 971Thanks
    Former MSE Helen
    'Using plastic overseas? Always PAY IN EUROS...' blog discussion
    • #1
    • 12th Mar 13, 4:31 PM
    'Using plastic overseas? Always PAY IN EUROS...' blog discussion 12th Mar 13 at 4:31 PM
    This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.

    Please click 'post reply' to discuss below.
Page 2
    • torbrex
    • By torbrex 16th Jan 14, 8:04 PM
    • 61,883 Posts
    • 124,626 Thanks
    We are travelling on a cruise with Princess Cruises in February. We have the option to have our "folio" charged in US Dollars or GB pounds (converted by the cruise line) after having registered a credit card with them.
    In the past we have paid in pounds, but this thread makes me wonder if we should be asking for the cost to be in dollars and then pay the credit card bill (complete with their conversion costs)? We have a Saga card which we will use for on-shore expenses so that we do not incur charges on that, but would be using another card for the cruise bill itself.
    Any advice would be useful - thanks.
    Originally posted by Tigermum
    Given the choice, I would go for paying in the local currency as you will always get a better exchange rate through your credit card so if its dollars on board then use your Saga card.
    The cruise company will use standard exchange rates (or worse) just like any high street shop.
    I was in America on holiday last year and spent over 3000 in dollars and every transaction, I was better off on exchange by a couple of cents on the dollar every time than I would have been changing money elswhere.
    • Bell98
    • By Bell98 22nd Jan 14, 4:39 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    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.
  • bsnow
    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
  • davidxhobbs
    Avoid Fund Grube in Tenerife
    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.
  • DrFanna
    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***!
  • kernowalan
    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.
    • MothballsWallet
    • By MothballsWallet 19th Jun 14, 8:32 PM
    • 13,613 Posts
    • 18,913 Thanks
    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
  • ellahenderson
    every visa card would work fine even if your currency is different but they di charge a minimum fee
    • WattNext
    • By WattNext 13th May 15, 8:51 AM
    • 100 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    Trader said Santanda was to blame
    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.
    • Nada666
    • By Nada666 16th May 15, 8:59 AM
    • 4,868 Posts
    • 3,886 Thanks
    You have to be careful. Many places have lax controls over cadmium content so always take your own drinking bottles and sandwich box.
    Last edited by Nada666; 16-05-2015 at 9:02 AM.
    • RichardMMM
    • By RichardMMM 14th Aug 15, 12:20 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    I booked a Berlin hotel on, 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?
    • Koa
    • By Koa 16th Aug 15, 10:55 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    I booked a Berlin hotel on, 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?
    Originally posted by RichardMMM
    What value did you authorise?

    You should report any unrecognisable transactions to your card provider at the earliest opportunity.

    If a transaction is not even in a currency you authorised, it would be, by definition, unrecognisable.
    • Voyager2002
    • By Voyager2002 17th Aug 15, 7:51 AM
    • 13,311 Posts
    • 9,167 Thanks
    I booked a Berlin hotel on, 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?
    Originally posted by RichardMMM
    Yes, that practice is illegal under EU law.
    • dgp1000
    • By dgp1000 19th May 16, 7:40 PM
    • 45 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    Spain GBP v Euro scam
    Why are retailers in Spain able to change the currency from to AFTER you have authorised the payment in with your PIN on some POS machines. Surely when you have authorised a payment in it should be made in . It's bad enough having to check the price and currency when you input your PIN!!!! Who benefits the retailer or the bank - the customer certainly doesn't.
    • orcadian
    • By orcadian 22nd Mar 17, 6:40 PM
    • 39 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Ryanair Dynamic exchange rate scam
    I booked Ryanair flights one way back from Malaga to the UK on my Halifax Clarity credit card. Ryanair listed the price in Euros on When I was about to pay Ryanair website offered me the choice to pay in Sterling and I unticked that box. But the flights have still been charged to my card in Sterling not Euros. I checked - I've been charged about 26 extra for 3 tickets (for myself and 2 children) compared with the applicable interbank Euro/Sterling rate. Isn't Ryanair breaking EU law, just as it would be illegal in a shop?
    • heygringo
    • By heygringo 28th Jun 17, 6:29 AM
    • 119 Posts
    • 63 Thanks
    Santander Zero card
    This is the first time I've seen Martin list Santander's ZERO card for oversea usage. We've used this card for all oversea holidays for years, but because that might only be 3 times a year, we also occasionally use it at home for the odd online purchase in case extended none use, might have Santander stopping the card. We just err on caution as we don't want to lose it.
    When abroad we always pay the bill in local currency.
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