Sawadee.com's Exchange Rate

Jul 20th, 2008, 04:55 PM
  #1  
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Sawadee.com's Exchange Rate

I smell a rat.

So I'm about to charge our stay at the Racha on Sawadee. On a side note, anyone else notice that their "discounts" are getting to be anything but? It feels, more and more, that their savings have gone from hundreds of dollars to tens of dollars.

Anyway--to my point: about to put my deposit down on their site, a notice something that seems a bit deceptive. They actually show you what their "estimate" of the total THB charge to be in USD. I noticed right away that number was really high in comparison to the normal daily exchange rate (on any number of financial sites), which, last I saw was about 33.45 THB/1 dollar.

I thought their suggestion was maybe it was just an indicator, though, and that my charge card/bank would determine what the fee is.

But then at checkout, I see a button that now says "charge xxx USD" to proceed and that number is their cruddy rate (and some fine print that says: "the merchant's bank is charging converted amount.
Card issuing bank cannot apply exchange rate fees. (If currency cannot be converted, system charge Baht)"

Is it just me? Or is this fishy? I normally don't care about a few points here or there on an exchange rate--but with a large amount, I kinda do.
filmwill is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 05:00 PM
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i think you will find that they charge your account in thai B and that your bank will convert it---i mean your credit card co or their bank...

more and more people are looking to have their charges done in their home currency and i'm not sure i like that...
rhkkmk is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 05:02 PM
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if the prices are not that different from the discounters and the hotel itself, i would go with the hotel....

but remember the discounters usually include tax/service= 17.7% and include breakfast....that's a huge difference....

we found hotels from our just completed stays to have risen significantly....for instance the marriott for which we usually pay $85-120 is not $150-190
rhkkmk is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 05:17 PM
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Thanks, Bob...it's actually about $40 difference a night, but, then again, that's based on the current exchange rate.

And it does seem, based on their fine print, that they are charging the rate of THEIR bank and not the bank of the credit card you use.

All things considered, at the end of the day, I'm not sure which is cheaper, given the addition of taxes vs. an unfavorable exchange rate.
filmwill is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 05:50 PM
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hey, let david pay!!!
rhkkmk is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 06:08 PM
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Prices have indeed risen. I just looked at Adelphi for an apartment for my same dates in August. It jumped from 3499/night to 4099/night (including taxes). I'm glad we've locked in our monthly rate for Dec/Jan for a month.

simpsonc510 is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 06:18 PM
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carol, I forgot you were going to be there in December. So will we!

We'll be in BKK the 9th-10th and 19th -21st.

Would be lovely if we could catch up...
filmwill is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 06:30 PM
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filmwill
I arrive on the 18th (late flt) and am there until January 7. DS and DH are there from Dec 8 to Jan 7. I think guenmai will also be in Bangkok at the same time. Sounds like a GTG to me!!
Carol
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Jul 21st, 2008, 06:55 AM
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When I check in at Emporium Suites I always tell them to charge my account in Thai baht. Once they forgot and when I got up to my aparmtent, I noticed that they'd done it in dollars. I called the reception and told them to void it out and recharge it in Thai baht. The exchange rate for it to be charged in dollars is very low. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Jul 21st, 2008, 07:17 AM
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Okay, the plot thickens.

Just received correspondence from Sawadee stating:

"We are pleased to inform you that the exchange rates are estimates and subject to change.
Rates on websites are official offshore rates for quotes by the banks.
The rates are always decided by the CARD-ISSUER BANK ONLY."

This completely contradicts the statement on their site when you're just about to pay that says:

"The merchant's bank is charging converted amount. Card issuing bank cannot apply exchange rate fees."

Does anyone have a spare Rosetta Stone handy? What on earth do they mean?!
filmwill is offline  
Jul 21st, 2008, 07:34 AM
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Fascinating. The messages are indeed, contradictory.

This is all made more complicated by the fact that there are two different exchange rates. The "bad" rate for you is the off-shore rate. While I was concerned when the off-shore rate was implemented that my credit card would use the off-shore rate, that has never happened. So if they are using the off-shore rate, it's a bad deal. It sounds like they are going to charge you in dollars so that your bank card can't charge you the usual 3% foreign exchange fee. This is a great deal IF they are going you an exchange rate that is better than the bank exchange rate +3%. This is not a great deal if the rate they are going you is worse than the bank exchange rate +3%.

A merchant in Bangkok who I have dealt with several times offered to run my transaction in dollars to avoid the foreign exchange fee. He used the current Bangkok exchange rate, and it was a better deal for me. So not all offers to charge you in dollars should be avoided.
Kathie is online now  
Jul 21st, 2008, 08:32 AM
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Kathie, but even if they charge me in dollars, I guess I'm still confused by their mention of offshore rates at all.

Are they saying 'ignore the estimated conversion on our website--it's just an offshore rate we use to give you an idea of how many dollars the cost would be'?
filmwill is offline  
Jul 21st, 2008, 08:49 AM
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Is Sawadee giving you a choice or just charging you in Dollars?

I think this is called dynamic currency conversion, and I've always found this to usually be a bad deal for me. As Kathie says though, I can see that it could be okay if the exchange rate is good enough to balance your cards foreign exchange fee. If they will only 'estimate" their exchange rate however, how can you compare?


lcuy is offline  
Jul 21st, 2008, 08:52 AM
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Honestly, at this point, I have no idea what they're planning on doing at this point. I'm utterly confused.

If I recall correctly, though, last time I used them (in 2006), they charged me in Baht and it was converted by my credit card company.

Maybe something has changed, though. Anyone use them lately?
filmwill is offline  
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