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Any recent stories of dynamic currency conversion?

Any recent stories of dynamic currency conversion?

Old Jul 21st, 2006, 10:12 AM
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After reading this thread, I believe I am a victim of DCC. I booked tickets on RyanAir last month. The amount I should have been charged was 111.72EUR. The interbank exchange rate was around 1.26 for the transaction date. My Citibank statement has USD amount = $148.05. The exchange rate based on the 2 values is 1.32

On top of this, Citibank charges a percentage for foreign currency transactions.

The interesting thing was that the foreign currency showed up as "Not Available" whereas some other transactions I had made show up the foreign currency as "150EUR" as an example.

So I called Citibank. They said I was not charged in Euros but in USD.

From what I have understood, RyanAir should have informed me before charging me in USD. Am I right?
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Old Jul 21st, 2006, 11:28 AM
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It's possible the notice of DCC was in very fine print somewhere on one of the pages you clicked through as you were purchasing. You could always call RyanAir and see though
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Old Jul 21st, 2006, 11:57 AM
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I've been booking internal flights in Australia on Virgin Blue. Their website gives the option of paying in AUD or USD. You can guess which I've chosen, thanks to this board. In their defense, the VB conversion rate is not much higher than the interbank rate.

As an aside, we've gotten spectacular fares by using the VB Happy Hour option, from noon to 1 pm daily AEST, which is 7 to 8 pm here on the West Coast of the US. For one hour only, they deeply discount various fares on various dates.
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 02:05 AM
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Just happened to me again at the Barkston Gardens Hotel, Earls Court, London.

The clerk tried to tell me that it couldn't be reversed cause the card was pre-auth'd in dollars. When I continued to protest, she figured it out.

a small stain on a good stay at this well-located budget hotel.

I need to start remembering to ask for things in native currency when I hand over my cc in the first place.
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 02:31 AM
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Betsy -

Beware of duty free shops in Australian airports on your upcoming trip - some of them use DCC.
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 03:26 AM
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<< Their website gives the option of paying in AUD or USD. You can guess which I've chosen, thanks to this board >>

Is there any evidence that they are using DCC - just because they offer a choice of currency, doesn't mean they are ripping you off.
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 04:23 AM
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I heard on the news that there's some pending litigation against MC and VISA on this? Some large settlement to be distributed to people that filed a lawsuit to fight DCC? I missed the beginning of the story so maybe someone else knows more on this.
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 04:30 AM
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Don't ever get your hopes high on these class action suits..

The lawyers sue on behalf of 2,000,000 people...get a $3,000,000 settlement. Since lawyers in civil suits get 1/3 of the settlement (I once said that when I was called for jury duty in a civil suit and it caused them to dismiss the entire panel, a great way to get out of jury duty) the lawyer gets $1,000.000 and each"victim" gets $2.....What a joke.
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 04:37 AM
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<Is there any evidence that they are using DCC - just because they offer a choice of currency, doesn't mean they are ripping you off.>

"Ripping you off" is a very harsh way of putting it. If you are in a country whose currency is the Euro, and they use DCC and charge you in $$$ (because you are from the U.S), it will show you the conversion on the charge receipt you sign. This conversion will be 3-4% higher than the normal interbank exchange rate for that day. So, whatever goods & services you charged will cost you 3-4% more than if you had the charge in Euro, had VISA or M/C do the conversion and only charge you 1%. DCC will cost you about 3% more for your goods and services. Those funds go into someone else's pocket other than yours.
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 05:16 AM
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I was in Prague and Budapest last month and I believe was subjected to a form of the "conversion scam".

I was quoted the room rate in Euros and really didn't question it.

Then upon checkout I was charged in the local currency which only makes sense.

I did a very quick mental calculation and their "bank rate" was obviously not meant to be in my favor.

I should have insisted on being quoted in the local currency and not Euros "for my convenience".
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Old Jul 28th, 2006, 08:37 AM
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I had to deal with the DCC issue when I purchased tickets at the Rail Tours Ireland (Operated by the Irish Rail System) website for my trip to Ireland last March. My online credit card receipt said Euro, nowhere did it show USD. Since I had read about DCC prior to purchasing my tickets, I knew to check my credit card statement. The charged showed up in USD, and when I called my credit card company to ask who did the conversion, they said the Bank of Ireland converted it (at a horrible rate). I had a lengthy e-mail battle with Rail Tours Ireland but finally got them to reverse the original charges and charge again in Euro to allow my credit card company to do the conversion at a better rate. Since I didn't want to deal with DCC and be irritated during my trip, the only thing we used our credit card for while we were there was our hotel (no issue with DCC). We used the ATM a few days to get our food, entrance fees, and trinket money.

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Old Jul 28th, 2006, 08:50 AM
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Myer, I hope you will stop these charges about hotels in Prague because you are wrong. They quote rates in euro on their website for convenience of customers who wouldn't know how to convert Czech koruna to euro, and they have a lot of customers who use euro regularly. They obviously will quote you a rate in CK if you ask, but your logic doesn't even make sense about how the conversion rate they use wasn't in your favor? Whatever you are trying to imply they are doing to "scam" you, if they were trying to get you to stay there by quoting an unrealistic rate in euro vs. CK, the conversion would be more in your favor, than not. I've stayed at that hotel and they aren't out to scam anyone. Websites that list euro when it isn't their currency are NOT going into that website and altering it on an hourly basis to keep current, that is completely unrealistic.
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Old Jul 29th, 2006, 10:32 AM
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Just got back last night - one store in Clifden asked our preference, and another somewhere in Co. Galway did charge us in dollars and I made him change it - no argument. Otherwise, it never came up.
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Old Jul 29th, 2006, 05:26 PM
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When I reserve a car...and the website asks for euros or American$....should I click Euros?
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Old Jul 30th, 2006, 03:36 AM
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It depends -- are they just quoting you an estimate for you -- or are they actually charging your cc?
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Old Jul 30th, 2006, 06:37 AM
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Easycar.com takes a deposit.As do a couple of others.
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Old Jul 30th, 2006, 07:17 AM
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This is why I like autoeurope.com. Everything is in U.S dollars. If you book in advance and pay deposits, etc. and the exchange rate fluxuates, they will adjust their price accordingly. Gemut.com is a broker for them, and their rates seem to be even better.
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Old Jul 30th, 2006, 07:25 AM
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Put simply you are either going to pay the currency exchange transaction fee to the car rental agency or to the credit card company.

Without seeing the fine print (rates), the general consensus on this board is to get charged in Euros and then pay those fees to your credit card company.

I guess it comes down to "better the devil you know", you know?
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Old Jul 30th, 2006, 07:31 AM
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"Put simply you are either going to pay the currency exchange transaction fee to the car rental agency or to the credit card company."

This statement seriously misses the point. If you pay DCC, the rate you pay is whatever the car rental company and credit card processor want to make it. If your card issuer performs the currency conversion, it's a the rate you agreed to when you signed up, and may be as little as 0%. On a $700 car rental, you're talking about leaving the cost of a nice dinner on the table.
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Old Jul 30th, 2006, 07:46 AM
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I also love AutoEurope for being able to pay in advance in USD. AE will also match and beat rates by $5 so I've been able to rent using Avis (or any other car rental) discount codes --and then getting to pre-pay with that discounted rate. They also have a great cancellation policy.
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