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Are we likely to encounter Dynamic Currency Conversion in Andalucia?

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Mar 8th, 2014, 12:12 PM
  #1
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Are we likely to encounter Dynamic Currency Conversion in Andalucia?

The only recent information about DCC was a post in October from IndyDad about his experiences. I have also seen it mentioned on TripAdvisor forums pertaining to Spain in general that DCC is showing up on the amount due when using a foreign credit card

I didn't really consider that this could be a problem until this week when I was online buying tickets for the Jerez horse show in Andalucia. I had to refuse a purchase because the amount to be charged to my credit card was presented to me in dollars when all the pricing was being quoted in euros. If I had agreed to the DCC I would have paid a couple of dollars more for each ticket. I use Cap One for international travel so I pay no additional conversion fees.

We will soon be in Andalucia for three weeks so I'm wondering if I have to "gird" myself for more encounters with DCC there than recent trips to France and Italy .

Have you noticed an increase in DCC in Andalucia or Spain recently? Thanks for any comments. Deborah
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Mar 8th, 2014, 12:39 PM
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I haven't seen it there but have obviously elsewhere including "civilized" London.

Hertz, one of the original perpetrators, had it built into the standard car rental contract some time ago. I've had it attempted twice at hotel check-outs and if that happens to you, demand that it be changed to the local currency. When they say "we can't do that" immediately call for the manager. If they persist then make a notation on any print-out you sing that "merchant refused to offer payment in local currency" and tell them you will protest it with your credit card issuer. Believe me, that usually brings a rather abrupt change in both attitude and behavior as it has for me.
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Mar 8th, 2014, 01:03 PM
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Yep, it can happen. Did to us last summer, but never encountered push back when I rejected it. Did not see any rhyme or reason as to where / what type of business, just happened sometimes. Best thing is to always look before you sign, if any doubt, ask.
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Mar 8th, 2014, 01:27 PM
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Actually, DCC is everywhere once you leave the territory of your home currency (which is € in my case).
I got the DCC option in London, Kopenhagen, Miami, Geneva, and so on and on...
In most cases it is a pretty uneventful procedure when at the cash or check-out the display of the terminal offers both choices. The one you want to click on (your home currency) is usually in a more opaque color or has a smaller area to touch or click..
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Mar 8th, 2014, 01:47 PM
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Actually you don't want your home currency, you want the local currency. Because otherwise you lose money in the conversion process.
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Mar 8th, 2014, 01:53 PM
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Mimar.. you are right, of course: the local currency, NOT the home currency!
Thanks for noticing my confusion.
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Mar 8th, 2014, 01:58 PM
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Most ATM's will offer the choice. Always decline, as I'm sure you're aware.
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Mar 8th, 2014, 03:02 PM
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In Anadalucia, as elsewhere in Spain, certain ATMs offer DCC. Just watch the screen carefully and always tap EURO for choice of currencies (display will be in English if you tap the Union Jack).
Other place where DCC is offered is at El Corte Inglés stores and supermarkets under its wings called Cor group (HiperCor, SuperCor and OpenCor). Again the cashier will give you a choice, so state Euro. Also common is at international/national hotel chains and stores with high tourist traffic. DCC isn't so common in smaller hotels, hostals, stores, restaurants or fuel stations, but it's as well to be alert.
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Mar 8th, 2014, 03:48 PM
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As noted, it is found all over and there is only the decision of the merchant, at the urging of his or her credit card processor, to take part in this filthy scam.

While it has been discussed here countless times, people still fall for it with the lies that are thrown out (lock in the rate, it's a good rate, we have no control) yada yada yada. Of course watch out on hotel checks ins and car rental contracts where they sneak in a sentence, usually in the language of the country, that you were offered the choice and agree to pay in the currency of your credit cards. Read everything you are asked to sign. If there is something you don't understand, ask.

Just remember. Mastercard and visa regulations are very clear on this. DCC is permitted on their cards only with the consent of you, the scamee. Therefore if a merchant pulls it on you and refuses to void the transaction (and many still lie that they can't; every credit card terminal has to have the option of voiding a transaction as even in an honest transaction, a merchant can hit a wrong key or an extra key when putting in the amount. It happens). Under no circumstances should you play along and offer to pay cash to these vermin. Rather, circle the amount in local currency and write local currency not offered. Of course, one will have to be very careful if and when the USA converts to chip and pin (chip is coming but maybe not pin). And when you get home, dispute the charge. MC/Visa must charge back to the merchant's account and hopefully penalize the merchant for pulling this garbage.

Finally be aware Amex does not allow this scam. All Amex charges must be written up in local currencies.
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Mar 8th, 2014, 04:04 PM
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happening more and more.
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Mar 9th, 2014, 06:03 AM
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Thanks for the comments. I dislike the practice of DCC because it makes me feel so "confrontational" with the merchant. It's part of my Minnesota nice upbringing. I do however want to get the most out of my travel dollars. xyz, I agree it is a scam so I'll be prepared to take the extra time to thoroughly scrutinize all my credit card transactions. I have the bad habit of rushing through signing the bill to get on to the next activity. Thanks again, Deborah
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Mar 9th, 2014, 06:54 AM
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There is (usually) nothing confrontational about it.
At stores which have modern cash registers, the shop assistant will merely ask you to look at the display and make your choice.
Or just ask you "euros or dollars"?
Only when merchants try to con you, they try to disguise that choice or fabricate stories why paying in your home currency was better. In that case, I would doubt the overall sincerity of that merchant, and his billing practices are probably still the least you need to worry about..
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Mar 9th, 2014, 09:08 AM
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Cowboy...in many cases, abroad as well as at home especially in larger chain type stores, the clerks are usually very young students looking to pick up an extra pound or euro or franc or kroner or whatever and really just do what they are told. In many cases, they are told just press the button that says your currency without asking. Much of the time when you ask to see the manager, you might find the manager is just a year or two older. Many of these people are very ignorant of this scam. They may actually think (and/or be told) the rate is a good one and that it is to your advantage to know the exact value of the transaction or one of the other lies that are used. I agree it is usually not confrontational the emphasis being on the word usually. But every so often, you run into adamant or aggresive personnel who don't want to give the impression they're wrong or whatever. In that case, as I said, I don't act confrontational either. I simply do as I say. I've had to resort to this about four or so times in my travels the past decade and I've won each time (although on two occasions, instead of charging back the charge and subjecting the merchant to a penalty, my bank simply credited me the difference (usually not a whole lot). But as I say, my name is Tucker not Sucker.
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Mar 9th, 2014, 09:31 AM
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Guess everyone's experiences are different.
I travel outside the Eurozone appr. 20 times a year.
So far my experience with an unwanted charge in my home currency has happened just once at an airport's duty free shop. OTOH, I have not counted how many dozen times I got asked if I wanted to pay in euros instead of the local currency.

Much more annoying was that one of my CCs got cloned in Florida 6 weeks ago. But, the thug has been at least so considerate that he made all his shopping and dining in USD and did not incur any DCC fees
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Mar 9th, 2014, 09:32 AM
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My home currency is the euro, but I have a US credit card as well as an Italian one. I've never seen dynamic currency conversion in Italy. I've seen it in Ireland and in the UK, though.
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Mar 9th, 2014, 10:07 AM
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Maybe "confrontational" isn't the perfect desciption but I have encountered DCC enough that I know I don't feel good telling the server or salesperson that I don't appreciate what they have done and insist that they do it over. Once or twice I have encountered a person who insists I accept the transition in dollars--I usually then pay cash.

If DCC becomes more the standard then there probably is less reason to have a credit card with zero transaction fees. I could use my airline credit card because the conversion fees would be at the POS and not when the transaction is posted with my cc bank since the sale has already been converted to dollars, correct? Are the fees with DCC less than 3%?

Thanks for helping my effort to understand DCC. Deborah
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Mar 9th, 2014, 10:24 AM
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I've experienced it at a hotel in Spain, but that was a few years ago. The desk clerk all of a sudden couldn't understand English when I questioned it (perfect English until then). They insisted it couldn't be changed and since I had a train to catch, I let it go.

Hertz Italy does it (in their rental contract and can't be changed), but you can avoid it by pre-paying a reservation when you book online.
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Mar 9th, 2014, 10:42 AM
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DCC isn't that bad, maybe 1 or 2%, which is still better than paying in cash where you'll find the rates are 5 - 8% against you. Certainly not worth losing sleep over. Keep you eyes open and avoid if possible - just hit the red button to annul the transaction before entering pin or tear up the paper before signing.
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Mar 9th, 2014, 11:57 AM
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I pre-empt any discussion of DCC by telling the hotel/retailer/restaurant that I wish the charges to be in local currency before they start the transaction. I have never had an unpleasant reaction.

Some clerks will question me or try to tell me (pleasantly) that it is to my advantage to do the DCC but none of them have gone against my wishes.

Have had a bit of a discussion in Harrods, also the Bulgari store at Marco Polo airport (my friend was buying some earrings and the very pleasant salesman was sure she would be better off paying in Canadian dollars, but I persuaded him otherwise)

I was caught with DCC in the Louis Vuitton store on Maui years ago before I had ever heard of it. (Thanks Fodor's!)
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Mar 9th, 2014, 12:12 PM
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dyoll: >>maybe 1 or 2%, which is still better than paying in cash where you'll find the rates are 5 - 8% against you.<<

I'm not sure what you mean . . . How does paying cash result in a 5%-8% rate increase? Or did you mean paying in your own instead of the local currency? Of course one shouldn't do that -- but paying in local currencies doesn't cost extra (especially if you have an ATM card that doesn't assess a fee, or only adds 1% over the interbank rate)
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