DCC on the increase?

Apr 26th, 2015, 07:12 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,134
DCC on the increase?

We're just back from a month in Spain. Practically every time we charged something, there was the option of euros or dollars. We soon started saying "Euros solamente" whenever we paid. Once, in a busy restaurant in Toledo, we were charged in dollars without being asked.

This is a change from our previous trips to Europe, but it was also our first trip to Spain. So is DCC on the rise? Just in Spain or elsewhere also?

For newbies, on credit card purchases DCC charges you in your home currency instead of the local currency. The conversion rate for this is not favorable and the profit is split between the merchant and his card servicer.
Mimar is offline  
Apr 26th, 2015, 07:33 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 3,296
When I'm shopping in the eurozone instead of Switzerland (where I live), I'm frequently asked if I want to pay in euros or francs. I keep on top of the exchange rate, so I look to see what the two prices are. It's almost never remotely close to the exchange rate, so I pick euros. For example, I bought something yesterday in Innsbruck for just under 240 euros. The exchange rate shown on machine was 278 francs. Under the current exchange rate, it should have been about 250 francs, 260 tops.

But, OTOH, I bought a bag in Basel on Friday. The bag was made in Germany. The shop owner looked at the price tag (in francs) and, without my asking, immediately told me she would discount the price by about 30 percent due to the change in exchange rate. That was a nice surprise. I will definitely shop there again.
WeisserTee is offline  
Apr 26th, 2015, 07:54 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 27,868
"Once, in a busy restaurant in Toledo, we were charged in dollars without being asked."

We had the EXACT same thing happen in Toledo. When I asked to have the charge cancelled and redone in Euros, I was told, "sorry, it is not possible" The bill was brought with price in Euros, but when the charge to sign came, it had already been run in $. It was not done with a hand held scanner at the table, card was taken away.

I have seen it increasing when taking cash from ATM machines. Need to be vigilant when withdrawing cash.
DebitNM is offline  
Apr 26th, 2015, 08:16 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 16,409
From the Visa webpage

"If you do not want to use DCC when making a purchase, then you have the right to refuse the offer and have your transaction billed in the merchant's local currency, which will then use Visa's conversion rate. If you did not agree to DCC, but see it on your bill, then you should ask your issuing bank to contest the charge. "
bilboburgler is offline  
Apr 26th, 2015, 08:22 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 27,868
Will do that if this happens again, bilblburgler. Did not know you could do that...hopefully it won't.
DebitNM is offline  
Apr 26th, 2015, 09:03 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 16,409
Debit, nor did I until I saw the thread
bilboburgler is offline  
Apr 26th, 2015, 09:05 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8,827
The law in Spain requires you to be asked when they use the DCC. Never be in such a hurry that you accept the charge in US Dollars.

Contesting the charge is not always easy, you have to be aware of it and keep your receipt, but one secret is that if the charge is to somewhere like a "busy restaurant" or store, and you deny or contest the charge, you will win. Normally, the business would have on 30 days to respond to the credit card company before the charge is overturned in your favor. High volume places and smaller stores do not have the time when they are dealing with hundreds, if not thousands of transactions each month.

So, if the DCC does hit, you can bite back.

Note: Amex is the only credit card company that currently does not allow DCC.
Robert2533 is offline  
Apr 26th, 2015, 09:21 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,271
Do not argue...do ask to have DCC charge voided and done properly in local currency. If merchant refuses or gives one of the infamous lies (the amount in your currency is an estimate but the charge was done in euro, mandated by law, it saves you a foreign currency fee or no speak English) do the following...cross out the amount in your currency, circle the amount in local currency and write on the receipt local currency option not offered. Under no circumstances offer to pay in cash. When the bill arrives, call your bank. Insist on a chargeback which will cost this piece of slime merchant a fee although in many cases the bank will offer to credit your account for the difference. This is indeed a growing problem in foreign travelling and is metastasizing throughout the world.
xyz123 is offline  
Apr 26th, 2015, 12:53 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,637
Great information. Thanks for posting this. We'll make sure to pay attention to this when we travel next week to Spain.
progol is offline  
Apr 26th, 2015, 02:06 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,375
interesting, I was in Spain last Fall and never had that happen to me once (offered DCC or had it done without my permission). I was in Seville and Malaga. The place I did have that happen to me a lot was in Barcelona a couple years ago, actually. Some museums there even did it, one without my permission.
Christina is offline  
Apr 26th, 2015, 02:37 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 7,711
I happens at many places everywhere.
In the US, I noticed it more at department stores than convenience stores. And more at moderately "nice" restaurants and above than at McD or the neighborhood diner.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Apr 26th, 2015, 04:38 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,321
Happened only once in Southern Spain last October during 2-week stay. It was at a supermarket within Corte Ingles chain, where they routinely offer DCC (but always ask first). Plus once at ATM, though sneakily the euro button was much smaller than sterling (my billing currency).
Alec is offline  
Apr 26th, 2015, 04:43 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,321
I noticed it more at department stores than convenience stores. And more at moderately "nice" restaurants and above than at McD or the neighborhood diner.

The reason being that DCC is actively marketed among establishments with higher-than-average overseas card use, which tend to be international hotel chains, upmarket restaurants, dept stores and boutiques. Neighbourhood stores are less keen to sign up as they often have to pay towards new terminals etc and most of their customers are local.
Alec is offline  
Apr 27th, 2015, 12:12 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 4,760
***Note: Amex is the only credit card company that currently does not allow DCC.***
It is still a card that is not widely accepted in Spain.
ribeirasacra is offline  
Apr 27th, 2015, 07:12 PM
  #15  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,228
Very useful information -- thanks one and all!
kja is offline  
Apr 27th, 2015, 11:09 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,639
I was charged in US dollars twice, without being asked, last June in Galicia. I tried to have it reversed both times; the first place (in Santiago de Compostela) basically said it was not possible, and the second (in A Coruna) had to call the bank to try to reverse it. As it was a Saturday afternoon they were not able to get through and they did not reverse it, but were extremely apologetic. I got the impression that the staff did not have much control over it, especially at the place in A Coruna. They definitely did not realize I was being ripped off by the bank. In the end both amounts were fairly minimal.

I haven't had this happen too much in any other country. Spain is also terrible with the ATMs and trying to get you to press the DCC button. You do have to be careful.
rialtogrl is offline  
Apr 28th, 2015, 12:18 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,317
with chip and pin cards, this shouldn't happen. they bring you the machine, you check the amount, and if they have "done you the favour" of converting it, you ask them to annul it and re do it in the currency of origin.

I agree the danger of the DCC button at ATMs and will be looking out for it in France in a couple of week's time.
annhig is offline  
Apr 28th, 2015, 01:45 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,006
Ann is right. It's another advantage of chip & pin. No transaction can go through until you have approved the amount, and cancelling is a straightforward procedure.
chartley is offline  
Apr 28th, 2015, 05:17 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,639
- I agree the danger of the DCC button at ATMs and will be looking out for it in France in a couple of week's time. -

I was just in France for a month and never had an ATM try the DCC, but maybe I was just lucky.
rialtogrl is offline  
Apr 28th, 2015, 05:51 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 4,760
Never let the card out of your sight. Some times you hear about cards being cloned.
When someone pays by card at my place I ensure they come to the machine with me to ensure nothing "funny" happens with it.
ribeirasacra is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:17 PM.