Echange rate for Hilton room

Jan 18th, 2007, 05:27 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 3
Echange rate for Hilton room

Recently, I posted that the Hilton Prague billed me on my credit in local currency (CZK) using a rate higher than the official exchange rate. They probably used a "sell" rate which is approx. 3% higher.
Only as a gesture of goodwill did they agree to refund the small difference. This is very difficult to catch as it entails an understanding of foreign exchange and tracing the rate used.
I checked with Mastercard and they believe that the merchant is not obligated to use the official exchange rate. This has nothing to do with the 3% service charge by Mastercard which is fully disclosed. Hilton guest relations backs off since the hotel is not owned by Hilton and they do not get involved in local billing.
Can hotels bill to a credit card in local currency at other than an official exchange rate?
dmfchamp is offline  
Jan 18th, 2007, 05:36 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,318
Hi dm,

I'm still confused by this.

Did your charge show up as xxx CZK which was then changed to USD or

Was your charge show up as yyy USD, which the hotel says is the equivalent of xxx CZK.

If it is the latter, then you have been the victim of "dynamic currency conversion".

They can't do that to you unless you agree to have your bill changed from local currency to USD.

If you do agree, it will usually be 3-5% higher than the bank exchange rate.

>Only as a gesture of goodwill did they agree to refund the small difference. <

Pish tosh.

ira is offline  
Jan 18th, 2007, 05:37 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 17,549
I don't see why not. They change money at their front desks using an arbitrarily fixed exchange rate but then again so do all those currency exchange booths.

Since exchange rates are set by supply and demand among other things and not by law I suspect the hotel can do as it pleases to some great extent.

Are you familiar with "dynamic currency conversion" which some vendors use to charge your credit card in your home currency? The charge inevitably seems to use an exchange rate more favorable to the vendor than would the "official" rate...but there really isn't any official rate that I know of..rather there's a prevailing rate that changes from day to day based on bank transactions between themselves.
Dukey is offline  
Jan 18th, 2007, 05:38 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 65,315
It would probably have been better if you had tacked this on to your original thread . . . .
janisj is offline  
Jan 18th, 2007, 05:39 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 17,549
Pursuant to Ira's comments I recently underwent a dynamic currency conversion transaction at a car hire location in the UK.

I signed the authorization and was on my way. Only a few days later did I look carefully at what I had signed. it was very clearly spelled out that I was agreeing to be charged in dollars rather than local currency.

Had i read it more closely before signing I would have requested the charge be put through in Pounds.
Dukey is offline  
Jan 18th, 2007, 05:41 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 65,315
sorry - I was posting at the same time as the others. There was a pretty good discussion of the situation on the other thread so just meant that would be a better place for the new add'l info.
janisj is offline  
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