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Dynamic Currency Conversion Warning!


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Now that folks are returning to cruising/travel we think its a good idea to revisit and update this topic.   Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) has now become a worldwide phenomenon that we think is akin to legal thievery.  When folks use ATMs or a charge card around the world there will often be a DCC option which is often handled like a con.  With ATMs there will often be a screen offering you a specific currency conversion rate and it is carefully designed to make you think you must select that currency conversion option.  If you simply say NO (or decline) the offered conversion rate the transaction will normally go through at a much more favorable rate (as much as 10% less expensive).  With charge cards the merchants will either offer to do the conversion in your currency or there are times when they will will just handle the charge in your currency (such as dollars).  This option will usually cost you 3-10% more then if you decline and make it clear that you want the charge handled in the currency of the country where you are doing the transaction.

 

For folks that want to know more you can just Google "Dynamic Currency Conversion" and educate yourself on this very deceptive practice.   While DCC used to be a relatively rare thing it has now become the norm and is even embraced by the largest banks which are happy to convert your transaction at near ridiculously high rates.

 

Hank

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The last few times we have been in FLL we found this to be increasingly  common.  Our credit cards are CAD.   A number of stores, accommodation,  restaurants etc that we patronized asked us the 'trick' question....do you want to be billed in CAD. Code for dynamic currency conversion.

 

The answer should always be NO, no matter where you are or what your credit card currency is.

 

When we cruise on Princess, despite indicating that we want to be billed in USD (or whatever the on board currency is) not CAD, Princess seems to ignore this unless we make a visit to the Purser's desk the night before disembarkation to double check that we will not be billed in CAD.

Edited by iancal
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This is nothing new, but is good information for new international travellers, or those who haven't ventured beyond their own borders in the last 5 years or so. It is just as prevalent (and annoying) in the US as anywhere else.

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3 hours ago, mom says said:

This is nothing new, but is good information for new international travellers, or those who haven't ventured beyond their own borders in the last 5 years or so. It is just as prevalent (and annoying) in the US as anywhere else.

 

.................. and, as per iancal's post, the same applies to cruise ships' on-board accounts. And not just Princess.

If the passenger's home currency isn' the same as ship's currency, they'll be offered the "convenience" of the cruise line charging their card in their home currency, an offer which should be refused. Always but always, keep the charge in ship's currency & allow your own card issuer to conver at a better exchange rate,

 

JB 🙂 

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3 hours ago, mom says said:

This is nothing new, but is good information for new international travellers, or those who haven't ventured beyond their own borders in the last 5 years or so. It is just as prevalent (and annoying) in the US as anywhere else.

 

When you put your card in a US ATM, it gives you an option of USD vs CAD?  This must only happen when a card from a foreign based account is used.  Which, of course, makes a lot of sense.  

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