I have now had the chance to carefully review both our credit card receipts and the online stmt for our trip chgs and have noticed that we were charged by 3 establishments in USD at a 3.5% markup from the wholesale exchange rate instead of in euros. On this site we were forewarned to be on the lookout for this practice but we were apparently not vigilante enough. Since we were using a credit card with no international exchange charges, this was an additional 3.5% cost to us for these transactions.
Here’s the specifics of our occurrences -
Budget, Dublin City Centre – Although the large receipt that details every charge (and we looked at very closely) was in euros and showed pmt in euros, on the little credit card receipt that you sign, the amt was given first in euros and then partway down the receipt in USD. I actually noticed this and told the guy at the counter that I wanted to pay in euros. He assured me that the USD amt was for info purposes only and that we would be charged in euros. I was a little skeptical but the line was long and I didn’t want to believe he was lying to me so I didn’t pursue. Now I notice the fine print at the bottom of the receipt that says “we have chosen to pay in USD”. (On an aside, we are still waiting for our fuel refund from Budget - it’s only been 3 days so hopefully still coming.)
O’Neill’s Pub, Suffolk St, Dublin – We ate dinner there right before they closed the buffet line after attending the Literary Pub Crawl. The food wasn’t that good but we weren’t expecting high quality as the food had been sitting out for a while and we were just glad to find somewhere still serving food. I will complain though that they also charged us in USD at a markup of 3.5%. The charge at the top of the small credit card receipt was in euros but at the bottom it is in USD. We should have looked closer before signing but it was after the pub crawl and we were not expecting such a well known establishment to pull this stunt.
Temple Gate Hotel, Ennis – We really enjoyed our stay here so I am very disappointed that they also charged us in USD. Again the large computer generated receipt listing the details of charges was in euros but the separate little credit card receipt that you sign shows the amt in euros at the top but further down gives the amt in USD. Also there is fine print at the bottom of the receipt that says “Cardholder has chosen to pay in USD….My choice is final….”.
Our error for both Budget and Dublin was reviewing the large computer printout that detailed charges carefully but then just signing the small credit card receipt without reading the fine print. Oakwood Arms at Shannon airport actually asked us which currency we wanted to use for pmt and I feel this is what any reputable establishment would do.
Fortunately the additional 3.5% markup for all 3 transactions was less that $50 so isn’t significant in the scheme of things but nonetheless I feel foolish for not being more careful. I have sent emails to all 3 places expressing my displeasure and will post again if I get any response.