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CC chgs in USD instead of euros

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Grand Rapids...
posts: 124
reviews: 10
CC chgs in USD instead of euros

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.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
posts: 7,923
reviews: 26
11. Re: CC chgs in USD instead of euros

Good to hear that you did get a response from O'Neills.

As for my situation, it wouldn't have been by my credit card's bank (Capital One). All other charges (over $1600 worth) were billed in euro and then converted by Capital One on my statement, so the two instances we had were isolated and related to the merchant and/or the bank handling their credit card processing.

My opinion is that banks world-wide are looking for ways to drive more income through fees and this would be just one more way of doing that.

Grand Rapids...
posts: 124
reviews: 10
12. Re: CC chgs in USD instead of euros

We have now also heard from Temple Gate Hotel. My husband talked to them and I don't really understand the details but they too apologized and explained that the bank processing the credit card made the error and they will credit back the charge in USD and recharge in euros. I'm not sure if we will make money or lose money d/t the falling exchg rate but I appreciate the effort and apology. I remain unclear as to whether this is the bank or the merchant's attempt to make money off these transactions but I feel much better about both O'Neill's and Temple Gate and am satisfied with their quick response.

Grand Rapids...
posts: 124
reviews: 10
13. Re: CC chgs in USD instead of euros

I never got a response from Budget but I now see the fuel credit on my online cc stmt and the refund in USD is more than I would expect at the current exchange rate so it looks like they bumped up the refund to make up for the initial charge in USD at the unfavorable exchg rate.

When I first realized that Budget, O'Neill's and Temple Gate charged us in USD, it was a little upsetting especially since we had been very pleased with our experiences with all 3 places while in Ireland and it made me feel like they took advantage of us. But I am satisfied with the quick responses and resolution of my complaints and can now give them all a positive review.

Dublin, Ireland
Destination Expert
for Dublin
posts: 4,066
reviews: 184
14. Re: CC chgs in USD instead of euros

Happy days! I'm glad you are pleased with the outcome.

Laramie, Wyoming
posts: 129
reviews: 6
15. Re: CC chgs in USD instead of euros

After reading these posts, I' m wondering if I should just use an ATM to get euros daily, rather than charge to a CC. The exception of course, would be the rental car. When booking the car online, should we just leave the charge in euros?

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
posts: 7,923
reviews: 26
16. Re: CC chgs in USD instead of euros

I would not plan on using an ATM daily, just my opinion. While they were easy enough to find, we did have a couple days when we were challenged, including one that was out of service and another where the store was closing as we arrived.

England
posts: 1,034
reviews: 50
17. Re: CC chgs in USD instead of euros

Dablakes, thanks for posting. I am hopeless at calculating exchange rates - or any maths related activity to be honest, but have always been aware, from reading various travel guides/blogs, that you should ask to pay in the local currency to avoid extortionate conversion charges. Disappointing to see the examples you highlighted, but reassuring that two of them have had the decency to apologise and sort it out.

I just wonder how many travellers ( and not just to Ireland) get caught out by this. I don't think that the issue is well known or understood, so your story will definitely benefit others.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
posts: 7,923
reviews: 26
18. Re: CC chgs in USD instead of euros

>>>I just wonder how many travellers ( and not just to Ireland) get caught out by this. I don't think that the issue is well known or understood, so your story will definitely benefit others.<<<

Yes it does happen elsewhere around the world. As I stated here (or on another thread) it happened to me during a safari holiday in Africa last summer. In that case, it was a management directive at the corporate level to charge in USD vs. the local currency. Needless to say, their exchange rate given was horrible as compared to the bank's exchange that I would have received.

San Diego
posts: 1,668
reviews: 43
19. Re: CC chgs in USD instead of euros

Laramie,

I would not forgo the use of a credit card based on these experiences - we used our credit card many, many times over the course of three weeks and had it happen only twice - a very low percentage.

I think the lesson of this post is to just be aware. We knew about DCC and to ask for charges to be made in euros, we kept our on-line car reservation in euros (and did not have a problem with it being charged in euros), etc. BUT, in our case, we did not check every receipt we received until we got home.

Next time, I will be more vigilant, and hearing of the good results Dablakes had with merchants once it was pointed out, address the issue right then if it happens.

Edited: 6:35 pm, May 29, 2012
Grand Rapids...
posts: 124
reviews: 10
20. Re: CC chgs in USD instead of euros

Laramie - I think the key as MsRiley says is to always ask that the charge be made in euros, especially larger amts like car rental and hotels. On smaller chgs it doesn' t really add that much but it's just the principle of it all. We were aware of the problem but expected it to be an issue only with smaller vendors so were not vigilante with the larger vendors. And depending on the % your cc charges you for international charges, it may not even be much of an issue although if they do have an international chg, you should really look into a cc that doesn't have an international chg.

Yesterday I noticed that the duty free store at Shannon airport also charged us in USD but that still only makes 4 chgs out of many more.