Re: [72attendees] Credit card charges at CityWest

Elwyn Davies <> Thu, 07 August 2008 21:27 UTC

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Date: Thu, 07 Aug 2008 22:31:19 +0100
From: Elwyn Davies <>
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Subject: Re: [72attendees] Credit card charges at CityWest
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Vijay Devarapalli wrote:
> I was looking at my receipts today and noticed that the CityWest hotel
> charged me in US dollars for the accommodation. They did not charge me
> in Euros. For the exchange rate, they conveniently picked 1.6171. The
> actual conversion rate on Friday was 1.57.
> I am not really sure why they didn't charge me in Euros. The
> corresponding US dollar amount would have shown up on my credit card
> statement anyway. For four nights of stay that came to $26 more.
> Did anyone else experience this?
> Vijay
This is now becoming a standard practice 'scam' that makes extra money
for the merchant (or ATM operator when applied to getting foreign
currency from an ATM using a credit card) .  You will more than likely
end up both paying the credit card foreign transaction charge and
getting an uncompetitve exchange rate. The conversion rate used is
whatever the merchant thinks they can get away with.

This cunning scheme goes under the name of Dynamic Currency Conversion
(DCC) - see -
and is being rolled out around the world.

The official position from the credit card companies is that the
merchant is supposed to offer you the choice of paying in local currency
or your 'home' currency but many do not.   City West did actually ask me
which is what they are supposed to do.

*Check every time and ask for payment in local currency.*  I nearly got
scammed in another Dublin hotel where they didn't ask and i was about
100ms from authorizing the amount before I realized and complained
loudly.  They cancelled the bill and redid it in euros.  I first came
across this last year on a car hire (Avis in Italy) where they didn't
ask and put a clause into the contract that allowed them to charge me in
sterling rather than  euros.  It is nothing but a ripoff masquerading as
'a way to know what you will be paying in your home currency' (but in
actual fact not this amount in most cases because of fees).  Some shops
deny they can charge in local currency: call the manager or walk away!

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