Euros or Dollars?
You’re dying to know about the whiskey. And how my mom ended up dressed like a leprechaun (spoiler alert: whiskey was involved). Or whether or not you can blow right off the Cliffs of Moher.
But first a little heads up about converting your currency while you’re abroad, specifically when using your credit card.
More than likely, as you check out, you’re going to hear, “Would you like that in euros or dollars?” If you’re paying with a credit card, you should hear this from the cashier every time you use your card.
At first, you might be confused and think, “I can pay with dollars here? All right!” Or you might politely ask the sales person what to do, and they may or may not give you a legitimate answer.
This question is at the heart of what’s called dynamic currency conversion, which allows merchants to convert currency at the point of sale so you’ll know exactly what the cost in dollars will be the moment you swipe your credit card.
Sounds great, right?
Odds are, the exchange rate the merchant is offering will not be in your favor. Not only will the rate include any fees from your credit card, it will also include fees paid to the merchant and the dynamic currency conversion operator.
So while it might sound like a good idea at the time, the currency rate will likely be higher than what your bank would have charged.
I highly recommend reading more on the subject. A good place to start is this article from the LA Times.
Just remember, the answer to the question, “Would you like that in [foreign currency] or dollars?” is ALWAYS the currency of whatever country you are in.