(QUESTION) Should I choose Foreign or Home Currency when paying with credit card in overseas?

Almost everyone owns a credit card and when we travel overseas, paying with credit card is our preferred choice.

Traveling with cash is risky especially in places like Paris, Rome, Bangkok where pickpockets are quite rampant. Paying with card, we get to earn airmiles points which we will redeem for First or Business Class air ticket.

Related: 2017 Top 10 Travel Credit Cards to Apply for Malaysians.

For those who paid with credit card in overseas, you should encounter this question quite oftenly from the cashier “Sir/Mdm, Would you like to pay in Euro or your own country currency MYR/SGD?”

Which to choose? If you ask the cashier, he/she will reply “Home Currency. You know how much you are paying upfront so you dont get shock when the statement arrived”

Though the statement is true but they did not disclose the whole picture to you! Read On.

During our trip to Italy, I was given a slip instead of showing the amount from card machine so I took a photo for comparison.

Cashier offered us to pay in Home Currency

We chose to pay in Euro (foreign currency)

Card Statement for the Purchase

Payment Amount : Euro 954

Home Currency Amount : RM4,485.33

Foreign Currency Amount : RM4,357.93

Differences : RM127.40 / 3% extra

If I had chosen to pay in MYR instead of Euro, I will end up paying extra RM127.40 while for a simple question, the retailer earned extra 3% commission.

This feature is known as Dynamic Currency Converter. The exchange rate is determined by the relevant merchant at the point of purchase which is usually higher than the foreign currency exchange rate.

Dynamic Currency Converter is not a scam but a service offered to customers who wishes to pay in home currency. As long as you are aware and accept this, it is fine. However we encountered several occation where the cashier did not inform us the choice and automatically made us to pay in home currency for the sake of extra commission. That is cheating.

A statement from Visa Malaysia states that it is our right to reject DCC offer but if after rejecting & still see DCC transaction in the bill, you should ask your issuing bank to contest the charge.

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About Tommy Ooi 304 Articles
Luxury Hotel Reviewer & Destination Blogger. Passionate for travel, exploring new culture & indulging divine food, Tommy has traveled to 42 countries & 140+ destinations.

3 Comments

  1. Yup, always best to pay in the local currency. When you pay in your home currency they always charge a higher commission than a standard bank exchange margin.

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