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Beware of DCC in Europe

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We are currently travelling in Europe (which we do at least once per year) - this time I've noticed that often both ATMs and credit card terminals default to DCC (Dynamic Currency Conversion) - the uplift (i.e. less favourable exchange rate and fees) are up to 10% more than when paying in local currency (particularly with a credit card with no foreign exchange fees; e.g. ANZ Travel Adventurer). This has been particularly prevalent in Croatia where merchants just put though the transaction without even offering you the choice. All ATMs (so far) also default to DCC and you really need to be paying close attention to opt out.
 

kpc

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Retailers using DCC is common in many places OS for credit card purchases so one always has to be on alert for this (even PayPal has this!!). Had a hotel in Malaysia automatically charge me in AUD without asking so I refused to sign the bill...told him to cancel the transaction and start again which he did not know how to do and had to call a supervisor - who I then gave a lecture about what a RIP OFF DCC is!
 

RB

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Just got back from Montenegro, Serbia & Austria. DCC kept popping up at some brands of ATM's in Montenegro & Serbia-was always clearly displayed and was presented as a question
 

glasszon

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If you see the terminal accept paywave, then tap the card if the merchant allows you, I found paywave bypass DCC 95% of the time and paywave do work overseas. I only had 1 instance where the screen still goes to DCC selection when using paywave.

Although I do found most merchants are hesitant to let you use paywave if they see you are obviously a visitor, I assume the fraud risk is too great in their prospective when you don't need to even enter the PIN.
 

dajop

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I’m out of touch with the situation regarding Australian credit cards, but if this happens to me using my Singaporean credit cards, to add insult to injury the bank also charges a 1% fee for a local currency transaction charged offshore. :eek:
 

oz_mark

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I’m out of touch with the situation regarding Australian credit cards, but if this happens to me using my Singaporean credit cards, to add insult to injury the bank also charges a 1% fee for a local currency transaction charged offshore. :eek:
That's partly because the schemes charge the banks an Assessment fee on anything that goes cross-border.
 

clifford

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Just booked a Ryanair flight OTP (Bucharest) to STN (Stansted) for mid-August, and the option presented for credit card payment was DCC. I had to look very closely to find where I could pay in Euro (I have a Bankwest no-fee Mastercard). Really trying to rip-off customers, I think.

BTW, I would have preferred BA for OTP-LHR, but with the possible BA pilots strike and Heathrow workers going on strike I thought it was too risky.
 
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This came up a few times recently in Europe, but always as a customer option on POS machines, so never had to challenge the merchant.

But the point of this post is to say I used a debit card (Macquarie) for this trip, so there was never a Oseas Transaction Fee - that annoying 3% charged every time one uses as Aust c/card outside the country. Exch rates always seemed reasonable, charges showed up online within a day, and so we were able to top up the card as required. Won’t travel without it again..
 

Isochronous

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Remember that any DCC transactions that did not gain your consent can be the subject of a valid chargeback with your card issuer, who should then ask the merchant to re-present the transaction in the local currency. I last did this with a dinner I had overseas and it seems the merchant never re-presented it so I ended up with a free dinner as a result of their dodgy practices!
 
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How do you prove that DCC was used without your consent? I certainly like this approach - in my case the merchant never even showed me the eftpos terminal - she did not speak English so communication was very limited - I only noticed once the transaction was complete. Probably cost me $20 in this case - not enough to go through the chargeback hassle.
 

Isochronous

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How do you prove that DCC was used without your consent? I certainly like this approach - in my case the merchant never even showed me the eftpos terminal - she did not speak English so communication was very limited - I only noticed once the transaction was complete. Probably cost me $20 in this case - not enough to go through the chargeback hassle.
One of the transactions I challenges was like yours where I was never shown anything on the machine and no signature was required. So I just stated the facts - I was never given an option - and that was sufficient.

if you are in fact given the opportunity to sign but can't get the merchant to change it for whatever reason (whether due to language barrier or otherwise), don't sign but instead write something like "No DCC" or "duress" or "no consent" in the signature field so when the receipt is called up there will be written evidence of your attempt to protest.
 

Happy Dude

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So what does it look like on the ATM screen or payment terminal? Is it a statement that you're being charged in AUD or do you just have to look at the currency?
 

moa999

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I always pre-empt when handing over the card saying charge in Euros/Pounds/yada.

Reportedly under the rules you must be given a choice.

In China it can reportedly be quite difficult.
 

RB

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So what does it look like on the ATM screen or payment terminal? Is it a statement that you're being charged in AUD or do you just have to look at the currency?
During our latest trip it was written as a statement on the ATM screen. It stated what rate of conversion they were going to use so I thought it was very fair and left the decision up to me
 

Kremmen

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I’m out of touch with the situation regarding Australian credit cards, but if this happens to me using my Singaporean credit cards, to add insult to injury the bank also charges a 1% fee for a local currency transaction charged offshore.
Generally 3% on Australian cards.

How do you prove that DCC was used without your consent? I certainly like this approach - in my case the merchant never even showed me the eftpos terminal - she did not speak English so communication was very limited - I only noticed once the transaction was complete. Probably cost me $20 in this case - not enough to go through the chargeback hassle.
And that is why they do it! The threshold for "not enough to go through the chargeback hassle" needs to be under 10c to stop these thieves.

There is one way to stop DCC. Use Amex. Then be super vigilant at any place that doesn't accept Amex.
 

extracta

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When withdrawing cash in Thailand the ATM's have started doing the currency conversion up front and at a terrible rate. It defaults to the ATM doing the currency conversion but will ask if you would like to change it. Easy to miss though if you are not looking for it.
 

Lat34

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Had the same up-front currency conversion experience at a Thai ATM in December last year. Never seen this before in Thailand but now super-alert as the message phrasing was not too clear at the time.
 

dajop

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Generally 3% on Australian cards.
Do they charge 3% on AUD transactions processed overseas? OR just overseas transactions in foreign currency? What I'm talking about is an additional fee on local currency transactions made in a foreign country, either with DCC or processed offshore (for example with Uber Singapore - when it still operated - even though you took your ride in Singapore and paid in SGD - the bank charged you a 1% fee because Uber processed the charges in Netherlands. Also common with airlines).

So say the exchange rate was 1 AUD = 0.70 USD and you paid for a meal from ABC Cafe for $70 USD : This is how it would appear

Normal (non 28 Degrees type) Visa/Mastercard:
19 JUL 19 ABC CAFE $70 USD $103 AUD
(i.e. includes 3% fee for foreign currency transaction)

With Dynamic Currency Conversion the cafe charged you $106AUD, it would appear as
either:
19 JUL 19 ABC CAFE $107.60 AUD
or:
19 JUL 19 ABC CAFE $106.00 AUD
19 JUL 19 FOREIGN PROCESSING FEE $1.60 AUD

So basically with DCC you would be slugged $3 extra and $1.60 extra by your bank. All these rent seekers skimming their cut.
 

moa999

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When withdrawing cash in Thailand the ATM's have started doing the currency conversion up front and at a terrible rate

On top of the already extortionate foreign card fee and low withdrawal limit?
Really makes Thailand a place to bring cash, with the large number of FX booths and reasonable rates.
 

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