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Beware of DCC in Europe

Lat34

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2010
Messages
36
Qantas
Platinum
Slightly off topic - agree with @moa999 re taking cash to Thailand. Exchange rates at the local "hole in the wall" money changer are significantly better than ATM.
ATM limits often as low as 5000 baht (around AU$200) and foreign card fees equivalent to AU$7-8 per withdrawal :-(
It used to be so simple but now expensive and inconvenient.
 

Kremmen

Intern
Joined
Mar 25, 2007
Messages
84
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.
If you convert $50 to THB, the 220THB ATM fee comes to 20.2%. If you're prepared to swallow that ludicrous fee, why care about possible DCC being added to it? The banks apparently take the same attitude: If you're prepared to pay the ATM charge, they might as well skim some more off you.

As moa999 said, just use cash!

Do they charge 3% on AUD transactions processed overseas? OR just overseas transactions in foreign currency?
Both. They are treated the same by all banks I'm aware of. (e.g. Commonwealth Bank )

The big exception is Amex, which neither allows DCC nor penalises overseas processing of AUD transactions.
 

glasszon

Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2015
Messages
260
There is one way to stop DCC. Use Amex. Then be super vigilant at any place that doesn't accept Amex.
Great in theory, but is there any Amex cards offered in Australia that waive foreign currency transaction fee? If not then I end up losing by using an Amex card that charges 3% each time vs any no FX fee Visa/MC card.
 

Isochronous

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Dec 18, 2009
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Great in theory, but is there any Amex cards offered in Australia that waive foreign currency transaction fee? If not then I end up losing by using an Amex card that charges 3% each time vs any no FX fee Visa/MC card.
Sadly not. Only in America!
That's why I stick with the BankWest World for overseas spend.
 

Max Samuels

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Jun 30, 2010
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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:
My Aussie HSBC card does that too... in fact I think most of them do
 

CaptJCool

Active Member
Joined
May 31, 2012
Messages
852
The last time I was overseas in 2014, DCC was present in France and there was no foreign merchant fee as I call it Added by Citibank. Because the difference between the foreign exchange rate and the foreign transaction fee was in my favour at that time I did do a couple of DCCs. But if you now add the 3% well you may as well get it billed in foreign currency.

By the way there doesn’t appear to have been any discussion here as to whether the foreign-exchange rates charged by Australian banks is inflated or not. I would say there seems to be a some of a difference Tween official XE and those used by the banks to calculate the conversions. And of course they can inflate the XE in their favour or instead add a conversion fee which has the same effect .
 

Haplo

Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2015
Messages
360
I work in the payment industry including credit card payment. The solution when merchant pressed the currency of the card (i.e. AUD in our case) is to write "DCC refused, merchant did not give a choice" on the docket, take a picture of the docket and then lodge a chargeback for the full amount.

99% of the chargeback will be successful as not giving a choice is a valid chargeback, for the full amount charged on the card. Note this only works if you are asked to sign a slip.

If you asked to enter the pin then you have to insist they let you insert the card then you pick the currency on the POS machine, as with a pin the liability shifts to the cardholder.

In the even the merchant has a hacked terminal where it just defaults to the card currency then you need to take a video of the entire process and use that as proof when submitting the claim.
 

lovetravellingoz

AFF Supporter
Joined
Jul 13, 2006
Messages
5,758
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.
Just back from Croatia. While it defaults, at all stages you are presented with a choice and have to click the button of your choice. You either choose to go with DCC or you choose (normally on the left) to decline it. So you actually still have to opt in (click yes) to accept DCC.

Naturally they phrase the question to make it seem like a good idea to choose the poorest option, and so the average joe may go with it.
 

Mr_Gimlet

Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2006
Messages
357
It's becoming more common in the UK as well. I took my family out for dinner at an Indian restaurant and was swept through an attempt to get me to agree to DCC. I caused a very loud scene and might have got close to calling them crooks... In this case, they were trying to push all the buttons for me up to PIN (Australian dollars sir...)

What really leaves a nasty taste in my mouth is that I have never, ever come across a situation where it is in the customer's benefit to use DCC. It is, simply, a con trick by the merchant to get extra money. It should be outlawed.
 

amp-qld

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Mar 22, 2013
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Some years ago, on a Princess cruise, I nominated to be charged in USD but they did a DCC and charged me in AUD. After I submitted a dispute to my credit card company, the credit card company refunded the difference, saying that they would wear it rather than going back to Princess.

On another occasion, Ryanair totally ignored their own rules to charge me in AUD when I used a British credit card for a GBP transaction. That one wasn't worth seeking a chargeback.
 

Danielb56

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2015
Messages
25
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.
I never allow the merchant to take my card away and do the transaction for me. I always ask to see the terminal or be there when they do the transaction....even in respectable hotels etc ...I want to see what they are doing...
 

siri

Intern
Joined
Apr 19, 2006
Messages
80
Last month in London, when I try to withdraw cash from ANZ atm card, i was offered US currency conversion from pounds, I was so surprised that blatant theft using DCC... I also now find all major hotel brands like Hilton and Hyatt using DCC and in Tokyo last week taken back at Hyatt when they presented DCC, and called the manager and told him you should stop this scam immediately and I can see managers face change immediately.
I would like to ban this practice via default settings on the credit card.
 

Renato1

Established Member
Joined
May 1, 2015
Messages
1,432
I hadn't been to Italy for three years till last year, before which DCC wasn't offered at ATMs. But last year it was in full effect in the bank's ATMs there, and at the ATMs in Croatia.

I typically took out 500 Euros in Italy (the maximum they were paying last year), and noticed that had I hit the pay in Australian dollar option, it would have cost me about $27 more than hitting the local currency option. I tend not to use credit cards in local shops over there, as I don't know how secure things are.

I didn't get the DCC option when I used a credit card in Italian supermarkets - but often had the funny experience of the checkout person asking me for my ID to verify my signature, whereupon I'd say I was using a PIN, and he or she would say "O... il PIN" and present me with the keypad to punch it in. It was as if the PIN pad was only used every six months or so by the ccasional foreigner.
Cheers,
Renato
 

Cossie

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Joined
Aug 24, 2006
Messages
1,212
Withdrew Czech Koruna from my travel money card and was offered DCC to Aus, ummm, no thanks.
 

amp-qld

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Mar 22, 2013
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I've just activated new 28 degree cards to use for purchases overseas and received a message that signatures would no longer be accepted, only PIN. I phoned and pointed out that, in many countries, they weren't set up for PIN. 28 degrees then said signatures would still be accepted where PINs weren't. Hopefully, that's correct.
 

tgh

AFF Supporter
Joined
Apr 23, 2006
Messages
1,332
Recently to Northern Europe : About 50% defaulted to DCC but always offered both options.
28 deg card faultless as usual, signature or pin or nothing under $100aud varied with the technology available.
I used no cash in Iceland or Norway other than having to cheat at some of the 'loos ( most dunnies had card readers ..)
 

moa999

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. It is, simply, a con trick by the merchant to get extra money. It should be outlawed.
Absolutely.
Particularly when the merchant gets a cut

I'm always very firm in restaurants and hotels - charge in pounds/euros/dollars etc
 

odowd

Newbie
Joined
Oct 27, 2011
Messages
2
Like to know how to blow 20% of your balance using DCC? Happened to me...

Round the world trip. Loaded EUR, USD, GBP on to my Qantas Card, but no AUD.

First stop in Europe - the hotel puts the bill through in AUD using DCC. Costs me maybe 3%.
Qantas card sees no AUD balance so SELLS USD and buys AUD (cost: 7%)
I go to US, and pay for spending in USD (no DCC). But there's no longer enough USD on the card, so Qantas sells EUR and BUYS USD (cost: 7% plus 3%)

So there you go... moral of the story is never use pre-loaded cards. I have since got an ING ATM card and a 28 degrees card. Plus a good Amex card as backup.
 

Pete98765432

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2013
Messages
42
I’ve noticed that when I use PayPass or Apple Pay for my Bankwest Mastercard, I am never prompted for currency and it defaults to local currency. This could be a way of avoiding DCC.
 

jeza

Member
Joined
May 22, 2012
Messages
222
Used Postbank in Berlin and it defaulted to DCC. As you went through the withdrawl process it would try to revert to DCC. So it pays to be very careful of using these ATMs.

Used a Citi Plus card and no other fees were charged.
 

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