It seems that merchants in Europe, or at least Spain, where I have been soon for a week, are pushing the Dynamic Currency Conversion harder than ever.
If you pay using a Mastercard or Visa, you are often presented with a screen like the one above at the El Corte Ingles, prompting you to choose between two payment currencies.
All our readers should know by now that you should always choose the currency of the country you are in and NOT the one of your card.
There is usually a fee of 4% to 5% for the Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) done by the payment processor and not Visa or Mastercard. The spread at the El Corte Ingles would have been 3.5%.
American Express doesn’t allow DCC on its cards, so this option is unavailable.
There are often fees involved in using credit cards in other currencies than those of the country there were issued, depending on your bank or the card issuer, but these are almost always lower than the DCC spread.
It is easy to confuse what currency you should choose, and these companies rely on that.
Many must think that you should choose the currency of your card that is not the correct choice.
Then some merchants try NOT to give you an option but choose the DCC for you, pocketing extra cash from the payment processor (the spread is usually shared between the processor and merchant).
I genuinely wish that this DCC would just disappear.