Tuesday, August 5, 2008

"Pay in your own currency"

One of the newest legitimate "scams" around is the option of "pay in your own currency" in all sorts of places where they accept credit cards. Today amazon.com offered me to pay in NOK (Norwegian kroner) instead of USD. It has been a while since I shopped there (I prefer amazon.co.uk due to the shorter shipping times inside Europe) so they may have offered this a while now.

Seems nice safe to pay in your own currency does it not? I'm sure a lot of people would think so, including my mom.

As all services this comes at a price. Credit card companies use pretty good exchange rates between the store currency and your own credit card bill currency. The store will not use as good rates. So if you let the store charge you in NOK (or whatever) they're ripping you off.

In the amazon webstore it was pretty easy to see what the "native" currency was. In some webstores it's harder. For example my domain pedler is in Canada, but the prices are quoted in US dollars. Do I ask to be charged in USD or CAD? ... Since the price was quoted in USD I chose to be charged in USD as well.

So: Just say no to yet another premium service you don't need!

1 comment:

Bosse said...

I noticed the same thing when I ordered something from Amazon last night. The most astonishing thing was that they've explicitly configured it to not remember your setting, so that next time you want to check out an order, you'll be served the price in NOK yet again. This is bullocks!

The same conditions apply when you are using your credit card abroad. The service staff may present you with the price in your home currency instead of the local currency "as an added convenience to you". Same thing will happen here as on Amazon - you get ripped off on the currency exchange rate.