Travelling & the art of currency conversion
However, technology can have loop holes which could burn a hole in your pocket. One such loop hole of international credit card usage is the Dynamic Currency Conversion or the Cardholder Preferred Currency service.
Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) also designated as Cardholder Preferred Currency (CPC) is a service provided by merchants (not network service providers like Visa or MasterCard) in some countries where you go on vacation or a business trip. If you agree to use the DCC service, the merchant will convert the transaction amount of purchase at the point of sale from the currency in which the price (i.e., foreign local currency) is displayed into your domestic currency using an exchange rate that typically includes a service charge. The currency exchange rate offered is over and above the wholesale exchange rate being offered by Visa/MasterCard normally.
The Inside Story
If a customer chooses DCC option he is approximately overcharged by 5-7 per cent. It’s a case of nice profit margin for the banks just by making the customer choose DCC option. Some merchants may even use DCC option without asking you.
How can you benefit if you do not use the DCC? If you don’t use the DCC option the conversion rate applied is the wholesale currency conversion rate. So you save approximately 3
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