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Credit cards and exchange rates

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York, United Kingdom
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78 posts
50 reviews
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Credit cards and exchange rates

Just back from a week in Cala D'Or. What a fabulous resort.

I just wanted to mention credit cards. We always pay for as much as possible on plastic when abroad. I took some Euros for which the Thomas Cook exchange rate was 1.25. On checking my bill for all those lovely meals out when I got home I find that the exchange rate was much better, over 1.27 in all cases.

Just a warning though, every time you use your card they will ask whether you wish to pay in pounds or Euros. You should always choose euros as the supplier sets a lower exchange rate. We were annoyed at one restaurant where they refused to give us a choice and insisted we pay in pounds at a rate of 1.23. (I'd have used cash but it was our last night and we were a little low)

Cala d'Or, Spain
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1. Re: Credit cards and exchange rates

Good advice Matilda, the exchange rates offered by Visa and Mastercard are normally very competitive. The only downside are the charges levied by your bank which can be up to 2%.

The pound euro option is another trap some people fall into and is rather a cheap trick which profits the merchant. As you rightly say, always opt for euro payment.

PS Glad you liked Cala d'Or

Edited: 23 August 2012, 10:31
Leigh on Sea
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64 posts
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2. Re: Credit cards and exchange rates

Just to add my recent experience from Porto Petro

My credit card (M&S Mastercard) have me 1.2350 with no transaction fee, my wifes bank gave her a slightly lower rate and charged £1.50 per transaction. You hit the top as far as the exchange rtae is concerned, I also got 1.25 from ICE online - today their rate is 1.2343, Post Office rate is a very poor 1.16

Love Mallorca - the only thing that really grates is the Euro 80.00 all of the car rental companies charge for the full tank of petrol, which in reality costs around Euro 40.00

Cala d'Or, Spain
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4,235 posts
117 reviews
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3. Re: Credit cards and exchange rates

Hey, Neale, not all the car hire companies charge for a tank of fuel. Normally, it is the companies with nice low headline prices but get you with all the extras.

Try Sixt, Autos Roig and Terrys, all good companies who don't screw their customers.

York, United Kingdom
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4. Re: Credit cards and exchange rates

Looks like I was lucky with the timing.

My card is a Halifax Clarity (recommended for foreign travel on a money website). There was no fee and I got over 1.27 on every transaction.

5. Re: Credit cards and exchange rates

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