Reader Mark B. just left a comment on yesterday’s travel tip, Always Do This Before Checking Out of Your Hotel, with such great advice, I had to share it with you today.

Mark wrote, “Over the years we have found some hotels, car rental companies and restaurants will try to bill you in USD rather than in the local currency. To avoid terrible exchange/conversion rates, always request the bill be in local currency as your credit card company uses better conversion rates than the establishment trying to gouge you by having you accept payment in USD.”

Mark is absolutely right and I’ve written similar advice about stores but never hotels. But with so many Americans traveling internationally again, I think it’s an important reminder so here it is again.

There’s a dirty little trick that many vendors play around the world to make more money from you when you shop. After you swipe, insert or tap your credit card or tap your phone to pay for something, a salesclerk or the machine will ask if you want to pay in U.S. dollars or the local currency.

Paying in U.S. dollars might seem to be the smarter and more convenient option but it’s not. In fact, it’s a total rip-off, since the retailer will charge a higher exchange fee than your bank back home does. So always pay in the local currency of the country you’re in. The same goes for ATM machines as my buddy Zach Honig pointed out in a recent Instagram post. As Zach says: He saved $70 by tapping one button (decline conversion).

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by @ZachHonig (@zachhonig)

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4 Comments On "How to Avoid Getting Ripped Off When Traveling Internationally"
  1. Ted Eckman|

    Hi Johnny,

    The link to the ATM video doesn’t seem to work. Just an FYI.

    Ted

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Hi Ted,

      It works for me. Maybe try a different browser or you have to be logged into Instagram?

  2. Doug Copeland|

    If you decline conversion at the ATM will you still get the money? How will you know the conversion rate?

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Yes, you will still get the money. You’re just declining the ATM’s conversion to USA. You want your bank’s conversion

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