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America Does Dynamic Conversion Too!

So my German "sister" is visiting me, and today she used her European Mastercard (Santander Bank) at the Ross Dress For Less - and "Dynamic Conversion" happened - from Dollars to Euros. She purchased $128.75 but they charged her EU 117.97 Euros. According to her sales slip, the rate was "0.9163, including a 3% margin."

She was asked by the register computer sign-in tablet if she agreed to the Euro rate, and out of habit she chose it. This was the first time I have seen this. She had actually meant to use her Bank of America (Dollars) Debit card (we share a joint bank account in the USA for the times she comes to visit me. She wires her money from her bank to our Bank of America account, and it costs her around $20 to do this; I get notice of it because it's a joint account, and then it's easy to track her spending while she's in California.

Posted by
329 posts

Been around a long time. We came across it over a decade ago, one of the 1st was a Ross in Orlando.

Posted by
2464 posts

Yep. We've been seeing this for several years when we've visited the States.

Posted by
2811 posts

We've been seeing this for several years when we've visited the States.

I never thought of asking my niece about that. She lives in Ontario, and visits here regularly. On the other hand, we visit her, and other Canadian relatives, regularly, and I've never been presented with DCC, either at shops or at ATMs.

Posted by
3282 posts

DCC is possible everywhere in the world where the settlement currency of the card being used differs from the currency of the country the transaction is occurring in.

Whether or not it actually is used depends on the greediness of the merchant. :-)

Posted by
17653 posts

A good way to avoid this, for those of us going to Europe, is to use cash as much as possible (and not US$ cash).

Posted by
1093 posts

I do not use cash at home and do not use it in Europe and never have had a problem. Yes, there are places in Europe that do not take CCs, have a minimum charge or give a discount just like in the US. No big deal. I just never would carry enough cash around to pay hotel bills. For hotels that give a discount for cash I will get it that day and immediately pay the hotel so I do not have to "safe guard" it.

Posted by
4821 posts

This was the first time I have seen this

I mean this in the kindest way, but using a US issued card you would not be offered DCC to convert Dollars into Dollars. Though some banker seeing this probably just got an idea.

Posted by
17653 posts

Did her bank in Germany charge her 117.97€, or was that for the transaction before her bank charged her anything? I think on 6/6 the amount in euro should have been about 114.33€, before her bank charges, so if her bank charged 3%, like US banks do, what's the complaint?

If Ross did pull DCC on her, so what. This website is about Americans traveling in Europe. If Americans get tricked into paying DCC in Europe, it's wrong; I don't like it, and will continue to warn Americans about it. Don't give me this "well, you do it too bit".