Originally Posted by RobUAIntl View Post
Is there anyway I can get banks/credit card companies to set my account to refuse any foreign transaction that comes in USD? That would seem to solve the problem.
There isn't to my knowledge a way to refuse transactions that come in from overseas in USD. There are international locations that use the USD as their native currency, officially and unofficially, without DCC being applied. There are also multinational companies who will have a US storefront but process their payments, regardless of currency, in their home country. This is the case with some airlines, and I was once hit with a 3% foreign transaction fee due to this before 0% FTFs became a common feature of US cards. There is no way to determine which transactions are coming through as DCC versus not and systematically blocking foreign USD transactions might decline transactions that you do want to go through.
There are several protective measures that you can take. For hotels, rental cars, etc. never select the express checkout/return option. Insist on a return at the front desk/counter with the transaction processed at the time you depart. This avoids back office DCC. For restaurants and retail transactions, use contactless/mobile payments as much as possible, which deflects 99% of DCC. (There was a single report of this not being the case at the Zurich Airport a few years ago.) When checking in to a hotel, rental car, or anywhere else the merchant does a preauthorization, have it go on an AmEx. AmEx does not support DCC. Upon checking out/returning the car, tell the cashier that you would like to use a different payment card. Furthermore, if AmEx, Discover, JCB, or UnionPay are an option, especially in high risk DCC locations, use those payment methods. Even if the rewards earning is inferior, DCC would erode any marginal gain in rewards.
As a last resort, request that the merchant void the transaction and rerun without DCC. If the merchant feigns ignorance and/or suddenly seems to lose all knowledge of the English language, cross out the DCC verbiage on the receipt, circle the local currency amount, sign the receipt DCC REFUSED, and take a photo with your phone to assist in the dispute process. File a chargeback with your card issuer saying that you were refused the option of paying in local currency.
Fortunately there have been fewer reports recently since people have wised up to the DCC scam, and there are viable countermeasures that were unavailable even a few years ago. There have also been a couple of merchants who got sick of receiving chargebacks so disabled DCC on their end.
Interesting reading from Flyertalk. https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/credit-card-programs/1815666-dynamic-currency-conversion-dcc-42.html
Noted a new angle there, that the currency choice may not show up till many seconds after the transaction appears to be complete and the customer has left.
A new method (to me) of DCC in the UAE, at St Regis Hotel Abu Dhabi.
Bill presented in AED.
Cashier confirms AED.
Card inserted and AED amount shows asking for PIN.
PIN typed in, terminal says approved, remove card.
15 seconds after card removal, terminal says DCC check in progress.
Terminal then offers AED or (in my case) GBP. No presentation of the rate offered, just amounts of AED or GBP. The GBP was 7% > > over the rate I obtained from my bank, using AED.
So unless you loiter by the terminal after you've paid and taken your card, you won't see the DCC prompt, and may have lost control of the terminal at that point, so unknowingly get DCCd.