Charge in $ or €?Should I charge in USD or EURO when traveling Ireland?

Charge in USD or EURO in Ireland?

This dilemma has been mentioned many times on Frommers Message Forums and therefore I think it warrants its own page dedicated to the subject.

The question is this: "Should I have the store charge me in USD or in euros?"

Pros/Cons of Charging In Euros

If you charge your purchase in euros, or any other currency for that matter, then your credit card will convert the currency into USD automatically. They will typically shave a few cents off the current market value which means you'll pay slightly more for the conversion -- this happens with everyone making a currency conversion.

The bad part here is that many credit cards also charge a currency conversion fee on top, typically 1-4% of the total charge. This is where you'll be paying more than you thought so check your credit card contract carefully to find out this fee before you begin charging.

Pros/Cons of Charging In USD

I've heard many people that refuse to do this because the exchange rate is slightly off but I do it all the time and think my reasoning for it is quite sound.

When you ask a merchant to charge your purchase in USD they shave a few cents off the conversion and keep it for themselves. What you don't get charged for is the 1-4% that your card charges you for making the conversion so in my mind I've just saved money by converting it to USD while traveling.

I think the mental block for most is seeing an exchange rate slightly off what you may have seen at the bank or exchange kiosk and that's where it's hitting home. Unfortunately you're already back at home when your credit card charges you the currency exchange fee and it's too late to do anything about it.

Personal Experience

I have the Capital One Venture card for miles and they do not charge a foreign currency commission, though we all know that banks still take a few cents on every dollar. I tend to charge in Euros since there is no conversion fee on top of that.