Charge in $ or €?Should I charge in USD or EURO when traveling Ireland?
This dilemma has been mentioned many times on Frommers Message Forums and thereforeI think it warrants its own page dedicated to the subject.
Pros/Cons of Charging In €uros
You'll want to determine if you credit card charges a currency conversion fee, typically 4% of the total amount charged to your car. Right from the start, you could be paying 4% more for anything you purchase in Ireland.
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. Many banks will shave a few cents off the current market value which means you'll pay slightly more for the conversion. This happens with everyone dealing in currency, buying it at a lower rate and selling it for a profit and it will be added to any currency conversion fee your card charges.
Pros/Cons of Charging In $USD
I've heard many people that refuse to do this because the exchange rate is slightly off and it is because someone is making money by charging you the different in rates, skimming a few cents off each transaction. This is why everyone is asking if you would like to charge in your home currency vs Euros.
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 Preference on Charging in Ireland
We use the Capital One card which has no currency conversion fee when traveling abroad therefore we will charge in Euros and let them do the conversion. While we cannot prove it, we believe their rate would be better than a smaller merchant and the volume they handle will allow them a nice profit even on a small margin.