Subject: No credit cards
I've stayed in many budget hotels/pensions that don't take credit cards, or give a 5-10% for cash. I prefer to use credit cards for all the reasons you mention, but ATM's are everywhere and put cash in your hand for a very good exchange rate and minimal fee if you stay w/ the system compatible with your bank card (i.e. Cirrus, etc.) In fact, last summer ATM's beat my credit card rate (and total fee per transaction was only .80,) and more and more credit cards are now taking a percentage on currency exchanges. When I look at these options, I just consider how much better the price is using cash and ask myself if my benefits from using a credit card is worth the difference. Therefore, I do both.