|Subject: Re: Best credit card for Italy?|
While I believe that Visa and Mastercard tend to give you better exchange rates that the money changers, a judgment has recently entered in a class action against both Visa and Mastercard for charging a hidden currency exchange fee. If I recall correctly, the court entered judgment in the amount of about $800 million and that it is expected that those in the United States who used their Visa and Mastercard in such a way that a currency conversion was necessitated will receive a rebate of sorts. The decision is on appeal, so don't spend it yet.
With any Visa and Mastercard, if you are really interested in the appropriate rate of exchange, then you should check with the issuer. My issuer tends to use the Interbank rate which is the better deal, but I have to admit that I fell into that deal. I really did not look for it. Some cards will charge you the exchange rate on the date of purchase while others tend to charge the rate on the date that they pay the merchant. Overall, unless you are buying big ticket items the difference may be insignificant.
Tom in Carlisle.