|Subject: Re: Visa or Traveler's checks for Europe?|
As a few other members have stated, some credit unions and Capital One Visa cards do not charge a big fee on foreign transactions. This fee applies to all foreign transactions whether they are in the foreign currency or your own currency through the conversion process of DCC. Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) is going to cost Visa if they don't wise up.
We were in England and Scotland in October and November and did not run into any places that charged us in our currency. We were in Strasbourg, France in November and again we did not run into any places that used DCC.
We have run into DCC in quite a few places in Italy and Spain and were very disappointed that the Paradores in Spain now seem to charge you in your own currency without asking. They also make it very difficult for the staff to change the charge back into the local currency.
In summary, if you get charged in your own currency via DCC you will pay 3-4% more for the privilege! If your VISA or Master Card charges you a fee for a foreign transactions you will pay 3% more whether the charge is in your currency or the foreign currency. This results in an addition charge of 3-7%.
The solution is to get a charge card that does not charge a fee and make sure you request that you be charged in the local currency every time you present your card.
It's a real pain.