Pay in euros, not dollars

By: Carl Boyer
This item appears on page 48 of the June 2018 issue.

In early April 2018, at the age of 80, I completed an 8-day drive from Perpignan, France, into northern Spain and back into France to Bordeaux (having rented a car over the Internet, without question, from Europcar). During the trip, due to my own inattention, I allowed two credit card purchases to go through in dollars on my Barclay Aviator® American Airlines AAdvantage® card.

I bought a jacket in Barcelona on March 24, and the charge of €49.44 was converted to $64.95 at an exchange rate of $1 = €0.761144 (€1 = $1.313812).

Then, as I paid for a hotel in Pamplona, the charge of €89 was converted to $114.13, with the exchange rate of $1 = €0.7798365 stated on the charge slip.

At the same times, respectively, Barclays (cards.barclaycardus.com) was converting charges at the preferable €0.80895 and €0.81101, thus I paid almost 4% more than the Barclays rate on one purchase and over 3% more on the second.

Don’t let anyone charge you in dollars when you can pay in euros  on a credit card that charges no currency-conversion fee.

CARL BOYER

Newhall, CA