Uswitch warns of dynamic currency conversion threat

19 May 2006
As if worrying about travellers' cheques, exchange rates, insurance cover and understanding the locals was not bad enough, there is now another thing for summer tourists to look out for on holiday – dynamic currency conversion.

If you are planning on using your credit card to buy items from local shops when away on holiday, be aware of what you are agreeing to if a shop owner offers to charge you in your own currency, warns financial comparison website Uswitch.com.

Nick White, head of personal finance for the website, said that dynamic currency conversion is becoming "a new concern".

"Retailers have the technology to charge in local or your own currency," he said. "By law they have to ask you if you want to do that [but] in a number of cases they won't."

The problem with accepting this offer, he warned, is that it gives local retailers the power to set the exchange rate, which will more than likely be worse than the rate your bank will set.

The advice on avoiding problems when you return home from the trip to find you have frequently been overcharged is simple. "Either check the exchange rate you are going to be charged or insist on using the local currency," concluded Mr White.

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