British Tourists: How To Avoid Costly Pitfalls While Using Foreign ATMs and Cards

Brit Tourists Need To Read THIS

ATM. Credit: Cozyta/

Are British tourists aware of a potentially expensive trick they might encounter when using foreign ATMs or paying with their cards abroad?

This trick, known as Dynamic Currency Conversion, could lead to substantial additional costs on their bills. Understanding this practice and taking necessary precautions can save them from unnecessary expenses during their travels, writes The Daily Express, Saturday, August 5.

British tourists, need to be ware of the increasingly common trick at foreign ATMs and card payments. When withdrawing money or making card transactions overseas, you might be asked whether you want to pay in pounds or the local currency.

However, choosing to pay in pounds through Dynamic Currency Conversion can lead to exorbitant costs on your bill. For instance, Simon Calder related that a withdrawal in Albania could have cost him £112, while paying in local currency with your card’s conversion rate would only amount to £103.

Financial expert, Rupert Lee-Brown, explains that Dynamic Currency Conversion allows retailers or cash machine providers to profit at your expense. When using your card at a restaurant or an overseas ATM, you might be asked if you prefer to pay in pounds before entering your PIN. By agreeing to be charged in British Pounds, the retailer or ATM provider can apply a local exchange rate, which can result in an extra five to seven per cent added to your bill.

To avoid falling victim to this costly trick, consider these top tips for British tourists:

  • Opt for Local Currency: Always choose to pay in the local currency when using your card abroad to ensure you get the official MasterCard or Visa exchange rate, saving you unnecessary charges.
  • Travel Money Card: To mitigate currency conversion fees, it’s advisable to carry a travel money card while on holiday. These cards offer better exchange rates and lower fees compared to traditional debit or credit cards.
  • Cash Transactions: If you prefer using cash over cards, avoid changing money at the airport, as rates are usually unfavorable. Instead, seek out reputable exchange offices or withdraw cash from ATMs that provide fair exchange rates.

Dynamic Currency Conversion can be a costly pitfall for British tourists when using foreign ATMs or making card payments abroad. By being vigilant and following these top tips, you can protect yourself from unnecessary charges and ensure a more budget-friendly travel experience. Embrace the local currency and make the most of your holiday without breaking the bank.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.