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Is it always better to charge in local currency for online travel agencies?

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Old 16-07-2018, 08:25 PM   #1
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Is it always better to charge in local currency for online travel agencies?

Is it true?
And will there be dcc charges if I choose to charge in local currency?

Which is the best card to use for TripAdvisor bookings? Thanks!
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Old 16-07-2018, 09:15 PM   #2
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Is it true?
And will there be dcc charges if I choose to charge in local currency?

Which is the best card to use for TripAdvisor bookings? Thanks!
typically 1% charge, will be ok if the rate quoted is translate at spot rate. to verify via checking the hotel rate, usd and S$.

Dont book via tripadvisor, better to book with the respective agency website. click through accordingly. you can apply discount code and use shopback
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Old 16-07-2018, 09:44 PM   #3
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Activities seems not much difference, coz I am booking tours, not hotels via TripAdvisor, they do not have ShopBack also.

Typical those activities like see whales, seals, cruise to see nature.

typically 1% charge, will be ok if the rate quoted is translate at spot rate. to verify via checking the hotel rate, usd and S$.

Dont book via tripadvisor, better to book with the respective agency website. click through accordingly. you can apply discount code and use shopback
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Old 17-07-2018, 09:40 AM   #4
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Always charge in their local currency. Do not let them charge you in sg dollar.
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Old 17-07-2018, 09:55 AM   #5
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Always charge in their local currency. Do not let them charge you in sg dollar.
Them as in tripadvisor or online travel agency in general? Thought it is fine if just incur 1% cross border fee and conversion is at spot rate. Also depends which card is used and whether it is more worth it based on the rebate/points earned less forex/crossborder fees and conversion difference.
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Old 17-07-2018, 10:03 AM   #6
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I find out trip advisor does not change based on spot rate, not sure about others.

Them as in tripadvisor or online travel agency in general? Thought it is fine if just incur 1% cross border fee and conversion is at spot rate. Also depends which card is used and whether it is more worth it based on the rebate/points earned less forex/crossborder fees and conversion difference.
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Old 17-07-2018, 11:02 AM   #7
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Activities seems not much difference, coz I am booking tours, not hotels via TripAdvisor, they do not have ShopBack also.

Typical those activities like see whales, seals, cruise to see nature.
search around abit more. normally, activities website have discount code if you booking direct with the retailer (not the agents) (need to search very hard).

For some countries, certain booking agents have very good discounts.
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Old 17-07-2018, 11:24 AM   #8
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"It depends."

Usually you're going to do better in U.S. dollars, so check the U.S. dollar rate and compare it to the Singapore dollar rate. Also, make sure you're using a low cost credit card that's well suited to foreign currency spending. My current two favorites in that category are ICBC's Global Travel Mastercard and CIMB's Platinum Mastercard, in that order (although since CIMB's credit cards are annual fee free for life, you might as well get one). Do NOT use a debit card for online purchases since you get some more consumer protections with credit cards.

If the travel provider is located in another country besides the United States, check that currency too, if you can. The card network will perform a double currency conversion in that case -- from foreign currency X to U.S. dollars, then from U.S. dollars to Singapore dollars. The double conversion has a little bit of cost to it, so you want to favor U.S. dollars a bit if the comparison is close. You only want to favor that other foreign currency if it's clearly better, by a percentage point or more.

You can check current currency rates using OandA.com and their currency converter.
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Old 17-07-2018, 11:30 AM   #9
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I think cimb is pretty good for overseas spending.

"It depends."

Usually you're going to do better in U.S. dollars, so check the U.S. dollar rate and compare it to the Singapore dollar rate. Also, make sure you're using a low cost credit card that's well suited to foreign currency spending. My current two favorites in that category are ICBC's Global Travel Mastercard and CIMB's Platinum Mastercard, in that order (although since CIMB's credit cards are annual fee free for life, you might as well get one). Do NOT use a debit card for online purchases since you get some more consumer protections with credit cards.

If the travel provider is located in another country besides the United States, check that currency too, if you can. The card network will perform a double currency conversion in that case -- from foreign currency X to U.S. dollars, then from U.S. dollars to Singapore dollars. The double conversion has a little bit of cost to it, so you want to favor U.S. dollars a bit if the comparison is close. You only want to favor that other foreign currency if it's clearly better, by a percentage point or more.

You can check current currency rates using OandA.com and their currency converter.
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Old 18-07-2018, 05:57 AM   #10
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I think it depends.

Sometimes these websites, especially the big ones, use spot rates (or close to that) in their conversion because they have enough business.

Check what they charge in local currency v SGD (and then compare it with say xe.com). If they use spot rates (or anything close to that), then mai tu liao, just go with SGD. If they apply their own conversion rate, then you have to decide if it's likely to be better / worse than your credit card conversion rate (and then you get into the question of which credit card has better / worse rates, miles for overseas spend, etc).

If you're physically on the ground and you swipe your credit card and they ask if you want to pay in local currency or SGD (they call it DCC - Dynamic Currency Conversion) - always choose local currency. And always check before you sign the credit card chit that the merchant did not automatically select payment in SGD without even asking you. The conversion by DCC is almost guaranteed to be worse than the usual credit card conversion (and usually quite a bit worse) and you don't even get the extra credit for it being an overseas transaction.
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