local or home currency
From: Mark Wagman (mewag1comcast.net)
Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2018 20:45:43 -0700 (PDT)

I am writing to make sure that readers are not misled by Jan's remark about paying by credit card in home currency (that is, USD rather than zlotys). While it is possible there may be an advantage for her particular credit card, in general that advice is wrong. Most credit card holders will save money by paying in local currency.

When one pays in home currency, the business generally charges a conversion fee (typically 3%) and, moreover, usually makes the exchange from local currency at an unfavorable rate. So you are paying a premium just to learn what your cost is in home currency. If you have a decent credit card for international travel, it will have no foreign transaction fees and provide an exchange rate that is more favorable than the rate provided by a local business.

I had a real comparison example today. I bought several train tickets from Krakow to Warsaw. We were presented with the choice of paying in home or local currency. The home currency cost would have been over $102. But we paid in local currency. Right away, I received an email notice that my credit card account was being charged $98.48. So making the right choice saved nearly 4% on the ticket cost.

Certainly there are nuances, some of which are described in the article here-->https://www.forbes.com/sites/geoffreymorrison/2014/07/30/pay-in-local-or-home-currency/#11d436e03307. The best choice for most of us will be paying in local currency. 

See you in Warsaw,

Mark Wagman

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