Re: local or home currency
From: Jan Meisels Allen (
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2018 09:14:54 -0700 (PDT)
You are probably correct that we don't know the conversion rate the local vendor uses in this case the Museum uses versus one's own bank. However, I take exception to saying "if you have a "decent" credit card".  Chase (Visa)  and Citbank (Master Card)  are "decent" credit cards and that was an unnecessary slam for something against major reputable firms.The best thing is for individuals to ask THEIR individual credit card company if they charge a conversion fee for transactions made in local currency as different cards have different rules for out of country purchases.

Jan Meisels Allen

From: Mark Wagman <mewag1 [at]>
To: Jan Meisels Allen <janmallen [at]>
Cc: Warsaw Discussion List <discuss [at]>
Sent: Friday, July 27, 2018 4:49 AM
Subject: [Warsaw-Discuss] local or home currency

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--> The best choice for most of us will be paying in local currency. 

See you in Warsaw,
Mark Wagman
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