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bubbadogmom

Credit card for charges on-board

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Not new to cruising but never figured this one out. 
 

They started to ask a few years back if we want to have our credit card charged in Canadian dollars and let the credit card company do the exchange, or if we wanted to be charged in US dollars. 

 

Can someone help me understand which is better and why? 
 

thanks so much 

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UK here.

I always choose option B  and allow my CC company do the conversion.

If you allow the ship to do the conversion there is a 2% fee charged.

The card I use has a 0% fee. 

So, you need to investigate what  % your Credit Card charges.

 

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Echo that.  On a UK based CC - as long as you have one of the ones for traveling abroad that uses the day rate without a fee - it is better to have your CC card charged in dollars (or the relevant currency if on shore) and allow the card to convert.  I know from other posts on CC that there are a few US credit cards which offer the same service.  But if you have a CC which charges it is really just a question of which is lower.  The ship charges 2% - what does your CC charge?

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I hate this thread 😈. We already use in this forum CC for CelebrityCruises, for Captain Club, for CruiseCritic, and now we are using in the same forum also for CreditCard.

 

In any case, it is nearly better to have own cruise company to do currency conversion (which I would not write it as CC), or just nearly the same (so better to stay on the rule). There are few cases, mainly for banks on marginalized economies, or when the local currency in a marginalized currency, where further research is needed.

 

But you should call your credit card to get better insight (and to know how are the real fees).

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14 minutes ago, Cirdan said:

I hate this thread 😈. We already use in this forum CC for CelebrityCruises, for Captain Club, for CruiseCritic, and now we are using in the same forum also for CreditCard.

 

In any case, it is nearly better to have own cruise company to do currency conversion (which I would not write it as CC), or just nearly the same (so better to stay on the rule). There are few cases, mainly for banks on marginalized economies, or when the local currency in a marginalized currency, where further research is needed.

 

But you should call your credit card to get better insight (and to know how are the real fees).

I have always found it better to let my bank do it than than the cruise company.

 

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Even though I also hate threads which are not Celebrity specific (Medicare, insurance, weather,  hotels, etc) I will chime in here because I think that Cirdan meant to write “credit card company” rather than “cruise company” in his post above. 

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Never let a store or business convert your currency.   The exception to this is if you have been bargaining or quoted a price in your native currency, then have the charge made in your native currency.  In other words, if you have been negotiating for Pearls in Japan in dollars, do the charge in dollars.  If you were negotiating in Yen, charge in Yen.

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Make sure your CC doesn't charge a foreign transaction fee or other currency exchange surcharge.  Not all "travel" or "world" cards are truly zero-fee, either, although their branding would lead you to believe so.

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@bubbadogmom, from worst to best:

 

  1. Let the cruise line make the conversion using their less favourable exchange rate plus charging a conversion fee;
  2. Let your financial institute make the conversion, getting a more favourable exchange rate but still paying a 2.5-3% conversion fee in most cases; or
  3. Use one of a small number of Canadian credit cards issued by financial institutes that charge no conversion fee (https://www.ratehub.ca/blog/credit-cards-with-no-foreign-exchange-fees/), or provide higher cash back credits to offset the conversion fee (https://www.greedyrates.ca/blog/rogers-world-elite-mastercard/).

I have a Home Trust Preferred Visa card that charges no conversion fee. It's free, offers free roadside assistance (cancelled my CAA), and meets my requirement to have a card from each of the three major credit card networks. I also have a Rogers World Elite MasterCard that charges a conversion fee but gives more cash back points.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Fouremco said:

@bubbadogmom, from worst to best:

 

  1. Let the cruise line make the conversion using their less favourable exchange rate plus charging a conversion fee;
  2. Let your financial institute make the conversion, getting a more favourable exchange rate but still paying a 2.5-3% conversion fee in most cases; or
  3. Use one of a small number of Canadian credit cards issued by financial institutes that charge no conversion fee (https://www.ratehub.ca/blog/credit-cards-with-no-foreign-exchange-fees/), or provide higher cash back credits to offset the conversion fee (https://www.greedyrates.ca/blog/rogers-world-elite-mastercard/).

I have a Home Trust Preferred Visa card that charges no conversion fee. It's free, offers free roadside assistance (cancelled my CAA), and meets my requirement to have a card from each of the three major credit card networks. I also have a Rogers World Elite MasterCard that charges a conversion fee but gives more cash back points.

A 4th option and arguably the best in this situation would be to obtain a US$ credit card for the onboard charges.  You would avoid any conversion and exchange fees..  To make the most of the card you would need to purchase US$ to pay the account off....however, by regularly purchasing the funds you can do so when the rate is favourable to you and keep it on hand until you need it.  we have had a US$ credit card for over 20 years and it makes it extremely convenient.  about 12 years ago we actually opened the account with a US bank that also included a cash account which makes everyday banking much easier.  If you spend a great deal of time in the US it makes life so much easier.

 

NEVER let a merchant or cruise line do the conversion, the rate used will be to their advantage...just another source of revenue for them.

Edited by ScubesDad

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4 minutes ago, ScubesDad said:

A 4th option and arguably the best in this situation would be to obtain a US$ credit card for the onboard charges.  You would avoid any conversion and exchange fees.

LOL. I had started to add the 4th option, but decided to stick to the OP's question so as to not muddy the waters too much. We to had a USD card for quite a number of years, but found that without a source of USD income, there was no particular benefit once the cards with no exchange fees became available in Canada. The exception is when there are large swings in the CAD/USD exchange rate, but in those cases, I'll also buy USD, tuck them away in a USD account and go with a cash account on board.

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