Using cards abroad
When you pay for a purchase or withdraw cash with your card abroad, the money will always be debited from your bank account (debit) or from credit facility (credit).
When you pay for your purchase outside of the euro area, the merchant may offer to pay in euros. However, making payments in the currency of the country of destination is often more inexpensive. In Sweden, for example, it pays to choose the Swedish Krona (SEK) instead of a euro payment option offered by the merchant.
What is the cost of using the card abroad?
When you make a purchase or withdraw cash in a non-euro currency, the exchange rate used depends on the card. The exchange rate used is either the Visa International or Mastercard Europe scheme’s wholesale exchange rate, to which a currency conversion fee (accounting for 1.95% of the amount of purchase or withdrawal) is added according to OP’s list of service charges and fees. If you choose to convert the currency offered by the merchant into euros, the merchant will charge a fee based on its service charges and fees.
The wholesale exchange rate is determined according to the date when the transaction is transferred to Visa International or Mastercard Europe. The date used in currency conversion may therefore differ from the date when you actually paid with your card.
The exchange rate used in payments and cash withdrawals will be shown in the transaction details. You can see the transaction details in the bank statement of the account linked to your card or in the credit card bill.
How can I compare currency conversions?
The exchange rate used by the merchant may also be based on the wholesale exchange rate other than that of Visa or Mastercard. Furthermore, merchant fees may vary. To enable comparability, currency conversion in the Visa currency converter is also shown in relation to the euro reference rate published by the European Central Bank. The purpose is to make possible to compare the total prices between service providers.
If you wish to compare, say, currency conversion offered by the merchant with OP’s card currency conversion, please pay attention to the percentage markup that is calculated in relation to the ECB’s rate.
You can view the exchange rates used by Visa and Mastercard and the reference rates published by the ECB via the links below. Enter the required information in the currency calculator and OP’s currency conversion fee of 1.95% in the Bank fee field.