Foreign Expedia siteExpedia page from abroad
Am I billed foreign transaction charges when I use hotel booking websites for an international hotel?
A major new way for payment cards to generate revenues that began a few years ago was to levy a "foreign payment fee". It was a toll - usually 3% - with which the payment processing firm beat you if you made a foreign exchange sale or a foreign account was in trouble.
First you need to know about the foreign currencies. It is one of the great mysteries of money change that it is almost never free. Someone or corporation needs to do the conversion somewhere, and they are charging a commission because there are costs for it. When a unit of money is nearer to the real-time market, the less it is calculated for the swap.
You will find multinational cash centre bankers, brokerage firms, issuing bank accounts and processing companies (Visa, MasterCard, etc.). Increased volumes in a trade result in lower costs. Also, you are fairly certain that if 1) your account allows foreign transactions charges, and 2) that you are abroad and use this account, and 3) you are using the domestic exchange, it probably means that you areinged.
Do you use a US-based website but make a reservation for an overseas bank transfer? Regardless, a good move is always to call your payment processing provider before you make an order for an overseas trip - flight, ferry, accommodation, train, hire cars - whatever.
Oh, and one more thing: on a few websites like American Express you will find some useful hints on using your credit cards abroad - even if they don't tell you anything about hotel bookings.