I am planning a trip to France from the US, and need to make multiple payments in € on-line, including but not limited to train tickets on https://www.oui.sncf/. Of course, the easiest way to pay those expanses is to use a credit card, but, from my experience,
- American credit cards are not often accepted by European websites, (for troubles relative to oui.sncf, cf. 1 , 2, 3, or 4.)
- The exchange rate applied by the bank is often to the disadvantage of the client,
- Some (hidden or not) fees may apply.
I don't mean to endorse them in any way, but converting $ into € using https://transferwise.com/ had been the cheapest solution by a long shot in the past for me. Unfortunately, they don't provide credit cards.
I believe a way of getting a good exchange rate and little-to-no fees would be to buy a pre-paid visa card in € using $ transferred from transferwise (or the like).
However, I haven't found a way of buying a pre-paid visa card using a wire transfer: does that even exist?