For a business trip, I would like to know about using a debit card from a Euro currency country (Greece) in Budapest (Forint currency). I will have to provide receipts to the company from purchases to get the money back.

I am wondering if any extra charges occur from using my Greek debit card (conversion,etc ) will show up in the receipts or not?

Example: To purchase something that costs 100 forints what happens when I pay with the debit card of my own country? Will the extra conversion charges appear in the receipt or only the initial price of the item?

  • 3
    Can you convince your work that the overall cost for them will be lower if they reimburse your cost from the statement rather than have you put the conversion cost on the card?
    – Willeke
    Mar 7 '20 at 17:30

Generally speaking there are two ways you can pay with a card in a foreign country.

The normal method is that the merchant charges the card in the foreign currency, and your bank handles the conversion. In this case the receipt will only show the charges from the merchant in the foreign currency. You will have to check you bank statement to see what rate was applied to the conversion, and what if any fees your bank charged.

The other method, is that the merchant does the conversion and charges your card in it's home currency. In this case the merchant could print the details of the conversion on the receipt (though I don't know if they actually do).

  • Thanks for answering, regarding the first case will the price mentioned in the receipt be the final, conversion charges included? Mar 7 '20 at 17:00
  • 2
    @user13024317 I believe it’s generally better to use the first method. Letting the merchant charge in your home currency means they get to set the exchange rate, often it will be worse than the rate would be if you had paid in the foreign currency. The receipt for the first method will only be the basic cost of the purchase, conversion costs (rates and fees) will be on your card statement.
    – Traveller
    Mar 7 '20 at 17:07
  • 2
    @user13024317 the price on the receipt for the first option will be final for the product. Then your bank will use whatever exchange rate they use (which is normally cheaper) plus any other fixed or dynamic fee your bank charges. Therefore if you want to know how much you've spent in euro and how much your bank charged you - you need to ask your bank (get a statement). The receipt will only show how much the product cost you in Hungarian forint.
    – kiradotee
    Mar 7 '20 at 20:01
  • @user13024317 the second option which is normally more expensive should show all the information on the receipt in theory because your bank shouldn't be charging you any fees (unless they do) and the merchant charges the card in euro directly (with whatever exchange rate they decide to use, which normally is probably the current exchange rate + 6% or so that's included within the higher exchange rate).
    – kiradotee
    Mar 7 '20 at 20:04

If you use your credit card abroad, the amount will be exchanged from Euros. The exchange rate is set by the network (Visa/Mastercard) and will be more or less equal to the „official“ rate (interbank exchange rate).

Your bank can charge fees on top of that, both per-transaction one-time fees or a percentage. There are also some cards that have no fees at all. My bank charges 1,5%, for example.

The fee will not be on the merchant receipt, as it is charged by the bank. The merchant receipt will be in Forint, and your credit card statement will show the amount in Forint and the converted Euro amount. At least for me the fee is a separate item on the credit card statement; but it is clear that it is for the same merchant.

Some merchants also offer to „pay in Euro“. This is more or less a thinly veiled scam, as the exchange rate can be something like 5% (or more) worse than the interbank rate. Meaning that the „free“ service has a 5% fee. If you use this „service“ you get a merchant receipt that shows the Forint amount and some information about the conversion. Your credit card statement will just show the charge as Euros.

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