Watch out for DCC at ATMs (Yes, now the banks are trying it!)
I just posted a note on the Portugal forum, warning that bank ATMs there are now offering a form of Dynamic Currency Conversion, offering to debit your account in either Euros (good choice) or your own home currency (bad choice). I’m posting here, too, in case any other country’s banks have tried it on, or will.
DCC--Dynamic Currency Conversion--is a trap for the unwary. When a hotel or store offers "for your convenience" to charge you in your own currency, say US dollars, instead of Euros, what they are actually offering to do is do your currency conversion at a bad rate that gives them more of your money than if you are charged in Euros.
That's because if you are charged in Euros, the currency conversion takes place between their bank and yours, at the "interbank" rate, which is the lowest rate of the day. Of course, you don't get the actual interbank rate, but usually within a half-point of it.
An example, from today in Porto. I took a look at today's offer; 200€ or $279.36. That's a rate of 1.3968. Checking the interbank rate for today showed 1.326. Even allowing for the difference between interbank rate and the settlement for me, that's $14 dollars I saved by choosing to have my account charged in Euros.
So, again: NEVER allow your card or your account to be charged in anything but the local currency!