Visa is committed to providing cardholders with a safe, convenient, and cost-effective way to pay when traveling internationally. Below are answers to frequently asked questions regarding Visa's exchange rate and currency conversion.
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Will the rates shown be the rates charged to my account?
The exact rate you receive depends on when the transaction is posted to the Visa system. The day the charge actually posts may be later than the day on which you made the purchase, depending on how promptly each merchant handles their Visa transactions.
How does Visa calculate its rate?
Every day—except weekends, Memorial Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day—Visa calculates the rate for the next day's transactions. The Visa rate is selected from a range of rates available in wholesale currency markets or the government-mandated rate in effect one day prior to the applicable central processing date. Visa makes this rate available to issuing banks, which may adjust the rate when billing cardholders by applying a foreign transaction fee. The rate Visa makes available to issuing banks may vary from the rate Visa itself receives. Most consumers find that using Visa is a convenient and cost-effective way to make purchases and obtain cash when traveling internationally.
How accurate are the rates?
The rates you are shown are from Visa's internal database for foreign exchange rates and are updated daily. However, they are only meant to serve as an indication of the rate you could expect to receive from your issuing bank. As exchange rates change constantly, the rate is only accurate for one day. The exact rate you are charged depends on when the transaction is posted to the Visa system, which may be later than the day on which you paid, depending on how promptly each merchant handles their Visa transactions. Additionally, your final transaction amount may differ depending on whether the merchant converts the currency at the point of sale or if the bank that issues your card assesses a foreign transaction fee.
What is dynamic currency conversion?
Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC), also referred to as Cardholder Preferred Currency (CPC), is a service offered by merchants – not Visa - in some countries when you are traveling abroad. If you choose to use the DCC service, the merchant will convert the purchase price of goods or services at the point of sale from the currency in which the price (i.e., the merchant’s local currency) is displayed into another currency (i.e. your home currency) using an exchange rate that typically includes a service fee.
Here’s an example of a DCC transaction:
A U.S. Visa cardholder is in Singapore and decides to purchase a box of chocolates priced at SGD 20. At checkout, the merchant offers the cardholder the option to pay in USD using a DCC service.
The merchant dynamically converts the SGD transaction amount to USD 15.80. The DCC transaction amount and transaction currency (in USD) are disclosed to the cardholder. An exchange rate of 0.79 (1 SGD = .79 USD), which includes a 2.5% mark up (over a wholesale exchange rate) and the 2.5% commission/fee/mark up are also disclosed to the cardholder.
The cardholder actively chooses DCC by checking a box on a printed receipt or pushing a button on an electronic screen and agrees to pay USD 15.80 for the box of chocolates using the exchange rate provided by the merchant that includes a 2.5% fee for the DCC service.
If you do not want to use DCC when making a purchase, then you have the right to refuse the offer and have your transaction billed in the merchant’s local currency, which will then use Visa’s conversion rate. If you did not agree to DCC, but see it on your bill, then you should ask your issuing bank to contest the charge.
What is Visa’s fee structure for international transactions?
Visa Inc. does not assess any fees to cardholders or merchants. Visa applies International Service Assessment (ISA) fees ranging from 0.15 to 1 percent to its financial institution partners for their use of the global payment system.
The fees are paid by financial institutions on transactions that require the use of our global infrastructure. Since Visa does not assess any fees to cardholders or merchants, we have no involvement in financial institution pricing to cardholders or merchants. If financial institutions or merchants decide to assess a foreign transaction fee to their customers, they are required to provide details to their cardholders and consumers.
As part of Visa’s international functionality, Visa has offered international processing services to its financial institutions for more than twenty years. Over the years, Visa has become a symbol of international acceptance, and Visa views its global support services as paramount to providing its cardholders with superior value and benefits.
What is the phone number on my Visa card?
This number should only be used to report lost or stolen credit cards and is the Visa Global Customer Assistance Service for the country for which you have requested currency. For example, if you are changing yen, you will be given the toll-free number for Japan. If the number for the country is not displayed, please click here for a full listing of toll-free numbers.
What if my currency is not listed?
This service is only available for the currencies listed at this time. Please contact your issuing bank for currency rates not available on this website. Over time, dependent on the availability of accurate data and consumer demand, more currencies may be added.