# Couple shares holiday financial 'scam' they avoid - and it could save you money too

A globetrotting couple has issued a warning about a common financial 'scam' that many tourists fall prey to while on holiday.

Izzy and Pop, who share their travel experiences and advice under the handle @izzypop_adventures on TikTok, recently highlighted an issue they encountered during a trip to Poland. They noticed a discrepancy in the prices offered when paying for a meal, with options to pay in either local currency zloty or US dollars.

The pair expressed their frustration in a post captioned: "We're so frustrated with seeing this card payment 'question' while travelling. You go to pay with a credit card at a bar or restaurant and the screen asks 'do you want to pay in the local currency or your home one?

"The question is a scam so that merchants and card issuers make more money. I don't understand why regulators haven't cracked down on it yet. You should ALWAYS pay in the local currency when travelling. NOT in your home currency."

They went on to explain that this question is a ploy for merchants and card issuers to make more money, questioning why regulators haven't yet intervened. They advised fellow travellers to always pay in the local currency, not their home one.

Pop detailed their annoyance at being given the choice to pay in either the local currency or their home one, the United States dollar. They cited a recent experience at a Polish bar where the card machine presented them with the option to pay in zloty or dollars, reports the Mirror.

Using a recent dinner as an example, Pop explained: "Let's use the example of the dinner I had last night in Poland. If I paid in my home currency, it costs \$118 (£92). However, I chose to play the 421 Polish zloty which are the local currency. On my credit card statement, I see Chase (bank) processed the payment as \$106.66 (£83)."

"So if I chose to use my home currency, I would pay an extra \$11.46."

He went on to say: "The difference is the exchange rates. Chase gave me an exchange rate of 0.253 dollars per zloty, which is close to the official rate, while the rate on the card terminal was 0.28."

"This is a 10.7 per cent worse exchange rate, and the reason merchants offer this currency conversion service is because they keep part of the 10.7 per cent spread, and the company that provides the physical terminal keeps the rest."

"So the takeaway is: You should always pay in the local currency when travelling, not in your home currency."

Their video has been viewed over a massive 1.1 million times, racking up 21,600 likes and 1,154, with many viewers sharing their own advice and experiences. Claudia said: "Revolut...that is what you gotta choose... honestly the best thing for travelling."

Mark agreed: "Not only is this not a scam it also very well known, always pay in the local currency."

Isabelle said: "use Revolut abroad. It's safer bc they don't have access to your full account. Also if you add the card to Google Pay and pay w your phone, you can even burn the card after the trip. Plus exchange 1."

@robyharry1 said, "Always pay local currency pretty common sense when travelling," while Alex warned, "It's not ALWAYS cheaper to use local currency as there are still some banks that charge you a fixed fee per foreign transaction (1-2 \$/€/£), so if you buy a chewing gun for \$0.5, that's significant."

Several traditional and digital banks in the UK are offering debit and credit cards that come with a host of benefits for globetrotters. These include the ability to pay in any currency, no hidden transaction fees, and free cash withdrawals when abroad.