Online purchases from UK

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Non-financial Questions' started by Firehead, Jul 11, 2016.

  1. Firehead

    Firehead Frequent Poster

    Just a quick question, in light of the whole Brexit/Sterling situation, if I am ordering from say Amazon UK, should I choose the Sterling or Euro option when paying, which is the cheaper option?
  2. Leo

    Leo Moderator

    Compare the prices and exchange rates on offer. In almost all cases, you are better off purchasing in the currency of the seller. Letting Amazon or any retail outlet do the conversion for you usually results in you paying more.
    rob oyle likes this.
  3. rob oyle

    rob oyle Frequent Poster

    For the record, same for PayPal. Not a major issue I suppose but when paying for USD purchases, I've been offered PayPal's fixed rate at the time of payment ('purchasing with confidence'). I've noted the amount it would have cost me, deselected it and allowed my credit card company to set the rate. Each time it has come in roughly 1% less (in Euro terms) than the rate I had been offered.

    Granted credit card FX rates aren't majorly competitive but it would seem that offering someone 'confidence' in their purchases comes at a cost!
  4. Brendan Burgess

    Brendan Burgess Founder

    Are you sure about this? As far as I know, they use mid-market rates e.g.

    "MasterCard uses multiple market sources (such as Bloomberg, Reuters, Central Banks and others) to develop exchange rates. These rates generally reflect either wholesale market rates or government mandated rates that are collected during the daily rate setting process. The displayed rates are derived from the buy and sell rates included in the MasterCard daily rate setting process and do not include any charges or markups applied by the Issuer."

    Your card provider may also charge a transaction fee.

    For example, Ulster Bank
    "Credit card purchases outside the euro-zone incur an administration levy equivalent to 2% of the transaction value."

    If I pay for something in sterling and allow the supplier charge me in euro, is that subject to the 2%?

  5. michaelm

    michaelm Frequent Poster

    It has always work out a little cheaper for me to pay Amazon UK in sterling (on over 100 orders).
  6. newirishman

    newirishman Frequent Poster

    Always Pay in sterling. Rate is usually ,much better, and even with the "standard" non-Euro 2% extra charge you get by cheaper. Usually more then pays for the parcelmotel...
  7. Páid

    Páid Frequent Poster

    Revolut is ideal for this. You purchase sterling at the interbank rates and then use their card to pay in sterling at Amazon.
    Nick Lawson likes this.
  8. busysaver

    busysaver Frequent Poster

    Another way to save money when buying from UK sites is to use a UK convenience address to take advantage of "free UK postage" which is offered by most suppliers - eg Parcel Motel will deliver ( through Northern Ireland address ) to your local collection point for € 3.95