Oftentimes when booking things online like flights, trains, accommodations, etc through international companies, you are given the option to pay for your purchase in US dollars. Sometimes, it’s the default currency when the website detects your location as the United States (assuming you’re American).
For example, I get my (super cheap!) plane tickets through Norwegian Air and the American version of their site is what always loads for me. I realized that if you switch the currency to Euros (or whatever the local currency of the company you’re purchasing from is), you can usually save a lot of money! Prices of flights and trains and rooms change so often that the listed USD price you see is probably based on an incorrect exchange rate. It is better to buy whatever it is that you’re buying in the local currency because you won’t end up overpaying for it. Let me show you how this works:
Here you can see that I’ve searched for a round trip plane ticket through Norwegian air with the prices listed in US dollars. I’ve chosen April 13-May 2 with the total arriving to $440.50.
Now, if you load the Norwegian Air website to list the prices in euros, you get the price of 353.50 euros for the same exact dates.
I’ve googled the exchange rate of euros to US dollars, and it is $379.62 as of the date of this blog post. That’s a savings of $60.88!!!
Your credit card will still charge you in US dollars but it will use the exact exchange rate of that day. Now your credit card may charge you a small currency conversion fee but many cards, like Capital One, do not. Even if you are charged a fee, it should be minimal and you will still save plenty of money. I’ve heard that this trick also works if you’re booking accommodations in a foreign country with sites like AirBnB.