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Issues involving foreign exchange conversion rates

Issues involving foreign exchange conversion rates

 
Old Mar 27, 05, 3:00 pm
  #1  
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Angry Issues involving foreign exchange conversion rates

I made a reservation on marriott.com for a 10 nights stay at The JW Marriott Rio de Janerio. The rate I was confirmed at was $210USD

When I checked out the hotel converted the rate to local currency (at their in-house rate) and then charged my credit card that amount. Amex then converted the rate into Canadian dollars. When I did the math between the rate posted on ex.com and what the hotel rate was I was out $340CDN!!

I feel that Marriott should quote the rate in local currency on it's website. Or have a currency conversion option available at time of booking so that guests have an idea of the exchanged amount. After-all when you book a hotel in Europe it is quoted in Euro or British Pound.

The hotel can and PROFITS by setting the rate. I understand that if I exchange cash at the front desk that is expected (which I always avoid) but to use that rate to convert my booked rate to local currency that is not fair... I have asked if I could have paid in USD and they said NO! So it only proves they are out to RIP PEOPLE OFF!!
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Old Mar 27, 05, 3:27 pm
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I've booked many (20+) international reservations on marriott.com and the rates have always been posted in local currency.
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Old Mar 27, 05, 3:52 pm
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Originally Posted by dayone
I've booked many (20+) international reservations on marriott.com and the rates have always been posted in local currency.
The charge was posted in local currency by the hotel not my credit card company. The rates should be listed and booked in local currency and charged at hotel in local currency and then converted by credit card company NOT HOTEL.

That has always been my experience in London, Paris, Lisbon etc... Maybe it's a South American thing?? Anyhow contacted Marriott and they assurred me that the hotel will do something... $340CDN is like paying for an extra night...
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Old Mar 27, 05, 6:45 pm
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Originally Posted by imverge
The charge was posted in local currency by the hotel not my credit card company. The rates should be listed and booked in local currency and charged at hotel in local currency and then converted by credit card company NOT HOTEL.

That has always been my experience in London, Paris, Lisbon etc... Maybe it's a South American thing?? Anyhow contacted Marriott and they assurred me that the hotel will do something... $340CDN is like paying for an extra night...
My stays have always been listed, booked and charged by the hotel in the respective local currency and then converted to US$ by the credit card company. It sounds like that was not the case for you.

Good luck in receiving an accomodation. I'm sure that Marriott will make things right.
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Old Dec 3, 05, 3:27 pm
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Currency exchange rate increasing hotel rate. Not fair.

It happened to me twice this year. First in Budapest and just recently in Sao Paulo. I made my bookings online in euros and dollars respectively. However, at check out I saw that the invoice was in local currency at a high exchange rate which, converted into dollars by the credit card company, results in a higher hotel rate than the originally booked. In Budapest they didn't accept to be paid cash in euros so I had to charge my credit card. If I opted to change my euros into HUFs at a nearby exchange office I would have needed 10% more to pay the bill. Same happened in Sao Paulo. So, why Marriott quotes in dollars if they are not able to charge your credit card in dollars? Or why they don't use the same exchange rate at their booking central and their hotels?
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Old Dec 3, 05, 8:06 pm
  #6  
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its rather simple. if they quote you the rate in teh Local currency then when you go to pay they are Stuck with the amount in Loacl Currency. Now if they qoute it to you in US$ or whatever, then upon check-out is when they will figure out how much it comes to in local currency.

In countries where there is usually devaluations or where the Local currency has a trend to go down against the US$ they are basically Hedging themselves. Happened to me recently in Guatemala where it was 7.4 when I got there and 7.8 a few days later when I left. I also couldnt pay it in US$ I could have in the Local Currency but at the rate of 7.8 per $1.

Then of cause the CC adds their % so its basically a rip-off. most of teh World does it this way. could be if Marriot has alocal web-site you might beable to book it in teh Local currency but I doubt they will take US$ from you to settle the bill.
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Old Dec 3, 05, 9:39 pm
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Originally Posted by frisbeeace
It happened to me twice this year. First in Budapest and just recently in Sao Paulo. I made my bookings online in euros and dollars respectively. However, at check out I saw that the invoice was in local currency at a high exchange rate which, converted into dollars by the credit card company, results in a higher hotel rate than the originally booked. In Budapest they didn't accept to be paid cash in euros so I had to charge my credit card. If I opted to change my euros into HUFs at a nearby exchange office I would have needed 10% more to pay the bill. Same happened in Sao Paulo. So, why Marriott quotes in dollars if they are not able to charge your credit card in dollars? Or why they don't use the same exchange rate at their booking central and their hotels?
I'm confused. Being a dumb American, I'll hope that you'll excuse me. The online rates at marriott.com are almost always quoted in local currency. The only exceptions I know of are a very limited number of package rates. If you booked on another site, your issue is with that site, not Marriott.

Marriott is not a financial institution. You choose the form of payment to settle your account at check-out. If you want to pay with local currency, you, not Marriott, determines the exchange rate, based on how you acquired (exchanged for) the local currency. If you want to pay by credit card, the credit card company sets the exchange rate based on pre-disclosed terms, which may include a percentage surcharge over and above the conversion rate.

For future reference, local bank ATMs typically offer the best exchange rate. Depending on your account relationship, ATM transactions are converted at interbank rates and can be fee free.
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Old Dec 3, 05, 10:59 pm
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Originally Posted by drtdk
I'm confused. Being a dumb American, I'll hope that you'll excuse me. The online rates at marriott.com are almost always quoted in local currency. The only exceptions I know of are a very limited number of package rates. If you booked on another site, your issue is with that site, not Marriott.

Marriott is not a financial institution. You choose the form of payment to settle your account at check-out. If you want to pay with local currency, you, not Marriott, determines the exchange rate, based on how you acquired (exchanged for) the local currency. If you want to pay by credit card, the credit card company sets the exchange rate based on pre-disclosed terms, which may include a percentage surcharge over and above the conversion rate.

For future reference, local bank ATMs typically offer the best exchange rate. Depending on your account relationship, ATM transactions are converted at interbank rates and can be fee free.
FYI, I was in a Marriott last week in Costa Rica I booked it On Line and it showed a rate of $174 per night. When I checked out , it showed how much in Local Currency I had to pay along with the corresponding amount in US$. HOWEVER the charge goes to my CC in the local currency and not US$. Which meant me paying appx $10 more as the CC adds its on FEX fees. I asked that they charge my CC in US$ and was told thats not an option.

the reason for the rate being in US$ was in order to eventually calculate how much it was gonna be in Local Currency. This has happened to me with ALL the major Hotel Chains also in Europe.
You are very wrong about who determines the exchange rate. In CR I got 4.89 per $1 at a Hotel. The Marriott used 4.94 as their exchange rate. Reg rate in the papers was 4.92 so it wasnt so bad. But in Guatemala I lost much more as I did in Zurich back in Sept. All a person can decide is how much they will get for their $s by exchanging it or how they obtained it, you cant tell the Hotel what their rate will be. And most Hotels will use rates that are not in our favor, so when they send it over to the CC it will come out as more US$ then what it said on Marriott.com, since they are sending over an amount in the Local Currency that was gotten by using an exchange rate not in our favor.

Last edited by craz; Dec 3, 05 at 11:08 pm
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Old Dec 3, 05, 11:34 pm
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Originally Posted by craz
FYI, I was in a Marriott last week in Costa Rica I booked it On Line and it showed a rate of $174 per night. When I checked out , it showed how much in Local Currency I had to pay along with the corresponding amount in US$. HOWEVER the charge goes to my CC in the local currency and not US$. Which meant me paying appx $10 more as the CC adds its on FEX fees. I asked that they charge my CC in US$ and was told thats not an option.

the reason for the rate being in US$ was in order to eventually calculate how much it was gonna be in Local Currency. This has happened to me with ALL the major Hotel Chains also in Europe.
You are very wrong about who determines the exchange rate. In CR I got 4.89 per $1 at a Hotel. The Marriott used 4.94 as their exchange rate. Reg rate in the papers was 4.92 so it wasnt so bad. But in Guatemala I lost much more as I did in Zurich back in Sept. All a person can decide is how much they will get for their $s by exchanging it or how they obtained it, you cant tell the Hotel what their rate will be. And most Hotels will use rates that are not in our favor, so when they send it over to the CC it will come out as more US$ then what it said on Marriott.com, since they are sending over an amount in the Local Currency that was gotten by using an exchange rate not in our favor.
You're right and I'm wrong about CR and many other Central and South American properties. Their rates are posted in USD. My comment was based on European and Asian hotels. Thanks for setting me straight.

I respectfully disagree with (and leave to others to judge) your assessment that I was "very wrong about who determines the exchange rate." Either my post wasn't very clear or you didn't understand it.

As I stated, you can manage your currency conversion costs at checkout by paying in local currency or settling to a credit card. If you choose to use the hotel as your currency exchange, you shouldn't be surprised that its rate is usually not favorable.

Since the rate was quoted in USD on marriot.com, I would think that it would be worthwhile to contact Marriott Customer Relations for an explanation and consideration.

Last edited by drtdk; Dec 3, 05 at 11:59 pm
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Old Dec 4, 05, 5:54 am
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Originally Posted by drtdk
I'm confused. Being a dumb American, I'll hope that you'll excuse me. The online rates at marriott.com are almost always quoted in local currency. The only exceptions I know of are a very limited number of package rates. If you booked on another site, your issue is with that site, not Marriott. Marriott is not a financial institution. You choose the form of payment to settle your account at check-out. If you want to pay with local currency, you, not Marriott, determines the exchange rate, based on how you acquired (exchanged for) the local currency. If you want to pay by credit card, the credit card company sets the exchange rate based on pre-disclosed terms, which may include a percentage surcharge over and above the conversion rate. For future reference, local bank ATMs typically offer the best exchange rate. Depending on your account relationship, ATM transactions are converted at interbank rates and can be fee free.
My bookings were made at Marriott.com in dollars for Brazil and euros for Hungary even though those currencies are later not accepted at the hotels to cancel their bills (this is already cuestionable). The increase in the hotel rate does not relate to any fee charged by the credit card company but it is due to the high exchange rate that Marriott uses to convert the hotel rate into local currency. When later the CC company uses a fair exchange rate, the price in dollars/euros goes up. Either if you change your money on the street to pay in local currency or if you charge your credit card, you find yourself paying more than expected.
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Old Dec 4, 05, 6:31 am
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This is going back a ways so I could be wrong but last I heard the rates were updated every US Business Day with the "BUY" rate as published in the Wall Street Journal
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Old Dec 4, 05, 2:18 pm
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Not Only Hotels

forgot to mention, its not Only the hotels. I constantly book a Rental Car online and it shows me the US$ rate, when you go to pay your bill its charged in the local cuurency Also.

Offer to pay US$ and they wont take it they will charge you Only in the Local currency again you'll hear teh samething all you did was to lock in how much US$ you have to pay, even though you cant actually pay in US$, but in Local currency Only.
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Old Dec 6, 05, 5:12 pm
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Originally Posted by craz
forgot to mention, its not Only the hotels. I constantly book a Rental Car online and it shows me the US$ rate, when you go to pay your bill its charged in the local cuurency Also.

Offer to pay US$ and they wont take it they will charge you Only in the Local currency again you'll hear teh samething all you did was to lock in how much US$ you have to pay, even though you cant actually pay in US$, but in Local currency Only.
u can pay any currency you like but they will have to convert it into the local currencies at the hotel exchange rate. (obviously a lot higher)

obviously the currencies in smaller countries do flutate, as far as marriott is concern, they have charged you a rate equates to the amount in US Dollars, the rate that was given by their FX agent.

Whatever fee your cc company charges you on top ie. fx conversion fee is nothing to do with them. its ur choice in the end of the day.
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Old Dec 6, 05, 6:16 pm
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Originally Posted by frisbeeace
So, why Marriott quotes in dollars if they are not able to charge your credit card in dollars?
Many hotels (and other local businesses), located in certain countries that have historically unstable currencies often quote prices in another, more stable currency (such as USD or EUR), so as to avoid having to update their rates/prices on a hourly/daily/weekly basis.

Unfortunately, many hotels also view this as an opportunity to "play around" with the exchange rate...
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Old Dec 6, 05, 8:28 pm
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Welcome to the world of international travel. Oh, and whoever said "life is fair", was lying.

You need to keep abreast of exchange rates so when you do check out you can very quickly check if they are in line with expectations, and if they are not, then plan to speak with the manager. The planning part means, make sure you are not in a rush to get out the door and to the airport. I always allow myself extra time whenever checking out of any hotel, whether it is to get BB, exchange rates, just check over the bill and room charges, etc. It always pays to be just a little bit OCD.
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