We have analyzed the main pros and cons of the practice
Online shopping may be a tricky business, especially if you order goods from overseas. The main nuisance is the currency exchange. While websites may show an approximate price in most local currencies, the actual payment differs. It depends on the local bank rate, which almost always exceeds the average one. Furthermore, the final sum is revealed only after the payment is complete. Inconvenient? Of course, it is. Therefore, Amazon offers its clients an immediate currency converter service.
When buying at Amazon.com, the price shows in USD. Amazon’s UK site offers the pound sterling costs. If you have a dollar/pound bank card, everything is clear. However, most shoppers hold their accounts in local currencies. The buyer then has two options. They can either pay the given amount in pounds/dollars or activate the converter. All they need to do is add the selected items to their cart and proceed to checkout. On the final checkout page, there are payment currency choices. For those users, having 1-click enabled, clicking Change 1-Click payment to USD on the product detail page will toggle between USD and the local currency.
The Amazon Currency Converter determines the local currency automatically, judging on the country/region the card was issued in. If the currency is identified incorrectly, the buyer can change it on the payment selection page by clicking My card is a different currency, and selecting the currency type. The eligible debit and credit cards for this payment type are American Express, MasterCard and Visa.
While the process itself is easy, you may wonder whether it is beneficial. So we have analyzed the main pros and cons of the practice.
To begin with, the Amazon Currency Converter allows a buyer to see the applicable exchange rate before their purchase. You know exactly how much you are being charged before you pay. The same foreign exchange rate will be applied in case of return. This way, you do not lose any money even if currency exchange rates change. That is an especially good point for those countries with unstable financial markets. Moreover, you can check the applied rate by clicking the View Exchange Rate button. If you have a few payment cards options, you can check which one has more favorable conditions before you make a purchase. That may help you to save a little.
The drawback for Ukrainian users is that the converter does not support the Ukrainian hryvnia. Despite the wide choice of currencies to select, this option is not applicable to the UAH card holder. Even if it gets added to the list, there are a few critical things to consider.
Firstly, the exchange rate used for the Amazon Currency Converter may or may not be better than the rate applied when paying in dollars. Usually, there is no big financial difference between the two options. Secondly, in some cases, your bank or credit card company may charge additional fees, changing the overall cost of your purchase. Therefore, the matter of financial gain here is doubtful.
All things considered, the Amazon Currency Converter is a convenient way to estimate your expenses before the purchase is finalized. It is especially useful for those who have a few payment options or return items. However, you must not expect too much of it. The applicable rates are not exclusive and may not always be competitive. Moreover, the list of supported currencies is limited.