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This is a question that is being asked more and more by retailers when you shop in foreign countries. It sounds convenient doesn’t it?

But is it a good idea? When you’re travelling in foreign countries and are asked if you want to be billed in Canadian dollars, the answer should always be no.

The problem is you have no control over what exchange rate they will use to charge your credit card. And this practise has now become a new profit centre for them.

 At least you know what your bank will charge, even with the extra service fees they add on.

This practice of charging your foreign transactions in Canadian dollars is becoming more common, and is even being done by cruise lines when you book some cruises as well.

When one reader complained to the cruise line, the written response was that they only adjust the exchange rate twice a year. In today’s rapidly changing economic environment that could work in either direction. But it still sounds patently unfair to me.

We are being ripped off and often don’t even know it.

So the tip of the day is…anytime…anytime at all when you are dealing with foreign transactions do your math to make sure you are ending up on the right side of the equation on the exchange.

By doing so you can save substantive dollars on a trip. And possibly even use all those savings on another useless souvenir.

To read more similar tips go to our travel products site and click on travel questions.