update: this is no longer working. scroll down to see reader Susan’s comments. looks like Airbnb will now be charging the 3% fee if it needs to convert currency (and it will, not your credit card). see also: why dynamic currency conversion is usually a bad idea.
as many of you know, i’m a big fan of Airbnb, having stayed at over 25 different properties on five continents — and i can’t believe i didn’t figure this out until now (or read about it somewhere else, but then again i’m a bad blog reader).
if the property you’re looking at charges in a different currency than your home one (in my case euros vs. dollars), you will be hit with a 3% currency conversion fee, as per their exchange policy.
but if you have a credit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees [UPDATE 2015-07-17 — you might not need one, as a commenter below says it does charge in dollars!], you can save that 3% by switching to euros (or whatever currency your property is in) by using the dropdown at the bottom of every page:
once you make the switch, go through the reservation process and you’ll see that you are now no longer hit with the 3% fee! again, just be sure your card doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee (or has one that’s less than 3%).
despite the fact that it says you’re paying in dollars, you are in fact being charged the amount in euros, as confirmed by the confirmation and the credit card hold:
and indeed, if you look it up:
so there you go. save 3% with a couple clicks.
i would be remiss if i didn’t include my referral link — if you are new to Airbnb and sign up using this link, you’ll get $25 credit, as will i, when you book your first stay, and $75 if you host.