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Best credit card for Baltic Cruise?

Minnie

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We're going on a Baltic cruise in August. What credit card is most widely
accepted and perhaps gives "perks" on foreign purchases. I've heard that
some tack on a service charge for foreign use. Any experienced advice would be appreciated.
 

andrea t

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It is my experience that Visa is more widely accepted as opposed to Amex. I don't know what you mean by perks. As far as service charges, we did not incur any using our Chase platinum visa but I suppose it depends on the CC company.
 

Spence

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andrea t said:
I suppose it depends on the CC company.
That's right, surchages for currency conversion depends on the bank issuing the card, get out your magnifying glass and read the fine print, or give your CC a call to find out, the charges can add up!
 

Minnie

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Thanks for those who replied. Perks: When I traveled to Europe a number of years ago, using Mastercard gave me free or reduced rate to many museums, art galleries and other attractions. My research currently shows that Amex charges 2% and Visa 3% on foreign transactions.
 

Icarus

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For forex, Capital One is still the best issuer, and the only one (of the major issuers) left that doesn't charge an additional markup. They will charge 1%, but that's to recoup the fee charged by Visa or Master Card, which is no longer built into the exchange rate. And that markup is over the wholesale exchange rates for the day of posting.

-David
 

Carolinian

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When I have traveled in Lativa, Lithuania, Estonia and Russia, I have found that the local exchange houses in all of those countries were very competitive, generally with low margins and no commission. Just exchanging money was a more convenient option than using a credit card. With the surcharges on most cards, it is probably a cheaper option as well.
 

sultan_sfo

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How Much Currency to Take for Each Country

Local Banks in US will sell even small amounts of currency for most Baltic Countries. Our ACTUAL experience on Star Princess Sep 2005:

Do NOT buy any currency on the ship -- rate is bad and there was a $3 transaction cost. We prefer to carry some currency for each port of call which we used to buy, say water, from grocery stores, or for local buses from the pier to town or in town, or even taxis. Some currency gets left over -- add them to the memorabilia of the cruise. Looking for ATM's wastes time -- ignore those posts that tell you ATM's are everywhere. If you are taking a private St. Petersburgs tour (non-cruise line) negotiate the cost of the tour in US$ payable in cash and then pay cash US$. Our 2-day tour for 2 was about $450. We took TC and cash. If you charge the St. Petersburgh tour on credit card, your cost will end up being 10% higher because of the conversion rates used by the tour company. /Sultan
 
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