What is this “real” exchange rate you’ve been promised? Is it a lousy marketing unicorn that we use to lure innocent people into signing up? No, far from it.
At BigPay, we’re just as pissed as you are when it comes to rip-off fees when spending abroad. If not more… because we’re backstage, and know exactly what’s going on. That’s why we give you the Mastercard exchange rate, directly and without any additional markup fees.
At some point, we’re going to implement an in-app live display of our rates. But for now, there’s one easy way for you to check what you’re going to get before paying.
Choose the right currencies.
Enter a transaction amount, or just ‘1’ if you want to know about the rate.
Type 0.00% in the Bank Fee field (that’s what we don’t charge you ;)).
Pick Malaysian Ringgit as your Card Currency.
Hit Calculate and… voilà.
The number you see is what we’ll give to you. Nothing more, nothing less. Now, there’s one more thing you should know: you’ll get the exchange rate at the moment of the settlement of the transaction, not when you actually make it. It can take a few days, leading in small differences.
Should I pay in Malaysian Ringgit or in the local currency?
To make sure you always get the Mastercard exchange rate, remember to always ask to pay in the local currency. That way, BigPay will convert your money at the best rate - instead of the merchant’s or ATM’s, on top of which there might be a markup fee.
What about taking money out at ATMs abroad?
Usually, ATMs abroad will give you the option to either take out cash in your home currency (MYR) or in the local currency (GBP). The wording will usually trick you into choosing your home currency... And that’s when troubles start. It’s called Dynamic Currency Conversion.
The screen will show you an exchange rate and then, in the best case scenario, say something about a mark-up rate. The mark-up is a commission applied by the ATM. It’s a way to charge you an extra cost just to do the currency conversion.
If you go for the local currency, you’ll save up on the on the mark-up fees. But please note that the local bank will still charge you an exchange rate that’s not Mastercard’s.
Morale of the story?
Always pay directly with your card when you can. And if you need to take out cash at the ATM, always choose to be charged in the local currency of the country you’re in.