Thousands of people in Ireland regularly shop on the Amazon UK website . A 2018 survey by PCW found that 25% of all Irish consumers shopped at Amazon at least weekly. That figure rose to 38% for 25 to 34 year olds.
All products on Amazon UK are priced in Sterling but Amazon will usually offer to convert the order total to Euros when they see that your payment card is a Euro one.
Many people probably just accept the Euro figure calculated by the Amazon Currency converter – but don’t realise it will end up costing them more than paying in Sterling.
An example of Amazon Currency Converter rates vs Visa Card rates
Amazon UK Order Priced in Sterling – Debit Card is Euro:-
Order total on Amazon UK = £512.49 GBP
Amazon converts the total to €598.63 Euro
If you opted to pay in Sterling – with an Irish Visa Debit card you would end up paying €577.45.
(These are actual rates from Visa and Amazon UK on 14th June 2019)
This is a saving of €21.18.
If you used a debit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees – that is the amount you would pay . ( Debit Card from N26 is fee free)
So – someone from Ireland spending £2000 a year on Amazon UK – and opting to pay in Euros would end up overpaying by about €71. (Compared to using a fee free card)
All the “main” Irish banks will charge a foreign currency fee averaging 2% when paying by card . But even after adding on this 2% fee – the total would come to €589 , still €9.63 cheaper than letting Amazon do the conversion.
Our main message is :
- Do not let Amazon UK convert the price to Euros , always opt to pay in Sterling.
- Try to Pay with a card that does not charge foreign transaction fees (see below)
N26 is one online bank that provides a debit card that has no foreign currency spending fees.
A prepaid debit card is also available in Ireland from Revolut that also doesn’t charge fees when spending in non Euro currencies.
If you shop at Amazon fairly regularly – it could be worth signing up to Amazon Prime which includes FREE priority delivery to Ireland.
You can get a FREE 30 day trial of Amazon here
Irish Students can get a 6 month free Prime trial here.
If you often buy from online shops in the UK or USA you could easily be paying out hundreds of euro a year in card fees .
We estimate that Irish consumers will pay currency conversion fees on debit and credit cards totalling around €62 Million in 2019.
You can get debit cards that do not charge you extra when spending in Sterling (or any other currency) . So why let the banks take €62 million when there are free alternative from N26 and Revolut.
Another option to avoid any worries about currency conversion is to shop at Amazon Germany (available in English)
See more here about Amazon Germany Delivery Charges to Ireland
See our Comparison of Revolut and N26
More details about debit and credit card charges when shopping online outside the Eurozone.