Amazon Currency Converter – Good or Bad ?

All the products on Amazon UK are priced in Sterling but Amazon will always use their currency converter to convert the order total to Euros if they see that your payment card is a Euro one. You can turn off the Amazon Currency Converter – more about how to do that later.

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.
Many people probably just accept the Euro figure calculated by the Amazon Currency converter – but they probably don’t realise it will always end up costing them more than paying in Sterling.

An example of Amazon Conversion Rates compared to Visa Card rates.

Amazon UK Order Priced in Sterling – Debit Card is Euro:-

Order total on Amazon UK = £512.49 GBP
Amazon converted the total to €598.63 Euro

If you opted to pay in Sterling – with an Irish Visa Debit card you would have ended up paying €577.45. This is a saving of €21.18.

(These are the actual rates from Visa and Amazon UK on 14th June 2019)

If you used a debit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees – then €577.45 would be all you would have paid.

All the “main” Irish banks will charge a foreign currency fee averaging 2% when you pay by card. But even after adding on a 2% fee in the above example – the total would come to €589. This would still be €9.63 cheaper than letting Amazon do the conversion.

The Debit Card from N26 is fee-free so is the Bunq Travel Card and Revolut card

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)

Our main message is :

  1. Do not let Amazon UK convert the price to Euros, always opt to pay in Sterling.
  2. Try to Pay with a card that does not charge foreign transaction fees (see below)

Cards With No Fees

N26 is an online bank that provides a debit card with no foreign currency spending fees.

bunq Travel Card is a prepaid Mastercard that has no foreign currency fees and it is available in Ireland.

A prepaid debit card is also available in Ireland from Revolut that also doesn’t charge fees when spending in non Euro currencies.

Tip: If you shop at Amazon fairly regularly – it could be well 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 other 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 paid currency conversion fees on debit and credit cards totalling around €62 Million in 2019.

You can get debit cards in Ireland that do not charge you extra when spending in Sterling (or any other currency) . Why let the banks take €62 million a year when there are free alternatives from N26 , Bunq and Revolut?

Another possible 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.

How to Turn off the Amazon Currency Converter

  • Go to your Amazon Account – on the top menu hover over “Account and Lists” and then click on “My Account
  • On the Account Page – down at the bottom left under “Ordering and Shopping Preferences” – Click on “Amazon Currrency Converter
  • On the next page, you will see the option to turn OFF the Amazon Currency Converter. You will need to choose the option that says “ I want to see future payment totals and pay in the website’s currency”