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205 posts

Master Geek


# 177907 18-Aug-2015 20:48
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Is it cheaper to buy Amazon ebooks in U.S. Or NZ currency? Ie use the Amazon conversion or your credit card conversion rate? And how can you tell what currency you are buying with when using the 1-click ordering system? You click on the button and its bought! I don't think it's possible to turn it off for buying ebooks.

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  # 1368840 18-Aug-2015 20:57
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personally I have always found the bank currency conversion fees slightly less than merchants like this

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  # 1368841 18-Aug-2015 20:58
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You probably need to answer that question yourself by looking at the rates.

My advice is to never ever accept a payment in NZ$ when paying online or at a terminal that gives the option. You will typically always pay a much higher rate than the you will pay for credit card charges from your bank.

There are however exceptions to that rule which is why you need to really look yourself and make up your own mind. Booking flights with United for example quotes figures in $NZ that are identical to the realtime US$<->$NZ exchange rate, so if you have to pay the (usual) 2.25% - 2.5% credit card commission and exchange fee on top you're better off accepting their NZ$ price as it works out cheaper.


 
 
 
 




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  # 1369192 19-Aug-2015 11:20
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I have done the hard yards today and have indeed answered my own question:

The Amazon exchange rate today is 1 USD = 1.5822 NZD.  My BNZ visa rate today is 1 USD = 1.4856 NZD.

So it is better to buy Amazon products in NZ currency.  (Note that Visa then adds on a 2.25% foreign currency service fee to the NZD conversion).

I have also determined today that the prices of the ebooks (even though I have a NZ credit card listed as my current payment option) are listed in US dollars.

AND, it is not possible to turn the 1-click ordering system for digital products off, so in fact ebooks have to bought with USD (which are then converted by Amazon to NZD).

So my conclusion is that NZers are being disadvantaged by not having the option (because of the 1-click ordering system) of purchasing ebooks in NZD.

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  # 1370180 19-Aug-2015 11:32
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I've checked this a few times with Amazon. For me it's always been cheaper to buy in USD and let my bank do the currency conversion.

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  # 1370196 19-Aug-2015 12:00
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onetapu: I have done the hard yards today and have indeed answered my own question:

The Amazon exchange rate today is 1 USD = 1.5822 NZD.  My BNZ visa rate today is 1 USD = 1.4856 NZD.

So it is better to buy Amazon products in NZ currency.  (Note that Visa then adds on a 2.25% foreign currency service fee to the NZD conversion).



Umm that makes it far better to buy in $US and let your credit card company convert it.







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  # 1370202 19-Aug-2015 12:14
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Based on the work I've done today, yes - it's better to buy in NZD.

But my point is you don't have the option when ordering digital items (ie ebooks) with the 1-click system (which you can't turn off). 

I have sent an email to Amazon today asking them to explain, so will post again when I hear from them.

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  # 1370206 19-Aug-2015 12:18
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Whenever I buy textbooks from Amazon which I can get rebated from work I pay in nz dollars so I can submit the Amazon receipt as soon as it arrives vs copying from visa bill when it arrives.

One manager wanted whole visa bill rather than cut and pasting the bit with the book on it, so I had to black out many lines for privacy reasons. Ended up looking like dodgy redacted CIA document...


A.


 
 
 
 




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  # 1370212 19-Aug-2015 12:26
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Yes, you can buy paper books (and anything else) with NZD but not digital books

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  # 1370241 19-Aug-2015 13:19
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sbiddle:
onetapu: I have done the hard yards today and have indeed answered my own question:

The Amazon exchange rate today is 1 USD = 1.5822 NZD.  My BNZ visa rate today is 1 USD = 1.4856 NZD.

So it is better to buy Amazon products in NZ currency.  (Note that Visa then adds on a 2.25% foreign currency service fee to the NZD conversion).


Umm that makes it far better to buy in $US and let your credit card company convert it.

As Steve has pointed out above, it's cheaper in US$ based on what you have posted.

You are not understanding the maths...

How do you work out that 1.5822 is cheaper than 1.4856 with the 2.25% conversion charge?
That works out to 1.5190 which is a saving of about 4%.

My experience is the same as others have said:
- NEVER take the conversion rates offered by a Merchant
- ALWAYS buy in USD and let your bank do the conversion

Unless it's a special situation with Air Fares as Steve has said.





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  # 1370242 19-Aug-2015 13:24
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onetapu: Based on the work I've done today, yes - it's better to buy in NZD.


You've misinterpreted your data. Your data above shows it's better to purchase in US$ and let your bank convert it.









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  # 1370250 19-Aug-2015 13:37
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Yes, you're right, sorry - drhhh!  But my understanding is the 2.25% applied by Visa is not a currency conversion charge, but a transaction charge which is added whether you buy in US$ or NZ$??

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  # 1370261 19-Aug-2015 13:59
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onetapu: Yes, you're right, sorry - drhhh!  But my understanding is the 2.25% applied by Visa is not a currency conversion charge, but a transaction charge which is added whether you buy in US$ or NZ$??

No, that's wrong.  If you get Amazon to convert the purchase to NZ$ and pay that amount, there is no transaction charge from your bank.  But you are paying through the nose for the privilege!





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  # 1370263 19-Aug-2015 14:03
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onetapu: Yes, you're right, sorry - drhhh!  But my understanding is the 2.25% applied by Visa is not a currency conversion charge, but a transaction charge which is added whether you buy in US$ or NZ$??


No. The 2.25% - 2.5% which is the typical charge from most banks includes all fees and currency conversion charges.

This is only charged on foreign currency transactions, you don't pay anything extra for goods charged directly in NZ$ regardless of whether they're charged in NZ overseas.



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  # 1370265 19-Aug-2015 14:12
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Just to confuse matters further, I have found that ebooks are often cheaper on the .co.uk site than the .com one, especially when there are sales

Amazon don't like selling you ebooks from the .uk site unless you're in the UK but there are ways around that

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  # 1370314 19-Aug-2015 15:00
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shk292: Amazon don't like selling you ebooks from the .uk site unless you're in the UK but there are ways around that

Ditto with US ebooks from the .com site, but there are ways around that too.  The selection in the US store is just so huge compared to what they make available to NZ customers.





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