Anonymous payments through Paypal, ATMs, POS machines constantly offer me alternative currencies for my MasterCard or VISA. For example, Paypal will just bill me in the alternative currency even if I refuse to use their conversion rate.

For example, one MasterCard triggers mentioned services to offer me HRK (Croatian kuna), despite me living outside of Croatia and my registered address was outside of Croatia.

Another MasterCard offers GBP, I never had a GBP account there and have only EUR. Every single time I use it I am offered GBP/EUR conversion.

I have reached out multiple times to the card issuer and they told me it's not on their side and that they cannot do anything.

Do I have to reach out to MasterCard or VISA to make sure I am only billed in EUR?

2 Answers 2


Generally, there are only two currencies involved in any transaction: The one the card is issued in and the one the merchant's bank account is in. If the two are the same, great. If they're different, though, someone has to do a conversion, because you can't combine different currencies. 1 GBP + 5 EUR = ???.

There are also generally two places the currency conversion can happen: The issuing bank, and the merchant's bank. If you're asked which currency to pay in during the checkout process, and you choose the merchant's, then your bank has to do the conversion in order to give the merchant the type of currency they want.

If you choose your own, then the merchant's bank has to do the conversion. (Which exchange rate is better varies and may require some research ahead of time and careful checking of any fees.) But either way, both are options. If you're not offered the choice of currencies, then it's just on your bank to do the conversion.

To bring this back to your question, you don't say much about who you're buying from when you see these other currencies, but I'll bet that if you look for a pattern, you'll see that it's based on which merchant you're ordering from, and where they're located.

There's no way to force your card to always pay in your preferred currency, because the merchant may not accept it - if you walk into a store in the US and drop ten Euros on the counter to pay for something, they're just going to refuse it and tell you to come back with dollars. The same thing applies when ordering online - if the merchant isn't willing to accept your currency, then you have to pay them in theirs (or not buy from them).


I have reached out multiple times to the card issuer and they told me it's not on their side and that they cannot do anything.

This is very unlikely. Your cards are being recognized by the POS as issued in HRK/GBP accordingly, and your issuer is the only entity who can change that. That said, this is usually per BIN number, not per individual card, so your cards would likely need to be reissued in a different BIN. Given that these are "anonymous" cards (whatever that means), it may mean that you're stuck with what you have.

  • Anonymous as in I'm not registered on Paypal. Nowhere am I a user where the service might try to help me out by picking my user address. But yeah, I was also shocked to hear that from the issuer.
    – Looft
    Jun 16, 2022 at 16:44

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