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Forums Other Destination advice Debit cards in Chile Reply To: Debit cards in Chile

JDB 4,862 posts

it’s quite common in lots of countries to charge at least as much for foreign debit cards

Maybe so @JDB, but 18% sounds like a complete rip-off to me and totally unjustified.

Yes, while there can be fees for debit cards, the original story is clearly erroneous. The 18% almost certainly relates not to any fee, but to the IVA/VAT exemption on hotels which applies to only to tourists paying with a foreign credit card. Theoretically a debit card isn’t allowed so you would have to pay the VAT (actually 19% currently I think). There is also the issue of unscrupulous accommodation providers charging the equivalent of the VAT as some sort of other charge they keep rather than paying it over to the government. We have read a few similar stories here about people in Argentina being stung ‘tourist’ dollar prices to take advantage of the slightly complicated exchange rate system and to keep the huge currency advantage for themselves rather than allowing the tourist to have it. Fortunately it’s very rare.

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