Pay cash

 (Photo by Images Money)

Offer pounds rather than Visa, and sometimes you can get a slight discount

If you pay by credit card, the hotelier will charge you the posted, official rate and then has to tithe a certain percentage of that to the credit card company for the sake of your convenience.

If you pay cash, he gets to keep every last pound of it, so he's likely to knock a few bucks off the price to sweeten the deal.

Always ask, after the price is quoted, "Is that the price if I pay with a credit card? What if I pay with cash?" Often the rate will magically come down. Also—though you didn't hear this from me—if you pay cash, it leaves the hotel free to underreport their income to the tax man.

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