I have confirmed that Dikhololo is now submitting levy charges on US members' credit cards in dollars rather than in rand. Why is this a problem? Because it is likely to cause you to pay more - at least $5, probably more like $10 - $15, and possibly as much as $20 per week. I am trying to get the data to find out exactly how much extra this is costing US members at Dik.

Other resorts may be doing this, too.

You can tell by looking at your credit card statement. If it shows an amount in rand, an exchange rate, and then a US dollar amount, it was submitted in rand. If it shows only a USD amount, then it was converted, probably at a bad rate, before it was submitted to Visa or Mastercard.

It takes extra trouble to do an unnecessary conversion, and those doing them are almost certain to charge for them, and often charge a lot. European airlines have gotten in this kick, some automatically checking a box you have to find and uncheck to avoid this ripoff. Others make it look like they are doing you a favor. With the airlines, the exchange rates they give you on doing this conversion run from bad to awful.

If the charge is submitted in local currency, then Visa or Mastercard convert it at the mid-market interbank rate, a very good rate for consumers.

Visa and Mastercard charge a 1% fee for foreign transactions, no matter what currency they are in, and that includes the conversion if it is in a foreign currency. Many banks tack on another percent or two for themselves to foreign transactions. You can avoid these fees by using credit unions or some small banks that do not add anything to the Visa or Mastercard 1% fee, or even better use Capital One, which does not even pass on the Visa or Mastercard fee. Cap One gives you straight interbank mid-market rates.

I would suggest on all credit card authorizations to SA resorts that members include language such as ''I authorize this charge to be submitted to my credit card in South Aftican rand only and do not authorize any conversion to any other currency prior to its submission to my credit card company''.