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Cost of credit card purchases made outside of the US

Judy

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Reading the "Card Member Agreement" that came with my new Chase Visa card, I discovered that it charges 3% extra on purchases outside of the US even if those purchases are made in US dollars ! I called Chase and was told that all of their cards have the same surcharge :(

I then called Citibank and American Express. Both of those told me that while they have a surcharge on currency conversion (3% from Citibank and 2% from American Express), they don't assess a surcharge if the purchases are initially charged in US dollars.

Chase just lost a bunch of my business.

As far as I know, Capital One doesn't assess a surcharge for purchases outside of the US or on currency conversions.
 

theo

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As far as I know, Capital One doesn't assess a surcharge for purchases outside of the US or on currency conversions.
So....."what's in YOUR wallet?" I'm sorry -- I just had to say it. :ignore:
 

LAX Mom

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I have a Chase Marriott VISA and recently used it for some purchases in Europe. When the charges came through there was a separate 3% charge added for each item.

I've considered getting a Capitol One CC to use for overseas trips, but it really isn't enough to justify the hassle. If possible I obtain local currency from an ATM and only use my VISA if I'm short on cash.
 

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I have an AmTrust bank (Ohio Savings BanK) debit card. They pride themselves that if you use an atm with one of three shields on the screen there is not conv fee. I made several withdrawal from Quebec. two from banks with no charges and three from a Mc donalds who charged $1.50 per transaction.

I never use credit cards overseas.
 

scotlass

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I purchased the Capital One card strictly for use overseas. Since our timeshares are in the UK, it's much cheaper to use that for maintenance fee payments as well as purchases while over there. At least I get miles accumulating although it takes a lot of miles to get flights. I checked my regular ff mile credit cards at 3% vs. the Capital One, and it would be cheaper to buy the miles through the airline programs than to accept the 3%. So I use it solely for those transactions.
 

sfwilshire

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I also keep a Capitol One card in a drawer for out of country use.

Sheila
 

Icarus

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I've considered getting a Capitol One CC to use for overseas trips
That's exactly what I do. Where's the hassle? Get a no/low fee card from Capital One for overseas use.

Your credit union might also be a good place to check. The deals and surcharges vary from CU to CU, so you have to investigate to see if your has a no-surcharge version. 1% is reasonable, since that's the pass-through from Visa USA or MC, and it's a wholesale rate. Cap One doesn't even pass the 1% fee through. They made all the issuers list that separately, but it used to be included in the conversion rate.

The other "scam" is that some hotels overseas will try to do the conversion to dollars for you at checkout time. If you have a Chase card, you risk paying double fees, and the conversion rates they use will not be as good as the wholesale rate you will get from Visa USA or MC. They are supposed to ask before they do that, but in one instance at the Hyatt Erawan in Bangkok, they didn't ask me and just did it. I make sure to specify "local currency" when I checkout.

In all fairness to Hyatt, their policy is to ask also. I complained and got a partial refund, but in true Thai style, they invented another reason for the refund, rather than admit fault.

-David
 
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Danette

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Int'l Charges

Capital One does not charge any fees for international purchases - they even eat the 1% (think that is the correct %) that Visa imposes. They also give back (in "rewards") 2% of my grocery and gas charges.
Also, even though it is not accepted as widely, Discover does not charge any fees for international purchases.
As long as the balance is paid in full monthly the benefits are great.

Danette :)
 

x3 skier

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Also, even though it is not accepted as widely, Discover does not charge any fees for international purchases.

Danette :)
I agree that Discover is not accept widely. In fact, I have never sen a place that will accept it in Europe, Mexico or the Caribbean but I have not looked for it specifically. Maybe that's why it has no fees, you can't use it.:rofl:

Cheers
 

"Roger"

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... I discovered that it charges 3% extra on purchases outside of the US even if those purchases are made in US dollars ! I called Chase and was told that all of their cards have the same surcharge :(...
You might well have gotten hit with a double whammy. Many merchants tell you that they will charge you in US dollars. They do, but then charge from 2% to 5% for offering you the "convenience." You are best off just insisting that you be charged in the local currency.
 

Danette

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Discover

I agree that Discover is not accept widely. In fact, I have never sen a place that will accept it in Europe, Mexico or the Caribbean but I have not looked for it specifically. Maybe that's why it has no fees, you can't use it.:rofl:

Cheers
I have been successful using it in some places in Mexico, but have not tried Europe. I was also able to use it in some places in French Polynesia - nothing else comes to mind at the moment. Sometimes I try, sometimes I don't bother since I am happy with Capital One.

Happy Travels,

Danette :)
 

beejaybeeohio

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I also keep a Capitol One card in a drawer for out of country use.

Sheila
I have one too! Since miles will be hard to accrue and are not able to be combined with airline ff accounts, I opted for the generic rewards. Since receiving the card, I've only used it to pay my SA levy but saved nine bucks over my other Visa.
 

Judy

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Keep in mind that many ATM cards now also charge a percentage over the actual exchange rate. The Flyer Talk site has a pretty good Wiki with this info:

http://flyerguide.com/wiki/index.php/Credit/Debit/ATM_Cards_and_Foreign_Exchange
My local bank recently started charging a fee for ATM withdrawals outside of the US. Add that to the fees charged by the bank that owns the ATM and the cost of cash can be pretty high. So now I have a Capital One credit card and a Capital One ATM card for out-of-country travel. :p
 
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