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u.s.a. credit cards abroad

matadorpoeta

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apparently many cards charge a 3% to 5% fee on purchases made abroad, after the currency conversion. is this standard? do you guys pay this or do you have a specific card that doesn't charge this fee?

i'm not sure if my cards charge this but i've noticed it on some offers i received in the mail.
 

CaptChaos

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Yes, this is common. The carrier (VISA, Mastercard, AMEX, etc) take their cut and then your bank takes another chunk on the foreign exchange. Typically you will not see an explicit line item for the charge but it is reflected as a reduced exchange rate. 2-3% is pretty common, 5% seems on the extreme side.

You can contact your credit card company to find out about your specific exchange fees.
 

countdemoney

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I use a regular amex so I just pay the amex conversion fee and not one from my bank. One of the credit card threads in the past month or two did mention a US credit card with a very low exchange fee. My memory is that it was capital one, but I could be mistaken.

If this is work related travel, your employer will normally let you expense these conversion fees.
 

matadorpoeta

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i checked and my amex charges 3%. it still bugs me that if i go on vacation and spend $3k i'll pay $90 in fees!

who has a way around this?
 

CaptChaos

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You could use local cash or travellers cheques. You could also look at getting a credit card in the native currency. I have both Canadian and US dollar credit cards. I haven't checked but perhaps there are Pound, Euro or Yen (or whatever you need) denominated cards as well.
 

alflauren

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Originally Posted by countdemoney
My memory is that it was capital one, but I could be mistaken.

I believe you are correct.

I use cards from my credit union when I travel abroad - both debit and credit, and they're pretty low in fees too. (With no extra charge for withdrawing cash abroad.)
 

von Rothbart

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Yup, CapitalOne doesn't charge forex fees, that's 3% right there. I have CapOne MasterCard and use it on all my overseas trips and purchases.
 

dkzzzz

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Originally Posted by von Rothbart
Yup, CapitalOne doesn't charge forex fees, that's 3% right there. I have CapOne MasterCard and use it on all my overseas trips and purchases.

Ditto. Capital One=no currency conversion fees.
 

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