Credit card surcharges in South Africa

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May 26th, 2003, 02:17 PM
  #1
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Credit card surcharges in South Africa

On a booking form I got for accomodation at Kruger it says referring to credit card payments: "Please note that in South Africa there is a 6% bank surcharge, which will be added to the transaction amount." I'm assuming the % charged by mastercard or visa is additional. Is this common throughout South Africa for all credit card charges?
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May 26th, 2003, 03:51 PM
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sandi
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This might be something new? When we were there, there were no extra fees for credit card purchases.

I do know that there have been Foreign Currency Exchange Fees added to many credit card puchases made by travelers to France these past two years, which travelers were furious about. And yes these FCEs were in addition to the 1-3% included in the rate from VISA or MC, but this latter also depends on with whom (financial institution) you have your credit card.

I'd say 6% is very high! Everyone uses credit cards these days, and if this is so, I'd say it's not very good for business.

But realize that you do pay a fee to use credit cards anywhere in the world, because service providers who allow credit cards for payment do have to pay V, MC,Amex, etc. a % and in turn include this % in price to customer/client. This might be a way for the "accommodation" you are using as Kruger to keep their base price low, but are warning you ahead of time.

See what other posters have to say.
 
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May 26th, 2003, 04:12 PM
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Hi Ella,

The 6% that is being reffrred to is the commission that the bank charges the vendor (in this case the Kruger Camp) HOWEVER to my knowledge this is illegal as the credit card companies do not allow their vendors to advertise the extra charges and then charge for it.

May I suggest that you write to the banking adjudicator in SA and report the issue so as to obtain an official response as to what you can do about this. The banking adjudicator's email address is [email protected]

Hope you will manage to sort this all out.

Selwyn Davidowitz
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May 26th, 2003, 06:22 PM
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Hi guys -
The credit card company does not allow a merchant to charge the customer for the credit card fee. However, I'm pretty sure (not positive) that a merchant can have a "cash price" of one amount and a higher price for other types of payment - as long as it is clearly posted.

All of the shopping we did in SA was charged on credit cards and no additional fees were charged.

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May 27th, 2003, 03:39 PM
  #5
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Has anyone else had this happen? I have e-mailed mastercard and the banking adjudicator. Will let you all know if I get a response.
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May 31st, 2003, 10:50 AM
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I just received a credit card bill where charges made in rand were charged to me in dollars. There was a 2-3% "conversion adjustment" charge added in. I just spoke with the bank, and they said this is done by all the credit card companies. According to the bank, there is no way to avoid this charge if using a credit card. I'm surprised and had not heard of this before. Has anyone had this experience?
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May 31st, 2003, 11:36 AM
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Wendy226,

I have just returned from Rennies Bureau de Change in the Cape Town, Waterfront where my visitors wanted to excahnge money over the counter via their credit card. As you have pointed out there were charges of 3.3% to do this. I was fuming when I heard this as I THINK, I stress the word, that there is no conversion charge if you use an ATM to do a cash withdrawal as opposed to doing an over the counter deal. Furthermore I dont think that there is a conversion charge on any purchases made directly from retailers. I will find out more about this on Monday morning when the banks reopen and report back.

Selwyn Davidowitz
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May 31st, 2003, 12:50 PM
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It just seems to come down to the fact that we are being pushed to use the ATMs. Less use of tellers, less cost to the financial institutions - I can't wait till they have robots at the Travelex window. But any fee that the holder of your ATM card charges (avg.1-3%) is already included in the conversion) and is still the best rate you'll get.

So it's not unusual that (and this is different in every country) - if you exchange travelers checks, or go to a bank teller, or use an exchange bureau - there's a fee.

In Turkey they charged fee for TC, not for USD; in France, credit card purchases were hit with an additional "foreign currency conversion" fee. As another poster mentioned, some tour operators or hotels will have one price for cash/check versus credit card (but 6% is awfully high).

Financial institutions encourage us to use their services then charge us for holding our money instead of paying us interest so they can run their operations - the consumer is getting the shaft one way or another.
 
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