ATM's and Credit Cards

Aug 24th, 2007, 10:35 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,989
I have never been charged by HSBC for the use of a foreign ATM. But they have many kinds of accounts. The account I have is the internet savings account which pays 5.05% interest. It is not associated with a checking account.
Kathie is offline  
Aug 24th, 2007, 10:42 AM
  #22  
 
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Cookie, I accessed the HSBC website and read the info on the account I have. The written materials remain very clear that HSBC never charges for the use of an ATM. However, the owner of the ATM used might charge you. I've not been charged to make an ATM withdrawal by banks in Thailand or Malaysia or SIngapore or Indonesia, but was charged about US$1 to use ATMs in VN. HSBC will reimburse you for such charges up to three times a month.

You must be looking at a different account.
Kathie is offline  
Aug 24th, 2007, 11:44 AM
  #23  
 
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I emailed them specifically about this account. Probably an error by their rep then.
smartcookie is offline  
Aug 24th, 2007, 12:02 PM
  #24  
 
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Go online and read all the info about the account. There is a phone number to call if you have any questions.
Kathie is offline  
Aug 30th, 2007, 11:33 PM
  #25  
 
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Hi Kathie,

So I tried to find information online about this account's ATM fees abroad specifically and couldn't find anything. So, I called and spoke to a rep, and she swore up and down that there is a 1% fee that HSBC charges, but it's not indicated separately on the statement, just factored in the conversion. I'm considering opening the account before my trip, so trying to find out everything I can to figure out if it's worth it. My other options are using my Washington Mutual ATM card to pull out money and Citibank or AMEX credit cards.
smartcookie is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 05:57 AM
  #26  
 
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Cookie, I found the web page with all the details about foreign ATM quite easily. I first went to the page about the account type and then to the FAQs. When I used the ATM card for the HSBC aoount in Thailand and Malaysia last year, there was no line item showing any additonal conversion fee, and the conversion rate was the same as the rate shown on xe. In any case, between the no charge for ATM withdrawals and the lack of conversion fee, I save 3% plus $3 each time I use an ATM is Asia over my US Bank checking account. Also, the HSBC account pays over 5% interest, so my travel nest egg grows nicely.

Have you called WaMu to find out their fees? I'm guessing they charge 3% plus an ATM fee. AmEx ha many different types of accounts, my charges 2% on credit card charges. Then it refunds 2% of "travel" expenses (hotels, plane tickets) and 3% on restaurant charges, so it's my preferred card for those things.

Do your research. Sometimes a local credit union will have no fee ATM use in foreign countries and will refund any ATM fees.

Full disclosure: I do not own any stock in HSBC. My posts about bank charges are in the interest of people knowing ahead of time what they will be charged and making a conscious decision about how to access their money while away from home.
Kathie is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 08:38 AM
  #27  
 
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If you are planning to use your mileage credit card- and that card charges say 3% the real question to ask is - is the exchange rate that the credit card company employs better by 3% than the exchange rate you can in BKK? If it is - then I would say go ahead and use your mileage card. If its not then one has to make a decision. I have asked my Chase folks this very question- what is the current exchange rate employed by the bank on such trransactions and I have been unable to find any one in the bank that can give me that answer!
BillT is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 09:57 AM
  #28  
 
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Or, the other question is whether the miles you earn by using your mileage card are worth more than 3 cents a mile. Mine are, as I use them for biz upgrades.

Bill, I use the Chase card, and they use the bank exchange rate which can be found online at xe.com or other exchange websites. It's usually just slightly better than the in-person rate you get by exchanging cash in Bangkok. You also get the bank rate at ATMs, but again, it depends on what charges the bank levies.
Kathie is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 10:00 AM
  #29  
 
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Kathie, could you please post the link to the HSBC page where you see that they do not charge a foreign conversion fee? I am having the same problem as smartcookie when I look for it online, and I got the same reply (1%) when I called HSBC. Thanks.
thursdaysd is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 10:12 AM
  #30  
 
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Thursdays, I'll see if I can find it again.
Kathie is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 10:18 AM
  #31  
 
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I did a quick search and couldn't find it. Hawaiian Traveler posted a link to it on another thread.

And, they may have changed the terms and now charge 1%.
Kathie is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 01:00 PM
  #32  
 
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Kathie - I found the hawaiian traveler link (at fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=27&tid=34944091), but following it takes me to a page I had already seen, with no mention of foreign transaction fees. It looks like they may indeed have changed their policy.
thursdaysd is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 01:20 PM
  #33  
 
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Thursdays, I followed HT's link the day he posted it and I was able to go to a page (from that page to Manage Your account to ATMs) that talked about foreign exchange. I followed the links today and - it's no longer there. Earlier today I searched for it and couldn't find it, and thought I must just be missing it because I was in a hurry. So you must be right, they must have now implemented a 1% fee.

The moral of the story is, know thy bank fees and re-check them before you go on vacation! For me, it's still the best deal I can find.
Kathie is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 02:12 PM
  #34  
 
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Just got off the phone to HSBC and here is the info on the online savings and the fee charged to intl cash transactions from intl ATMs

No charge for the following countries:

Argentina, Bermuda, Brazil, France, Greece, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand,Panama and Turkey.

1% charge on all other countries not listed as of 6/1/07.

So there has been a change but it is still is a better deal than any other out there that I've seen. With the 5.05% interest you would think no one would care about the 1%? If your that concerned you should take cash.....but converting that would cost you more than 1% wouldn't it?

BTW thursdayd, you can only get this account if you are from the US.

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 02:17 PM
  #35  
 
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Thanks, HT. Very interesting.

I opened my account before going to Thailand and Malaysia last year and have made enough money on interest to pay for lots of spa treatments!
Kathie is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 02:40 PM
  #36  
 
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Thanks for the update HT, unfortunately the countries I'll be visiting over the next year or so aren't on the list. I do live in the US, and the bank where I have my checking account is now charging 1%. I already sweep any excess cash into a Vanguard money market account, so I have to decide if I want yet another account just for travel.
thursdaysd is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 03:35 PM
  #37  
 
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thursdayd,

I think you would have gotten a better rate of return if you had the hsbc acct rather than the Vanguard over the past two yrs.

Plus isn't the Vanguard account like fee city ie, opening, closing, depositing, etc?

Would love to know where your checking acct with the 1% Intl money conv fees is so we can all profit from your recommendations and save some money.

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 03:45 PM
  #38  
 
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HT, my checking account is with Wachovia.

No, Vanguard is the exact opposite of "fee city", can't imagine where you got that idea!
thursdaysd is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 04:43 PM
  #39  
 
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thursdayd,

sorry, re read what I wrote, didn't mean to sound so imposing.

I meant fees and minimums, like minimum deposit amounts, mimimum withdrawl amounts, mimimum amounts to open accounts and restrictions like those.

The HSBC is free and clear of any those restrictions, but you probably already know that


Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 05:34 PM
  #40  
 
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It sounds like you have a good deal, Thursdays.

I ahve to admit that my HSBC account has paid a better interest rate in the last year than my brokerage money market account - especially since HSBC has a special earlier this year where they paid 6% interest on new deposits for something like 6 months.
Kathie is offline  

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