Debit and credit card usage

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Feb 28th, 2011, 02:29 PM
  #1
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Debit and credit card usage

Just want to confirm -- we do not have a "no-fee" debit card. We do have a "no foreign transaction fee" credit card. So, should we charge everything we can, and just use the debit card to have some cash on hand? Will the exchange rate on the debit card (B of A) and the exchange rate on the no-fee Visa (Hyatt card) be close (is there any way to know that for sure)?
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Feb 28th, 2011, 02:35 PM
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is there any way to know that for sure?

read the terms on your card's contract.

What country(ies) are you going to?

Aloha!
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Feb 28th, 2011, 04:00 PM
  #3
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Going to Vietnam, Cambodia and Hong Kong.

And thanks for the advice about reading the contract, but no thanks. I'd rather take my chances if noone here knows the answer
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Feb 28th, 2011, 04:18 PM
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As I understand it, the Hyatt card charges no foreign transaction fee, meaning no exchange premium. So, you shhould get the "bank rate" or wholesale rate on charges. This will be a better rate, typically, than you can get exchanging $100 bills.

Your debit card will add probably a 3% foreign exchange fee (that's what most big banks do). DO NOT make and charges to your debit card - not only will you have the foreign exchange fee, you do not have the same protections a credit card gives you if your card or just card number is stolen - someone can clean out your bank account (and depending on how your account is set up, they may be able to charge up to the max of any overdraft protection).

If you use your debit card at an ATM, unless you have a special type of account, I'm guessing you'll be charged $5 per transaction plus 3% foreign excahnge premium. But check with your bank on this. I'd say that's good for back up, but you might want to consider carrying cash in US$100 for excahnging for foreign currency.

I have a debit card that has no charges for use of foreign ATMs and reimburses me for any ATM charges by the foreign ATM and adds just 1% foreign exchange premium. AT that, I can gert cash out of an ATM in Bangkok and do better than exchanging US$100 bills.
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Feb 28th, 2011, 05:22 PM
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Another advice is that when you pay for something with your credit card make sure that the charge is in the local currency for Hong Kong. On many an occasion some shops or hotels have tried to charge my credit card in my native currency when I buy in Hong Kong Dollar. IMO the exchange rate will be higher if done this way.
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Feb 28th, 2011, 06:49 PM
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I have been using my US credit card in Hong Kong for quite a bit this past month - though not at the typical "tourists' shops" - and only once did I see Dynamic Currency Conversion. And it was clearly printed on the slip for me to choose whether to pay in HK$ or US$.

So, just look before signing in Hong Kong and you should be fine. It is not a widespread issue, at least in the mainstream places.
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Mar 1st, 2011, 04:05 AM
  #7
 
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I use my no foreign exchange fee Capital One Visa CC

for everything I can to save a ton 0% liabilty for fraud

can dispute all charges.

I never travel with debit card up to 100% liability FE fees

lots of "skimming" risk know rarely of folks

who have lost it all and ended up in deep debt

from debit cards attached to brokerage margin accounts.

Set up a separate debit card account for travel if you must

or do not travel with one even better particalarly asia

where they make and sell debit card skimming machines.
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Mar 1st, 2011, 04:14 AM
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Debit card information can be captured by a skimming device when you swipe ... Let issuers know your travel dates and destination. If your card gets swiped at ...

http://www.bankrate.com/financing/cr...tect-against-d
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Mar 1st, 2011, 05:47 AM
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Call your two cards and simply ask about how they figure the rates. You'll want to call them anyway to tell them when you'll be traveling, so you might as well ask then.

I'm in a similar situation... my debit card charges a fee when I use it out of the country, and my credit card doesn't. I charge what I can and use my debit card as an ATM card only. I asked my debit card issuer to find out what the fee was so I knew (I think $2.50 or $3). As far as I know, the exchange rate used on my two cards is pretty much the same (depending on the time of transaction of course) but the debit card charges me a flat fee and the credit card doesn't. Each card is set up different so your best bet is to simply call your issuer and ask for specifics. You get the details without slogging through the contract.

As for risks of skimming, you may want to set the account linked to the debit card up so that you don't have overdraft protection (bank transfers money to checking automatically) and it doesn't pull out of your savings account. Many debit cards are set up to pull out of a checking first, then out of a savings if the checking is depleted. That could be a bad thing. Again, if you call you can ask about specifics.
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Mar 1st, 2011, 07:41 AM
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i think you will find that the rates of conversion will vary slightly from bank to bank.... the differences are not that much...

many asian banks do not charge for use of their machines...
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Mar 1st, 2011, 07:41 AM
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i think you will find that the rates of conversion will vary slightly from bank to bank.... the differences are not that much...

many asian banks do not charge for use of their machines...
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Mar 1st, 2011, 06:09 PM
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The currency exchange rate is going to be virtually (if not actually) the same with both cards, so it is all about the fees.

That is the answer to your second question. To answer the first question would really require you to take hawaiiantravelers reply more seriously.

Or just wait until you get a reply from someone who has the same cards, used them, and has analyzed the results!

What are the fees on your BofA debit card? Is there a transaction fee each time you get cash? Is there a foreign exchange fee and at what rate? What protection do you have using your debit card to make charges? What protections for cash transactions? Is it a debit card or check card; does it have a Visa logo?

I am not clear on the "no foreign transaction fee" feature. Is that the same as "no foreign exchange fee"? I understand a transaction fee to be a flat rate charge, like I would pay if I used my credit union card at the BofA ATM on the corner?

There are "no foreign transaction" fees on your Hyatt card. Are there foreign exchange fees? Are there any fees for charging things? What are their fees for getting cash using that card?
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Mar 1st, 2011, 06:12 PM
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Does Bank of America have any ATMs where you are going? like at the airport?
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Mar 1st, 2011, 06:21 PM
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And I am willing to do the math for you if I knew the answers to those questions about fees and rates.
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Mar 1st, 2011, 06:25 PM
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There is no fee or exchange rate surcharge to get Hong Kong Dollars with a Bank of America debit card at China Construction Bank ATMs in HK. You get exactly the rate you see from sites like xe.com for that specific date.
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Mar 2nd, 2011, 09:37 AM
  #16
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Re foreign "transaction" fee vs. foreign "exchange" fee. I assume it's the same thing. Under "terms" on the Hyatt card, it says "fees - foreign transactions - none".

Thanks for the tip about debit/checking - we will turn off overdraft protection, and leave only a small amount of money in our checking account. Good idea.
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Mar 3rd, 2011, 02:04 PM
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Two separate possible charges when it comes to using ATM to get money. There's the fixed per-transaction fees, and there's percentage surcharge based on amount withdrawn.
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