Credit card Vs. Cash?

Jun 6th, 2009, 05:05 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 292
Credit card Vs. Cash?

Would folks mind sharing what credit cards they use that don't charge fee. We just returned from a month in Australia and I'm still trying to figure it out. Used Capitol One Visa, and American Express. The AMEX seems to have charged 2% on top, but haven't seen if Capitol One does. In Australia many places charged an added up to 2.5-3%if you paid by credit card, but I couldn't figure out if I'd pay that to convert to cash anyway.....
marshacarlin is offline  
Jun 6th, 2009, 05:38 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 234
Bank of America (at least in 2006) had an association with WestPac, which is one of the biggest banks in Australia. (There is even an ATM in Jabiru in the middle of Kakadu) We used our BOA debit card at WestPac ATMs and withdrew cash just as if we were doing it at a BOA ATM in our hometown. No fee at all. (See link below..they may have added a transaction fee)

We could only take out $300 per day as I recall, but we were able to manage so we could pay for accommodation in cash usually which is what takes the biggest chunk.

Here is a link to what looks to me like a very useful website, recently updated.

On Bank of America Debit cards "Confirmed as of June 1, 2009. No flat fees for ATM withdrawal at the following banks in the following countries only: Barclays (UK), BNP Paribas (France), China Construction Bank (China), Deutsche Bank (Germany), Santander Serfin (Mexico), Scotiabank (Canada and Peru), Westpac (Australia and NZ), but a 1% transaction fee still applies. See Bank of America Locations for more details. All fees may be waived for Premier Banking and Private Clients with a call to customer service."

Not sure what constitutes Premier and Private, but it is worth a look.
LynAK is offline  
Jun 6th, 2009, 05:53 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 49,521
very good advice LynAK!
We do the same with our B of A card for travel purposes - but don't do any other banking with them. Do you know what the partner bank of BofA is in Spain?
nanabee is offline  
Jun 6th, 2009, 06:26 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 3,908
There are the odd banks that appear to offer fee free transactions but then you might also want to compare what international exchange rates are too.

From the OZ end it seems pretty much standard practice for most banks to have something like a 2% surcharge on international credit card use or debit card withdrawals and I've found $500 is the nominally best ammount to withdraw for there can be a structure like $5 + 1% which works out to 2% on $500 but if you take just $200 out your fee would be 3.5%!

Again, there'll be the exchange rate application regardless of fees.

Next trip downunder or for any travelling, if you want to have your money going further, then other than with bank charges you just might want to plan ahead a bit and look out for things like [in Oz] meal deals - 241 - you buy one and get one for free, and then re transport if you have time to be flexible there's a few air pass systems, budget airlines and even doing campervan relocations [ sometimes just a $1/day with a fuel allowance and you have free overnight accommodation] between major cities.
Bushranger is offline  
Jun 6th, 2009, 08:22 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,022
You best double check that BofA rate, and get it in writing. I just received a notice a few weeks ago that they were increasing ALL international transaction fees, and in some cases they charging for both sides of transactions even at partner banks. The example they gave ended up being
over $10 charge for $500 on non partner bank and $7.50 on partner bank which is pretty steep IMHO. So double check
JoanneH is offline  
Jun 6th, 2009, 10:15 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 234
Is this increase with a BofA credit card or with their debit card or with both? We need to clarify which type of card we are talking about as there are different structures for each.

I think Capital One is the best for a credit card, with no fee at the moment..but you are right that the changes are coming fast and furious so it is important to call and verify.

We did not use our BofA credit card for a cash advance at the WestPac partner or anywhere else. With the credit card we were going to be charged the 3% (or maybe more) fee for sure. If we had to use a credit card we used Capital One and never for cash advances. We just used the BofA debit at WestPac ATMs and were not charged any fees at all on either side. It was just like taking the money out from my local ATM. Probably too good to last.

I will call on Monday and ask them about the debit cards because I need to know for an upcoming trip...and I'll report back what I find out.

However, if there is now a 1% "transaction" fee on BofA debit withdrawals with partners (as that website I found indicated) that would amount to $5 on a $500 withdrawal which could add up. Still it is better than a 3% or higher. I will also find out what the limit is on withdrawals as I recall it was $300 per day in 2006.

Also, nanabee asked about BofA partners in Spain and I don't think there is one.
LynAK is offline  
Jun 8th, 2009, 06:39 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 234
Regarding Bank of America Debit Card use overseas (not credit card)

Just called my local BofA branch and was transferred to a main customer service. He said that if you use one of the "Global Alliance" banks...Barclays (UK), BNP Paribas (France), China Construction Bank (China), Deutsche Bank (Germany), Santander Serfin (Mexico), Scotiabank (Canada and Peru), Westpac (Australia and NZ)....they (and I quote) "waive all ATM fees" which was our experience in 2008 in the UK and in 2006 in Australia. I specifically asked if there was a additional 1% transaction fee at these banks and he said No.

If you use another ATM overseas with the Plus logo, but not one of these partner banks, the fees would be a flat $5.00 to access the international ATM system, plus 1% of the amount withdrawn.

The amount you are allowed to withdraw is set by your hometown bank. My branch said the normal amount is $500 per day, but that they can temporarily increase this amount while you are travelling. A couple of days before departure you should call 1-800-432-1000 to let them know that you will be using the card out of the country (a security code will be added to the account so it shouldn't be declined overseas).

We were really pleased by how this worked. We never had a withdrawal declined and had a record of all transactions shown in the online banking feature, so we could check in on that while we were travelling and make sure everything was correct.
LynAK is offline  
Jun 8th, 2009, 09:22 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,022
I only have a debit and I to went to the local bank and they gave me the same information about using partner banks but also said that there was a 1% fee now on all transactions. I do know last year I ended up paying near $10.00 as they stuck me with both sides on a purchase using the debit card. I also have Capital one. On slow travel there is an article just posted a couple days ago with each banks fees. Note the BofA. ** for certain accounts so I guess thats the key.* additional fee waived on some premium accounts
Here is clip from item."I'm going to include a few here since it is helpful to know the difference fees charged by banks for International ATM withdrawals.

* JPMorgan Chase (WaMu) - 3% plus $3 *
* Wells Fargo - $5
* Bank of America - 1% plus $5 **
* Citibank - 3% plus $1.50 *
* Frontier Bank - 1%
* Watermark Credit Union - 1%"
JoanneH is offline  
Jun 9th, 2009, 04:30 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 234
Interesting. I wonder how we can find out the truth about the 1% transaction fee for BOA partner bank ATM cash withdrawals. I wish someone would try this and report back.

Maybe in your case the problem with the $10 charge was that you used it for a purchase rather than for a withdrawal of cash. Did you also get this charge with cash or only when making a purchase?
LynAK is offline  
Jun 9th, 2009, 04:38 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 234
P.S. Joanne, in what forum is the thread about this going on SlowTrav? I checked out Rest of the World since we are in the Fodor's Australia section here, but couldn't find it. I'd like to take a look at it.
LynAK is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Australia & the Pacific
Feb 28th, 2015 03:56 AM
May 15th, 2006 09:00 AM
Jul 1st, 2005 02:10 PM
Jul 12th, 2004 09:38 AM
Aug 22nd, 2001 04:22 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:15 PM.