AMEX 2% on foreign purchases?

Old Mar 25th, 2005, 06:50 PM
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AMEX 2% on foreign purchases?

OK. I already posted about Citibank, but today I got my Amex bill (Costco Amex BTW) and it stated that they will now charge an additional 2% fee on foreign charges after the conversion rate which they shall determin in their favor. These credit card co's. are getting bolder by the second. Furthermore, they have now changed the terms of the charge agreement regarding "grace periods" and finance charges. So I earn 2% in rewards rebate when I use the card for travel but they charge me an additional 2%. All these "change in terms" agreements are enough to make one start to use cash. Do businesses still accept it?
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Old Mar 25th, 2005, 07:03 PM
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Am Exp has charged 2% for foreign transactions for awhile. The same with choosing an exchange rate to use. I think new enclosures are because they were in a class action suit regardig fee disclosure.
The more disturbing part is the change in grace period. If you have had a late payment in the 2 months prior to the change going into effect (May 2005), you will no longer have a grace period! Finance charges will start immediately even if the payment was on time when the change goes in effect.
Am Exp doesnt say if the grace periods will come back if you have 2 on-time payments in a row.
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Old Mar 25th, 2005, 07:37 PM
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yeah, I thought they had always charged 2 pct so that's no news. They aren't Visa or Mastercard, so you don't have that one pct they charge, so it's sort of in-between no extra fee with them (one pct total) and the more typical 3 pct total of many Visa and MC issuers.
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Old Mar 25th, 2005, 07:42 PM
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What may be different, and I emphasize the word may, is apparently and I have not seen the enclosure they no longer specify 2% above the interbank rate but rather 2% above whatever rate they can find which is what I seem to be reading.

It is just like the malarkey visa is throwing out which now talks about choosing a rate among the rates available to them and doesn't seem to specify a specific rate or a specific percentage on the rate.

I thought the purpose of this class action suit was to clear the waters, now they are muddier than ever.

Plus we have the added specter that some banks are beginning to charge even if the transactions are written up in USD and no longer calling it a foreign currency surcharge but rather a surcharge on foreign transactions, a key difference.

Give the banks time. They'll figure new ways to do in their customers.
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Old Mar 26th, 2005, 05:35 AM
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Hi Calamari,

AMEX has always charged 2% for foreign currency conversion.

Currency conversion rates fluctuate during the day. The exact rate you pay is determined by various arcane rules and regulations.

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