atm and credit card charges

Jan 20th, 2011, 07:03 AM
  #1  
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atm and credit card charges

Has anyone found a way around the horrid 3% charge that my (citicard) credit card and ATM will charge me if I use them in France & England? Is it cheaper to just go get Traveler's cheques?
alienor is offline  
Jan 20th, 2011, 07:11 AM
  #2  
 
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We have a Schwab credit card which charges no currency conversion fee and pays 2% cash back,
WE found a local bank which does not charge ATM fees or currency conversion fees. Many people say credit unions do not charge as well.
Judy is online now  
Jan 20th, 2011, 07:25 AM
  #3  
 
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"Has anyone found a way around the horrid 3% charge that my (citicard) credit card and ATM will charge me if I use them in France & England? "

Find a different bank / credit union that doesn't charge 3%

As for TCs - even assume you can find somewhere convenient to change them you'll get stiffed for a lot more than 3%
alanRow is offline  
Jan 20th, 2011, 07:28 AM
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I use a Capital One card (no foreign transaction fees) and my bank has a policy of refunding ATM charges (subject to certain conditions which I always meet). You need to explore the other options to a regular cc. I used to use Citicorp Mastercard and got tired of the 3% add on.
nygvic is offline  
Jan 20th, 2011, 07:35 AM
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Traveler's checks are the worst of all the options by far. You need to change banks.
StCirq is online now  
Jan 20th, 2011, 07:46 AM
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My credit Union, PSECU, charges no ATM fees and no foreign transaction fees.
I used this ATM card and my Capital One card exclusively in Europe. The Capital One card is also a rewards card.

Forget the traveler's checks. Or you could do what my recent travel companion did and travel with cash in the lining of her suitcase. That was a joke!
Sher is offline  
Jan 20th, 2011, 08:10 AM
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1. Fees are not levied by French bank ATMs.

2. There is generally a 1% currency conversion fee levied by Sirrus or Maestro or some other such network.

3. Any additional fees come from your local bank.

The answer is that it is difficult to avoid the currency conversion fee but simple to avoid the additional fees. Credit Unions or neighborhood banks will typically not charge beyond the 1% currency conversion cost. USAA is one bank that does not charge international fees on either its credit cards or ATM cards (they do pass along the currency conversion fee however).

You might find great savings by avoiding the large national banks.
Sarastro is offline  
Jan 20th, 2011, 08:54 AM
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I have Visa credit cards and ATM/debit cards from 2 credit unions. For both there is no transaction fee for ATM withdrawals and a conversion fee of 1% over the Interbank rate. Likewise there is only a 1% conversion fee for credit card charges. I understand the 1% is a system fee. Capitol One credit cards eat the 1%.

I wonder why people bank with profit-oriented banks. Credit unions are so much better.
Mimar is offline  
Jan 20th, 2011, 09:03 AM
  #9  
 
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Is this just a regular Capitol One credit card that has no foreign transaction fees? Does it have a yearly fee?
amelie is offline  
Jan 20th, 2011, 09:28 AM
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Go onto thier website. They have several cc options. There is one with no annual fee that also has no FTF's.
nygvic is offline  
Jan 20th, 2011, 10:20 AM
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I agree, change banks or suck it up or get a different card.

Regular Capital One cards have no foreign transaction fees, none of them do, as far as I know. They have various options, check out their website. I have one called NoHassle or something (I get cash back) and it has no fee. I don't know if none of theirs do, but I know a lot do not.
Christina is online now  
Jan 20th, 2011, 05:20 PM
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Don't bother with travelers checks.
denisea is offline  
Jan 20th, 2011, 05:25 PM
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Not travelers checks.
suze is offline  
Jan 21st, 2011, 11:02 AM
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Agree with others--you have a greedy bank. But the 3% fee they charge is still better than what you will get with traveller's checks as they'll soak you with a bad exchange rate--and maybe the merchant in Europe will do the same.

PNC bank charges us nothing to use any ATM anywhere in the world, and the European bank ATMs don't charge you either. So all we pay is the 1% standard foreign exchange fee.

Our USAA credit card also passes on only the 1% standard foreign exchange fee.
PaulHahn is offline  
Jan 21st, 2011, 12:49 PM
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Cap One or a credit union is the way to go. There are non-reward cap one cards that have no yearly fee.

If you withdraw from a bank ATM (as opposed to a stand-alone convenience store type ATM), you won't be charged a fee from the French or English bank, but you will be charged fees by your bank. Citicard likely also charges a transaction fee on top of the foreign exchange fee (Chase does $3 plus 3.5% . . . and now you know why BigRuss has a Cap One account).

And never withdraw cash with a credit card.
BigRuss is offline  
Jan 21st, 2011, 01:30 PM
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"Traveler's checks are the worst of all the options by far"

Some of the prepaid cards really take the Michael and have costs that make burning money seem a preferable option
alanRow is offline  
Jan 21st, 2011, 03:16 PM
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I just read today about Citi and AE eliminating foreign transaction fees on certain cards - 3% and 2.7% on my cards.
Mine did not qualify but they do have cards I quess that do - check out their web sites.

Last year I got a Cap 1 card to avoid these fees which it did!
But I went to the ATM several times for euros so I was hit by the $5 other bank ATM fees and a 1% fee I think. This year I will open a Cap 1 c/a to do my ATM needs to avoid these fees as well! Every Buck counts especially with the bad exchange rate now!!
dsevig is offline  
Jan 21st, 2011, 08:13 PM
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My credit union gives me 1% on each purchase with my credit card, which cancels the 1% fee levied by Visa for the conversion.
It does not charge me for cash withdrawals abroad using an ATM card.

If going only to France and England, a BofA account might be worthwhile. Cash taken from Barclays in the UK and BNP-Paribas (both ubiquitous in their respective countries) does not include a fee.
Michael is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2011, 05:42 AM
  #19  
 
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I also have the Capital One credit card with no surcharges. Haven't used it overseas since May -- but I assume it is still surcharge-free.

I had to call Cap One and specifically ask for that card -- I think (at the time) they were pushing cards with lower interest rates (but ones that had surcharges).

Since I only use it overseas and always pay off the charges as soon as I return home, the higher interest rate was not an issue for me.

SS
ssander is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2011, 05:43 AM
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...and I also use my credit union's 1% surcharge ATM card...but I try to use my surcharge-free credit card as much as possible.

SS
ssander is offline  

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