Banks are at it Again

Feb 26th, 2005, 08:38 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Banks are at it Again

Just got a notice from Bank One which is really Chase Bank now concerning my credit card with them...

Get this...

They have now increased their fee for foreign currency transactions to 3%, they do not state what mastercard is doing with some language saying in effect mastercard will convert the charge to US currency using whatever procedures it uses (assume mastercard adds 1%), the 3% is on top of the converted amount and the unkindest cut of all...

They say they will impose the 3% on any international transaction even if it is written up in US dollars which is obviously aimed at the dynamic currency conversion crowd.

All the more reason never to use a credit card of any of the near criminal banks pulling this garbage while in Europe.
xyz123 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2005, 09:00 AM
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A couple of years ago, in response to a recommendation someone else made here on the Fodors BB, I got a Motley Fool (the financial radio program) Visa card, which is issued through MBNA. It pays 1% cash back on all purchases and only charges a 1% (total) surcharge on foreign transactions, so in effect it's a wash - and of course if you use it in the US you net the 1%. I run all my business travel through it as well, and will shortly be getting a check for over $600 for 2004.
FlyFish is offline  
Feb 26th, 2005, 09:29 AM
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We too have a Bank One card, but may not for long with the Chase takeover or whatever. I don't think Chase was ever very "user friendly" for overseas transactions and this new charge is just too much. They all seem to be gouging us one way or another with all these new "inventive" charges.
Giovanna is offline  
Feb 26th, 2005, 09:45 AM
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If you change, don't change to Citibank. There was a post a few days ago that they are also charging 3% on foreign transactions:
Eloise is offline  
Feb 26th, 2005, 12:43 PM
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Hey XY,

There is no sense in staying with a CC company that doesn't give you what you want.

Excellent advice from Fly.

Thanks, I just applied and will ditch my other card that doesn't give cash back.
ira is offline  
Feb 26th, 2005, 12:48 PM
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Go for Capital One. I have them and don't think they charge a fee at all for international transactions.
JoeTro is offline  
Feb 26th, 2005, 01:21 PM
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We always take our Capital one card with us to Europe.
They did charge only the 1% that Mastercard imposes, but I must admit I haven't checked with them recently.
I do not have one of their rewards cards, but am thinking of switching to one soon.
Sher is offline  
Feb 26th, 2005, 01:26 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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JoTro: Thanks for the reminder about Capitol One. With our card you also get airline miles. Yes, they still do not charge anything extra and Visa is 1%.

Depending how long one is out of the country you might need to setup a min. payment so you don't get hit with late payment with the bill is due. Marge
wwwmarge is offline  
Feb 26th, 2005, 02:16 PM
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Looks like the banks have gotten together, doesn't it? Just received a notice from Bank of America (our Visa) and also from Citibank (our Mastercard)
about the finance charge. The latter states: "For each purchase made in a foreign currency, we add an additional FINANCE CHARGE of 3.0% of the amount of the purchase after its conversion into U.S. dollars..."

But you can opt out in writing to use your card under current terms until expiration date or membership year whichever is later.

For everyday U.S. purchases we use Discover card which does have a rebate on purchases, but don't thin that is usable overseas, is it?
Bill in Missouri
Ozarksbill is offline  
Feb 26th, 2005, 02:31 PM
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It's the "pack" mentality. As soon as one institution changes their fees, others follow. And for those that don't, they're zinging you some other way. Guess it's back to using the ATM and just pay for everything in local currency. My bank has no fee for foreign ATM withdrawals and have never had fees from foreign ATMs. It almost makes sense to prepay expenses (hotel bills, tours, intra-Europe air) since an Int'l wire transfer only costs $30; so for anything over $1,000, go with the wire option. It's a game, so "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em"... and come up with alternatives in your favor to keep ahead of these big institutions.
Feb 26th, 2005, 02:52 PM
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Posts: 5,271
You see, here's my point...

This fee would have been still born if when the fee was introduced, people had told the banks to go to hell and gone to the banks that do not pull this garbage. With large losses on use of credit cards for foreign transactions, the banks would have been forced to back down. You may remember how some banks tried to put annual fees onto their credit cards but several banks held out and when people started flocking to the banks that do not charge annual fees, almost all banks (with the exception of the airline cards) have dropped annual fees. The same thing would have happened with this asinine rip off fee but...

People just shrugged their shoulders and paid it. They don't read the notices, they don't read the material on bulletin boards, they listen to people who say things so it's 2%, big deal when you're spendng thousands on a holiday. Now it's 3%, soon it'll be 5% unless people stop using the credit cards from these near criminal activities.

Now this one, of course, takes the cake. as Bank One/Chase/First USA all part of one big rip off family, are now extending a foreign currency surcharge even when they don't convert currency as this new paragraph says they will charge the 3% on all international transactions, even if they are written up in US dollars. How do they get away with these lies...interesting enough Chase as a merchant bank prohibits merchants from imposing a surcharge for use of a credit card but they themselves put a surcharge on one class of transactions.

Try to get out of these near criminals what service is being provided for this surcharge and you never get an answer other than what one poster said on this board because they can.

Well if everybody wrote to them and told them hell no we won't pay this near criminal charge you would see how fast it would siappear.

But people are too stupid and/or too lazy to do so unfortunately.

Hopefully MBNA, Capital One and USAA will continue to hold out and not pull this garbage on their customers.
xyz123 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2005, 04:16 PM
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Just before my recent trip to Europe I called each of my credit cards and asked about the international transaction fees. In all cases for both Visa and MC I was quoted 3%.

It is my understanding that Visa and MC charge 1% and then the bank that issues the card adds 2%.

I think that the trick is to find one that does not add the extra 2%.
tatersalad is offline  
Feb 26th, 2005, 04:21 PM
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Oops...should have mentioned that if one does choose to opt out of the 3% I think it cancels your credit card!
Can't win.
Ozarksbill is offline  
Feb 27th, 2005, 04:41 AM
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Just thought I'd join in the stampede with a comment: drawing money from ATMs through use of a bank debit card was and continues to be the best (most inexpensive) way to obtain currency and pay for items in Europe because of a fairer exchange rate and lower transaction fees.

The distinguishing feature about this procedure, however, is not so much that American banks don't charge a fee when money is drawn on your account from a European ATM. Indeed, note that American banks don't charge fees when a person draws fees from another ATM, but when a person is entering their ATM card in a machine WHICH IS NOT FOR THAT BANK. For example, if you have a Bank ONE ATM card and use it in a Citizen's Bank ATM, Bank ONE does not charge you, but Citizens does for putting a different card in their ATM (penetration). In contrast, European Bank ATMS, such as those for Credit Du Nord or Credit Lyonnais in France, Banca Di Roma in Italy, almost never (in my experience) charge a fee when an American uses their ATM card from, say Chase, in one of their machines.
I noticed this distinction years ago when withdrawing money from a Canadian ATM. I was charged no extra fees for using my American bank ATM card, obviously not from a Canadian bank. I thought it was restricted to the "kinder gentler" Canadian society. I discovered that several other countries' banks, however, have such a policy.
This is an interesting if not troubling situation which clearly points the finger of doubt in the direction of American financial institutions. One would think they make enough money as it is. Nonetheless, both in their credit card and ATM transactions, they could learn a thing or two from their foreign cousins- and perhaps save us a buck along the way.
zola is offline  
Feb 27th, 2005, 05:18 AM
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I think USAA is getting the message as thousands have applied for their CCs since the recent announcements of the 3% bank + 1% V and MC currency conversion fees.
The first 15 per month out of their network ATM w/d fees are "rebated" as well.
mikemo is offline  
Feb 27th, 2005, 06:51 AM
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I just got a nasty little surprise on my FirstUSA/BankOne/Chase British Airways Visa statement. Didn't read the little brochure they sent when they once again merged with another conglomerate. Because the card was sponsored by a foreign company (BA) they never charged the additional rip-off foreign transaction charge. Well, apparently they've changed their tune.

I'm now in the market for a new credit card to use overseas that doesn't charge this rip-off fee.
Kayb95 is offline  
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