Credit Card Use in Europe

Jan 28th, 2006, 10:22 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 32
I just spoke with MBNA this past week regarding the conversion fee, and the person on the phone told me that soon, I think it was March or April, all the MBNA CC will be charging 3% total. I told her that I guessed it was because of the BOA takeover and she said something like no, it was because they were losing money on the transactions. (Ya right) So I asked her to cancel two of my MBNA cards and said I would only keep the one from L L Bean and use it ONLY for Bean, in order to receive free shipping.
I was also in contact with Capital One and they said they only have the 1% Visa charges and do not add anything extra. I will be getting a Capital One card very soon.
Charuddy is offline  
Jan 28th, 2006, 11:24 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 4,074
Question, today it is better to use Amex that a MBNA visa ?
Called my MBNA Visa but their answer was kind of confusing....THank you.
Graziella5b is offline  
Jan 28th, 2006, 11:42 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 6,704
In Greece many shops don't even accept AMEX, but if they do they will pass on the 7% service fee to the customer.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Jan 28th, 2006, 12:48 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 425
people here are saying both that capitol one does and does not pass on the 1% fee from visa. i find it hard to believe they don't. why on earth would they agree to actually losing a full percent on all foreign purchases? of course they pass it on.
earl30 is offline  
Jan 28th, 2006, 12:52 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 32
Until they actually up the percentage, it will be cheaper to use MBNA at 1% as AMEX charges 2%. It depends on when you are going.
Charuddy is offline  
Jan 28th, 2006, 01:29 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,271
Well draw your own conclusion...

On 17/01/06 using my Capital One visa I charged £19 for a ticket at the Royal National Theatre in London. It was converted by Capital one to US$33.53. My calculator says that the rate therefore was $1.764736842 for £1.

According to Oanda, on 17/01/06, the interbank rate was $1.76990; on 18/01/06, the day it was probably processed the interbank rate was $1.7650 and the next day it was $ you do understand, of course, that these are average rates for the day and that minute variations can occur during the day but it sure as hell seems to me that in this case Capital One was indeed using the interbank rate at the instant the charge was converted with no additional 1% which would increase the rate to $1.782384211.

Now as to why Capital One does it, well for the same reason Chase is sponsoring a credit card that gives you a 3% rebate on all gasoline purchases and 1% on others, for the same reason Citibank sponsors a credit card that gives you 5% off all Shell gasoline purchases and 1% elsewhere, to entice you to use the card for other purposes. Capital One has apparently decided by providing a 1% break to its customers on all foreign purchases, that means what you pay using a Capital One credit card is 3% cheaper than if you are stupid enough to use a credit card with the near criminal additional 2% charge as well as those that pass along the 1% visa fee and hopefully people will then be willing to use the credit card for other purposes because after all the issuing bank gets a piece of the action for every charge you make using its credit cards and of course if you're dumb enough not to pay the entire balance each month, then you will pay their inflated interest rates but if you're smart and use a credit card the proper way namely pay your balance in full each month...well you can come out ahead.
xyz123 is offline  
Jan 28th, 2006, 01:42 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 165
According to, xyz123 paid $.04 for the transaction. That's what everyone should always pay IMO.
Passepartout is offline  
Jan 28th, 2006, 01:53 PM
Posts: n/a
I have to gather that Fantasy Travel is not located in the US. In Greece?

Next time, consider wiring the funds to the in-country outfitter. The bank charge for a Intl Wire should be more than $50, if that. And be sure the funds don't go thru a middle-man bank and are transferred in USD only. If an outfitter is providing prices to you in USD and asks for payment in USD (even with a Credit Card), then there should be no conversion fee.

I do that for all my funds transfers to Africa, and never cost more than the wiring fee. That $247 conversion fee could have paid for a r/t flight to anywhere in the US. The $8,000 cost of the trip in frequent flyer miles, if that's the reason you used the credit card might amount to $150 toward the price of a FF ticket.

Wire the funds and don't forget to take our trip insurance for any prepaid trip in case of cancellation, interruption and lots of other things.

Jan 28th, 2006, 06:56 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
A correction to my earlier post. I mistaken said that I was charged only 1% for my AE card purchases in Europe. After checking the exchange rate records on, I found that it's still 2%. Sorry about that.
rkkwan is offline  

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