Credit cards and bank charges

Apr 30th, 2011, 09:00 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2011
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Credit cards and bank charges

Which American Credit cards have the lowest charges on Euro transactions? Is there any difference on ATM transactions in Europe with different banks?
Jeff_Portnoy is offline  
Apr 30th, 2011, 09:14 AM
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This topic is discussed ad nauseum almost daily. Scroll down through the last week of postings and take a look at those that have to do with money.

Short answer.
-European banks do not charge anything to use an ATM. No fee, no %.

but, the money trail doesn't stop there

- The visa or MC ATM networks will add on a 1% foreign exchange fee.

-Most US banks pass that 1% foreign exchange fee to you. You should expect to pay that 1% - it's not a big deal

-Many US banks also charge a flat per transaction fee. This can range from $1 to $5 per transaction.

- Several US banks will NOT pass the 1% on to you or charge you a per-transaction fee for out of network withdrawals. Schwab and e*trade are two that do not. I believe Capital One bank and TD bank also do not. There are others. If you use a BofA atm card at their partner bank (BNP Paribas), they also waive the 1% forex fee as well as the $5/transaction fee.

- Many credit unions also do NOT charge a per-transaction fee, sometime up to a limited # per month.
J62 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2011, 09:16 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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For credit cards, most will charge you a 3% foreign exchange fee. Again, not a killer but you can easily avoid it with a card that charges no forex fee.

- British Airways Chase Visa
- Capital One
- several others - I don't recall the full list, but search this form and you'll see others.
J62 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2011, 10:18 AM
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Chase advised me that they charge $5 per ATM transaction plus a 3% fee.
Schwab, on the other hand, charges nothing and will refund any fees on the other end.
JerryS is offline  
Apr 30th, 2011, 10:25 AM
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We always call our credit card companies before we leave, not only to tell them we'll be gone, but to have them re-confirm what we THINK their policies are.
uhoh_busted is offline  
Apr 30th, 2011, 10:29 AM
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The foreign exchange fees charged by Wells Fargo on my Visa cards (credit and debit/atm) last year would have paid for another few days of vacation! I just started using Capital One, in the hope of avoiding those fees next time. This site was interesting:
just27 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2011, 10:29 AM
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Credit unions tend to have the lowest fees for ATM use. My credit union charges only $1 per foreign withdrawal plus the 1% mark-up on the exchange. Bank of America charges $5 plus 1%, however they have some partner banks where there is no charge at all. Your post is tagged France so if that's where you are going and if you are a BofA customer, you can use BNP Paribas ATM's at no charge.
P_M is online now  
Apr 30th, 2011, 10:31 AM
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Regarding my last post, BofA does not charge the $5 withdrawal fee on partner banks, but I'm not sure about the 1%.
P_M is online now  
Apr 30th, 2011, 10:41 AM
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Jeff, the more you share, the better the advice we can give. You do not say where you are from. Makes a difference. TD bank is one of the better deals. They charge NO percentage, and until just recently, no per-transaction fee. They now have a $2 transaction fee BUT they "eat" that 1% foreign-exchange fee (which is actually levied by Visa/Mastercard, whichever one has the indicia on your ATM card). So, if you're in NYC, or many places on east coast, you can open a TD account just for your trip! AND, although the daily withdrawal limit is $500, you can ask them to temporarily raise your limit for the length of your trip; I got mine bumped up to $1,000. That means I will need to go to the ATM fewer times. After all at todays dismaying exchange rate (1€ = $1.48!!!), $500 is only €337.

By contrast, my in-town bank in Philly, Wells Fargo (Wachovia) charges 3% + $5, so just to get a measly $300 worth of Euros would cost me $14 ... which is 9.5€. IN the isles of Greece, that's DINNER.
travelerjan is online now  
Apr 30th, 2011, 11:03 AM
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Whether ATM card or credit card, there is not a charge in France for using either, the network (Visa/MC for CC or Maestro/Cirrus for ATM) will take a 1% currency conversion fee, additional charges/fees come from your local bank.

If you are paying anything in addition to the 1% currency conversion fee you are simply paying more than you need to pay and certainly more than you should. There are many, many financial institutions which add nothing to these costs, some even absorb the currency conversion fee.

It pays to shop around.
Sarastro is online now  
Apr 30th, 2011, 01:14 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
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I always use my Capital One credit card in Europe - No fee at all.

However, if I recall correctly (and it has been awhile since I got the card), I had to ask specifically for the no surcharge card on the phone when I signed up. I think they have numerous kinds of cards, including ones with a lower interest rate but with surcharges. [This is not an issue with me, since I always pay off the card as soon as I return to the US.]

That may be different now.

ssander is offline  
May 1st, 2011, 02:43 PM
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I don't know what you are referring to as a "surcharge", but Capital One doesn't charge a foreign transaction fee on any of their products, ATM cards or credit cards, there are not special ones with that feature. They do have some cards with and without annual fees for having it. So I think you may have asked for that, but that doesn't necessarily mean it made any difference.
Christina is offline  
May 1st, 2011, 06:46 PM
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My credit union charges zero for ATM withdrawals and zero on Visa purchases. European ATMs typically charge zero.
spaarne is offline  
May 2nd, 2011, 01:25 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,697

You're probably right -- it was likely an annual fee on some of their cards -- I was "mis-remembering."

ssander is offline  

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