Does this ring true?

May 14th, 2007, 04:38 PM
  #1  
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Does this ring true?


My dh sent me this information and I was wondering if it was what you had all experienced upon getting your cc bills on return?

A few years ago, using your MasterCard or Visa for most purchases was a great idea, since you got the best possible exchange rate (the one offered to major banks). Now, many major issuers -- including Bank of America, Chase, Citibank and Wells Fargo -- are tacking an extra 2% fee on top of the 1% fee charged by Visa and MasterCard. Only two cards, Capital One and Discover, waive the fee entirely, and Discover isn't widely accepted outside North America. Check with your card issuers to see which issuer charges the least, and use that card for most of your purchases. Be sure to take at least one extra card and to let your issuers know in advance when you'll be out of the country. On our honeymoon in Spain, our credit card issuer cut off access to our card, convinced that our overseas purchases were a sign of fraud. Fortunately, we had a spare card with us, averting what could have been a disaster.

Fees for international transactions

Issuer Fee
Capital One
0%

Discover*
0%

Washington Mutual
1%

American Express
2%

Pulaski Bank
2%

Barclays/Juniper Bank
2% to 3%**

Bank of America
3%

Chase
3%

Citibank
3%

GE Money
3%

HSBC
1% to 3%**

U.S. Bank
3%

Wells Fargo
3%



**Very limited acceptance outside North America

*Depends on card

Source: IndexCreditCards.com

dawnnoelm is offline  
May 14th, 2007, 04:50 PM
  #2  
 
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Discover is NOT accepted in Europe - so that is a non-starter.

Virtually all credits cards tack on something and always have. But it used to be rolled into the charge amount. Now it is split out as a separate line item.

If you credit card cut you off it is prpbably because you didn't call them and tell them you would be using the card in Spain.
janisj is online now  
May 14th, 2007, 04:50 PM
  #3  
 
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Posts: 673
That has been a sore point with me as it came as a total surprise last year after I got home and opened my Amex bill.

Thank you for the reminder. I think I need to get a Capital One card. (What's in YOUR wallet?)
Linda431 is offline  
May 14th, 2007, 05:08 PM
  #4  
 
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... and I DID notify my credit card companies prior to leaving for Paris and had the delightful experience of having one card denied twice at hotel check-out and later in Amsterdam while transiting home.

That credit card company told me today that my card had been used fraudulently just before I left for Paris, which was detected while I was there.

Crummy luck.
BowenLinda is offline  
May 14th, 2007, 07:18 PM
  #5  
 
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I just returned from Europe where I was charged 0% on my Capital One card and 1% on my Bank of America Card (NEA member card).
pollyvw is offline  
May 14th, 2007, 10:01 PM
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Can anyone explain the "Very limited acceptance outside North America" against HSBC especially as HSBC is based in the UK and - to quote from their website - "Our international network comprises around 10,000 offices in 82 countries and territories across the world"
alanRow is offline  
May 14th, 2007, 10:11 PM
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Some of the other info was rubbish too so I just put it up to the original article had the ** in the wrong place or a transcribing error or something . . . .

janisj is online now  
May 14th, 2007, 11:07 PM
  #8  
 
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Linda431: do get the Capital one card!
I applied & got one just before leaving
for Paris & it worked beautifully.
I, too, notified Discover, Amex & Visa (just for back-up as I did not need to use).
Ironically, I took Discover only because my hotel website indicated they
accepted it but that was not the case
so heed other posters' advice.
Rhea58 is offline  
May 15th, 2007, 01:56 AM
  #9  
 
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If you credit card cut you off it is prpbably because you didn't call them and tell them you would be using the card in Spain.

Which is why Dawnnoelm said this in the sentence before telling about the cc being cut off:

Be sure to take at least one extra card and to let your issuers know in advance when you'll be out of the country.

Carrybean is offline  
May 15th, 2007, 03:25 AM
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janisj, just noticed that Barclays is also "very limited acceptance outside the US"

Is this a plot by US banks to take business from foreign banks?
alanRow is offline  
May 15th, 2007, 03:29 AM
  #11  
 
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I was also going to query the note against HSBC - I've banked with them for years and have never had my ATM/debit/credit card declined anywhere.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
May 15th, 2007, 07:16 AM
  #12  
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I think we will also apply for a CapOne CC --- that 0% is very alluring. I just like all the AMEX reward points.

I did not write this article - it was sent to me by my dh and was trying to see if it was accurate based on "real" life experience...
dawnnoelm is offline  
May 15th, 2007, 10:43 AM
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It seems to me we need a little perspective on this issue. It wa never free to change money. We were alays paying.

When we changed cash or Trav Checks we were usually paying 7% to 10% - but it wazs hidden in the rate, rather than listed as a fee.

Most banks are not charging more - they always charged - but it was;t listed as a separate item - just part of the rate of exchange. Now- it's just that the charge is visible.

They have to charge - or they would lose money every time you made a withdrawal. And I don;t see how 1 or 2% is outrageous for this service - give that we used to pay 4/5 times as much (but without knowing it).
nytraveler is offline  
May 15th, 2007, 11:09 AM
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I've spent 33 years travelling the world and using my credit cards. 2005-06 I spent 3 months in Thailand, a place I have been dozens of times and had trouble with my cards so before I went 2006-07 I wrote the companies letters explaining I would be away again for 3 months like last year in Thailand.

It was a total waste of time. My Barclaycard was fortunately OK but the others I could not use.

I tried phoning them and after 3 hours one afternoon got through to one of the sweat shop call centres they use in India only to have the phone put down on me instead of being transferred. I spoke to numerous other tourists who found phoning home from Thailand equivalent to phoning home from the Moon, even in the centre of Bangkok.

I was told when I got home that this was their policy to protect from fraud (rather than something useful like profiling people and their spending habits and holidays). If I had lost my cards on the way to the airport at home and not noticed it for a week, the card companies would have happily paid out the maximum everyday to fraudsters. They are all morons. I will never rely on cards again when I go abroad.
kaneda is offline  
May 15th, 2007, 07:33 PM
  #15  
 
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Although Capital One advertises no foreign transaction fees, does anyone know whether they give you a worse exchange rate than other banks to make up the difference?
giro is offline  
May 15th, 2007, 08:16 PM
  #16  
MKE
 
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I received a letter from Citi cards a couple of weeks ago which included instructions on getting refunds for foreign exchange charges. I don't have the letter accessible right now, but it may have had something to do with a Congressional inquiry in credit card practices about a month or two ago, or it may be the result of a class action suit. My point is that the practice may be about to change.
MKE is offline  
May 16th, 2007, 04:11 AM
  #17  
 
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giro--no difference in exchange rates as the exchange rate is set by Mastercard and Visa, not by the card issuing bank.
Jake1 is offline  
May 16th, 2007, 05:12 AM
  #18  
 
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On April 21, I purchased some Die Bahn tickets online with a Capital One card.

The exchange rate was 0.734835355%, $1.36085 per Euro.

I don't keep precise track of the fluctuations in currency, but I do not consider that rate to be excessive.
Pheidippides is offline  
May 16th, 2007, 05:34 AM
  #19  
 
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I used CapOne m/c in April, and did the math exercise. The $amt was converted within 0.001 of the daily rate on Oanda.com
Travelnut is offline  
May 16th, 2007, 05:51 AM
  #20  
 
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The "Oanda" link (thanks for that) shows an exchange rate on April 21 of 0.73480, almost exactly what I got from Capital One.
Pheidippides is offline  

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