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How to avoid "foreign transaction fee" on credit card

How to avoid "foreign transaction fee" on credit card

Apr 20th, 2011, 08:50 AM
  #1  
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How to avoid "foreign transaction fee" on credit card

Any tips? We'll be in France for 3 weeks in Sept., and obviously can't carry enough cash, and those 3% fees really add up!
Love2Knit is offline  
Apr 20th, 2011, 08:52 AM
  #2  
 
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Check if you local credit union offers a credit card with no fee (except the 1% conversion fee); mine does.
Michael is online now  
Apr 20th, 2011, 08:57 AM
  #3  
 
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Do you mean to draw cash on the credit card? That's the most expensive way possible. Does your bank allow your current account debit card to be used in overseas ATMs - that's the most effective way to get cash.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Apr 20th, 2011, 08:57 AM
  #4  
 
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Assuming you're from the USA, don't use a credit card issued by one of the following near criminal banks (although some of the banks listed may have some of their cards where they have recently dropped this asinine fee).

Citibank
Chase
Bank of America
Wells Fargo

All of these banks on most of their cards add an additional 2% fee to the foreign transaction fee MC/Visa use (1%) to actually do the exchange. Your bank has nothing to do with the exchange and therefore no foreign currency fluctuation exposure but charge these fees anyway. As noted, some of the banks have specific ards where they don't charge so you have to check.

Get a credit card from Capital One which doesn't charge an additional fee and eats the 1% mc/visa fee.
xyz123 is offline  
Apr 20th, 2011, 08:57 AM
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And even IF your cc charges 3% -- that is cheaper than your other options. You definitely don't want to carry cash and convert it in France -- then you'd see BIG fees.

One of my two visa's charge the universal 1% and the other charges 3% - and I use the 3%-er as my back up.
janisj is online now  
Apr 20th, 2011, 09:06 AM
  #6  
 
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The same rule applies for the ATM card, check with your local credit union. BofA charges $5 on every foreign withdrawal except with a member bank--in France it is BNP Paribas; my credit union uses the posted rate, as given for example by http://www.xe.com/ucc/.
Michael is online now  
Apr 20th, 2011, 09:07 AM
  #7  
 
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We have a Schwab credit card which has no currency conversion fees....posts exactly as XE.com exchange rate. It also gives 2% cash back!
Judy is online now  
Apr 20th, 2011, 09:21 AM
  #8  
 
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Not sure why you don't plan on using ATMs for the majority of your needs. I use CC for big items like hotels, car rentals,et..
Michel_Paris is offline  
Apr 20th, 2011, 09:35 AM
  #9  
 
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Capital One's Venture card does not charge the fee.
Bedar is offline  
Apr 20th, 2011, 10:23 AM
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Cap One and credit union cards are the ones to get. Cap One ATM cards also don't carry the fee. The Venture card is offering a big points/rewards incentive too.

And janisj is off on one thing -- if you carry cash and convert, you likely won't "see" the big fees, but effectively you will be charged them through a less advantageous (to you) exchange rate.
BigRuss is offline  
Apr 20th, 2011, 10:36 AM
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I don't think janisj is off on that as you will see them unless you are a math nincompoop and don't even know what the exchange rate is. That is seeing them when you are quoted the rate when you can see how it differs than the interbank rate.

Cap One doesn't charge a foreign trans fee on any of their cards, so you have to pick the one that has the benefits and fees you prefer. The Venture Rewards card has their highest annual fee, I think, of $59. They have quite a few cards, though, they don't charge the foreign trans fee on any of them. They have lots of card choices with varying benefits and fees. The VentureOne card has no annual fee, but less generous benefits than the venture card, for example.
Christina is offline  
Apr 20th, 2011, 10:44 AM
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Platinum American Express cards just announced that they no longer charge foreign transaction fees.
TinaMarie_1976 is offline  
Apr 20th, 2011, 11:23 AM
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Where did you see that, Tina? I have one of those, and was not even considering taking it to Europe. If that is the case, I may take it as a backup to my Cap One.
nukesafe is offline  
Apr 20th, 2011, 12:26 PM
  #14  
 
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Here's the info under the heading, "Shop Like a Local"

http://www201.americanexpress.com/ge.../Platinum-Card
ILUVPARIS is offline  
Apr 20th, 2011, 01:50 PM
  #15  
 
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I use my Citibank AAdvantage at home for everything, but Capital One in Europe, as they definitely don't charge the foreign trans.fee.
Sue4 is offline  
Apr 20th, 2011, 02:44 PM
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After doing a little research, I just discovered our Chase Mileage Plus card has dropped all foreign transaction fees. Now have to figure out if I can use it to get cash and not have to use my Wells Fargo ATM.
macdogmom is offline  
Apr 20th, 2011, 03:18 PM
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"And janisj is off on one thing -- if you carry cash and convert, you likely won't "see" the big fees, . . ."

Gosh - Can we say nit pick? -- I meant the high 'cost' of converting cash.

And, really, one likely would 'see' that in the small # of € they get in return.
janisj is online now  
Apr 20th, 2011, 05:49 PM
  #18  
 
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The percentage charged by your bank is way less than the fee/loss in exchange rate of any other means of getting foreign currency.

Agree to check options in your area - as well as the different rates offered by your bank. We use Citibank debit card on checking account (no MC or Visa) and don't pay 3% on top of basic transaction fee - but that may require that you do a certain amount of business with the bank.
nytraveler is offline  
Apr 20th, 2011, 05:58 PM
  #19  
J62
 
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I use my Chase BA Visa - no foreign transaction fee. As others have said the notion that exchanging cash is cheaper than an of the credit cards that charge 3% is dead wrong.

Also no fee is when I use my BofA debit card at a partner bank to get cash.
J62 is online now  
Apr 21st, 2011, 01:43 AM
  #20  
 
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No fee to use my USAA debit card at any bank in France.
Sarastro is offline  
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