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New bank fees for purchases made outside of the U.S.

New bank fees for purchases made outside of the U.S.

Jul 2nd, 2003, 12:28 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 662
New bank fees for purchases made outside of the U.S.

An article appeared in the Chicago Tribune on 6/29/03 regarding additional charges that some U.S. banks are adding to purchases made outside of the country. Just to point out that you may want to check with your banks/credit card companies to see what you'll be charged to use your credit cards abroad.


I believe that you can only view the article for free for 7 days past the publication date. I've emailed it to myself if anyone is unable to access the article, just drop me an email.
Chicago_Heather is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2003, 02:25 PM
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The fees are nothing new; the big banks instituted these fees about 4 years ago but buried the disclosure thinking noboy would read them. The suit is basically about disclosing the fees. The Court never said the fees are illegal; rather the banks have to disclose the fees more prominently on the statements.

Of the big credit card banks, the only two that do not add the additional 2% fee on top of the 1% (all banks pass that through even if a customer service rep tells you there is no fee) are MBNA and Capital One. Interestingly enough, Bank One does not add the extra 2% on its Briish Airways card even though it does on every other credit card it issues.

The fees would have been stillborn if people had all switched their credit cards to banks not adding the fees several years ago but the banks figured,correcty as it turned out, that people don't read the disclosures ordon't mind throwing away 2% on every credit card transaction and wouldnot smly switch banks to save the money.

For the record, Amex charges 2% for currency conversion; it is dislosed only on the literature that comes with the card and is now the subject of a suit in NY on the same matter.

Before the suits, you could not get banks to explain what the 2% fee was for and, knowing people are naive, gave explanations such as to protect themselves againt currency fluctuations even though they had nothing to do with the conversion.

Hope that helps.
xyz123 is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2003, 04:18 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I have a Visa card through my AAA membership, and they do not charge a conversion fee. I don't know what bank they are affiliated with.
carolyn is online now  
Jul 2nd, 2003, 06:14 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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The AAA cards are through one bank or another.

There are other credit card providers without the additional 2% or more "currency conversion fee". Providian, for example.

From what I've heard, it also depends upon your particular "status" card with the issuer - "gold", "platinum", etc.

Best bet is your check YOUR account number with each of your cards. Let them know, if they do impose that ridiculous fee, you WILL NOT be using that particular card in your travels.

When these fees were first "introduced" some years ago, my Capital One cards were among them. Now, they're not.

Be sure to check on your debit card as well. It was mentioned on this forum not too long ago that Wells Fargo issued a policy of adding that pesky fee to their debit cards...

djkbooks is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2003, 05:46 AM
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When I get card apps from AAA, they are issued by MBNA.
Travelnut is offline  
Jul 5th, 2003, 04:39 PM
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AAA's credit cards in the West are issued by FirstUSA. However, in terms & conditions, they list no additional (3%) fee for foreign currency transactions, which they do list on sites dealing with other kinds of their cards.

I know they used to charge because I wrote AAA and complained because the eastern cards were with MBNA and had no transaction fee, but maybe they are doing what Bank One does for BA.
LVSue is offline  

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