Surcharges on Credit Cards by Airlines

Apr 2nd, 2002, 05:41 PM
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Honestly, for me it is the principal of the thing as much as anything. I will take MBNA and Capital One to Europe rather than pay 2 cents a mile for miles on Citibank. I think if enough of us protested this thing, they would drop it. I know in my latest Capital One solicitation, they were touting the fact that there is no additional fee for foreign exchange--they have realized that it is a selling point.
Apr 3rd, 2002, 06:28 AM
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Bob, tell me how the banks are ripping you off? They are lending you money, and you are paying for using that money and the convenience of using a credit card. Do you think banks should provide this service for free? Why do people think they should get something for nothing?
Apr 3rd, 2002, 06:35 AM
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Sure, the banks should do this for free. They already charge the merchants for every transaction (I think 2 percent) and should not charge the cardholders. Making a curerncy exchange takes a nanosecond of computer time and doesn't really cost the card company any more than a US transaction, so why should they charge another 2 percent to the customer for this?
Apr 3rd, 2002, 06:42 AM
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Any ideas how to contact by email someone in authority at Citibank or other banks to let them know how we feel? I would think calling customer service would get us nowhere -- as would sending any kind of note with a payment.
Sure, just stop using the card in Europe -- but I don't think my little charges would be noticed in the billions they do. I'd like to contact someone with how I feel and a threat to switch to other cards.
Apr 3rd, 2002, 08:55 AM
Posts: n/a
The thing about this particular charge is that it could have been stopped when it started if only people would have told the criminal banks to go to hell. But people are like sheep being led to the slaughter. They rarely read the inserts about changes in terms.

When this stuff started, if people had all migrated to cards from the good guys (MBNA, USAA, Capital One) and told the crooks where they could go with their fee, it might have stopped.

There was a time when banks tried to place annual fees on credit cards. Remember annual fees. luckily for us there were several banks which refused to place annual fees on credit cards and many smart people told those banks where they could go and as soon as the banks saw they were losing business annual fees disappeared.

Now there are still some dumb people who pay annual fees for their credit cards. With the exception of the airline cards, every bank will waive the annual fee if you ask it to and threaten to take your business elsewhere.

It's just too bad people on these surcharges haven't done the same.
Apr 3rd, 2002, 09:48 AM
Dick Yeager
Posts: n/a
Fees for credit card.

My Citibank American Airlines Master Card is $50.00 per year. It also charges the extra 2% on foreign purchases.

My Capital Platinum Miles One Visa costs $17.00 per year. I has no extra charge charge for foreign purchases. The miles I accumulate are good on any airline.

Guess which card I will be using in Europe im May/June!

Apr 3rd, 2002, 10:07 AM
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The terms on the United FirstUSA credit card say: "purchase of foreign currency and travelers checks from other than a bank 3% of the amount of each purchase or check, but not less than $5.00 nor more than $50.00." Does that really mean that on a $10 charge overseas that there would be a $5 (50%) charge?
Apr 3rd, 2002, 10:10 AM
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"Purchase of foreign currency" sounds more like a cash advance.
Apr 3rd, 2002, 10:22 AM
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Actually, Jeff, not every bank will waive the annual fee. I decided to cancel my Capitol One card because I didn't like paying the annual fee, and I got tired of them soliticing me every time I had to call them. Which is what I told the guy when I called to cancel. He said that he could stop the solicitation, but when I said I didn't like paying an annual fee, he said he couldn't do anything about that. He offered to give me a higher credit limit so I could pay off other credit card debt, but since I don't have any other debt, what's the point?

But Jeff, you can't blame the banks for this. They are providing the information on charges. It's up to the consumer to read the information provided by the bank. Simple as that.
Apr 3rd, 2002, 10:39 AM
Posts: n/a
Haven't we had many threads on this same topic recently, they are all sounding alike. Any fee a CC charges beyond the 1 pct (Visa, MC) for foreign currency transactions will apply to ANYTHING that is charged in a foreign currency, that's what they look at, not whether it's an item or a restaurant meal. You can't save that by prepaying, because if it's a foreign hotel, the charges will still be in a foreign currency (the fee is on the currency, not location where you charged it).

I have a Capital One MC which is free for the for. currency thing but does have a $20 yearly fee because of the FF thing (all FF cards have a fee, that one is low). Perhaps their regular VISA (not FF) would be best if you don't care about those miles. As for the charges cited above, a credit card charges purchases of foreign currency as a cash advance, not an ATM withdrawal, and that fee applies to buying travelers checks and cash advances, but not just charges.

I thought Capital One had cards without fees, the fee is only for the FF card, I thought. Nowadays not many cards could get away with charging you a fee for nothing (except AMEX for some reason I don't get). I think some folks view things very narrowly in this regard -- the fee vs other things. Some people charge a lot more money on credit cards than I do, and yes, Bob I don't care about $20, but it isn't an issue of "finding it on the ground", getting new credit cards, dealing with various creditors, paperwork, foregoing a stable history or features or good customer service with a card you like to change and not know what problems you may have with the next one is not the same as "nothing" or finding money on the ground. $20 is totally irrelevant in my travel budget. I choose cards based on the broad spectrum of features, reliability, value, etc., not one issue.
Apr 3rd, 2002, 10:47 AM
Posts: n/a
Drawing money in a local currency from an ATM is not "borrowing money". When we do this, we are drawing our own money which the bank uses (as it lies in a demand account) to earn revenue. The bottom line is that banks have for years been aggressively executing on every conceivable revenue opportunity, Customers be damned. As long as the consumers do not rebel in mass, e.g., take their money elswhere, they feel no compunction to desist. Many of us still think of banks as service organizations. This has not been true, with few exceptions, for many years. They offer, promote, extol those services which bring them the most revenue and typically include in the fine print the conditions upon which they can increase your costs for use of those services. We live in a capitalist system and this is their right in our system. They only way to have any impact on their plunderous ways is to do business with those financial institutions which limit those predatory practices. I do my primary banking with a credit union because as a user of that crdit union, I am a shareholder in the organization. I benefit in the way of costs for services by being a member and having my fees go to the general welfare of all the shareholders. The banks couldn't care a lick about our discontent with their practices as long as we use their services and pay the fees. For these reasons, I quit Wells Fargo long ago.
Apr 3rd, 2002, 04:22 PM
Posts: n/a
Christina, my Capital One card is no-fee, also not FF.
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