What's up with this 3% BS!

Mar 31st, 2006, 11:36 AM
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For those interested, the MBNA Platinum Plus card does not charge the 3%
j_999_9 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2006, 11:54 AM
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j, are you certain on the MBNA Platinum Plus not charging? My MBNA Platinum has started charging the 3% within the last year so I switched to CapitalOne which doesn't. Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Mar 31st, 2006, 12:21 PM
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MBNA is "kaput"... won't it switch to Bank of America?
SuzieC is offline  
Mar 31st, 2006, 12:47 PM
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I'm not sure why people keep talking about which cards charge a fee and which don't. Did everyone read the point about some cards charge a higher exchange rate (no fee!) to start with? Or are we just ignoring that? Can we say "living in denial"?

I'm not saying which ones do and which ones don't or what rate any of them actually charge, but I am saying I know as a fact that not all credit cards start with the same exchange rate -- whether they call that a fee or not.

This is not unlike the old days of currency exchange booths at airports when that was about the only way to change money. Some would have big signs saying "no fees". But due to their exchange rates, you often got less currency from them that you would at another booth next door that did charge a fee. Who cares what they call it? It's the bottom line that is important.
Mar 31st, 2006, 12:56 PM
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AmEx Travelers Checks in Euros. Simple.
dtstahl is offline  
Mar 31st, 2006, 01:06 PM
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Hi dt,

You will pay about 6% above the exchange rate for anyone's TCs.

You often have to pay a fee to cash them.

ira is offline  
Mar 31st, 2006, 01:07 PM
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Hey Degas,

I'm surprised that a savvy traveler like you just discovered the add on.

ira is offline  
Mar 31st, 2006, 01:18 PM
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It's not just banks and credit card companies who are adding outrageous fees. I just stayed at a hotel where they charge $2.50 to use the telephone in the sleeping room. I made an 800 call. Shame on them.
luvtotravel is offline  
Mar 31st, 2006, 01:21 PM
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dtstahl, today you can buy American Express Traveler's Cheques directly online. The current rate is $1.41 per euro plus a handling fee. Not counting the fee, that is roughly a 16 % charge. And some people complain about a 1 to 3% charge for their credit cards.

Do you know where they are selling AMEX TCs in euro at the current exchange rate of $1.21 per euro? If so, I might even consider getting some.
Mar 31st, 2006, 01:28 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 19,000
Neop, I just went to AmEx site to see for myself, and here's what I found:

1000 Euro = 1286.50
Handling charge = 15.00
Shipping (ground) = 12.95
Total = $1314.45

(Obviously, if you buy a smaller amount, the shipping and handling becomes a larger percentage.)

(Plus you have to pay a couple of points to cash them.)

Robespierre is offline  
Mar 31st, 2006, 01:33 PM
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Sorry. I couldn't believe that figure myself, so went back to the AMEX site. I guess I had also clicked an extra number. The current rate for buying in euro is 1.28 per euro. That's ONLY 6% above current exchange rate. Makes you want to run right out and buy a bunch, right?
Mar 31st, 2006, 01:36 PM
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Sorry, we were posting at the same time. Yes, I wasn't even including the shipping costs, since in theory many could go into an AMEX office and avoid that.
If you want them shipped to you, obviously that's an additional cost.

Mar 31st, 2006, 01:45 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
Hi Degas, if you have a USAA Visa or MasterCard they only charge 1% when you use it in Europe..at least that was true a few months ago and assume it still is. You do not have to be a member of USAA (the insurance division) to obtain a USAA credit card as long as you meet their credit guidelines.
LoveItaly is offline  
Mar 31st, 2006, 02:01 PM
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I ran a test on my MBNA Platinum World Points card in January to see if they now charge the 3% - they do!Needless to say it stayed home on my recent trip to the UK.
Lovejoy is offline  
Mar 31st, 2006, 02:14 PM
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I think we need someone to compare credit cards. If anyone can post the total cost of a 100 euro withdrawal i.e. the actual out of pocket cost (conversion fee + 1%/3% fee) then I think we will have our answer.
All these comments about it was 3% so I left it home, but took my 1% mean nothing without the ACTUAL cost to YOU of a transaction. Don't fall for the marketing.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Mar 31st, 2006, 02:20 PM
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Amen, Michel.
Mar 31st, 2006, 02:43 PM
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and the people who are so worried about the other 2% are the same ones who hire a cab from CDG to Paris for the equivelant of $55 - $60+ USD instead of hopping on the metro!
grantop is offline  
Mar 31st, 2006, 04:33 PM
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LoveItaly, thanks for reminding me. I do have a USAA card and used to use it all the time. Old friends are often the best friends!

I admit not reading the fine print and missing the 3% charge on the new cards. Too quick to get all those juicy FF miles!
degas is offline  
Mar 31st, 2006, 04:37 PM
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ira, I got spoiled and lazy having other folks finance my travels the past two years. With personal trips coming up, I am now motivated to get back into tip-top travel shape!
degas is offline  
Mar 31st, 2006, 04:56 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Should mention that my bank provides AX TC at no cost to customers.
Perhaps others do too.
I do still take a few hundred in TC tucked away. Rarely use them but it is a security blanket for me.
StLSusan is offline  

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