Credit Card Foreign Exchange Fee

Apr 11th, 2006, 10:12 AM
  #1  
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Credit Card Foreign Exchange Fee

My wife and I will be traveling to Santiago and working our way south to Puerto Montt and then taking the ferry further south. My credit card company charges 3% for charges in countries outside of the USA. I know that there are credit cards that do not charge this fee but can't locate them. Anyone who has one of these cards please respond.
barlovento is offline  
Apr 11th, 2006, 05:39 PM
  #2  
 
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I've heard that Capital One isn't charging the fees.

Used to be MBNA wasn't, but they do now.

Have fun!
Mark
www.tiogringo.com
TioGringo is offline  
May 7th, 2006, 09:33 AM
  #3  
 
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USAA charges the 1% V/MC fee, but rebates same.
Many Credit Unions do not charge any cc fees.
M
mikemo is offline  
May 7th, 2006, 02:14 PM
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In addition to USAA, some Chase cards are also 1%.
acctg is offline  
May 8th, 2006, 09:58 AM
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I called Chase today and the rep said all Chase cards charge 3%. Capital One said there is no foreign transaction fee.
givingback is offline  
May 9th, 2006, 06:19 AM
  #6  
TC
 
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I have a Capitol One Visa card for foreign travel. They currently do not charge a fee on foreign purchases.

One tip on Capitol One -- they want to be notified that you will be using the card outside the US. When we used our card the first time in Mexico, the charge was refused by Cap One. Our daughter had to phone them from the US to advise them that these were indeed legit charges. When I inquired upon returning, I was told that it is there policy to refuse charges and "contact the customer by phone" for verification. Of course, we were in Mexico so their phone inquiry went unanswered. This is a nasty little catch 22 that could prevent you from actually using the card. After our daughter phoned, we had no further problems on the trip.
TC is offline  
May 9th, 2006, 09:08 AM
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Actually, it's well advised to call ALL your credit card companies before you travel overseas. And your debit company if you are going to be using ATM's.
acctg is offline  
May 9th, 2006, 09:09 AM
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TC - Is the Capital One Visa a Plus? I have been reading on this site and others that having a Visa Plus is the best bet.
Juldie is offline  
May 9th, 2006, 10:10 AM
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this is great info, thanks!
Little_Man is offline  
May 10th, 2006, 07:42 AM
  #10  
TC
 
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I'm not sure if the Cap One is a "Plus" - I don't know what plus means, so probably not.

I do not agree with phoning all my credit card companies to let them know that I'm going to be out of town. I try to let as few people as possible (especially strangers) know that my home will be empty. I am really against phoning an anonymous phone bank in who-knows-where and giving them my travel details. I have heard that some customer service call centers are actually located in prisons as work programs. With all my personal details available on the account, this just seems like too much information to give out freely.

Am I the only one who feels this is really none of their business? Am Ex doesn't ask me to notify them in advance if I'm going to use my card. As long as it hasn't been reported as stolen or lost, why is it their business when or where I use it? If (and when) suspicious charges come in against the card, I would expect the company to take action. However, it was quite unnerving to have our very first attempt at using it rejected. To say the least it was embarassing. I was not happy.

Other opinions?
TC is offline  
May 10th, 2006, 08:40 AM
  #11  
 
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we've had fraud on our card in the past, and I think notifying your cc company is a very good idea. I don't see it as an invasion of privacy, but more as safeguarding your card.
I've had Capital One call me more than once to make sure my charges were on the up and up, and I really appreciate this.
Little_Man is offline  
May 10th, 2006, 09:01 AM
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Whether it is a "good idea" or not isn't the question. The cc companies suggest you do it so they don't decline the charges. They are advancing money with little recourse of getting it back if it's fraud. And they are getting more and more stringent about approvals. I wouldn't want to be overseas and have the cc declined because I thought it was a "bad idea" to tell the company that is advancing the money that they could expect some unusual charges.
acctg is offline  
May 10th, 2006, 10:20 AM
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I always call USAA and Citi when I travel as they will both block "overseas" use "for my protection".
M (SMdA, Gto.)
mikemo is offline  
May 10th, 2006, 10:23 AM
  #14  
TC
 
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Acctg: We travel internationally quite a lot, so I don't think of charges from outside the US as "unusual" on my card. I have been doing this for many, many years and Cap One is the first cc company to ever make this request. How is there exposure different than other cc companies? Do you not feel the least bit ambivolent about phoning a stranger and announcing that you will be out of the country for a month or so? I suppose one could say that only one spouse was traveling, but still it seems unnecessary to me. How is international usage any more likely to be fraudulent than charges within the US?
TC is offline  
May 10th, 2006, 10:31 AM
  #15  
 
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TC, Because many parts of south america have a past history of problems with credit card number theft, many of the card companies monitor charges from those areas more closely than a lot of other parts of the world. The first time I came down here, both my MBNA mastercard and my ATM card from Chase got locked off and I couldn't use them until I made calls back to the states and verified all my info, etc. I don't think you really need to worry about someone in customer service at a major credit card company organizing a raid on your house just because you tell them you'll be out of the country. I've been living here a year now and I still get an e-mail from AMEX every time I use my card asking me to respond if the charge isn't valid. I guess I appreciate the extra security, and at least they don't require me to respond if it is valid, only if it's not.

In terms of the fees - most are the same. The companies that advertise lower exchange fees often have a "hidden" transaction charge that balances it out. As someone said, Chase used to be "1%", but they also tacked on a flat $3 fee per transaction regardless of the amount. Relatively recently they switched to just doing the 3%.
saltshaker is offline  
May 10th, 2006, 02:01 PM
  #16  
TC
 
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"I don't think you really need to worry about someone in customer service at a major credit card company organizing a raid on your house just because you tell them you'll be out of the country"

Why not? Are the customer service people put through some sort of security screening process? Everything I've ever read about home security says that the fewer "strangers" that know your home is empty the better your protection. If we have to worry about my credit card number being stolen and sold over the Internet, why not worry that other personal information could meet the same fate?

I have a hard time believing that Cap One is terribly concerned about protecting my card from fraud. Just today I received (yet another) complete set of unsolicited blank checks in the mail for "my convenience". I receive these at least once a week. Isn't there a chance that those could be stolen and used fraudulantly? Yet...I can not get Cap One to stop sending them. Believe me, I've tried.
TC is offline  
May 10th, 2006, 02:46 PM
  #17  
 
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Easy to get them to stop sending you the checks - cancel the card. Sounds like you are unhappy with Capital One anyway. But, unless you are traveling VERY regularly out of the country (read: every month or so), I'm betting you will find that your cards will be declined unless you have pre-warned the credit card company of your departure.
acctg is offline  
May 10th, 2006, 06:26 PM
  #18  
TC
 
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"But, unless you are traveling VERY regularly out of the country (read: every month or so)"

Indeed, I am.

I am not unhappy with the no fee for foreign purchase - which is why I got the Cap One card and is in fact the thrust of this conversation. I do not, however, agree with this one policy and I venture that if I use my card enough (read..am a high dollar customer) my charge will not be declined. We'll see.
TC is offline  
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