Jump to content
,

Credit Cards - Foreign Transaction Fees???


Recommended Posts

I am considering obtaining a Capitol ___ VISA card for an upcoming trip to France because after speaking with a CS rep I understand that they do not charge transaction fees on foreign purchases or cash advances. I'm wondering if anyone has had experience using a Capitol ___ VISA in France, and if in fact there is no transaction fee? Also, if there is no fee, do they charge the "market" rate of exchange or "bump" it up to make up for no fee? Any feedback will be appreciated.

 

(I left the rest of the name out because I don't want to be bumped from the thread.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been using my Capital One card for 2 years in several European countries, including France. As far as I know they are the only card that does not charge this fee.

 

The exchange rate they used was the actual exchange rate at the time, I didn't see any "bumping" to make up for the 3% they do not charge.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No fees here either in South America, Central America, Asia or Europe.

 

An important note: Capital One checks overseas Internet transactions very carefully. Each time we make overseas reservations for airlines, hotels and tours our card gets stopped. A message pops up saying our credit card company needs more information. Capital One fraud detection unit phones within minutes. They question if we were making an overseas transaction, who it is we are buying from and how much the purchase is (also which currency). We have been asked specific questions such as how much is our car payment, did we ever live at a certain address, things like that to prove we are who we say we are. I've been very impressed by their customer service. They are one credit card company you MUST notify if you are planning overseas travel or they will block your card.

 

Our credit union credit card has no fees for overseas charges. BTW, they also do fraud checks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting info Grannycb about Capital One. I've always heard their Customer Service sucked, but you clearly have first hand knowledge.

 

Also, not all credit unions work Internationally. I asked at my Credit Union and was told my debit card would not work anywhere but the U.S.

 

That's why I applied for a Capital One card. The fees (or lack thereof) just made sense, rather than paying 3% + 3% etc. Visa imposes a charge, then the issuer imposes a charge. They sure aren't making it easy to travel anymore.

 

I used to like to get traveler's checks for safety, but a lot of places won't take them anymore. Then I went to cash when you could exchange for a small 1% fee. Then started using credit cards for convenience, but now they have exhorbitant fees too. We just can't win.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting info Grannycb about Capital One. I've always heard their Customer Service sucked, but you clearly have first hand knowledge.
I found out that you can request an American customer service representative if you have trouble understanding the staff at their Mumbai (or wherever) call center. I had trouble with a rep with a bad phone and a bad accent. You can spend a lot of time on the phone with a small problem at any credit card company.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

ONE: make sure that your credit card is charged in the local currency. Don't let the merchant or hotel convert them to dollars for you; the rate will not be as good as the bank rate. Shop in the local currency unless you are actually handing over greenbacks.

On pre-cruise in Amsterdam last summer, the hotel converted euros to dollars before charging it to the card -- and the rate was not a favorable rate. We were back at the hotel 2 weeks later post-cruise and I made sure that they charged us in euros. I compared the two transactions (for the exact same amount in euros) when the bill arrived; the nights charged in euros cost us less.

TWO: call your bank before you go and let them know that you are traveling overseas--and carry a back up credit card in case the bank stops your card--even if you have to pay the extra fees. So much easier than trying to call,the bank from overseas.

 

THREE: don't use your credit card for ATM transactions-- it will cost you a small fortune in cash advance fees and interest.

 

FOUR: I do not want to carry the ATM card that is attached to my checking account when I travel; I can't afford to have some one get into that account and empty it (too much hassle). My bank let me open another account with its own ATM card (no charge, no fees). It is not 'linked' to my other accounts and I cannot access it online. I put enough in it to cover my cash needs for the trip. If someone steals my ATM card and empties the account, my main account is untouched.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

FOUR: I do not want to carry the ATM card that is attached to my checking account when I travel; I can't afford to have some one get into that account and empty it (too much hassle). My bank let me open another account with its own ATM card (no charge, no fees). It is not 'linked' to my other accounts and I cannot access it online. I put enough in it to cover my cash needs for the trip. If someone steals my ATM card and empties the account, my main account is untouched.

Thanks for this tip, I've never thought of it before. I'm definately going to check with my bank on this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Janet524,

I too thought about doing this but when I quickly realized that the 3% fee is only $3 for every $100 charged I decided not to worry about it. If you are charging thousands of dollars it will make some difference but if you charge hundreds of dollars I don't think it's worth signing up for a new card.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I checked with our Credit Union- My Visa is from there. They do not charge a transaction fee. I also let them know I will be using both my ATM (NOT credit card branded!) and my credit card overseas- I even call them when we are going to the Caribbean. (To avoid the possibility of getting it stopped in a fraud check) I also ordered a second ATM card in case one gets eaten by a machine or something! At home it's one thing, I can just go in and make a withdrawal, or something, and order a new card. But in Europe, gone for over 2 weeks, including the two crossings, I would be sunk! Especially since it is how I intend to exchange money the cheapest!

Read up on Rick Steves for the best suggestions on money handling/exchanging in England and Europe. http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/tips/moneytip.htm

 

If you have the opportunity to join a credit union (and many are community based now, not just workplace groups. Membership rules have been expanded) I heartily recommend one. They are owned by the users, not by stockholders who want to maximize profits. So they rarely charge all of those usurious fees

and obnoxious extras. Rates and policies are often much better. Mutual Banks and Community banks would be my second choice (Although they are getting gobbled up by the big guys left and right these days after IPOs!)

 

Much better than the major national and multinational for-profit suck 'em in with hidden fees and extra charges and non-user-friendly policies.

 

Just my 2 cents (not worth much these days, at the dollar's rate! <G>)

 

Karie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Janet524,

I too thought about doing this but when I quickly realized that the 3% fee is only $3 for every $100 charged I decided not to worry about it. If you are charging thousands of dollars it will make some difference but if you charge hundreds of dollars I don't think it's worth signing up for a new card.

 

I tip my hat to you if you can get by spending under $1000.00 on any international travel these days!

 

Realize that it doesn't cost anything to keep the account open. Next time you travel this won't be an issue.

 

I have the C1 card for international travel and use other afffinity cards (1 - business and 1 - personal) when I am in the US. This is just my prefence as I don't mind keeping multiple credit card accounts open.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: Experience more Co-op Holidays
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...