My best friend and I were talking today about traveling overseas, specifically about our visits to the Palladium Hotel Group resorts. He mentioned that he just got a brand new credit card and was researching if the card had a foreign transaction fee. I’ve traveled quite extensively over the last few years to Cancun, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica. I usually used my debit card, so I’ve never considered a foreign transaction fee.
ValuePenguin.com states, “If you’ve used your credit card outside of the U.S., you’ve no doubt come across foreign transaction (FX) fees. These pesky little charges are often buried deep in the terms and conditions of your credit card agreement. You may be wondering: What exactly are these transaction fees? Are they always the same? And are there cards that don’t charge foreign transaction fees?
We’ve researched and assembled this guide to help consumers find answers to these questions, and better understand foreign transaction fees and how they work.”
“What is a foreign transaction fee?
A foreign transaction (FX) fee is a surcharge on your credit card bill that appears when you make a purchase that either passes through a foreign bank or is in a currency other than the U.S. dollar (USD). This fee is charged by many credit card issuers, typically ranging from 1% to 3% of the transaction.
- Network fee (or currency conversion fee): This part of the FX fee is charged by the credit card network (Visa or Mastercard, for example). Visa and Mastercard both charge a fee of 1%. Regardless of the type of credit card, this fee is applied to all transactions.
- Issuing bank fee: Depending on the credit card you use — such as Citibank, Chase or Barclays — some issuers add a charge on top of the network fee, usually around 2%. Other issuers don’t add their own and even go as far as absorbing the network fee, so you won’t have to pay anything.
Even though there are two parts to the fee, foreign transaction fees are typically assessed as a single charge to your credit card statement per purchase. Card issuers decide whether and how these fees are assessed.”
I made several calls to my credit card companies and found that the Amazon Chase Visa card doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee!
Keep in mind that if you’re trying to withdraw cash from an ATM overseas, you may also incur a large fee to get those dollar bills!
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