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Foreign Credit Card Costs Can Be Understood

[ 0 ] February 2, 2009 | admin

When consumers who use a credit card from the USA , make a transaction in a foreign country, they will usually have to pay a two or three percent transaction fee. Many credit card companies did not clearly disclose or explain these fees in their terms and conditions until this recent time.

As a consequence of this, many people received notice of a class action lawsuit settlement  regarding these fees earlier this year. This important lawsuit has now been settled and now credit card companies are required to state in very clear terms what their foreign and international transaction fees are.

You will most likely be told that your credit card company charges three percent for all credit card international transactions if you get in touch with their customer service to find out. Paying an extra three percent on every purchase can really hurt the wallet, but fortunately, there are a few ways to avoid these charges.

Foreign currency exchange rates from your bank can often offer you a better deal than what you will get at a foreign currency exchange booth.

ATM withdrawals usually are free from foreign transaction fees, however if you will be using a debit card as a credit card there may be some risks. Better fraud protection can be taken with a credit card than with a debit card and this is a particularly good reason to not use a debit card to make purchases abroad. If some unscrupulous merchant overcharges you or uses your card fraudulently you can contest it and receive a refund. A debit card used fraudulently will make your bank account disappear and it will be very slow to reappear.

It seems that the best way to pay no international transaction fees is through the use of the credit cards that charge no fees; these no fee credit cards give you security without the added expense.

ATM cash advance charges a small fee for each transaction, so can know how much you will spend; this is as great for day to day life as when you are on vacation. Few people can tell exactly how much cash they will require while traveling, and unless you have a very precise budget, it can be difficult to withdraw the correct amount in one single transaction.

It can also be difficult to find a cash machine in many countries, but you have to be careful to not withdraw an excessive amount of cash, so you will not be at risk for theft. Converting funds back to your local currency also carries fees in addition to the fees you paid to convert to the foreign currency.

Traveler’s checks are a safe alternative to cash but they are not accepted everywhere and there is a fee to purchase them.

When applying for the credit card you believe will not charge any additional fees for foreign purchases, be sure you study the terms and conditions carefully to be absolutely sure the card you are getting is the right card. Check the terms of the card before using it, to assure yourself that you can pay off the balance in a hurry if the interest rate is high, so you won’t be paying fees in a different way.

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Category: Credit Cards

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