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Foreign exchange rates discussion [FOREX]--all cards

Foreign exchange rates discussion [FOREX]--all cards

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Old Feb 7, 16, 1:54 pm
  #166  
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
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I read 4-5 pages on this thread and from what I can gather, if I had to choose between using CSP (Visa, gives 2x UR) and Citi Premier (MC, gives 3x TYP) for "travel" category on foreign land, I should use Premier. Is this about right?

for the sake of the argument, assume I can use UR point as well as TYP.
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Old Feb 7, 16, 6:20 pm
  #167  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
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Originally Posted by AllieKat View Post
Amex has always seemed a tiny bit worse but it could have been time of day etc. Discover and MasterCard I consider essentially perfect. Amex a tiny amount worse. Visa pretty bad.
Please be advised that Discover is really bad (1% worse at least) in China because it uses UnionPay channel and UnionPay determines the rates.

I will try some transactions in Singapore to compare Arrival+, Citi Premium, and Amex SPG.

Originally Posted by Michael Ad View Post
One advantage of Amex is that you don't have to be alert to the possibility of DCC (dynamic currency conversion) since they apparently don't allow that.
Thanks, that's why I always use Amex in China.
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Old Feb 7, 16, 6:22 pm
  #168  
 
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Originally Posted by runb4fun View Post
I read 4-5 pages on this thread and from what I can gather, if I had to choose between using CSP (Visa, gives 2x UR) and Citi Premier (MC, gives 3x TYP) for "travel" category on foreign land, I should use Premier. Is this about right?

for the sake of the argument, assume I can use UR point as well as TYP.
I think for the sake of getting more rewards points, you should use Citi Premier.

The exchange rate stuff just makes CSP even less favorable...

Hope this helps~
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Old Feb 12, 16, 9:44 pm
  #169  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
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Just did some transactions in Singapore and Bali.

At SIN, I did two transactions at Shilla, back to back. They are:

1) Barclay A+, S$68, pending $48.25 (1.40933), posted $48.70 (1.39630)
2) Amex SPG Business, S$253.9, pending N/A, posted $181.07 (1.40222)

Apparently, A+ uses posting date's rate, and presumably Amex uses the pending date's rate (pending amount wasn't shown on its website but I remember making some calculations right after the transaction using available credit and concluding that the pending rate was also 1.40222).

I remember seeing somewhere that MC uses transaction date's rate, but seems like I saw that while dreaming...

Also some transactions in Bali:

1) Amex SPG Business, IDR 645000, pending N/A, posted $47.41 (13604.7)
2) Citi Premier, IDR 271040, pending $19.89 (13626.9), posted $19.93 (13599.6)

These two transactions happened within 30 minutes in the Bali Collection.

Even though these transactions are not "back-to-back, on the same machine", I do feel that this shows something useful, as travelers are not gonna always do transactions on the same machines. Using data points of the same region within a small time period can more precisely show the possible results travelers can get.

Here, Amex looks better a little bit.
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Old Feb 13, 16, 5:29 pm
  #170  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
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Forex Advice?

I'll be traveling to Europe for the first time in about five months, and I'm wondering what the best course of action would be to get the best exchange rate. I'll be traveling to the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands, so I'd need GBP and Euros.

This is what I have:

Credit Cards:
Amex Blue - 2.7% FTF
Discover - No FTF, but I don't think European merchants accept it
Bank of America Rewards - 3% FTF
Chase Slate - 3% FTF

ATM/Debit cards (for payments or ATM withdrawals):
Bank of America - 3% FTF, additional $5 fee if I don't use a partner ATM.
Discover - I don't know, but I don't think European merchants accept it
TD Bank - $3 fee as well as fees from Visa as it's pulled as a cash advance, not a withdrawal.
HFCU (US Air Force) - Free for SUM and Allpoint network ATMs, which are available in most places that I am traveling, but I'm not sure how bad the exchange rate will be.

Currency exchange services:
Bank of America will exchange my currency at the downtown branch in my city on the spot for no fee, but the "fee" is built into the subpar exchange rate, and is effectively somewhere between 5-6%

TD Bank will exchange foreign currency at the downtown branch in my city for a flat fee (I forget how much it is) but they don't disclose their exchange rates online, so I don't know how good or bad they are.


I would like at least some cash to carry for occasions where cash would be necessary.

Should I convert the cash in the US before I go? Or would I get a better exchange rate abroad? What about fees?

Is the (unavoidable in my case) 3% FTF on my credit cards my best bet for paying for things, or will it be a better idea to get cash?
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Old Feb 13, 16, 5:44 pm
  #171  
 
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Do not use your credit cards or TD card to withdraw cash.
Get a credit card with no FX fee like the IHG MasterCard or other card
Use your ATM card to get money at ATMs once you land. Take out larger sums to minimize fees

Enjoy your trip!
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Old Feb 13, 16, 5:44 pm
  #172  
 
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Since you have 5 months I'd look into opening a Schwab or Etrade checking account. They refund all ATM fees and have no minimum balance or monthly fee. There are a lot of threads about these accounts so do a search, read up and decide if it fits your needs..which it should.

As for credit cards there are plenty out there with no annual fees and no FTF and many more with no FTF and an annual fee with many perks. Capital One cards has cards that are no annual fee and no FTF. Amex SPG & Gold Premier Rewards are two examples that have annual fees but other perks. Chases' United Airlines and Citi's AA card now are FTF free.

Last edited by Yoshi212; Feb 13, 16 at 5:48 pm Reason: add info.
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Old Feb 13, 16, 5:54 pm
  #173  
 
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I would like to add that my ability to get new credit cards at this time is not great. I do however, have a pre-approved offer from CapitalOne sitting on the counter right now, so I'll flip through that to see if it offers any advantages to what I already have.

As far as checking accounts that have no minimums or monthly fees, and refund all ATM fees, do they refund currency conversion fees, and do they offer a competitive exchange rate? As far as no-fee access, I already have that with the credit union account. I can get cash from the ATM in a nearby hotel ATM fee free in the UK.
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Old Feb 13, 16, 6:05 pm
  #174  
 
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It depends on how much cash you want to have on you for those occasional uses. If it will only be a few hundred or less, then I'd just bite the bullet and get some at home, probably at BofA. The exchange rate is higher but for smaller amounts that won't add up to very much and the convenience is worth something. If you need more cash in Europe just use the ATMs.

If you envision needing a lot of cash in pocket, then I'd investigate the "no fee" account options. A little excess exchange as in the above is worth it but a lot of cash could cost quite a bit. Better to avoid if possible.
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Old Feb 13, 16, 6:19 pm
  #175  
 
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Ok, I just applied from the pre-approved application and was approved for a Capital One Platinum credit card. It has a very low credit limit due to my credit history, but its better than nothing since it has no FTF and I'll charge my meals to it or something to save on the FTFs that I would have incurred on my other cards.
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Old Feb 13, 16, 6:53 pm
  #176  
 
Join Date: May 2013
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You can convert your BoA card to their Travel Rewards card that has no foreign fee.
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Old Feb 13, 16, 6:58 pm
  #177  
 
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Forex Advice?

Open up a cash management account with Fidelity or similar with Schwab. Get a debit card linked to account. No fees.
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Old Feb 13, 16, 7:17 pm
  #178  
 
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Originally Posted by 747FC View Post
Open up a cash management account with Fidelity or similar with Schwab. Get a debit card linked to account. No fees.
No forex fee with the Fidelity Cash Management account?

Wow I can't believe it if true. I've been looking (passively) for something like this that wasn't a credit card!
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Old Feb 13, 16, 7:20 pm
  #179  
 
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Originally Posted by Mauibaby2008 View Post
No forex fee with the Fidelity Cash Management account?

Wow I can't believe it if true. I've been looking (passively) for something like this that wasn't a credit card!
Here is a link:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/credi...xperience.html

Since starting the above thread, I've used the card in Japan, China and in Europe.

Only once had a problem, in Shanghai, but that was because I was trying to withdraw money during a time when the FIDO system was backing up their computers during USA Sunday night. Called a rep, and he said to wait an hour. After that, it worked fine.

Last edited by 747FC; Feb 13, 16 at 7:26 pm Reason: Added infor.
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Old Feb 14, 16, 8:12 am
  #180  
 
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Forex Advice?

Nobody has mentioned this explicitly, though it's implied by the suggestions. Using your CCs for purchases and ATM cards for cash abroad will usually give you relatively good exchange rates. Certainly far better than any of the money exchange counters in airport/hotels/shopping areas, and often better than even your own bank.

Thus, the focus is heavily on finding products that avoid the additional forex fees and ATM fees. Many good suggestions on those already.
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