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Foreign exchange rates discussion [FOREX]--all cards

Foreign exchange rates discussion [FOREX]--all cards

Old Feb 14, 16, 9:23 am
  #181  
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Originally Posted by gooselee View Post
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.
Three words of warning, though, for credit card users: dynamic currency conversion (DCC). Be very careful that your purchase is billed in the local currency or you may risk a 3-5% surcharge for allowing the merchant to charge you in dollars "for your convenience", and you could also be hit with a 3% surcharge from your bank for a foreign transaction on top of that. Always insist on being billed in the local currency at time of payment.

I regularly run across this in Ireland, and was surprised that a Berlin hotel I stayed at once had a sign on the counter offering DCC for my convenience (they had to reverse that transaction, done without my authorization, so I could properly be billed in Euros). The only entity this is "convenient" for is the merchant and their credit card processor.
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Old Feb 14, 16, 9:42 am
  #182  
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Moderator action: I'm going to move this to the Credit Card forum, where you will find ongoing discussions on Forex fees. Please continue the discussion over there.
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Old Feb 14, 16, 11:47 am
  #183  
 
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Originally Posted by tom911 View Post
Three words of warning, though, for credit card users: dynamic currency conversion (DCC). Be very careful that your purchase is billed in the local currency or you may risk a 3-5% surcharge for allowing the merchant to charge you in dollars "for your convenience", and you could also be hit with a 3% surcharge from your bank for a foreign transaction on top of that. Always insist on being billed in the local currency at time of payment.

I regularly run across this in Ireland, and was surprised that a Berlin hotel I stayed at once had a sign on the counter offering DCC for my convenience (they had to reverse that transaction, done without my authorization, so I could properly be billed in Euros). The only entity this is "convenient" for is the merchant and their credit card processor.
A very upscale hotel in Beijing hit me with DCC without my consent, so I contested with my CC issuer. I sent in my hotel bill which showed what I should have been charged, and they looked up the USD cost for that day. I ended up with the entire hotel bill of $1600 refunded to my account, which was a pretty good deal as the DCC upcharge that I contested was only about $60.
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Old Feb 14, 16, 12:38 pm
  #184  
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Originally Posted by diburning View Post
This is what I have:

Credit Cards:

Bank of America Rewards - 3% FTF
Originally Posted by diburning View Post
I would like to add that my ability to get new credit cards at this time is not great.
Call Bank of America at the customer service number on the back of your credit card and ask them to convert your account to the BankAmericard Travel Rewards card.

Concerning cash, I have yet to be at a European airport that does not have an ATM in the arrival area. You may not avoid the the conversion charges or the ATM fees (BofA partners with Barclays, BNP and Deutsche Bank, so you will not be assessed the ATM fees if you use their ATMs), however, it will still be cheaper than buying Euros or British Pounds in the US.
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Old Feb 14, 16, 3:14 pm
  #185  
 
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My BofA card is actually an older Power Rewards card. I've tried to see whether I could convert it to another product, and every agent I've spoken to said that it cannot be done, and that they encourage me to apply for a new card instead.

As far as ATMs, I can probably use that Allpoint ATM in the LHR Radisson with my credit union debit/ATM card and get cash that way without any fees.

I just thought of another decent idea. I could probably offer to set up a currency exchange at the next local Do. I'm sure FTers with GBP/Euros (especially coins, since US Banks don't deal with foreign coins) lying around would want to get rid of them at a better exchange rate than the banks will offer them anyway.
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Old Feb 14, 16, 4:33 pm
  #186  
 
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Originally Posted by 747FC View Post
A very upscale hotel in Beijing hit me with DCC without my consent, so I contested with my CC issuer. I sent in my hotel bill which showed what I should have been charged, and they looked up the USD cost for that day. I ended up with the entire hotel bill of $1600 refunded to my account, which was a pretty good deal as the DCC upcharge that I contested was only about $60.
Something tells me that about $1540 of that will come back through. How long has it been?
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Old Feb 14, 16, 4:40 pm
  #187  
 
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Originally Posted by Michael Ad View Post
Something tells me that about $1540 of that will come back through. How long has it been?
Over a year.

The hotel missed the CC issuer's 60-day window to respond to my dispute, so they are out of luck.

A bit of justice on their scam charge...
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Old Feb 14, 16, 4:46 pm
  #188  
 
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Originally Posted by 747FC View Post
Over a year.

The hotel missed the CC issuer's 60-day window to respond to my dispute, so they are out of luck.

A bit of justice on their scam charge...
Something tells me you won this one.

Nice.
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Old Feb 15, 16, 1:52 am
  #189  
 
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Guys, regarding the hidden 1% on A+ we've all been discussing here, I do want to mention that my recent transactions on A+ in Singapore all ended up posted with a ~1% uptick from the pending amount.

I cannot verify whether this is due to hidden exchange charge added when getting posted, or simply rate variation between the transaction/settlement date.

I have another SGD charge coming up. Let's see whether it is going to be 1% more.

Anyone who has data on this issue? I'm starting to really think that A+ adds hidden fees now.
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Old Feb 15, 16, 10:00 am
  #190  
 
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Originally Posted by zyxlsy View Post
I do want to mention that my recent transactions on A+ in Singapore all ended up posted with a ~1% uptick from the pending amount.
If Singapore's currency is appreciating against the US Dollar, then it's totally expected that your posted charge is higher than your pending charge. Just comparing pending amount vs. posted amount doesn't tell you anything.
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Old Feb 16, 16, 12:02 am
  #191  
 
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Originally Posted by photaco View Post
If Singapore's currency is appreciating against the US Dollar, then it's totally expected that your posted charge is higher than your pending charge. Just comparing pending amount vs. posted amount doesn't tell you anything.
Dude, thanks for telling, but with all due respect, I am not that entry-level on this topic...

If we check the USD/SGD trend, we don't see a 1% jump of SGD over Feb 10-12 period. The biggest jump should be somewhere of 0.5% max.

Also, the 1% number I got by comparing pending amount to posted amount eerily looks alike to the 1% people have been mentioning here, the hidden exchange charge Barclay is claimed to have added recently from Jan 2016.

However, another transaction of SGD on Feb 13 came back without being increased. But, the transaction amount is little.

I will cross-compare this transaction and other transactions on my A+ with transactions on my Citi Premier on the same date to verify whether Barclay is charging hidden fees on foreign exchange.
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Old Feb 21, 16, 5:56 pm
  #192  
 
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Is it by chance a Visa card? This is what my credit union has to say about that:

What is the 1% currency conversion fee on my credit card?
The currency conversion fee is assessed by Visa on all international purchases, credit vouchers, and cash disbursements. The fee applies to all transactions where the merchant country differs from the country of the card issuer.
Prior to April 2005, Visa incorporated the fee into the transaction amount. Effective April 2005, the currency conversion fee appears as a separate line item on your billing statement.
HFCU does not assess additional fees on foreign transactions.
Most CCs/banks will lump it together though.
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Old Feb 23, 16, 1:26 am
  #193  
 
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Originally Posted by diburning View Post
Is it by chance a Visa card? Most CCs/banks will lump it together though.
No, Arrival+ from Barclay is a MasterCard.

I stopped using Visa in countries where their currencies follow market rates. In countries with rate control, I find Visa usable.

My concern is A+ using a worse rate for large transactions, mentioned by some of the posts here. They also say it started in Jan 2016.

I haven't been able to independently verify this. My transactions in Singapore were not all huge enough and the results were inconsistent.

I still tend to believe A+ doesn't do this dirty thing. But who wants to gamble on a $1000 charge where the potential hidden fee can be over $10?
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Old Feb 23, 16, 10:27 am
  #194  
 
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Originally Posted by zyxlsy View Post
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.
Hmm interesting data points. Going to both places in the next few weeks and was trying to figure out what cards to used. I have to use Citi Prestige in Bali for hotel (which is likely the only real purchase I make there with a CC) but I'm flexible for Singapore.

I want to use my Hyatt Visa since I'm staying at the GH Singapore but maybe I need to reconsider given recent reports re: Visa FX and use the Citi Premier (or Prestige) there instead since at least I'll get the same 3x for the stay.

Still need to decide what to use for restaurants - I used to use my CSP for travel all the time but as noted above sounds like Visa FX rates haven't been great recently.
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Old Feb 25, 16, 5:38 am
  #195  
 
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In London, I used my Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa and Amex SPG for 5 top ups to my Oyster card. I did them within about a minute. Chase translated to $7.17, Amex to $7.26. There were no separate currency conversion fees. Charge was on 2/17.

This seems contrary to recent posts preferring Amex to Visa.

The Visa rate (1.434) approximated the highest inter-bank spot in 2/17, according to https://www.poundsterlinglive.com/be...-on-2016-02-17. The Amex (1.452) rate was higher, although the pound was dropping at the time.
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