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Foreign exchange rates discussion [FOREX]--all cards

Foreign exchange rates discussion [FOREX]--all cards

Old May 22, 15, 9:55 pm
  #61  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Aotearoa New Zealand
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I just did three fairly large transactions in New Zealand (several thousand dollars each transaction) with the same amount on each of three credit cards: Citi Prestige MasterCard, Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa, and Barclay Arrival+ MasterCard, in that order. The transactions were within a period of a few minutes, so there was no change to the exchange rates posted on the site I use (http://www.nzforex.co.nz/exchange-rate). Here are the effective exchange rates on the authorizations (which are the best guide to exchange rate, since if posting is delayed and takes place at a different rate that doesn't reflect the "live" rate on the card):

Citi MC: .73105
Chase Visa: .73983
Barclay MC: .73105

The MasterCard transactions are at the midmarket rate, but the Chase Visa is effectively charging a 1.2% fee on the transaction.

I'd noticed last year that another Visa card I'd been using for years was no longer giving me a good exchange rate, but it didn't occur to me that this was Visa rather than the individual card issuer. I'll try some more experiments over time with smaller amounts, but aside from that I'm going to stop using Visa outside the U.S.
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Old May 22, 15, 10:14 pm
  #62  
 
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I noticed the links posted earlier for the credit card exchange calculators, so I took a look at the Visa rates (http://usa.visa.com/personal/card-be...calculator.jsp) for the last week (including May 23, which is the current date in NZ where I'm posting this and the date of my transactions). Here's what they show:

May 18 - 0.750825
May 19 - 0.746125
May 20 - 0.744826
May 21 - 0.737426
May 22 - 0.734627
May 23 - 0.739826

Those rates are well above the actual midmarket rates on those days, so it definitely looks like that sucking sound you hear is money going to pump up Visa's profits. Part of the reason may be that they appear to set the exchange rate in advance for the day, so they add a premium just in case the market rate changes. MasterCard's rates appear to be based on the settlement date rather than transaction date, so they don't have this risk. Here are the rates from the MasterCard calculator (https://www.mastercard.com/global/currencyconversion/) through Wednesday, the last date they show as of now:

May 18 - 0.738000
May 19 - 0.737750
May 20 - 0.732150

Anybody else want to try this comparison on other currencies? It'd be interesting to see if the Visa markup is as large on more heavily-traded currencies such as the Euro.
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Old May 22, 15, 10:31 pm
  #63  
 
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Originally Posted by Flying Kiwi View Post
Here are the effective exchange rates on the authorizations (which are the best guide to exchange rate, since if posting is delayed and takes place at a different rate that doesn't reflect the "live" rate on the card.
Now that I (think I) understand how the exchanges work I realize that's not completely true. It looks like MasterCard gives you the market rate, but on the settlement date rather than the purchase date. Visa gives you a less favorable rate, but apparently with it fixed at the time of purchase (and fixed for the entire day).

I'll verify this in a few days when the actual charges show up in my account.
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Old May 23, 15, 1:35 am
  #64  
 
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Originally Posted by Flying Kiwi View Post
Now that I (think I) understand how the exchanges work I realize that's not completely true. It looks like MasterCard gives you the market rate, but on the settlement date rather than the purchase date. Visa gives you a less favorable rate, but apparently with it fixed at the time of purchase (and fixed for the entire day).

I'll verify this in a few days when the actual charges show up in my account.
I can confirm a similar higher rate on th CSP for large AUD payments vs MC from Citi and Barclays.

As far as I can see, MC is giving me live market rates, while Visa is making up a rate for an entire day and giving me that.

I no longer use Visa for AUD transactions.
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Old May 23, 15, 9:59 am
  #65  
 
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Originally Posted by Flying Kiwi View Post
Anybody else want to try this comparison on other currencies? It'd be interesting to see if the Visa markup is as large on more heavily-traded currencies such as the Euro.
Just did it for JPY

Visa:
May 18 - 0.008393
May 19 - 0.008387
May 20 - 0.008346

Mastercard:
May 18 - 0.008368
May 19 - 0.008347
May 20 - 0.008284

Mastercard's rates are better, with the largest difference on May 20. Visa I feel like uses some kind of an average, because whenever there are sudden movements in the exchange rate, there is a lag before Visa's rates reflect it.
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Old May 23, 15, 5:21 pm
  #66  
 
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I was surprized when 225 Euro posted as 254 USD instead of the day rate of 250 USD to my so-called 'no foreign transaction fee' Visa Hyatt Chase cc.
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Old May 24, 15, 10:05 am
  #67  
 
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If the rates are actually reflected on their websites, we don't need transactions to verify that, right?

I will take a look at the rates when I have time. I suspect there is a difference between market currencies like AUD and EUR, and non-market currencies like CNY.
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Old May 26, 15, 12:41 am
  #68  
 
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I have the feeling that for CNY transactions, we don't have the worse rates of Visa. This could be because that CNY is not a market currency.

To compare market currencies, I looked at the different rates for 5-22 on their official rate sites, and found for CNY, Visa is actually a little (0.1%) bit better; but for AUD, MC is like 1% better than Visa (you can see this by simply looking at the rates shown on their websites). For EUR, JPY, and GPB, they are about the same.

My Barclay MC uses transaction dates' data, my Citi MC cards use transaction dates as posting dates, and my Chase Visa uses posting dates' data. This is the major difference I've found so far.
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Old May 28, 15, 2:53 pm
  #69  
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Just got my Chase Sapphire Pref bill.. EUR:USD rate is coming in around 3% higher than expected. In fact, the exchange rate trended up when the market shows that it should have gotten slightly better.

Is this driven by Visa or Chase?
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Old May 29, 15, 12:53 am
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Originally Posted by izzik View Post
Just got my Chase Sapphire Pref bill.. EUR:USD rate is coming in around 3% higher than expected. In fact, the exchange rate trended up when the market shows that it should have gotten slightly better.

Is this driven by Visa or Chase?
Visa.

I've done this experiment with two "0%" FTF cards from Chase and a local CU. Rates were identical.

My rates on Citi Prestige MC and Barclays Arrival+ are identical too.

And always much better than Visa.
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Old May 29, 15, 6:47 am
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Originally Posted by patrick.barnes View Post
Visa.

I've done this experiment with two "0%" FTF cards from Chase and a local CU. Rates were identical.

My rates on Citi Prestige MC and Barclays Arrival+ are identical too.

And always much better than Visa.
What currency was it? I've found that some non-market currencies like CNY don't have this difference between Visa and MC, but nobody here can corroborate this...
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Old May 29, 15, 7:09 am
  #72  
 
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Here I pull the data from both, Visa/MC, 1 local currency in USD: (on May-27)

AUD 0.784222/0.769200 up 1.95%
CAD 0.812861/0.800833 up 1.50%
CNY 0.161205/0.161262 down 0.04%
EUR 1.098790/1.092399 up 0.58%
GBP 1.548045/1.542700 up 0.35%
JPY 0.008231/0.008136 up 1.17%
SGD 0.746138/0.738662 up 1.01%

By looking simply at the numbers, Visa indeed charge higher for market currencies.

However, I do remember seeing on my Arrival+ letter that Barclay MC cards charge MC rates plus 1% for "no-ftf" cards. Anyone sees that too?

Here are the links I use for the numbers:

https://www.mastercard.com/global/currencyconversion/
http://usa.visa.com/personal/card-be...or-results.jsp
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Old May 29, 15, 12:12 pm
  #73  
 
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Originally Posted by zyxlsy View Post
Here I pull the data from both, Visa/MC, 1 local currency in USD: (on May-27)

AUD 0.784222/0.769200 up 1.95%
CAD 0.812861/0.800833 up 1.50%
CNY 0.161205/0.161262 down 0.04%
EUR 1.098790/1.092399 up 0.58%
GBP 1.548045/1.542700 up 0.35%
JPY 0.008231/0.008136 up 1.17%
SGD 0.746138/0.738662 up 1.01%

By looking simply at the numbers, Visa indeed charge higher for market currencies.

However, I do remember seeing on my Arrival+ letter that Barclay MC cards charge MC rates plus 1% for "no-ftf" cards. Anyone sees that too?

Here are the links I use for the numbers:

https://www.mastercard.com/global/currencyconversion/
http://usa.visa.com/personal/card-be...or-results.jsp
Arrival+ is true 0%.
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Old May 30, 15, 1:32 am
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Originally Posted by zyxlsy View Post
Here I pull the data from both, Visa/MC, 1 local currency in USD: (on May-27)

AUD 0.784222/0.769200 up 1.95%
CAD 0.812861/0.800833 up 1.50%
CNY 0.161205/0.161262 down 0.04%
EUR 1.098790/1.092399 up 0.58%
GBP 1.548045/1.542700 up 0.35%
JPY 0.008231/0.008136 up 1.17%
SGD 0.746138/0.738662 up 1.01%

By looking simply at the numbers, Visa indeed charge higher for market currencies.

However, I do remember seeing on my Arrival+ letter that Barclay MC cards charge MC rates plus 1% for "no-ftf" cards. Anyone sees that too?

Here are the links I use for the numbers:

https://www.mastercard.com/global/currencyconversion/
http://usa.visa.com/personal/card-be...or-results.jsp
Any comments on my methodology? Your input is greatly appreciated, so that we can see whether the numbers I compiled above make sense.

I would like to suggest that by simply looking at the rates (if my methodology is correct), we can see that MC is a better choice, without the need to actually swipe the cards to find that out.

One thing to consider is that Chase (Visa, I haven't checked for Chase MC) uses posting dates' rates, and other banks use either transactional dates' rates or posting dates' rates. So the timing can create uncertainties.

Last edited by zyxlsy; May 30, 15 at 1:39 am
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Old May 31, 15, 9:21 pm
  #75  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
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I wrote a python script to pull data from visa/mastercard (xe requires you to pay $ to access their API)

probably against visa/mastercard ToS to host it on a website.... might convert this into a Chrome extension to make it more user friendly if I'm not lazy...


http://pastebin.com/Khe7J3a1

Originally Posted by shinjukuflyer View Post
Just did it for JPY
me too... 20150501->20150527(today)...

Mastercard doesn't report weekend data. For Visa, you can see that weekend rates = Monday's rates. Visa says that May 30/31 + June 1 = 0.008091 rate for JPY (or 123.59411692)

Code:
Date, Visa ->, Visa <-, Mastercard ->, Mastercard <-
20150501,0.00844,118.483412322,0.00835631319462,119.67
20150502,0.008379,119.345984008,,
20150503,0.008379,119.345984008,,
20150504,0.008379,119.345984008,0.00833194467589,120.02
20150505,0.008335,119.976004799,0.00835352100911,119.71
20150506,0.008353,119.717466778,0.00839066957543,119.18
20150507,0.00839,119.189511323,0.00840124338402,119.03
20150508,0.0084,119.047619048,0.00836260244188,119.58
20150509,0.008362,119.588615164,,
20150510,0.008362,119.588615164,,
20150511,0.008362,119.588615164,0.00834794223224,119.79
20150512,0.008372,119.44577162,0.00835003340013,119.76
20150513,0.008349,119.774823332,0.00840265523906,119.01
20150514,0.008402,119.019281124,0.00841325929665,118.86
20150515,0.008412,118.877793628,0.00839137366787,119.17
20150516,0.008393,119.146908138,,
20150517,0.008393,119.146908138,,
20150518,0.008393,119.146908138,0.00836820083682,119.5
20150519,0.008387,119.232144986,0.00834724540902,119.8
20150520,0.008346,119.817876827,0.00828431778643,120.71
20150521,0.008294,120.569086086,0.00827677536832,120.82
20150522,0.008276,120.831319478,0.00829118646878,120.61
20150523,0.00829,120.627261761,,
20150524,0.00829,120.627261761,,
20150525,0.00829,120.627261761,0.00823587547356,121.42
20150526,0.00829,120.627261761,0.00816793269623,122.43
20150527,0.008231,121.491920787,0.00813603449679,122.91
(Higher is better for USD card holders)

Let me consult my crystal ball - Visa and MC's rate should jump up higher


Last edited by paperwastage; May 31, 15 at 9:36 pm
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