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Foreign exchange rates discussion [FOREX]--all cards

Foreign exchange rates discussion [FOREX]--all cards

Old Sep 25, 15, 3:09 am
  #106  
 
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I'll second what zyxlsy said. Here in South Korea, Discover is accepted but exchange rate is so bad it is stupid to use. Like 3% or higher than market rate. Meanwhile, Visa sucks too (usually 1% higher) and I stopped using it outside of United States.

Between Mastercard and Amex it's close. I've done 3 tests in the past month, Amex gave me the best rate 1 time and Mastercard gave me the best rate the other 2 times. Difference between the two is small enough that you should pick the card with the more appealing rewards program. Surprisingly, Amex is pretty much accepted everywhere here in Korea (probably because Samsung issues a local Amex card). I'm using a combination of Barclays Arrival+ and American Express Business SPG card for now. If I only had one card I would use Barclays Arrival+. The only time I have seen DCC in use in Korea is at Department Stores. Usually you have to select KRW or USD if using foreign MC/Visa. Amex is nice in that department as you don't have to worry about DCC. Aloft hotel in Gangnam also once charged me USD but they are an outlier rather than norm.

For those that travel outside of the U.S. less frequently, a card like Capital One Quicksilver with no annual fee, Mastercard network, no FTF and 1.5% cashback is nice to have (it will beat 2% cashback Visa cards ala Cap1 Spark due to better exchange rate).

Last edited by luna6; Sep 25, 15 at 3:29 am
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Old Sep 26, 15, 3:22 am
  #107  
 
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Quick thought — those who hate annual fees might like the Fidelity Amex.

Earns 2 WorldPoints per dollar (which can be worth more than a penny though not much more) and charges 1% foreign exchange fee.

Relative to a CapitalOne 2% Visa (which really nets 0.6% = 2% - 1.4%), you're netting a little more than 1%, maybe 1.5% if you know how to use WorldPoints...
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Old Sep 26, 15, 4:50 pm
  #108  
 
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Didn't try Amex or Discover, but I'm fascinated by this. I was at Tokyu Hands yesterday and bought two items within a few minutes of each other. Decided to test:

Chase UA Visa: 919 Yen -> $7.66 (1.200)

Citi Prestige MC: 1080 Yen -> $8.90 (1.213)

More than a percent better on Citi MC.

I'm really pretty surprised. If you had a Visa with a 3% forex fee, it's really 4%. Starts adding up.
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Old Sep 26, 15, 5:03 pm
  #109  
mia
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Originally Posted by josephstern View Post
...yesterday... .
Are these pending amounts or the final posted transactions?
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Old Sep 27, 15, 1:46 pm
  #110  
 
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A datapoint:

On Sept. 21 went to my favorite Starbucks here in Korea and handed the cashier 4 credit cards - Barclays Arrival+, American Express SPG, Capital One Spark, Discover It - and instructed her to load 50,000 KRW from each of the credit cards to my Starbucks account. Here's the results after they posted on each respective account.

$42.20 - Barclays Arrival+ (Mastercard)
$42.42 - Amex SPG
$42.60 - Capital One Spark (Visa)
$43.23 - Discover It

Using the Chase Sapphire P. for bonus categories still makes sense internationally, but for non-bonus spend Arrival+ or Amex SPG all the way.
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Old Sep 27, 15, 3:50 pm
  #111  
 
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
Are these pending amounts or the final posted transactions?
Still pending.

Not easy to use this Prestige in Japan (or anywhere).
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Old Sep 28, 15, 2:43 am
  #112  
 
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"Will I be charged a transaction fee when I make a purchase in a foreign currency using my Discover Card?

No, Discover does not charge a foreign currency transaction fee."

Um, oh yeah, they do...

For those running experiments...

careful to avoid days when the currency markets don't trade...

Last edited by mia; Sep 28, 15 at 7:16 am Reason: Combine consecutive replies
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Old Sep 28, 15, 11:00 pm
  #113  
 
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I've had nothing but good experiences with the exchange rate Discover/JCB gave me in Japan. In 2014 Q4, Discover It was significantly better than World Mastercard, which was significantly better than Visa Signature. In 2015 Q3, Discover It was significantly better than Amex, which was significantly better than Visa Signature.

What network is Discover running over in South Korea - Diners Club or BC Card or something else?

Last edited by photaco; Sep 28, 15 at 11:19 pm
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Old Sep 29, 15, 1:15 am
  #114  
 
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What network is Discover running over in South Korea
Diners Club. Maybe JCB gives better exchange rate? I have read in the past people commenting great exchange rates with Discover, but it's not so with Discover/Diner's Club in S. Korea and from what stvr says China too. With that said, I'm going to Japan for 9 days starring tomorrow, maybe I'll give Discover a try there.
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Old Oct 10, 15, 7:28 pm
  #115  
 
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I'm going to do some testing on my credit cards next Int'l trip to see which is best. I have visa, mc and amex. Does anyone know if it matters whether I make purchases at the same time - or can the test just be same day?

I did a test in the past for my ATM cards between Citi MC and HSBC MC (pulled out the exact same amount one right after the other) and the rates were nearly identical. Perhaps MC is always that way regardless of issuer.
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Old Oct 10, 15, 11:56 pm
  #116  
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Originally Posted by TravelinSperry View Post
I'm going to do some testing on my credit cards next Int'l trip to see which is best. I have visa, mc and amex. Does anyone know if it matters whether I make purchases at the same time - or can the test just be same day?
As soon as you put Amex in the mix, that's an impossible question to answer. Amex says that they post transactions on the date that they occur and use that day or the previous day's rate. I had a paper (click-clack machine!) Amex transaction at a restaurant recently on a weekend. It is clear from how long it took to get onto my online account that they did not receive it until days later, but it is still dated with the original transaction date on my account. In that situation with a Chase card, the transaction date would be days later and they would use the rate prevailing at the time of posting.

This makes comparison hard. Over the long term, what matters is how far away from the mid-rate our transactions' rates are. Pairing transactions seems like a good idea. It's ideal when the transactions are calculated in the same way. However, when we include Amex, whose date calculation methods differ from the others, it makes the Amex data vary wildly.
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Old Oct 11, 15, 10:20 am
  #117  
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Originally Posted by luna6 View Post
I'll second what zyxlsy said. Here in South Korea, Discover is accepted but exchange rate is so bad it is stupid to use. Like 3% or higher than market rate. Meanwhile, Visa sucks too (usually 1% higher) and I stopped using it outside of United States.

Between Mastercard and Amex it's close. I've done 3 tests in the past month, Amex gave me the best rate 1 time and Mastercard gave me the best rate the other 2 times. Difference between the two is small enough that you should pick the card with the more appealing rewards program. Surprisingly, Amex is pretty much accepted everywhere here in Korea (probably because Samsung issues a local Amex card). I'm using a combination of Barclays Arrival+ and American Express Business SPG card for now. If I only had one card I would use Barclays Arrival+. The only time I have seen DCC in use in Korea is at Department Stores. Usually you have to select KRW or USD if using foreign MC/Visa. Amex is nice in that department as you don't have to worry about DCC. Aloft hotel in Gangnam also once charged me USD but they are an outlier rather than norm.

For those that travel outside of the U.S. less frequently, a card like Capital One Quicksilver with no annual fee, Mastercard network, no FTF and 1.5% cashback is nice to have (it will beat 2% cashback Visa cards ala Cap1 Spark due to better exchange rate).
Our Quicksilver cards are Visa, converted from a MC reward card by CapOne. Though we never use them outside US. Did 4 RTW trips this year and the primary cards were A+ (now gone) and Citi's Premier cards largely because of the bonus category, and one of it is from 2007 that still has unmatched flight points to drain. Guess we just luck out because we dont own a CSP since 2nd half of 2014. We did use AMEX Plat for rental cars but that car was gone also. So now it is all Citi's. I am glad AA cards will be 0% forex effective Nov 15.

Would still bring a Chase co-branded Visa on trip as back up though.
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Old Oct 12, 15, 12:56 pm
  #118  
 
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Originally Posted by josephstern View Post
Didn't try Amex or Discover, but I'm fascinated by this. I was at Tokyu Hands yesterday and bought two items within a few minutes of each other. Decided to test:

Chase UA Visa: 919 Yen -> $7.66 (1.200)

Citi Prestige MC: 1080 Yen -> $8.90 (1.213)

More than a percent better on Citi MC.

I'm really pretty surprised. If you had a Visa with a 3% forex fee, it's really 4%. Starts adding up.
So the Chase posted finally at $7.68 and the Citi at $9.02.

First, I'm amazed that pending and post differ. Never knew that.

Second, here are the final conversion numbers for that date:

Chase UA Visa: 919 Yen -> $7.68 (1.1966)

Citi Prestige MC: 1080 Yen -> $9.02 (1.1973)

This makes the difference negligible.
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Old Oct 12, 15, 3:28 pm
  #119  
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Since cards from multiple banks are being discussed in this thread we are moving it from Chase UR to the CCP forum. A permanent redirect will be left in the Chase UR forum.

Your Mod Team

Last edited by philemer; Oct 12, 15 at 3:56 pm
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Old Oct 16, 15, 12:06 pm
  #120  
 
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PENDING
I just paid two small amounts to test the waters in the UK (within seconds of each other).
$1.55 USD (for a 1 GBP transaction) pending for both Venture (Visa Signature) and Prestige (World Elite Mastercard)
Live currency exchange was $1.54390 USD per GBP at that time.
Difference: 0.3951% from live rate.

I'll keep you updated as they post, but looks the same for me so far.

POSTED
On the 15th (yesterday) I purchased an item for 17 GBP on my Amex Platinum which posted today (not pending - actually posted) for $26.25 (rate of 1.544117647 USD per GBP)
Live currency exchange rate was $1.54849 USD per GBP at that time.
Difference: 0.28% from live rate.

Seems the differences are pretty small but American Express seems to be the closest to the live rate (from XE.com).
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