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No FTF cards - does Mastercard still impose 1% fee?

No FTF cards - does Mastercard still impose 1% fee?

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Old Jun 29, 15, 6:51 pm
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Thumbs down No FTF cards - does Mastercard still impose 1% fee?

So I set a travel alert for my Barclay Arrival Plus today, and got this email in response (emphasis added):

Thank you for contacting us regarding your Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard. We appreciate the time you have taken to inform us of your upcoming travel and would be happy to assist.

We have notated your account appropriately with this information. This should alleviate any potential problems you may have while using your card outside of your normal spending areas. Keep in mind, certain charges may still be referred for verification. Should this happen, please call us collect at 1-866-558-1107 and we will be happy to assist. This phone number is also located on the back of your card for your convenience. You may also ask the merchant to call the referral number that would be displayed on the register when trying to make a purchase. If you receive an automated message from our security department, please respond timely to ensure that your purchasing ability is not impacted. Please verify that we have the most up to date contact information on file by viewing the 'Your profile' link on our website.

As an additional reminder, foreign transaction fees are charged on purchases made outside of the United States or any business located outside the United States. The fee is 0% of each charge and will appear as a separate transaction on your statement. MasterCard charges 1% currency conversion fee for any transaction not completed in U.S. dollars, this will be included in the amount billed to your statement.

As an added convenience, you now have the option to submit your travel notification online. You will want to select ‘Learn more’ under the ‘My travel’ option which can be found on the ‘Tools’ section of the website, located on the account summary page.

We offer several email alerts to keep you informed about your account. To set up or change your account alert settings, select the 'Account settings' link and click on 'Edit' next to the section entitled 'Alerts.' We hope you find this information helpful.

We hope you have a safe trip! If you have any other questions or concerns, please reply to this message.

Sincerely,

Customer Care
Is it just me, or is this total BS? They claim not to charge a foreign transaction fee... but charge 1% extra for making a transaction in non-US currency (which is effectively the same thing)
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Old Jun 29, 15, 7:16 pm
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Barclay Arrival is not actually FT fee free

Isn't the fee charged by MasterCard already built into the rate?
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Old Jun 29, 15, 7:17 pm
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They're trying to make the distinction between any fee that Barclay would charge versus any fee that Mastercard would charge. Effectively, you do pay 1% "extra", so yeah, it does suck.
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Old Jun 29, 15, 7:59 pm
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I thought that most banks also waived the 1% MasterCard/Visa conversion fee when they advertise no foreign transaction fees?

anyone know if this 1% fee also applies to the aviator red card?
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Old Jun 29, 15, 8:21 pm
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Yeah, it is a true no transaction fee card in the same way it is a true chip&pin card. It isn't, exactly :P
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Old Jun 29, 15, 8:58 pm
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Originally Posted by greggarious View Post
So I set a travel alert for my Barclay Arrival Plus today, and got this email in response (emphasis added):



Is it just me, or is this total BS? They claim not to charge a foreign transaction fee... but charge 1% extra for making a transaction in non-US currency (which is effectively the same thing)


It's possible that what was communicated to you was in error- it was probably a form that was sent out to cards that have transaction fees, and they forgot to take out the paragraph about the 1% MasterCard conversion fee.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong - but it seems like standard practice is for a "No Foreign Transaction Fee" card to waive both the card issuer fee and the Visa/Mastercard fee.
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Old Jun 29, 15, 9:01 pm
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Someone else made various purchases on different cards at the same time and found that Barclays arrival plus consistently charged a higher rate than a capital one card. I'm not surprised if the 1% MasterCard fee is not waived and they're claiming 0%.
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Old Jun 29, 15, 9:32 pm
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Regarding the Arrival+, the fine print for the MasterCard says:

Currently, the currency conversion rate they use is either the wholesale market rate or the government mandated rate in effect under those procedures increased by one percent.
It clearly charges 1%, and isn't truly fee free.
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Old Jun 29, 15, 11:20 pm
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In practice, at least with the AUD, it has been fee free, sometimes even a better than published rate. I can't speak for other currencies, but I've used the Arrival + and US Airways Mastercard almost exclusively living in Australia and both provide consistently great rates with no noticeable fees and certainly nothing added at the end of the statement like my Citi AAdvantage Platinum.

I frequently check test transactions against the XE app and have had no issues.
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Old Jun 30, 15, 12:35 am
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It's fee free.

I've posted about this various times comparing FX rates between a lot of different cards.

The A+ pretty much always has the best rate. I believe your CSR response is confused.

I get mid market live rates on my A+. It's my go to card for any large international spend.
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Old Jun 30, 15, 6:41 am
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I got a reply:

Thank you for contacting us regarding your Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard. We can certainly address your concern regarding the foreign transaction fee on your account.

We apologize for the previous response caused confusion. However, we can confirm that this account will not be assessed any foreign transaction fee when making purchases outside of the United States or any business located outside the United States. However, the currency conversion rate that MasterCard and Visa use is the wholesale market rate in effect increased by 1%. This does not show on the account as a fee but is incorporated into the conversion rate. We hope that we have been able to clarify the situation and we hope you have a safe trip.

If you have any other questions and concerns, please reply to this message.

Sincerely,

Customer Care
Currently debating making an FTC complaint - this seems like a deceptive trade practice to me. They say there are no "foreign transaction fees" but charge a fee for making a transaction in non-US currency?!
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Old Jun 30, 15, 6:42 am
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Also, I travel international in July, so I'll try buying something small with both my A+, my Cap1, and post the result in this thread.
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Old Jun 30, 15, 8:43 am
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Originally Posted by Phantom707 View Post
They're trying to make the distinction between any fee that Barclay would charge versus any fee that Mastercard would charge. Effectively, you do pay 1% "extra", so yeah, it does suck.
Agree ... Welcome to the duopoly of MC & VISA. They have to make money too, and without them, your card can not be accepted internationally. This duopoly was actually created by the banks who created MC & VISA and then sold it in an IPO to the world. So in the end, it is NOT Barclays who is charging us that 1%. There are also many ways banks (Acceptance and Issuing are two different businesses sometimes controlled by same banks) make money internationally, like DCC when abroad. Lots of people do not know, and ask to be charged in USD when in places like Europe, instead of Euros. We, as a community, are more informed and try to avoid all these. I even have friends who use their US issued Debit Cards when traveling to Europe, because that is all they know how to do, and do not care. But yes, there is MC & VISA (and Amex as a processor/acquirer and not issuer) who get to charge and make money without having the risk of issuing loans. So in the end, it is NOT Barclays that is charging that 1%. Barclays says it charges 0% in that email. And I am not saying it is OK for MC to charge it, I am just saying it is not the bank and it is the network or brand (MC). Some banks might eat that 1% fee from MC, because their products are not used as much outside the US, some others might not, as they have to pay it to MC or VISA and do not want to absorb the cost.
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Old Jun 30, 15, 8:48 am
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
Agree ... Welcome to the duopoly of MC & VISA. They have to make money too, and without them, your card can not be accepted internationally. This duopoly was actually created by the banks who created MC & VISA and then sold it in an IPO to the world. So in the end, it is NOT Barclays who is charging us that 1%. There are also many ways banks (Acceptance and Issuing are two different businesses sometimes controlled by same banks) make money internationally, like DCC when abroad. Lots of people do not know, and ask to be charged in USD when in places like Europe, instead of Euros. We, as a community, are more informed and try to avoid all these. I even have friends who use their US issued Debit Cards when traveling to Europe, because that is all they know how to do, and do not care. But yes, there is MC & VISA (and Amex as a processor/acquirer and not issuer) who get to charge and make money without having the risk of issuing loans. So in the end, it is NOT Barclays that is charging that 1%. Barclays says it charges 0% in that email. And I am not saying it is OK for MC to charge it, I am just saying it is not the bank and it is the network or brand (MC). Some banks might eat that 1% fee from MC, because their products are not used as much outside the US, some others might not, as they have to pay it to MC or VISA and do not want to absorb the cost.
Is there a resource that lists which credit cards cover that 1% and which don't? I'm doing a bit of travel this year and would be interested to know.
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Old Jun 30, 15, 9:39 am
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This page seems to imply that many no FTF cards really are no FTF. Is Barclays the odd man out in *not* absorbing the 1% fee on their 'no FTF' card?

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/cred...fee-chart.aspx
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