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Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by Linda, Sep 1, 2000.
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I've never had any transaction fees for using my cards in Canada.
Unfortunately yes it is. Keep in mind the credit card company is not who is charging you the fee. You will actually get that same fee on any Visa or Mastercard you get no matter what company issues you the card. This is actually a fee for converting the foreign currency to american dollars. The fee is actually added before the charge ever gets to the credit card company (i.e. Citibank, First Usa, Wells Fargo etc). Here is an example of what happens.
1.first you make the charge
2. the charge is then sent to the merchants bank
3. the merchants bank then sends the charge to mastercard international
4. mastercard converts the money and attaches the fee.
5. mastercard then sends the charge to your credit card company and it gets put on youre bill.
In short youre credit card company actually has no choice in the matter.
Visa and MasterCard have long been levying a 1 percent fee for foreign currency transactions against the financial institutions that issue cards with their brand name. In 1998, the banks began passing that cost, plus some, on to customers.
In other words anything ABOVE that 1% which goes directly to the franchise organisation is a fee directly attributed to the issuing bank, so unless your gonna tell me that Citibank does not charge the customer more than a 1% fee (it charges 3%) then your full of it.
For those seeking to avoid being gouged by banks seeking to line their pockets with even more fees may seek an account with such banks as MBNA, Capital One and Wells Fargo who have no such surcharge.
Mastercard and Visa do issue the 1% fee. This is the fee none of the credit card companies have any control over. Citibank does charge an extra 2% fee for the cost of approving a foreign transaction. I really have no idea what those costs entail. I do know through working at other companies that it does cost more money to approve a charge in a foreign country than it does in the U.S. Although I dont know why? Some of this fee is used to pay for those transactions and yes some of it is used to make money. Most companies (not just credit card comanies) are in the business of making money. You should choose a credit card based upon what kind of charges you will be making and what interest rate you can afford. For example you would not want a Citbank card if you make allot of cash advances. Because of the fact that there interest rate for that is 19.9% for everyone. However if you dont do that the citibank card may be the best one out there for you. here is an example of how other cards make money off of consumers. Capital One charges a fee of $10.00 to do a payment over the phone (while citibank charges $5.00). FirstUsa charges some people late fees of $34.00 (while citibank charges $29.00). So I always tell people that they should get a list of all the fees a company will charge before they apply for a card and evalutae that based on how they will use the card. If a customer doesnt use their card in a foreign country they arent going to care about the 2% fee on their citibank card. Just like if a person doesnt make there payments over the phone their not going to care about capital one's $10.00 fee.
I know this is a pretty long post but some don't realize that they have to do these things and I don't want anybody to feel taken advantage of.