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post #1 of 33 Old 11-02-2013 Thread Starter
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Canadian Credit cards to travel with

I'm researching which credit cards to leave Canada with. Am looking for low/no fee cards, and especially those offering zero foreign currency transaction fees. This is a common offering in the US, but seems to be rare for Canadian institutions.

The four I've found are:


  • Sears Financial MasterCard (two versions)
  • Marriott VISA
  • Are there other options I'm missing?

    Why go fast, when you can go slow.
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    post #2 of 33 Old 11-04-2013
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    Re: Canadian Credit cards to travel with

    Don't be duped by the foreign transaction fee avoidance. I can't speak for Canadian banks, but this isn't as clear as it seems in the US. Often, those that claim to have no fee will simply adjust the exchange rate and make even more and its substantially harder to tell, unless you are seriously studied on daily exchange rates. The fee can be a better deal.
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    post #3 of 33 Old 11-04-2013
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    Re: Canadian Credit cards to travel with

    cash is king!
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    post #4 of 33 Old 11-04-2013 Thread Starter
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    Re: Canadian Credit cards to travel with

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
    Don't be duped by the foreign transaction fee avoidance. I can't speak for Canadian banks, but this isn't as clear as it seems in the US. Often, those that claim to have no fee will simply adjust the exchange rate and make even more and its substantially harder to tell, unless you are seriously studied on daily exchange rates. The fee can be a better deal.
    I've seen this mentioned by others (well, one other responder), but wouldn't it be a case of outright fraud? Not saying you're wrong, b/c g-d knows I'm sure these banks will always do what they can to squeeze as much $$ out of us as possible. But I would think this would be a relatively easy thing to show, and would quickly result in law suits or even a class action.

    Any class action lawyers reading this?

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    post #5 of 33 Old 11-04-2013
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    Re: Canadian Credit cards to travel with

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    Originally Posted by MikeOReilly View Post
    I've seen this mentioned by others (well, one other responder), but wouldn't it be a case of outright fraud? Not saying you're wrong, b/c g-d knows I'm sure these banks will always do what they can to squeeze as much $$ out of us as possible. But I would think this would be a relatively easy thing to show, and would quickly result in law suits or even a class action.

    Any class action lawyers reading this?
    No, it's not. Just like trading stocks, any given price throughout the day will vary depending on how much you have to trade and the counterparty at the moment of the trade. Further, the traders themselves bid or ask to make a profit and must do so. Otherwise, there is no one out there to effect the exchange and take risk holding inventory.

    Further, have you ever tried to exchange in the airport, at the hotel, in the restaurant. All widely different exchange rates.
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    post #6 of 33 Old 11-04-2013 Thread Starter
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    Re: Canadian Credit cards to travel with

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    Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
    No, it's not. Just like trading stocks, any given price throughout the day will vary depending on how much you have to trade and the counterparty at the moment of the trade. Further, the traders themselves bid or ask to make a profit and must do so. Otherwise, there is no one out there to effect the exchange and take risk holding inventory.

    Further, have you ever tried to exchange in the airport, at the hotel, in the restaurant. All widely different exchange rates.
    All the financial institutions' agreements I've examined claim the exchange rate that is applied is set by the credit card company, not them. Most also insert some fudgy language saying the exact exchange rate that is applied is the one in effect when the purchase is debited to the user's account. This could be hours or even days out of sync of the actual purchase. However, that would still be easy to analyse. I'm not one to support banks, but I'd like to see actual proof of this allegation Minn.

    This 2.5% off foreign currency purchases likely amounts to very small potatoes for most financial institutions. Most of their clients don't do this very often. I interpret this as some companies using this option as a low-cost loss leader to get more business.

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    Re: Canadian Credit cards to travel with

    I've found that the charge is about 3 %..my best bank forgoes the ATM charges, however seems the the spread on FOREX and other financial institutions exchange rates averages the 3%. When in country I get 10K or so in cash for the next crusing period, after that then I'm at the mercy of the banks. while 3% may seem like small beer, it still pisses me off.


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    post #8 of 33 Old 11-04-2013
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    Re: Canadian Credit cards to travel with

    Mike, stop with your research. Haven't you realized, there's a big scheme by the rest of the world to keep Canadians from leaving the country. If you persist, you'll upset the natural order of things. Just enjoy Thunder Bay.

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    post #9 of 33 Old 11-04-2013 Thread Starter
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    Re: Canadian Credit cards to travel with

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    Mike, stop with your research. Haven't you realized, there's a big scheme by the rest of the world to keep Canadians from leaving the country. If you persist, you'll upset the natural order of things. Just enjoy Thunder Bay.
    Now I understand why it's so hard

    Seriously though, if it weren't for the fact that our water turns rather hard for six months each year I may never leave. Lake Superior alone offers many life times worth of cruising opportunity. It will be hard to leave, but the cold, and the cost of living, is going to send us south for a while.

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    Re: Canadian Credit cards to travel with

    Mike, I'm actually relaying my own personal experience with this, when one of my cards terms was chnaged and I had to look into it. The only way to prove it is to do a foreign transaction on our card and then try to analyze as you say. The actual exchange rate used will never be the one you see published for that day. How different it is can be a matter of timing of the trade during the day or padding of the exchange rate to get their profit.

    I'm not going to make a mission out of convincing you, but I do know what I'm saying is true. All the best with finding what you're looking for.
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