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Master Mariner
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9,071 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has any one of you international travelers found a solution to this amazingly flexible and costly fee, while using your credit card or debit card while traveling? I'm getting pretty tired of my bank seeking to recoup the entire amount they lost in 2008/9, from me alone.
 

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1979 Morgan Out Island 41
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85 Posts
I've been using Capital One in Mexico for the sole reason that they don't charge me transactions fees. The only downside (and it's minor) is that you can only set the travel flag on the file for 2 (or might be 3) months at a time. So I have to remember to go back into the online administration and reset that every couple months.
 

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Administrator
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5,921 Posts
Good to know about Capital One. I have a card from them. I've been using my local credit union debit card abroad and they don't charge the fee, either.
 

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landofrainandgray
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105 Posts
Bank of America has a newer credit card called their "Travel Rewards" visa with no transaction fees plus it has the chip on it that many countries require. I use it exclusively when traveling because those fees add up!
 

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<insert sarcasm here>
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49 Posts
Chase is known for fees on foreign transactions. I don't know if all of their cards charge a fee, but I know a lot of them do. A business associate of mine racked up $75 in fees in one week of minor purchases in Toronto on his Chase card because he didn't know/didn't check.

All Capital One cards, to my knowledge, do not have foreign transaction fees. I have two from them (one personal and one for my small business) and neither charges for fees. I've never spoken to anyone with a Cap One card who has been fee'd (I travel a lot for my business), but as always read the fine print to be sure.

Can't comment on BoA card fees. I once had a business credit card (from a former employer) and a personal credit card from them simultaneously. They messed up billing and mischarged the two cards indiscriminately for 8 consecutive months and their customer service was horrendous. I finally stopped using both cards until all the errors had been corrected, told my employer I was refusing to keep the business card, and made them close the account. I've steadfastly refused to use them since. That was 5 years ago, maybe they've improved.

Charles Schwab offers a checking account with debit/check card with no foreign transaction fees and refunds atm fees worldwide. It must be tied to a Charles Schwab investment account, but that account does not have to be funded/used. I've just signed up for one and am currently waiting on my cards to arrive.
 

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Junior Member
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3,506 Posts
I have a Fidelity Investment account visa/debit card. No 3% currency conversion charge and they credit me the foreign ATM debit account fee. It's also a no fee card as well.
 

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Registered
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23,884 Posts
Be very careful with this one folks. Generally, nothing is for nothing in life. Would you readily notice the difference between a $1.52 and a $1.57 exchange rate? That would be more than the 3%, if its slipped by. For that matter, how good are you at knowing the proper exchange rate at all? You never get what is published in the paper, as you aren't trading currency.

The fee is not always bad on a net basis, it all depends on how efficient your bank is at passing a good exchange rate. No fee and the exchange rate is easily marked up instead. Clearly, you want to avoid a bank that does both.

I've gotten into this debate before and, more often than not, those that just hate fees get stubborn about them. Even when they pay more.
 

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13,645 Posts
capta, try a search for something like "credit cards with no exchange fees". Some banks offer them, some offer them if you keep a high minimum balance in the bank, which can be from a retirement or investment account. But there ARE a number of cards that promise all foreign transactions will be settled DAILY at the close of the business day, at the officially posted exchange rate.

As usual, some cards will be free, some will have better "points", some will have travel advantages (free checked bag or vip lounge) and others won't. But they are out there.
 
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