Category Archives: Foreign Transaction Fees

Good News for Overseas Travelers: Chase Introducing Chip-and-PIN Cards

[Disclosure:  Emily and I get a commission if you're approved using some of the links in this post.  You don't have to use our links, but thanks for your support!]

Via The Hustle Blog, Chase is changing some of their cards from Chip-And-Signature to the more secure and more widely used Chip-and-PIN technology.

My Sapphire Preferred Will Soon Have a Chi

My Sapphire Preferred Card Will Soon Have a Chip-and-PIN Technology!

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Which Credit Cards Do NOT Charge a Foreign Transaction Fee?

[Disclosure:  Emily and I get a referral for all cards in the post except for the Southwest Premier, Chase Priority Club, Chase Fairmont, Chase United Club, Citi Thank You Premier (better than my affiliate link), Citi American Airlines Executive, and the American Express Mercedes-Benz Platinum]

No Foreign Transaction Fee Cards

Readers often ask which credit cards do not charge the 1% to 3% foreign transaction fee for using the card for transactions in foreign currency.  Most credit cards will charge you a fee for purchases in a foreign currency.

So I’ve made a new page on the Travel Credit Cards tab for No Foreign Transaction Fee cards!

No-Foreign-Transaction-Fee-Cards

No Foreign Transaction Fee Tab!

The cards listed on that page do NOT charge a foreign transaction fee if you use them for transactions in foreign currencies.

My favorite no-foreign transaction fee card is the Chase Sapphire Preferred which offers double points for travel (airfare, hotel, car rental, parking etc.) and dining.  And you almost certainly are spending most of your money on travel and dining when you’re on vacation! Continue reading

Don’t Pay 27% More to Convert Dollars to Euros at the Airport!

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I’ve always known that changing money at airports is a terrible deal.  But I was curious to see just how much I would be ripped off, so I converted $100.50 into 60 euros at the Travelex Currency Services in Newark airport.

This was a terrible deal, because I would have received 16 more euros, for a total of 76 euros, if I had converted $100.50 at the official inter-bank rate.

I paid ~27% more (16 extra euros/60 euros) because of the fees involved at the Travelex store!

Don’t expect Travelex to tell you just how much extra you’re paying.  In my experience, the representatives are either themselves clueless about the fees or intentionally understate the fees to make a sale.  My receipt labels the representative as a “Sales Consultant” so I suspect a significant portion of the representatives’ salary is based on the volume of foreign currency sales.

This means that there is a significant incentive for the representative to generate sales and divert attention from the high fees charged by Travelex.  I specifically asked about fees, and was told that no fees were charged.  Which is technically correct because the receipt labels them as “Service Charges.”

Currency Conversion Airport-1

A $9.95 Service Charge is a Fee to Me!

The colorful marketing chart at the Travelex booth has the audacity to state “Discounted Exchange Rate on Today’s Transaction” when the foreign currency fee is 14% MORE, for converting US dollars to euros, than the inter-bank rate!

No Value For You!

And the “savings” mentioned are fictitious savings likely generated by comparing to inflated base rates.

Foreign Currency Conversion Fees

You pay two fees when you change currency at an airport.  This is in spite of the sales consultant (& the Travelex receipt) telling you that there are no fees.  That’s because there is a “Service Charge” so Travelex can honestly say that you weren’t charged a “fee” when in-fact the service charge has the same effect as a fee! Continue reading

Credit Card Updates: Chase Exclusive Rumor, 65,000 Points AMEX Hilton, Surpass Card Update, & American Express Platinum Limited Time Offer [Expired]

[Emily and I get a referral for links to the  Chase Freedom Visa, Chase Freedom MasterCard, Chase Sapphire PreferredCiti Hilton Reserve & the American Express Business Platinum]

1.  Chase Exclusive Rumor.  Dan’s Deals speculates that soon new customers won’t be able to earn 10 Ultimate Rewards Points per purchase with your Chase Freedom Visa or Chase Freedom MasterCard (if you also have a Chase Checking account as part of the Chase Exclusives Program.)

The rumor is that from November, existing customers will be grandfathered into the old program where you get 10 points per purchase with your Chase Freedom card.  But new customers will not get 10 extra points per purchase with the Chase Freedom.

The 10% points bonus will post to your account annually (like the 7% points dividend with the Chase Sapphire Preferred) instead of monthly, which is a essentially a wash.

I personally don’t see this as a big deal, and certainly do NOT see this as a reason to sign-up for the exclusive program now, if that wasn’t part of your plan. Continue reading