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Credit Card Question (USA) Anyway to avoid those fees-DVD Related

Old 09-05-01, 03:12 AM
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Credit Card Question (USA) Anyway to avoid those fees-DVD Related

I'll get to the point. Many American Credit Card companies charge a foreign transaction fee (usually a percentage of the total transaction) for goods purchased outside the USA. It is (based on my experience) usually 3 % (1% Credit Card and 2% the issuing bank). Now, these fees usually aren't huge on most of my DVD orders, but it still adds up.

The 1% fee is standard and MC, Visa, and perhaps AMEX charge this.

It's the other fee (around 2%) that is charged by the bank that I am concerned about.

Does anyone know of or have a card which does not charge a fee in addition to the 1%?

Specifically, I would like one which doesn't charge an annual fee, but
I'm open to any suggestions. VISA seems to be accepted most frequently so that
would also be a plus, not a requirement. Perhaps, I'm just going to have to live with the 3% fee but I thought I would post and hope for the best.
Old 09-05-01, 01:18 PM
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I have found that Providian and Citibank don't charge currency conversion fees while Chase does. (Needless to say, I don't use my Chase card on International orders anymore).

One question I've wondered about is whether or not we are getting fair exchange rates. I think the rates are ok, but I haven't been saving that information from the transaction dates to compare later when the bill arrives.

I think both Providian and Citibank charge annual fees, but they waive them if you carry a balance.

Last edited by Damfino; 09-05-01 at 01:21 PM.
Old 09-05-01, 02:52 PM
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I have in the past ordered stuff overseas using a VISA.

I compare my cc bill with that billing days exchange rate (goto xe.com to find out what the currency rate was that day). Then I compare how much the cc is charging. It always came out to be 1% for Hong Kong and maybe 2% for europe.

YMMV
Old 09-05-01, 07:23 PM
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Thanks for the info. so far. I called Citibank and asked about whether or not they charged
fees. She said that they did and she was pretty sure that other cards do too.
Perhaps I might just have to accept the 3% fee.


Thinking about this issue makes me curious about how Internationals are treated when they order a Region 1 DVD and have it sent to Europe, Asia etc. Any internationals care to comment
on how they are handled by their CC company. Do you also have "conversion" fees?
Old 09-06-01, 12:25 AM
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My bad.

Although I don't have a recent Citibank bill with a foreign charge, I do have a Providian bill from July that had a DDDhouse order on it. This one stood out because I know the HK$ has had a steady exchange rate of 7.8 for months.

Providian gave me an exchange rate of 7.57 effectively charging me 3% for the transaction!

I suspect Citibank does the same thing, while Chase separates the service charge from the exchange rate.

If you are buying DVDs from Hong Kong, keep in mind that Hivizone bills you from its US office in US Dollars. This qualifies as a hidden discount when comparing HK prices.
Old 09-06-01, 12:32 AM
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The 1% foreign currency conversion fee is quite common on credit cards in Australia. Of the credit cards I use to buy Region 1 and 2 DVDs, I know that ANZ Bank and am fairly sure that Commonwealth Bank charge a 1% conversion fee. I suspect others do too. At least ANZ Bank has the good grace to state on the credit card statement that the exchange includes the fee.

Just another little cost that we have to bear to get those DVDs not available in Region 4, on top of the Australian dollar being weaker than watered down grog.



Ian
Old 09-06-01, 02:35 AM
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In the US, I believe that Visa and MasterCard charge a 1% foreign currency transaction fee. The issuing bank can add another fee on top of this so check with your issueing bank. AMEX and Diners CLub charge 2%. Discover is not accepted outside the US so I guess you could say there is no fee.

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