Travelling with Credit Cards can be expensive!
Wondering what those extra “Fees” are on your credit card statement for purchases in Foreign currencies? Most banks and financial institutions charge these sneaky fees for transactions in a foreign currency (as much as 3% of the amount), only a few do not charge a fee for this so its worth knowing what your card is costing you.
The Credit Card provider will typically charge 1% to 2% from the market mid-rate. Then your bank may also charge an extra 3% on top of this as a “Overseas Transaction Charge”. Additionally there may be a “Overseas ATM” Fee when taking money out of ATMs abroad.
Using your credit card for cash advances is generally not a good idea, at home but least of all abroad. Once you begin using your credit card overseas, withdrawing cash will only escalate the fees. On top of the normal interest rate and lack of interest free days, you can be imposed a “Cash Advance Fee” $1-$10 / 1%-4% fee (whichever is higher) everytime you carry out an overseas cash advance. You will also be charged the standard cash advance rate for your credit card (as well as the international cash advance fee).
If you have a trip planned in the next 6 months or so, it could be worth stocking up and purchasing a portion of the foreign currency now on a Prepaid Foreign Currency Travel Card rather than waiting until you arrive.
Please leave comments below with the charges you are finding and any good deals you may have found.