Credit Cards and Currency Conversion

 

List of Banks with Fee Details

Using credit cards while traveling abroad has its own advantages, but it may not be as simple as using it within the US. While traveling to International locations, it is important to know that most credit card issuers charge currency conversion fees for purchases made through credit cards.

Often this lack of awareness can haul up your overall travel expenses significantly, since apart from a standard 1 percent fee charged by Visa and MasterCard, most issuing banks also add their own fee, making it twice as painful for cardholders!

The table below gives you an idea of the percentage fee charged by credit card issuers in the US for foreign transactions (as of December 2007). It is important to remember that Visa and MasterCard card charge a standard 1% fee on all foreign purchases. Also, you might want to check the homepage of each of the banks listed below to find out if they’re revised their currency conversion fees and what their current fees are:

Bank Fee for credit card purchase outside the US
American Express 2% charge on P.O.S. (Point of Sale) purchases after conversion to US dollars
Bank of America 3% charge on P.O.S. (Point of Sale) purchases after conversion to US dollars (includes one percent for Visa or MasterCard)
Citibank 3% charge on P.O.S. (Point of Sale) purchases after conversion to US dollars (includes one percent for Visa or MasterCard)
Capital One 0% charge. Capital One does not pass along the one percent charged by Visa and MasterCard
Discover 0% charges on credit card purchases
Fifththird Bank 3% charge on P.O.S. (Point of Sale) purchases after conversion to US dollars (includes one percent for Visa or MasterCard)
J P Morgan Chase 3% charge on P.O.S. (Point of Sale) purchases after conversion to US dollars (includes one percent for Visa or MasterCard)
Simmons Bank 2% charge on credit card transactions (includes one percent for Visa or MasterCard)
Wachovia Bank 1% charge on credit card purchases made through Visa / MasterCard, no other charges
Washington Mutual 1% charge on credit card purchases made through Visa / MasterCard, no other charges
Wells Fargo 2% of the transaction amount on credit card purchases (includes one percent for Visa or MasterCard)

Currency conversion rates differ from bank to bank and vary from place to place (based on the currency of each country) and depending upon how and where you’re going to exchange your currency would make a big difference to your travel expenses.