"New" charge on your credit card! Heads up guys. [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: "New" charge on your credit card! Heads up guys.

02-14-2006, 09:05 AM
Re-posting this here (and in general above) to assure you see the following:

I don't know how "universal" this may be .... yet ... but MasterCard and Visa appear to be hitting you with a new fee for credit card usage OUT SIDE the United States. It's called a "Foreign transaction charge" of 1% based upon the 'purchase' of goods/services outside of the USA. Yes, that would include Canada and Mexico.

First time I got one of these was our trip to Canada this past November for a tackle purchase at 'Fred's Custom Tackle' (yes, it's a very big/good shop) in Chilliwack, BC. It was an extra $6.50 some cents on a $215.00 Canadian purchase. Math suggests that's waaay over 1%, so there may be some 'base charge,' plus 1%.

What brought this to my attention was a credit card application I just got from USAA and the following was included in the 'fine print.'

"Foreign Transaction Charge. MasterCard and Visa charge us up to 1% of the amount of any transaction made on your Account in a country outside of the United States of America. As a result, we charge you a !% Foreign Transaction Charge ... and add it to the amount of the transaction."

So, a few questions you may want to ask your credit card issuer ... 1) Do you charge this fee? 2) do you charge an additional fee above and beyond this as a 'handling fee? 3) If I make a purchase outside of the US how/what basis is the 'exchange rate' computed for your billings.

Why three? First one is obvious, second one - per the terms of your credit account - could entail an additional fee not based upon the amount of the purchase/credit transaction, the third is are you getting the best international rate, or an adjusted "buy/sell" rate set by the card issuer. This 'spread' can be considerably different than the "posted" exchange rate.

Be Aware!!