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Travel Tip: Avoid Foreign Transaction Fees On Your Canadian Credit Card

Credit Card Foreign Transaction FeesMany Canadians are in for a nasty surprise after a trip outside the country. Little did they know that most Canadian Credit Card companies add a 2.5%-3% foreign transaction fee to each purchase they make out of the country. The good news is, not every credit card issuer charges the fee. The bad news is, only one credit card issuer doesn’t charge the fee, Chase Canada.

Unlike the United States, where credit card issuers are increasingly abandoning Foreign Transaction Fees altogether, FX fees represent too large a part of a Canadian credit card company’s income stream to walk away from. The fact is, Canadians travel out of country a lot more often than Americans travel out of the United States, so it’s easier for an American issuer to give up on FX fees than for a Canadian issuer.

For a quick proxy, 30% of Americans have a passport, compared to 70% of Canadians, a good indication of foreign travel. Moreover, Canadian banks make a healthy profit from foreign exchange services from their retail customers, where they charge a 1% to 3% fx surcharge when exchanging Canadian dollars. It’s doubtful the banks will want to offer Canadians a free alternative that will cannibalize their retail fx business.

So what’s the big deal about a credit card that doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee? For some, especially snowbirds who winter in the south, people who shop across the border regularly or shop online, or those who use their credit card to make business purchases from U.S. vendors, the savings can be huge. Think about it. If you use your credit card while wintering in the United States, you could easily rack-up $10,000 – $20,000 in credit card charges. That’s $250 to $500 in foreign exchange fees going to the credit card companies, that doesn’t have to. Not to mention it also wipes away the 1-2% in rewards you thought you were earning.

With credit cards like the Rogers Platinum MasterCard you’re earning 1.75% cashback, and you avoid the foreign transaction fee altogether, saving an additional 2.5% per dollar spent! On $10,000 of spend that’s $250 in your pocket for doing nothing, plus $175 in rewards earnings. Not only that, using a credit card without a foreign transaction fee is actually cheaper than exchanging currencies at the bank, or at a boutique foreign exchange bureau – which routinely cost anywhere from 1%-3% to exchange your money. Debit and out of country ATM cash withdrawals are no better, each typically charging a 2.5% or more foreign exchange fee.

Comparison of Canadian Credit Card Foreign Transactions Fees

Credit Card

Foreign Transaction Fee

Signing-Bonus Points

Annual Fee

Rogers Platinum MasterCard

0%

$30

$0

Chase Marriott Rewards Visa Card

0%

30,000

$120 Waived 1st Year

Amazon Visa Card

0%

$20

$0

CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite

2.5% 15,000

$120

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite 2.5% 25,000

50% Rebate 1st Yr

RBC Avion Visa Infinite

2.5%

15,000

$120

BMO Rewards World Elite 2.5% 30,000 $150
 Scotiabank Gold Amex Card  2.5%  20,000  $99 Waived 1st Year

Maybe a niche Canadian credit card issuer, that doesn’t have a large share of its spend in foreign purchases, or an established foreign exchange business, will step up to the plate and waive their foreign transaction fees. Perhaps someone like a President’s Choice, WalMart, or Rogers Mastercard (Rogers has indeed stepped up to the plate and done so) can shake things up a little bit the way Chase has.

As of right now though, Rogers and Chase are the only game in town, and they’re offering Canadians a SUPERLATIVE opportunity, just not enough of us know about it. Here’s your chance…who know’s how long it will last (looks like Chase is leaving the country).

By the way, for those who think you’re avoiding foreign transaction fees by having a U.S. Dollar credit card, unless you earn American dollars, you’re not avoiding anything. Ultimately, you’ll have to pay your U.S. Dollar credit card bill in U.S. dollars, and you’ll have to convert your Canadian dollars to U.S. dollars at the bank to do so. At that point the bank will charge you it’s 1%-3% foreign exchange surcharge.

The post Travel Tip: Avoid Foreign Transaction Fees On Your Canadian Credit Card appeared first on GreedyRates.



This post first appeared on GreedyRates - Find A New Credit Card & Start Savin, please read the originial post: here

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