How can you avoid foreign transaction fees
Living in an island economy as we do, it’s hardly surprising then thousands of us travel abroad to conduct our business. And we are all painfully aware of the fact that as soon as we use our Singapore-based credit cards elsewhere, we start racking up unwanted foreign transaction fees.
These come in two forms:
Firstly, there’s the visible foreign transaction fee that some card issuers apply every time you use your card off the island. It might only be a few dollars, but use your card a lot when you’re abroad, and you’re going to notice the difference straight away. Worse, some types of transactions have higher fees than others, so if you’re thinking of being clever and getting your entire travel budget out of an ATM on your first day, think again as these fees are often far higher than others. You might even notice interest being applied from the day of the transaction rather than after the usual month’s grace period – so watch out!
The second fee is not so visible. That’s because it’s hidden in the currency exchange rate that your card company uses. Unless you religiously look at bank exchange rates every day, you might not notice that you’re transaction is being processed at a rate that’s hugely disadvantageous. Some banks’ rates may differ from the accepted exchange rate by up to ten per cent. And if you’re spending a lot of money if a foreign currency – for example, hotel bills and the like – that’s up to ten per cent added to your travel budget.
So, what can you do about it? The answer is to get yourself a specialist travel credit card. Nearly all of them come with some sort of transactional charge when using the card abroad, but if you do your research, you can find just the one that charges lower fees and more advantageous exchange rates.
You can start by looking at our very own comparison pages and then click through to check out the terms and conditions.
Every good traveller deserves the best, so make sure you do your research and save yourself a lot of money!
Article by Jason Taylor – [email protected]