2023-07-12

NON-STERLING TRANS FEE

One thing pisses me off is cards charging a Non sterling transfer fee. I'd have expected them to make money on the exchange rate, or be big enough that they can handle currencies without such silly fees to be honest. Even more so when it is someone like American Express, that, well are American, and I am paying something in American dollars. You would think they could handle dollars.

But I have recently discovered something slightly odd.

VISA

Using my VISA debit I was charged...

AMOUNT IN USD 206.87 ON 28 JUN VISA 1.269999 FINAL GBP AMOUNT INCLUDES NON-STERLING TRANS FEE £4.48 = £167.37

But when I was then refunded, it looks like...

AMOUNT IN USD 206.87 ON 30 JUN VISA 1.2669 FINAL GBP AMOUNT INCLUDES NON-STERLING TRANS FEE £4.49 = £158.80

This means I was charged for the refund, and oddly charged at a higher rate (by 1p).

Amex

Using my Amex I was charged... (different day, I have not compared exchange rates)

71.15 UNITED STATES DOLLAR, Non-sterling transaction fee: £1.68, Exchange rate: 1.2687 = £57.76

But when I was then refunded... (next day)

71.15 UNITED STATES DOLLAR = £57.82

Comparison

VISA charge the non sterling fee on charge and refund, but Amex do not. Indeed it seems they effectively refund the non sterling admin fee.

VISAs fee appears to be around 2.7%, Amex fee appears to be around 2.9%, very similar.

Conclusion

It is actually in my companies best interests if I pay for these on my personal Amex and claim on expenses, if there is any chance of a refund (which happens quite a lot if I have arguments with JLCPCB, for example).

9 comments:

  1. At least the refund was using the same exchange rate as the original charge. I've seen it where the refund is done at a different exchange rate - so you doubly loose out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was pretty much the only Brexit benefit I encountered... I needed to claim a refund for something and because our exchange rate had tanked I got £10 more back than I'd paid!

      Delete
  2. Visa credit cards are available that don't have a non-sterling transaction fee, from Nationwide for example.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think many years ago you just got a poor exchange rate, now you get the MasterCard/visa rate plus a fee. I think it was done to increase transparency

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've had that with visa before, and it's normally when the merchant do it wrong. Apparently, if they cancel/refund the original transaction, then your bank matches it up and refunds the fee too. However, if the merchant puts it through as a new transaction, then it doesn't get matched and a fresh fee is charged. Quick phone call to your bank normally gets the double fees refunded

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Odd. This is same merchant so I doubt they are doing it differently.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous is correct. They need to cancel the original transaction rather than send you the money back. In any case normally a call to your credit card provider can sort it. I use a Halifax Clarity credit card for foreign transactions with no fee and no loading of the exchange rate but there are others.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Halifax Clarity is good for foreign transactions. I also have a Wise debit card which works well as my employer shares are in USD so I can maintain a USD balance in Wise. I even have a separate paypal account in USD linked to the Wise debit card.

      Delete
  6. Use a Barclaycard Rewards credit card which has no foreign loading and pays 0.25% on purchases. Or use a Chase debit card (if no need for Section 75) with no foreign loading and which pays 1% cashback for 12 months.

    ReplyDelete

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