Foreign Transaction Fees on credit cards


New member
Feb 7, 2007
I was just informed by my (US) credit card issuer that they are going to charge a 1% fee on all foreign transactions (i.e., transactions outside the US). When I called the issuer to complain I was told that they are simply passing along a fee that Visa and Mastercard (and American Express - at least for their credit card if not their charge card) have started assessing.

I find this pretty outrageous since I spend so much time in the DR. The more I spend the more Visa/Mastercard receives even though are simply converting currencies - and presumably doing so at a rate favorable to them. For those of us who make frequent trips what are some options other than carrying a wad of cash around?

I realize I could open a bank account in the DR and I guess that may be where this leads me. Or I suppose another option is to use a debit card, but then of course the money is directly removed from your account instead of giving you the benefit of the float between the date of the transaction and when you actually pay the credit card company.
Feb 7, 2007
All credit and debit cards, issued in any country, have foreign conversion fees.

Those fees may or may not be included in the exchange rate. If they are not included in the exchange rate, they are charged separately but you get a better exchange rate. If they are included in the exchange rate, you would not get charged a separate fee but the exchange rate would be more disadvantageous.