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Old 10-24-2012, 10:13 PM   #1
goeva
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Costco American Express foreign transaction fee question

Costco American Express offers 2% cash back on travel expenses. I'd like to take advantage of that and use it to pay for my on board expenses and book for a future cruise. Has anyone being charged for foreign transaction fees? I contacted American Express and that rep was unsure of it. TIA.

Last edited by goeva; 12-21-2012 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:19 PM   #2
Melissa S
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Amex doesn't charge a foreign transaction fee for Platinum and Centurion cards. It does charge for other cards so I would get a solid answer before you make any charges. I don't think shipboard charges or future cruises are considered foreign, but maybe someone can answer that for sure. I have only used an AMEX for those charges which doesn't charge fees anyway.

http://about.americanexpress.com/new...010/fxfee.aspx
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:48 PM   #3
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Your onboard expenses and any future cruises booked will be paid in USD to DCL. No foreign fees there! When we have used a credit card in a foreign port (remind me to NOT do that again), they did bill it in the local currency despite quoting prices in USD...and the bank did charge the exchange fee. It wasn't bad, but it was irritating after they told me it would be billed in USD.
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Old 10-25-2012, 01:42 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melissa S
Amex doesn't charge a foreign transaction fee for Platinum and Centurion cards. It does charge for other cards so I would get a solid answer before you make any charges. I don't think shipboard charges or future cruises are considered foreign, but maybe someone can answer that for sure. I have only used an AMEX for those charges which doesn't charge fees anyway.

http://about.americanexpress.com/new...010/fxfee.aspx
Thank you!
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Old 10-25-2012, 01:48 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcashner View Post
Your onboard expenses and any future cruises booked will be paid in USD to DCL. No foreign fees there! When we have used a credit card in a foreign port (remind me to NOT do that again), they did bill it in the local currency despite quoting prices in USD...and the bank did charge the exchange fee. It wasn't bad, but it was irritating after they told me it would be billed in USD.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:02 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by kcashner View Post
Your onboard expenses and any future cruises booked will be paid in USD to DCL. No foreign fees there! When we have used a credit card in a foreign port (remind me to NOT do that again), they did bill it in the local currency despite quoting prices in USD...and the bank did charge the exchange fee. It wasn't bad, but it was irritating after they told me it would be billed in USD.
If a vendor offers to charge your card in US dollars - it's almost always at a more favorable exchange rate to the vendor! That's even after paying the 3% foreign currency conversion fee charged by most credit card companies.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:59 AM   #7
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If a vendor offers to charge your card in US dollars - it's almost always at a more favorable exchange rate to the vendor! That's even after paying the 3% foreign currency conversion fee charged by most credit card companies.
Exactly - you're almost always better off being charged in the local currency and have your bank do the conversion.

CapitalOne cards don't have a foreign exchange fee. I have my CapitalOne specifically for foreign travel. Discover also doesn't have one, but it's not taken as often as a Mastercard or Visa.
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:44 AM   #8
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Discover Card told me they had no foreign transaction fee, but it's difficult to find merchants overseas who take it. We could've paid for our rental car in Canada w/Discover, but our Platinum MC/Visa offers better rental car coverage, so we decided to go ahead and pay the transaction fee.
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:47 AM   #9
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You might want to double check with AMEX that "travel" expenses include cruises. I have had several credit cards from several firms and sometimes they do not define crusies as a "travel" expense. Some cards do, some do not. Worth a call to make sure.

DWF
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:24 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by disneywonderfun View Post
You might want to double check with AMEX that "travel" expenses include cruises. I have had several credit cards from several firms and sometimes they do not define crusies as a "travel" expense. Some cards do, some do not. Worth a call to make sure.

DWF
I will email AMEX right now to find out. Thank you.
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NancyIL View Post
If a vendor offers to charge your card in US dollars - it's almost always at a more favorable exchange rate to the vendor! That's even after paying the 3% foreign currency conversion fee charged by most credit card companies.
Quote:
Originally Posted by snykymom View Post
Exactly - you're almost always better off being charged in the local currency and have your bank do the conversion.
CapitalOne cards don't have a foreign exchange fee. I have my CapitalOne specifically for foreign travel. Discover also doesn't have one, but it's not taken as often as a Mastercard or Visa.
Good to know. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:44 PM   #12
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Just got an email response back from AMEX. Thought I'll give it a quick update.

Response (Seizathang Haokip)

Yes, travel expenses include Cruises as well. You will receive 2% cash back on your cruise expenses.

For your reference, the eligible travel purchases are airfare, hotel rooms, car rentals, cruise lines, travel agencies, tour operators, and purchases from Costco travel).

On the other hand, if the charges are submitted in US Dollars, you will not be charged foreign transaction fee. However, if the merchant submits the charge in other currencies, you will notice a 2.7% foreign transaction fee on your statement.

I hope this information is helpful. Thank you for your Cardmembership.

Sincerely,

Seizathang Haokip
Email Servicing Team
American Express Interactive Services
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