Payment Card News

To Charge or Not to Charge

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After a steady stream of negative publicity, First USA is reportedly holding off implementing its policy of surcharging for currency exchange transactions. First USA began notifying cardholders in March, that effective April 1, it will charge an extra 3.0% of the dollar amount on foreign transactions requiring conversion into US dollars. The currency exchange transaction fee is in addition to the standard 1.0% fee charged by VISA and MasterCard. Citibank reportedly instituted a similar policy late last year. According to CardWatch (www.cardwatch.com), Travelers Bank, a Citigroup unit, also charges an extra 1.5% for currency exchange transactions. If you intend to travel internationally anytime soon you should call your card issuer and ask if they surcharge for foreign transactions.

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