Cross Border charges levied by Credit Card Companies

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Cross Border charges levied by Credit Card Companies

Postby hquek » Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:29 am

I recently paid for airtickets bought in expedia.com.SG - the amount quoted to me was SGD. When the bill came, I was surprised to see that a different amount was charged on my credit card.

Card company claims that my vendor uses an offshore bank for payment and thus I was liable for a 0.8% charge. This despite the amount stated to me in SGD, and the website being .sg.

I see from other forums that sites like groupon.sg also will kena this charge. So buyers, be aware.

Anyone has any clue how to check if this charge will apply before commiting to a purchase? and if there are ways around this (I think amex doesn't charge, but not sure if/when they will start).

hquek
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Re: Cross Border charges levied by Credit Card Companies

Postby chenwj » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:48 am

Some sites allow you to change the currency you see on the site. I think the SGD you saw on site was actually based on the exchange rate of that instance converted from USD. It is always safest to use the site's default currently, usually in USD.

The credit card companies (visa, amex, mc) have an internal currency exchange rate which differs from what the public knows and usually we are at a losing end. So the amount that was billed in USD will be converted to SGD based on the card companies' internal currency exchange rate.

I hope this clarifies.

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Re: Cross Border charges levied by Credit Card Companies

Postby hquek » Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:19 am

Nope. i called up the bank. The staff told me firmly that this was a sgd denominated transaction and the vendor's bank is offshore. So, even though the transaction was denominated in SGD, a 0.8% charge applies.

If it's a foreign currency transaction, a higher cross border fee applies.

I googled and saw the same comments (complaints?) being made in other forums - but this was on transactions made from groupon.sg.

Friend working in a bank also told me the same. This seems to be quite a new (2012) development. Guess I don't buy enough stuff online.
Based on comments from forum, seems like only 1 bank don't apply this - I have not yet tried; and only amex doesn't apply this charge.

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Re: Cross Border charges levied by Credit Card Companies

Postby Jennifer » Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:38 am

Hubby used Agoda.com, credit card charges always the same as what he sees on the website in S$, not surprises.

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Re: Cross Border charges levied by Credit Card Companies

Postby hquek » Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:32 pm

Thanks Jennifer, good to hear.

My expedia.com.sg experience happened about a month ago (and just got credit card bill).

Bought groupon.sg coupons last year and also never got hit. Seems this charge was only imposed not so far back.

I just find it very hard to determine which online co uses offshore bank.

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Re: Cross Border charges levied by Credit Card Companies

Postby hquek » Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:02 pm

I got this from another bank's website (NOT the bank my credit card fell under - that one was very shy about publishing such info online, or maybe I just dunno how to find).

Cross Border Fees / Foreign Currency Charges on MasterCard Transactions


With effect from 13 September 2012, MasterCard Credit & MasterCard Debit Cardmembers will be subject to the following charges levied by MasterCard International:

i.Card transactions in foreign currencies incurred outside of Singapore will be subject to a 1% charge on the converted Singapore dollar amount;
ii.Card transactions in foreign currencies incurred in Singapore will be subject to a 0.2% charge on the converted Singapore dollar amount
iii.Card transactions in Singapore dollars but processed overseas will be subject to a 0.8% charge

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Re: Cross Border charges levied by Credit Card Companies

Postby Jennifer » Fri Jun 28, 2013 5:25 pm

hquek wrote:I got this from another bank's website (NOT the bank my credit card fell under - that one was very shy about publishing such info online, or maybe I just dunno how to find).

Cross Border Fees / Foreign Currency Charges on MasterCard Transactions


With effect from 13 September 2012, MasterCard Credit & MasterCard Debit Cardmembers will be subject to the following charges levied by MasterCard International:

i.Card transactions in foreign currencies incurred outside of Singapore will be subject to a 1% charge on the converted Singapore dollar amount;
ii.Card transactions in foreign currencies incurred in Singapore will be subject to a 0.2% charge on the converted Singapore dollar amount
iii.Card transactions in Singapore dollars but processed overseas will be subject to a 0.8% charge


Effective 13 Sept 2012.

Hubby has been booking with Agoda.com all these while, recent purchases also no issue.

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