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Freedom foreign transaction fee

Super Contributor

Freedom foreign transaction fee

One of the few downsides of my Freedom card is the foreign transaction fee. I have been told that if I buy something online from another country where the price is charged in a foreign currency that I will also be hit with this fee. I just want to confirm if my understanding is correct?

;
Starting Score: EQ: 714, TU 684
Current Score: EQ: 725 7/30/13, TU 684 6/2013, Exp 826 4/16/17, Last App 8/5/17
Goal Score: 800 (Achieved!) In garden until Sepetember 2019
Message 1 of 9
8 REPLIES
Super Contributor

Re: Freedom foreign transaction fee


red259 wrote:

One of the few downsides of my Freedom card is the foreign transaction fee. I have been told that if I buy something online from another country where the price is charged in a foreign currency that I will also be hit with this fee. I just want to confirm if my understanding is correct?


Depends on where that merchant is based.

If they are using a foreign payment processor, the TFT will apply.

If they are charging you in foreign currency, they're most likely using a foreign payment processor.

 

I am not too sure how foreign currency payments made out via paypal counts though. you would be charged a conversion fee (if any), but I am not sure about the FTF.

 

JPMorgan Palladium (100k), AmEx Platinum (NPSL), AmEx SPG (46k), AmEx BCP (42k), Chase Sapphire Preferred (47k), Citi Prestige (31k), Citi Thank You Preferred (27k), Citi Executive AAdvantage (25k), JPMorgan Ritz-Carlton (21k), Merrill+ (15k), US Bank Cash+ (22.5k), Wells Fargo (12k), Bloomingdale’s (12.4k), Chase Freedom (5k), Discover IT (5k).
Message 2 of 9
Super Contributor

Re: Freedom foreign transaction fee


enharu wrote:

red259 wrote:

One of the few downsides of my Freedom card is the foreign transaction fee. I have been told that if I buy something online from another country where the price is charged in a foreign currency that I will also be hit with this fee. I just want to confirm if my understanding is correct?


Depends on where that merchant is based.

If they are using a foreign payment processor, the TFT will apply.

If they are charging you in foreign currency, they're most likely using a foreign payment processor.

 

I am not too sure how foreign currency payments made out via paypal counts though. you would be charged a conversion fee (if any), but I am not sure about the FTF.

 


Could you still be hit with it even if your being charged in USD? 

;
Starting Score: EQ: 714, TU 684
Current Score: EQ: 725 7/30/13, TU 684 6/2013, Exp 826 4/16/17, Last App 8/5/17
Goal Score: 800 (Achieved!) In garden until Sepetember 2019
Message 3 of 9
Super Contributor

Re: Freedom foreign transaction fee


red259 wrote:

enharu wrote:

red259 wrote:

One of the few downsides of my Freedom card is the foreign transaction fee. I have been told that if I buy something online from another country where the price is charged in a foreign currency that I will also be hit with this fee. I just want to confirm if my understanding is correct?


Depends on where that merchant is based.

If they are using a foreign payment processor, the TFT will apply.

If they are charging you in foreign currency, they're most likely using a foreign payment processor.

 

I am not too sure how foreign currency payments made out via paypal counts though. you would be charged a conversion fee (if any), but I am not sure about the FTF.

 


Could you still be hit with it even if your being charged in USD? 


if the payment processor is overseas, you should still be charged the FTF.

Many countries use the USD as their currency, or at least their prefered currency of payment, but they're not part of the USA. 

JPMorgan Palladium (100k), AmEx Platinum (NPSL), AmEx SPG (46k), AmEx BCP (42k), Chase Sapphire Preferred (47k), Citi Prestige (31k), Citi Thank You Preferred (27k), Citi Executive AAdvantage (25k), JPMorgan Ritz-Carlton (21k), Merrill+ (15k), US Bank Cash+ (22.5k), Wells Fargo (12k), Bloomingdale’s (12.4k), Chase Freedom (5k), Discover IT (5k).
Message 4 of 9
Senior Contributor

Re: Freedom foreign transaction fee


enharu wrote:

red259 wrote:

enharu wrote:

red259 wrote:

One of the few downsides of my Freedom card is the foreign transaction fee. I have been told that if I buy something online from another country where the price is charged in a foreign currency that I will also be hit with this fee. I just want to confirm if my understanding is correct?


Depends on where that merchant is based.

If they are using a foreign payment processor, the TFT will apply.

If they are charging you in foreign currency, they're most likely using a foreign payment processor.

 

I am not too sure how foreign currency payments made out via paypal counts though. you would be charged a conversion fee (if any), but I am not sure about the FTF.

 


Could you still be hit with it even if your being charged in USD? 


if the payment processor is overseas, you should still be charged the FTF.

Many countries use the USD as their currency, or at least their prefered currency of payment, but they're not part of the USA


+1

 

As enharu mentioned, this all boils down to functional currency vs transaction currency.

Message 5 of 9
Super Contributor

Re: Freedom foreign transaction fee

And, when abroad, look out for dynamic currency conversion, where a helpful local merchant bills you in USD ("for your convenience")  Many of those who know about FTF assume that this will avoid them, but it doesn't.   It's a really bad idea as you often get a poor exchange rate from the merchant (much worse than Visa/MC/Amex) and get the FTF fee anyway.

Message 6 of 9
Super Contributor

Re: Freedom foreign transaction fee


longtimelurker wrote:

And, when abroad, look out for dynamic currency conversion, where a helpful local merchant bills you in USD ("for your convenience")  Many of those who know about FTF assume that this will avoid them, but it doesn't.   It's a really bad idea as you often get a poor exchange rate from the merchant (much worse than Visa/MC/Amex) and get the FTF fee anyway.


I make it a habit to avoid paying in US currency when outside the country. 

;
Starting Score: EQ: 714, TU 684
Current Score: EQ: 725 7/30/13, TU 684 6/2013, Exp 826 4/16/17, Last App 8/5/17
Goal Score: 800 (Achieved!) In garden until Sepetember 2019
Message 7 of 9
Super Contributor

Re: Freedom foreign transaction fee

I'm interested to find out if FTF is charged when the payment is made via PayPal but in foreign currency though. Happens sometimes on eBay when the seller is in Asia. However I haven't bought anything on eBay for quite a while now, so I can't remember.

Does paypal convert to USD on their own, or do they bill in foreign currency?
JPMorgan Palladium (100k), AmEx Platinum (NPSL), AmEx SPG (46k), AmEx BCP (42k), Chase Sapphire Preferred (47k), Citi Prestige (31k), Citi Thank You Preferred (27k), Citi Executive AAdvantage (25k), JPMorgan Ritz-Carlton (21k), Merrill+ (15k), US Bank Cash+ (22.5k), Wells Fargo (12k), Bloomingdale’s (12.4k), Chase Freedom (5k), Discover IT (5k).
Message 8 of 9
Highlighted
Established Contributor

Re: Freedom foreign transaction fee


enharu wrote:
I'm interested to find out if FTF is charged when the payment is made via PayPal but in foreign currency though. Happens sometimes on eBay when the seller is in Asia. However I haven't bought anything on eBay for quite a while now, so I can't remember.

Does paypal convert to USD on their own, or do they bill in foreign currency?

When I buy on eBay (from Hong Kong), the prices are already converted. i.e. It'll list something like "77.99 HKD (equivelent to $10.05 USD)". When charged, it only charges me the amount that is equivelent to USD - so $10.05 exactly. So no FTFs.

 

This is only eBay though, I don't know about other sites using PayPal.

     
Message 9 of 9