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People outside the US: What are CCs like in your country?

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People outside the US: What are CCs like in your country?

Like in Canada, Australia, Mexico or anywhere else: Is credit card use common? Are sign up bonuses a thing? Is getting 1-10% back on CC purchases a normal thing outside the US? I’ve always wondered if it’s our lack of regulation that allows all of the fees and interest to be charged, plus widespread use, that makes rewards possible. Plus, if you google ‘credit cards international’ you just get pages of ads for credit cards. Thanks for any info you can share!

AU




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Message 1 of 25
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Senior Contributor

Re: People outside the US: What are CCs like in your country?

I've spent some time in Canadian banks (mainly Quebec) in connection with inherited property, and browsed the options. I didn't see anything appealing.

 

On a $100 purchase, you might earn $0.25 of cash back or 10 miles. Even mediocre rewards like that often require payment of an annual fee.

 

Interac debit is much more widely accepted than Visa or MC credit at a lot of places locals shop. Touristy restaurants and hotels will generally  take credit cards without a problem.

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Message 2 of 25
Mega Contributor

Re: People outside the US: What are CCs like in your country?


@wasCB14 wrote:

I've spent some time in Canadian banks (mainly Quebec) in connection with inherited property, and browsed the options. I didn't see anything appealing.

 

On a $100 purchase, you might earn $0.25 of cash back or 10 miles. Even mediocre rewards like that often require payment of an annual fee.

 

Interac debit is much more widely accepted than Visa or MC credit at a lot of places locals shop. Touristy restaurants and hotels will generally  take credit cards without a problem.


My daughter is moving to the UK so we spent some time looking at the offerings there.   The US is certainly much more generous because of the high transaction fees.  The better cards are 1 point for every two POUNDS outside the main category, and many are much worse.   So she plans to use US cards!

Message 3 of 25
New Visitor

Re: People outside the US: What are CCs like in your country?

In UAE, the only cards that give generous sign-up bonuses are ones for which you have to pay an "initiation fee." Which is generally the same as the value of the bonus, making it pointless.

 

Most of the cards in the market still charge foreign transaction fees (and then you get higher cash back on foreign transactions).

 

There are almost no straight-and-simple cash back/rewards programs available. All cards tend to have conditions such as "cash back is only available if you spend more than XXX per month" or "cash back in this category is reduced if you don't spend XXX on it," etc.

 

In general, it is hard to find something better than 1% across the board with no strings attached.

 

It actually does make sense to keep using US cards while living in the UAE. The currency is pegged to the USD, so conversion is never an issue.

Message 4 of 25
Valued Contributor

Re: People outside the US: What are CCs like in your country?

In barbados and most of the Caribbean the offers aren’t very appealing.

You earn 1X for every 1USD spent on the card. No bonus categories even on the AMerican air cards.

15K miles is the best signup bonus I’ve seen.




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Message 5 of 25
New Member

Re: People outside the US: What are CCs like in your country?

Provided that I am not wrong, Australia is the second country in the world for credit cards and awards, similar to the US with 40-50k miles bonuses and category spending. 

 

In my case, France, is pretty bad and Amex is the major player. 

There's little to no US-like credit cards with revolving lines and they are not common at all. 

Amex has signup bonuses of 15-20k MR or 10-20k Airfrance miles for the cobranded cards. The only bonus category is Airfrance spending for cobranded cards and Amex Offers sometimes give 500 MR/AF miles for 20-25 euros expenses. Main amex cards earn 1MR/1euro ($1.1) that convert at a 5:4 rate for airlines. Airfrance cards earn 1mile/1euro  or 1.5miles/1euro for Platinum cards (550yearly fee). 

On top of this, add a 2.7% foreign exchange fee.

 

Besides that, Amex cards have an elite allure and are usually accepted at high-end/luxury places as Amex in France mostly caters for the highly skilled middle class, upper class and tourists. 

 

On the other hand, charge cards (paid in full every month) issued by banks are very common but they do not give rewards. 

 

Better than nothing, I guess.

Message 6 of 25
Established Contributor

Re: People outside the US: What are CCs like in your country?

Very interesting thread. I'd love to learn more about the topic.

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Message 7 of 25
Established Contributor

Re: People outside the US: What are CCs like in your country?

Totally agree! I appreciate all the responses.

AU




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Message 8 of 25
Valued Contributor

Re: People outside the US: What are CCs like in your country?

I am guessing people outside US simply don't spend like we do.

They actually know how to save money, so when we saved 5%, we actually spent 50% more. Lol
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Message 9 of 25
Moderator Emeritus

Re: People outside the US: What are CCs like in your country?


@FortifiedHM wrote:
I am guessing people outside US simply don't spend like we do.

They actually know how to save money, so when we saved 5%, we actually spent 50% more. Lol

Likely don't have huge storage sheds to store all the junk either! Will add, reading this thread has been educational and may serve as a heads up on credit cards in foreign countries.

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