paying for USA resort stay with Australian credit card(how to avoid bank fees)

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Oct 14, 2015
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Doing a 2 week stay at a USA resort & balance can be paid by credit card.

Have already paid a very small amount for deposit by credit card.

Catch is, Australian banks, (who control most credit cards), surely the most profitable in the world, charge fees up to 3% on international transactions (this is not the merchant fee, which the resort pays). This is not an insignificant amount, amounting to over USD$500.

To avoid this, asked if we could pay by Paypal, as think then, Paypal will charge us in Australian dollars, so no international transaction fees.

Is this correct ?

Now only have to convince the resort to accept Paypal, as they don't at present.

NOTE: in Australia, almost every business that accepts credit cards, accepts Paypal, as apparently merchant fees are about the same & in the case of American Express, often less.
 
R

Realitoes

Guest
Dealt with this issue when I was stationed overseas.

Mastercard/Visa actually charges a 1% foreign transaction fee (FTF), and the bank issuing the card can add up to another 2%. Some banks will actually eat the 1% charged (or recoup by offering higher interest/less rewards) and have no FTF.

Shop around, there is probably someone who offers it, though they may not have the best interest rates or rewards.
 
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Nov 14, 2016
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Nice vacation, costing over $17,000. Congratulations.

I would NOT pay via PayPal. We've had too many horror stories about PayPal around here. They are not regulated like a bank, they don't have the follow the same rules and there's just too many cases of them acting like judge and jury to their own interest. I don't trust PayPal at the best of times, never mind on an international trip with tens of thousands of dollars potentially at stake.

I would follow AMA's advice and try to find a different card.
 
Nov 3, 2015
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I did a quick google search for
credit cards with low foreign transaction fees site:.au
and found several websites comparing costs of various Australian credit cards; because I'm in the US, I'm really unable to verify how sound the information I spotted is, but it might give you a place to start checking. Several also had no foreign ATM fees. One had no annual fee; others had annual fees of up to several hundred $AU.

Mastercard and Visa are almost universally acceptable in the US; Discover slightly less so, and American Express (AmEx) less so than the other three.
 
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Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
We have the same issue in the US when we go to Europe. We are charged foreign transaction fees. We have some credit cards that do not charge foreign transaction fees. I would suggest you check around in Austrailia and see if you have the same.

I would not suggest that you wait until you get to the resort and ask them to take PayPal- most resorts here or anywhere else do not take PayPal.
 
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Jan 5, 2015
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I would try shopping around for a lower rate fee card or calling your card provider and trying to negotiate a lower fee. In the US no business except online merchants accept paypal, and I've never heard of a hotel or resort accepting it. You'll need to call them anyway to alert them you're travelling internationally.
 
Aug 31, 2015
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Don't turn around . . . .
how about you call the resort - let them know you are paying over $500 in credit card fees and see if they'll give you a resort credit for part or all of it? Even if they give you a resort credit for $500, it ends up costing them 40% of that because the rest is likely overcharged profit.

Offer to do a bank transfer the last day of your stay before checkout - that will cost you nothing if you have $17k to transfer - you bank will likely provide these services for nothing. I know mine does.

Its not probably every week they see a $17k bill - so its nice chunk of change for them - and offering even a $300 [a 1.7% discount] credit does not seem unreasonable in light of the fact you can take your business right down the street - maybe they can give you a soft discount by offering you accommodation to a small suite instead of a room - remind them you selected them in advance and can always deselect them in exchange for a more cooperative provider. . ..

I've done this in several expensive properties related to their resort fee charges - which when you are paying $500-750 a night is outrageous to extract an extra $25-40 for silly amenities like internet, on room coffee and water that Hampton inn offers for free with breakfast on top to get you to stay there - I ask for a room credit for the resort fee - and when they say no - if that is your final position then please cancel my room, I'll stay at the Hilton down the street . . . I mean sure. You'll pay $25 for a glass of OJ at breakfast, but at least its their money, not yours.
 
Aug 28, 2015
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I haven't heard of a foreign transaction fee in years. Amex doesn't charge one, it stopped about 8 years ago, nor does my Chase Visa. If you travel often I would consider a new product.

I would not use pay pal under any circumstance for international travel, or any other travel.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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"Offer to do a bank transfer the last day of your stay before checkout - that will cost you nothing if you have $17k to transfer - you bank will likely provide these services for nothing. I know mine does."

Overseas wire transfers can take 3 to 5 days to be received. Depending on the bank and the merchants relationship, there can be fees for the recipient for the processing of an overseas transfer.
 

Neil Maley

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I haven't heard of a foreign transaction fee in years. Amex doesn't charge one, it stopped about 8 years ago, nor does my Chase Visa. If you travel often I would consider a new product.

I would not use pay pal under any circumstance for international travel, or any other travel.
The majority of credit cards still do charge them. I use my Capital One.
 
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jsn55

Verified Member
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The majority of credit cards still do charge them. I use my Capital One.
I agree with Neil, American-issued credit cards have been slow to waive foreign transaction fees. Since it's probably too late to find an Aussie card without the fees before your trip, I like Joe's idea of cutting a 'deal' with the resort. Please let us know what transpires.
 
Oct 14, 2015
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I did a quick google search for
credit cards with low foreign transaction fees site:.au
and found several websites comparing costs of various Australian credit cards; because I'm in the US, I'm really unable to verify how sound the information I spotted is, but it might give you a place to start checking. Several also had no foreign ATM fees. One had no annual fee; others had annual fees of up to several hundred $AU.

Mastercard and Visa are almost universally acceptable in the US; Discover slightly less so, and American Express (AmEx) less so than the other three.
yes thanks, BUT it appears that the credit cards who charge no or low extra fees for international transactions make it up, in the actual exchange rate.
 
Oct 14, 2015
231
65
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I agree with Neil, American-issued credit cards have been slow to waive foreign transaction fees. Since it's probably too late to find an Aussie card without the fees before your trip, I like Joe's idea of cutting a 'deal' with the resort. Please let us know what transpires.
have asked the resort. Waiting on an answer. Realise Paypals exchange rates might not be best either.

Has anyone heard of or used TRANSFERWISE ? Supposed to be cheaper int money transfers, but not sure who backs them.
 

AMA

Verified Member
Dec 11, 2014
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I really don't think you are going to find a US hotel that will accept any payment other than a credit card. for such a large amount, unless you show up with a suitcase full of cash.

Edit: CarD, not carE.
 
Last edited:
Dec 9, 2016
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Get a credit card that doesn't charge conversion fees. Capital One has one.
Exactly. This is the solution we adopted long ago, and it's likely that Capital One do business in Australia too.

We also have a US Bank credit card which charges a 4% foreign transaction fee, and consequently we never use it overseas. Just think though, if they dropped the fee we could be making them money as we book multiple rooms for our tours all the year round.

As it stands, Cap One make all the profit, plus we get cash rewards . . . . something PayPal does not provide by the way.
 
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Nov 3, 2015
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With many of the cash-back cards, yes, you may take a thump on the conversion rate, but you may also make at least some, and maybe more, than that back on the cash-back rate. Sometimes that helps soften the bank blows a bit. Or at least makes me think twice before staging a 1960s sit-in protest at the bank. :cool:
 

kenish

Sep 1, 2015
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yes thanks, BUT it appears that the credit cards who charge no or low extra fees for international transactions make it up, in the actual exchange rate.
I know you're in Oz, and I can't speak to international transaction fees there. Here in the US, my experience has always been the inter-bank exchange rate is used. It's essentially the official exchange rate you can look up online; most credit card websites (US, again) explain this. The rate is better than what you could get on a personal basis.

Some cards charge an ITF; my Capital One card does not, and rebates either 1% or 2% of purchases. Bottom line cost to me is a percent or two *better* than the official exchange rate.