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JohnMtl
06-05-2018, 11:39 AM
I noticed that Bank of America charged me a foreign currency transaction fee for each of my purchases in Aruba although the cashier asked me if I wanted to pay in Florins or U.S. dollars and I chose US. I haven't tried with my US dollar credit card from my Canadian bank.

If I pay with my debit card will I also get hit with a foreign currency transaction fee?

I prefer paying by credit card because of the cash back rebate.

Thanks!

John

cpjones
06-05-2018, 11:48 AM
That would depend on the bank that issues your credit card. My VISA thru my credit union doesn't charge transaction fees.

Jacki
06-05-2018, 11:51 AM
Some banks charge a foreign transaction fee & some don't. In my experience it seems the travel point type cards (airline branded or Capital One's Venture card) do not charge foreign transaction fees. Best to contact your bank before traveling. Ask when you call to let them know you will be using it out of the country.

JohnMtl
06-05-2018, 12:05 PM
I guess I’ll have to weigh the advantage of the cash back versus what I can save in fees with a travel card.

But what I found strange is that at the cash register I chose to make the payments in US dollars thinking I’d avoid the fees.

Andrea J.
06-05-2018, 12:17 PM
our credit union ATM by visa charges foreign transaction fees.
we rarely use it in aruba.

our amex platinum, chase visa and discover= no foreign transaction fees

robin
06-05-2018, 01:55 PM
We always have them charge us in US dollars and have never had a problem. Our credit card is Ameriprise and it is through Barclay. You need to contact your bank to find out their policy. You mentioned it is BOA but also mentioned something about Canada. Could they be charging you a fee to change it into Canadian $$$?

Jacki
06-05-2018, 02:15 PM
Whether charged in dollars or florin it is still in a foreign country.

WaltVB
06-05-2018, 09:51 PM
This pretty much explains it all. https://www.valuepenguin.com/credit-card-foreign-transaction-fees

schexc
06-06-2018, 06:29 AM
We use the Capitol 1 Venture card all over the island. They do not charge any additional fees.

Randi
06-06-2018, 12:35 PM
Hi John,
Here's the answer from a fellow Canadian, we have a US credit card from scotiabank and we use it when in Aruba which has no foreign transaction fee. The unfortunate thing is that it has no "benefits" attached to it except no transaction fee. On our regular Canadian credit cards there is a 2.5% transaction fee when its converted from US dollars to Canadian money. For that reason we tend to use our US CC, however we do sometimes use the Canadian cc's on certain items and collect the points despite the 2.5%. You have figure out how many points you will get vs. the transaction fee.

B Likes To Travel
06-06-2018, 02:07 PM
The fees depend on the credit card. My bank of america travel rewards card doesn’t have a foreign transaction fee, but my cash rewards card from the same bank does.

Randi
06-06-2018, 04:59 PM
US Credit cards can vary from Canadian ones. Most Canadian credit cards do charge transaction fees. We also can not get most of your credit cards because they are associated with your US banks and we have to have a US address. US Credit cards that run off Canadian banks will charge in US funds so no transaction fee but we have to convert our Canadian money into US dollars to pay for bill.

JohnMtl
06-06-2018, 05:36 PM
It seems that the way it works is when you choose to pay in US dollars when purchasing they are only converting the Florins to US at the merchant’s rate. As mentioned in some of the responses, you are still dealing with a foreign bank so foreign transaction fees apply. So not only are you paying those fees but you are probably not getting the best exchange rate.

I spoke to the furniture store that we will be dealing with to furnish our condo and he said that if I pay cash (wire transfer) to his US bank account, as opposed to paying by credit card, he will give me an additional discount. My biggest concern was fees on the furniture purchases.

As far as my smaller daily purchases: my Canadian bank offers a card with no foreign transaction fee but I’ll lose the 1, 3 or 4% cash-back on my purchases. As a result, I will either use my debit card to buy Florins at the ATM and use cash (like in the old days) or just pay the 2.5% fee.

I was considering opening an account at a local bank but based in the discussions I’ve seen in the forums it’s either paying crazy monthly fees or bad service. Or both.


Thanks for all of the feedback!

Andrea J.
06-06-2018, 06:34 PM
be aware the wire transfer fee might be excessive.
.


It seems that the way it works is when you choose to pay in US dollars when purchasing they are only converting the Florins to US at the merchant’s rate. As mentioned in some of the responses, you are still dealing with a foreign bank so foreign transaction fees apply. So not only are you paying those fees but you are probably not getting the best exchange rate.

I spoke to the furniture store that we will be dealing with to furnish our condo and he said that if I pay cash (wire transfer) to his US bank account, as opposed to paying by credit card, he will give me an additional discount. My biggest concern was fees on the furniture purchases.

As far as my smaller daily purchases: my Canadian bank offers a card with no foreign transaction fee but I’ll lose the 1, 3 or 4% cash-back on my purchases. As a result, I will either use my debit card to buy Florins at the ATM and use cash (like in the old days) or just pay the 2.5% fee.

I was considering opening an account at a local bank but based in the discussions I’ve seen in the forums it’s either paying crazy monthly fees or bad service. Or both.


Thanks for all of the feedback!

robin
06-06-2018, 11:21 PM
How much is the wire transfer from Canadian $$ to US dollars? I am guessing the furniture store is in Aruba but the owner has a US bank?


It seems that the way it works is when you choose to pay in US dollars when purchasing they are only converting the Florins to US at the merchant’s rate. As mentioned in some of the responses, you are still dealing with a foreign bank so foreign transaction fees apply. So not only are you paying those fees but you are probably not getting the best exchange rate.

I spoke to the furniture store that we will be dealing with to furnish our condo and he said that if I pay cash (wire transfer) to his US bank account, as opposed to paying by credit card, he will give me an additional discount. My biggest concern was fees on the furniture purchases.

As far as my smaller daily purchases: my Canadian bank offers a card with no foreign transaction fee but I’ll lose the 1, 3 or 4% cash-back on my purchases. As a result, I will either use my debit card to buy Florins at the ATM and use cash (like in the old days) or just pay the 2.5% fee.

I was considering opening an account at a local bank but based in the discussions I’ve seen in the forums it’s either paying crazy monthly fees or bad service. Or both.


Thanks for all of the feedback!

JohnMtl
06-07-2018, 09:34 AM
How much is the wire transfer from Canadian $$ to US dollars? I am guessing the furniture store is in Aruba but the owner has a US bank?

That is correct. My bank (BMO) charges 0.20% of the transfer amount. Minimum $15, maximum $125.

worldtraveler1976
11-21-2018, 02:42 PM
In Aruba, you are paying what the price is, there are no "cash back" refunds( compare to, say trips to Europe, where you are paying local tax on purchases)... credit card , you are simply insured from fraudulent charges, unlike DEBIT card,if someone gets your card #, they can steal all of it, and you won`t be compensated.Best is- AMEX .
I guess I’ll have to weigh the advantage of the cash back versus what I can save in fees with a travel card.

But what I found strange is that at the cash register I chose to make the payments in US dollars thinking I’d avoid the fees.

JohnMtl
11-21-2018, 03:56 PM
Yes, I understood that there is no VAT refund as in the EU.

I have found that many establishments prefer not to accept AMEX because of their high fee.

I did end up finding a Canadian credit card that does not charge foreign exchange fees and gives points that can be applied towards travel.

yefim8
11-21-2018, 08:45 PM
call to your credit card or better do text them when logged in to your account and ask to make your card free of these fee,s ans re-embrace them back. 99 times out of 100 they would.i got their card with no fees whatsoever.

paulmorin
11-22-2018, 08:48 AM
you're dealing with the worst bank in the world. the government bailed them out and they continue to rape the public.

JohnMtl
11-22-2018, 09:38 AM
you're dealing with the worst bank in the world. the government bailed them out and they continue to rape the public.

What bank are you talking about?