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Best credit card to avoid foreign transaction fees and high exchange rates?

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  1. #21

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    What comes out of your account is exactly the price you paid in the local currency

    So pay 100 yen then the 100 yen comes out of your account. but it looks like some weird credit / debit booking and yes it takes a while for it to show in the app.

    Which admittedly sucked because I couldn't see my spend in real time; for my Amex card I can see immediately in the app the spend.

    still I ended up using the Citi feature as it was 1) new to try 2) burn down some yen 3) Citi was giving a rebate during that period of time


  2. #22

    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    50
    Quote Originally Posted by chichow
    What comes out of your account is exactly the price you paid in the local currency

    So pay 100 yen then the 100 yen comes out of your account. but it looks like some weird credit / debit booking and yes it takes a while for it to show in the app.

    Which admittedly sucked because I couldn't see my spend in real time; for my Amex card I can see immediately in the app the spend.

    still I ended up using the Citi feature as it was 1) new to try 2) burn down some yen 3) Citi was giving a rebate during that period of time
    If you withdraw yen from atm in Japan, what's the surcharge?

  3. #23
    cwd
    cwd is offline

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    Aug 2019
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    For anyone with HSBC who also has an account in Australia, they offer the Everyday Global Account: https://www.hsbc.com.au/accounts/pro...eryday-global/ which is a handy way to get access to currencies you might hold.

    I've used Global Transfer to move money over from whichever currency's savings account here into the account in Australia, with no conversion, and then I can withdraw it (or spend it) when I'm in that country using the attached debit card. As usual, the rates they offer for conversions aren't great.

    It looks like they have the same account available in Singapore. But also...it's not a credit card.

    bdw likes this.

  4. #24

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    Mar 2010
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    The thing to be careful of with the HSBC card is that the rebates aren't guaranteed - they're not part of the core product (only the standard 0.4% is). Everything on top are based on promotions, such as an overseas spending promotion that just happens to have been extended for a few years running.

    Also note the T&C - there are limits to the actual rebate amount:

    -----
    Cardholders who have successfully completed the Registration and conducted Eligible Transaction(s) with an Eligible Credit Card for a cumulative Net Spending Amount (as defined in Clause 7 below) of HK$3,000 or above (the "Spending Requirement") in each Phase during the Promotional Period are entitled to receive:

    i. an extra 5 times RewardCash (equivalent to 2% RewardCash rebate) on Eligible Transactions (the "2% RewardCash Offer"). In respect of the 2% RewardCash Offer, each Cardholder is entitled to receive a maximum of an extra $300 RewardCash rebate in each Phase. This is in addition to the basic RewardCash (i.e. $1 RewardCash for every HK$250 spent, which is equivalent to 0.4% RewardCash rebate), giving Cardholders up to 6 times RewardCash (equivalent to up to 2.4% RewardCash rebate).

    ii. another extra 5 times RewardCash (equivalent to 2% RewardCash rebate) on Eligible Overseas Transactions (as defined in Clause 5 below) conducted with an Eligible HSBC Premier MasterCard® Credit Card (the "2% RewardCash Offer for Premier"). In respect of the 2% RewardCash Offer for Premier, each Cardholder is entitled to receive a maximum of an extra $300 RewardCash rebate in each Phase.

    -----

    Correct me if i'm wrong, but (i.) refers to the base 2.4% reward (not the Signature/Premier bonus, or the 2% from selecting 'overseas spending' category). That means one must spend $3,000 each phase to be eligible, and even then only the first $15,000 of spending would apply (max. $300 RewardCash).

    Since (ii.) doesn't mention Signature cards - and I couldn't find a clause that does - I assume there's no limit for the additional 1.2% those card holders get.

    I also assume no limit for those who choose 'overseas spending' as the reward category (but i've put mine into supermarkets, so I don't get those anyways).


  5. #25

    Join Date
    May 2015
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    44

    Do you get the ATM rebate with Citi of you elect to convert from HKD at the time of withdrawal?

    The Global Wallet sounds useful for speculation but an extra complication for those who prefer to avoid speculating.

    I wonder if there's a way to use this to reduce using HKD.


  6. #26

    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    371
    Quote Originally Posted by bdw
    The rates are set by Visa/Mastercard. Right now, for USD, Visa rates are 7.98536. Mastercard is 7.98171. But Unionpay is a lot better 7.86227. On top of this, most HK banks charge 1.95% fee on top, but some waive this. Unionpay also waives this.

    But HSBC Visa Signature is actually a good card because they give 3.6% cashback instantly. Literally the same day I make a transactions I can look in the Reward+ app and see my points increase. They also give up to 5.6% cashback if you meet minimum quarterly spending requirements, or 6.4% cashback if you have one of those snobby Premier mastercards. So I use my HSBC card overseas quite a bit.

    As an example, spend US$1,000 on HSBC Visa Signature, rate 7.98536 = HK$7985.36. Plus 1.95% fee. So total you see on your statement is HK$8141.07. But then you get 3.6% of this back in points, which is HK$293 in points. So effectively you are paying HK$7848. Compare US$1,000 to HK$7848 and the effective rate you are paying is 7.848 which is actually a bloody good rate.

    Above example is with the basic guaranteed 3.6% cashback that HSBC give you instantly. If you factor in the 5.6% or 6.4% cashback if you meet spending targets etc, the numbers look even better than this.

    So for this reason, I use HSBC Visa Signature overseas for everything I buy. Even a 100 yen drink in a Japanese 7/11 store I will use my HSBC card. In Australia I will use the tap-n-go function when buying groceries or anything. I spend everything on HSBC Visa card and with the 3.6% cashback it's worth it.

    Also it's worth noting that I NEVER use this card when I am in Hong Kong, unless there is some particular restaurant/supermarket/etc that has a promotion with HSBC. Because I put all my bonus points all on the overseas spending category, it makes the card quite shitty using in HK. I usually use Standard Chartered and Citibank cards for local HKD spending. This is why most people in HK have multiple credit cards for multiple purposes and if you only have one credit for everything then you are not doing it right and losing out on a lot of points. You need 2-3 cards to maximise your return. I have one for overseas spending, one for local restaurants, one for local everything else.
    Think I have been doing not right then! I use my signature card for everything in HK. Overseas I use a UK card which has the best MasterCard exchange rate and no additional charges.

    I never really understood HK credit cards. Far too complicated. Pity I did know the above when I got my signature card back in 2017. We travel a lot! Anyway leaving HK in the summer so probably not worth worrying about it now.

  7. #27

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    Mar 2010
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    Hong Kong
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pauljoecoe
    Overseas I use a UK card which has the best MasterCard exchange rate and no additional charges.
    Presumably not an HSBC one? I keep my UK HSBC VISA for a token few GBP transactions each year. Stupidly decided to use it on an EUR transaction last month, only to notice a 3% handling fee. (The FX fee was not marked up). Still... that's 3% vs. the usual HK 1.95%. Crikey!

  8. #28

    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    371
    Quote Originally Posted by tparker
    Presumably not an HSBC one? I keep my UK HSBC VISA for a token few GBP transactions each year. Stupidly decided to use it on an EUR transaction last month, only to notice a 3% handling fee. (The FX fee was not marked up). Still... that's 3% vs. the usual HK 1.95%. Crikey!
    No, Halifax Clarity Card. I don't do HSBC in the UK.

  9. #29

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    3,032
    Quote Originally Posted by robertlempriere
    Am I reading this as a FIVE DAY lag?
    so back in Japan - and I have an update

    so now the screen shows

    CURRENT BALANCE
    JPY xxxxxx
    Citibank global wallet

    what is new now is under that you have

    on deposit
    JPY smaller amount than xxxxxx

    So as you spend down your JPY, that is reflected instantly in your on deposit - so you know how much left you have available.

    the transactions still take a couple of days to post which is not necessarily surprising for international settlement.

  10. #30

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Hong-Kong
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    @robertlempriere
    @chichow

    Guys does this Citi multi-currency debit card gives you access to your Citi HK accounts ?

    The reason why I'm asking is because I have the HSBC version of this card and as far as my HK local accounts are concerned, it can only give me access to my primary savings account, and no other account (it's not a matter of applying or not, the card just can't do it). So essentially it's a card to be used pretty much exclusively overseas.


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