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Multi-currency debit cards

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  1. #11

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    Oct 2006
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    I decided to see any difference in converting CAD first and then spending.

    30 July transfer at 3pm HKT. Rate was 6.16626
    According to Oanda the rate on 30 July was 6.12563
    So this means the HSBC conversion rate was roughly 0.663279 from spot.

    Get a 0.4 cashback so you get a rate of roughly 0.263279 from spot, which isn't bad at all.

    So basically you are better converting first rather than HSBC converting for you when spending. Seems if you do this way the rate is about 1%, while if you convert in advance the rate is around 0.66%.

    shri, emx, blueagles and 1 others like this.

  2. #12

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    Oct 2006
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    Just another data point.

    SCB Smart Credit Card. I don't have the physical card, but I was able to activate it while abroad.

    31 July CAD214.13 which translates to HKD1,314.78 so a rate of 6.1401.

    According to Oanda the rate on 31 July was 6.1327.

    This means the spread on this card is just 0.12. On top of that the card has additional cashback. Clear winner for foreign usage for this card.

    shri likes this.

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    23,373
    Quote Originally Posted by pin:
    Just another data point.

    SCB Smart Credit Card. I don't have the physical card, but I was able to activate it while abroad.

    31 July CAD214.13 which translates to HKD1,314.78 so a rate of 6.1401.

    According to Oanda the rate on 31 July was 6.1327.

    This means the spread on this card is just 0.12. On top of that the card has additional cashback. Clear winner for foreign usage for this card.
    You need a few more data points than one to make this conclusion, especially when volatility in forex markets is elevated. Intraday swings of 100 bips+ are not uncommon recently.

  4. #14

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    Oct 2006
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    4 August
    HKD289.05 on SCB smart card was cad47.24
    Xe.com mid market on 4 August was 6.1074708061
    Mid market hkd288.52
    0.18369 spread before 0.4 odd per cent cashback.

    shri likes this.

  5. #15

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    Oct 2006
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    7 August
    CAD99.75
    SC Smart card hkd609.07
    SC Simply cash hkd620.95
    Xe.com mid market 6.0704550262
    Mid market hkd hkd605.23
    SC Smart card spread 0.63477 before cashback of c.0.4
    SC Simply cash spread 2.5976 before cashback of 2


  6. #16

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Hong Kong
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    Some more data points for reference.

    8 August
    SCB Simply Cash CAD2,847 = HKD17,752.39 (rate of 6.23547).
    According to XE.com the rate on 8 August was 6.1068051718.
    Spread of 2% and 2% cashback

    9 August
    SCB Smart card CAD28.35 was HKD173.32 (rate of 6.11358)
    XE.com rate for that day was 6.094994
    Spread of 0.3 and about 0.4 cashback

    10 August
    Transferred CAD in HSBC at rate of 6.131867.
    XE.com rate was 6.0916
    Spread of 0.661 and then cashback of about 0.4%


    In summary
    - Multi currency cards are pretty good. Didn't get a chance to use the SCB one but is seems spreads were around 0.6 to 0.8 and then you would get a 0.5 cashback.
    - With HSBC it seems its better to convert money first rather than just get bank to do the conversion when paying. Converting in advance the spread seems to be around 0.6 while when the bank does it seems to be around 1. Also with HSBC if not enough foreign currency to cover full cost of transaction, they will do the full amount from the HKD account (i.e. 1% spread).
    - Normal CC rate is around 2-3% of spread
    - SCB Smart card has a very attractive spread, cashback and it seems free withdrawals as well. I think that is a winner for foreign spend.


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