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Old 26.08.2019, 07:21
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Credit card: 1.2% international processing fee... avoidable?

I just noticed that for my Postfinance VISA Credit Card I was charged a 1.2% processing fee on all my transactions/purchases while in Asia, which adds up to a not insignificant sum and I never noticed it before now (which was my bad of course).

What is the best way to avoid this in future... should I consider switching to a different bank and/ or credit card?

I've never really considered this before so advice on avoiding this in future (if possible) would be appreciated.
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Old 26.08.2019, 07:39
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Re: Credit card: 1.2% international processing fee... avoidable?

I use Revolut as my credit card outside of Switzerland, or an EU credit card for Euros (if you can get an EU credit card).

If Revolut is not possible, then I just take enough cash with me, usually dollars and small bills, so I can exchange it on the spot.
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Old 26.08.2019, 07:44
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Re: Credit card: 1.2% international processing fee... avoidable?

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I use Revolut as my credit card outside of Switzerland, or an EU credit card for Euros (if you can get an EU credit card).

If Revolut is not possible, then I just take enough cash with me, usually dollars and small bills, so I can exchange it on the spot.
Ahhh so Revolut completely avoids this stuff if you charge it and use it? Ouch, if so then that's an expensive lesson!

Cash was not always possible and I don't like carrying much of it anyway even if it was.
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Old 26.08.2019, 08:00
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Re: Credit card: 1.2% international processing fee... avoidable?

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I just noticed that for my Postfinance VISA Credit Card I was charged a 1.2% processing fee on all my transactions/purchases while in Asia, which adds up to a not insignificant sum and I never noticed
1.2% though significant is one of the lowest rates for non CH/non-CHF transactions with a Swiss credit card. Most are 1.5% or higher.

https://www.nzz.ch/nzzas/nzz-am-sonn...tzen-ld.110786
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Old 26.08.2019, 21:07
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Re: Credit card: 1.2% international processing fee... avoidable?

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1.2% though significant is one of the lowest rates for non CH/non-CHF transactions with a Swiss credit card. Most are 1.5% or higher.

https://www.nzz.ch/nzzas/nzz-am-sonn...tzen-ld.110786
They charge a fee for paying in CHF? that's outrageous. I would instantly change banks if UBS starts doing the same.
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Old 26.08.2019, 21:11
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Re: Credit card: 1.2% international processing fee... avoidable?

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They charge a fee for paying in CHF? that's outrageous. I would instantly change banks if UBS starts doing the same.
Fairly widespread nowadays.
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Old 27.08.2019, 11:55
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Re: Credit card: 1.2% international processing fee... avoidable?

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They charge a fee for paying in CHF? that's outrageous. I would instantly change banks if UBS starts doing the same.
According to the article UBS doesn't charge for paying in CHF.
However, while paying abroad in CHF the so called Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) of the merchant (or merchant's bank) is used which is usually a very unfavourable exchange rate.
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Old 27.08.2019, 15:21
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Re: Credit card: 1.2% international processing fee... avoidable?

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According to the article UBS doesn't charge for paying in CHF.
However, while paying abroad in CHF the so called Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) of the merchant (or merchant's bank) is used which is usually a very unfavourable exchange rate.

https://www.ubs.com/ch/en/private/ac...onal-fees.html

UBS charges 1.75% for any CHF transaction processed abroad.
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Old 27.08.2019, 23:07
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Re: Credit card: 1.2% international processing fee... avoidable?

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https://www.ubs.com/ch/en/private/ac...onal-fees.html

UBS charges 1.75% for any CHF transaction processed abroad.
Then by choosing to pay abroad in CHF (with UBS and most other banks cards) one pays the merchant DCC exchange rate which has been found by EU studies to be almost always worse than card issuer exchange rate and then the card issued fee.
Therefore in most cases it is better to pay in local currency.
For Revolut weekend markup one can exchange some money before a weekend purchase.

However, recently there was a news of multiple Revolut customer phishing attack (or hack of Revolut itself, nobody really knows yet) where people lost considerable amounts of money and were not sure if/when Revolut refounds the losses.
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Old 26.08.2019, 09:17
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Re: Credit card: 1.2% international processing fee... avoidable?

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What is the best way to avoid this in future...
Don't use cards, and don't go to Asia!

Tom
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Old 26.08.2019, 21:25
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Re: Credit card: 1.2% international processing fee... avoidable?

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I just noticed that for my Postfinance VISA Credit Card I was charged a 1.2% processing fee on all my transactions/purchases while in Asia, which adds up to a not insignificant sum and I never noticed it before now (which was my bad of course).

What is the best way to avoid this in future... should I consider switching to a different bank and/ or credit card?

I've never really considered this before so advice on avoiding this in future (if possible) would be appreciated.
Stay in Switzerland.
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Old 26.08.2019, 21:39
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Re: Credit card: 1.2% international processing fee... avoidable?

Revolut is not free even through the evangelists claim it is. It does not use the mid rate as many claim although their spread is lower than most banks.
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Old 26.08.2019, 21:44
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Re: Credit card: 1.2% international processing fee... avoidable?

Revolut (or any other similar card) is not necessary in CH for domestic purchases in any case as there are cards which have no annual fee available like the Migros and Coop ones. Even the PostFinance card which has a 50 franc annual charge is basically free if you have enough turnover which generates the bonus cashback.

For overseas transactions what is missing on the Swiss market is a safe credit card without the foreign transaction fee and that is not prepaid.
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Old 26.08.2019, 22:10
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Re: Credit card: 1.2% international processing fee... avoidable?

In the UK there has been no fee as such on foreign use of cards for as long as I can remember, however there's usually a 2.5 to 3% loading on the exchange rate. If you're only paying a 1.2% exchange rate loading as a fee then that's pretty good for a high street bank.


Revolut say that they change the rates in their favour at weekends or with uncommon currencies. Otherwise I've always gotten pretty much the interbank rate, especially for CHF/EUR. Their loading for cash after you've gone over the threshold is something like 4% so you then might be better off using a domestic card.


I use a legacy UK credit card with interbank rate and no annual fee. Gotta love the UK!
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Old 26.08.2019, 22:12
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Re: Credit card: 1.2% international processing fee... avoidable?

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Revolut is not free even through the evangelists claim it is. It does not use the mid rate as many claim although their spread is lower than most banks.
Yes it does. I checked against XE and it matched exactly. They don't use the mid rate during the weekends... but they make that very clear in their T&Cs.
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Old 27.08.2019, 07:08
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Re: Credit card: 1.2% international processing fee... avoidable?

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Revolut is not free even through the evangelists claim it is. It does not use the mid rate as many claim although their spread is lower than most banks.
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Yes it does. I checked against XE and it matched exactly. They don't use the mid rate during the weekends... but they make that very clear in their T&Cs.
We've done a comparison. And sorry, but we can only confirm FMF's post.
We tried to buy something with Revolut and with another fee-free credit card at the same time. The exchange rate was significantly worse with Revolut and nowhere near the official rate. Naturally we made the purchase with the other credit card.
The exchange rate with Revolut may have been very good once, but it no longer is. But yes it will still be a little better than most other banks etc.
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Old 27.08.2019, 09:47
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Re: Credit card: 1.2% international processing fee... avoidable?

FWIW I just checked again EUR CHF and Revolut is something like 0.0001 to 0.0002 away from mid price reported real time.

Realistically it doesn't get much better than this.

I would guess that it is a refresh issue, so if you see different prices at different providers, check how often they refresh. If the rate moves 5 pips for example and different providers refresh prices at different times, that would explain most of the difference.
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Old 27.08.2019, 10:18
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Re: Credit card: 1.2% international processing fee... avoidable?

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We tried to buy something with Revolut and with another fee-free credit card at the same time. The exchange rate was significantly worse with Revolut and nowhere near the official rate. Naturally we made the purchase with the other credit card.
What time, what day was it? Was it during the weekend? What does "significant" means? How much percentage load?

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The exchange rate with Revolut may have been very good once, but it no longer is. But yes it will still be a little better than most other banks etc.
Well, at this moment in time (10:14:20 CEST) Revolut gives me 1.0889 CHF per euro and Oanda live rates bid/ask shows 1.086/1.089. Can you compare with your card's rate is at this time?
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Old 27.08.2019, 11:40
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Re: Credit card: 1.2% international processing fee... avoidable?

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Revolut is not free even through the evangelists claim it is. It does not use the mid rate as many claim although their spread is lower than most banks.
Yap the old adage - there ainít no such thing as a free lunch. All evangelists of these types of business ignore the fact the these businesses would not survive very long without an income. Free financial services play with the exchange rate, the interest rate or the transaction routes, or higher fees on other services - there arenít many other things they can do.
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