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-   -   Credit Card - surcharge abroad (https://www.englishforum.ch/finance-banking-taxation/305312-credit-card-surcharge-abroad.html)

Island Monkey 09.08.2021 14:05

Credit Card - surcharge abroad
 
I’ve been caught out with a few recent online purchases.

I have ordered from places such as bikester.ch, campz.ch etc. I know these guys are not based in Switzerland, but their prices are in chf and therefore I’ve put them on my UBS credit card. Then my statement has shown an added “surcharge abroad”.

Are they putting the payment through in Euros? Or because they are based outside Switzerland is there a surcharge even though I paid in chf? Bloody annoying!

I wonder how this would work with my Wise card? If I pay in chf but they put it through in Euro?

fatmanfilms 09.08.2021 14:09

Re: Credit Card - surcharge abroad
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Island Monkey (Post 3336150)
I’ve been caught out with a few recent online purchases.

I have ordered from places such as bikester.ch, campz.ch etc. I know these guys are not based in Switzerland, but their prices are in chf and therefore I’ve put them on my UBS credit card. Then my statement has shown an added “surcharge abroad”.

Are they putting the payment through in Euros? Or because they are based outside Switzerland is there a surcharge even though I paid in chf? Bloody annoying!

I wonder how this would work with my Wise card? If I pay in chf but they put it through in Euro?

I use Revolut & Wise when making purchases in CH, paying with either Euro or £ & never get charged. Always select payment in CHF if thats the currency at check out or local currency in stores. Never let the shop/Bank do the conversion

otec 09.08.2021 14:13

Re: Credit Card - surcharge abroad
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fatmanfilms (Post 3336153)
I use Revolut & Wise when making purchases in CH, paying with either Euro or £ & never get charged. Always select payment in CHF if thats the currency at check out or local currency in stores. Never let the shop/Bank do the conversion

Same. I guess you have to sign up for a plan if you make regular purchases, as Revolut has caps on FX conversion.

Island Monkey 09.08.2021 14:15

Re: Credit Card - surcharge abroad
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fatmanfilms (Post 3336153)
Always select payment in CHF if thats the currency at check out or local currency in stores. Never let the shop/Bank do the conversion

That’s the thing though. Prices were always CHF, checkout price still in CHF, but still got charged for foreign transaction on UBS credit card.

otec 09.08.2021 14:15

Re: Credit Card - surcharge abroad
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Island Monkey (Post 3336150)
Are they putting the payment through in Euros? Or because they are based outside Switzerland is there a surcharge even though I paid in chf? Bloody annoying!

It's Bank's business model, that's how they make money. Same was in the UK when using GBP card abroad. In fact, most charge you twice: fixed non-sterling transaction fee and % of purchase. It's such a scam.

This is one of the reasons why Revolut and Wise have enjoyed such success.

Island Monkey 09.08.2021 14:21

Re: Credit Card - surcharge abroad
 
So is it that the business is based abroad that is triggering the charge?

fatmanfilms 09.08.2021 14:22

Re: Credit Card - surcharge abroad
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Island Monkey (Post 3336158)
That’s the thing though. Prices were always CHF, checkout price still in CHF, but still got charged for foreign transaction on UBS credit card.

You get that with Easyjet too unless you switch to GBP & pay with GBP.
Just bought some plane tickets from Air Malta priced in CHF & paid with Revolut no extra fees.

Island Monkey 09.08.2021 14:30

Re: Credit Card - surcharge abroad
 
I stopped using Revolut, because when I had money on my account in GBP, they still charged me for making payments in GBP :eek: because I live in CH. Wise don’t do this - someone gives me GBP and then I spend in GBP, no charge from Wise.

catandmouse 09.08.2021 14:56

Re: Credit Card - surcharge abroad
 
Most credit card companies will make you pay the foreign surcharge on all purchases made outside Switzerland, independently of the currency in which they are billed.

Island Monkey 09.08.2021 15:06

Re: Credit Card - surcharge abroad
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by catandmouse (Post 3336178)
Most credit card companies will make you pay the foreign surcharge on all purchases made outside Switzerland, independently of the currency in which they are billed.

I always thought it was just based on currency :eek:

erchegyia 09.08.2021 15:44

Re: Credit Card - surcharge abroad
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Island Monkey (Post 3336158)
That’s the thing though. Prices were always CHF, checkout price still in CHF, but still got charged for foreign transaction on UBS credit card.

I asked UBS about this in the past. They stated the surcharge is based on the currency but on the merchant being located abroad. You have no way of knowing in advance :mad:

Caryl 09.08.2021 16:19

Re: Credit Card - surcharge abroad
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by erchegyia (Post 3336188)
I asked UBS about this in the past. They stated the surcharge is based on the currency but on the merchant being located abroad. You have no way of knowing in advance :mad:

Some but not all US cards impose a surcharge, usually 2.9% on foreign currency charges. Many U.S. debit cards impose a 1% surcharge on foreign usage: I was charged the fee on a withdrawal in USD vat a U.S. military base in Europe.

I use my Chase Sapphire Reserve card (USD) for virtually all charges everywhere as most of my income is in USD. There is no surcharge and there are generous points (treble for travel and restaurants; The Points Guy values them at 1.5¢ to 2.24¢ each https://thepointsguy.com/guide/more-...ewards-points/), but one can't control the exchange rate that VISA applies. Once when I returned a hire car at GVA airport Europcar charged me 1,000 frs for alleged damage. As CSR provides free primary collision cover I didn't argue. While in the Swiss airport lounge Europcar rang me to say they'd checked their film record and indeed the damage was there when I hired the car (but not recorded on their computer) and they reversed the charge, 30 minutes later -- Sunday night in the USA. There was a $7 difference in the credit. I complained to Chase that if their insurance had paid my cost would have been zero and they credited me the $7. But the incident suggests, indeed proves, that VISA doesn't give you the same rate for credits and charges.

rezak 09.08.2021 16:36

Re: Credit Card - surcharge abroad
 
From UBS Classic Credit Card information sheet:

Currency conversions for transactions in foreign currencies: UBS foreign exchange sell rate or card organization rate plus 1.75% processing surcharge

CHF transactions abroad: 1.75% processing surcharge

axman 09.08.2021 18:18

Re: Credit Card - surcharge abroad
 
I buy from bikester and Campz too and never knew this.

I switched to using PayPal early last year and just checked my most recent purchases and there is no additional charge.

The reason I switched to PayPal - they provide refunds for costs incurred when returning items.

pfirsichaehnlich 09.08.2021 19:20

Re: Credit Card - surcharge abroad
 
Just get the UBS Global card then you won't get any fees. Since this came out there is not really any reason to use a currency card
https://www.ubs.com/ch/en/private/ac...s/special.html

If you don't want the UBS card I'd recommend https://www.neon-free.ch/en/ or Wise as others have mentioned.

Avoid Revolut, their charges really aren't very transparent (weekends for example) and they have zero customer service.

rezak 09.08.2021 21:28

Re: Credit Card - surcharge abroad
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pfirsichaehnlich (Post 3336270)
Avoid Revolut, their charges really aren't very transparent (weekends for example) and they have zero customer service.

Can't speak for the customer service, but I found revolut prices very transparent. The weekend fee was explained, they also announced when they increased it. Their fees page also explains why this happens.

If you often make purchases in some currency - just convert money in advance, so you won't incur in the weekend fee. For example I charge CHF and then convert everything immediately to EUR. If I need to pay CHF - I just use other cards, almost all other foreign transactions are in EUR. And if, from time to time, I happen to make a weird currency purchase on a weekend - those 0.5% of whatever do not play a huge role

Island Monkey 09.08.2021 21:33

Re: Credit Card - surcharge abroad
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rezak (Post 3336300)
Can't speak for the customer service, but I found revolut prices very transparent. The weekend fee was explained, they also announced when they increased it. Their fees page also explains why this happens.

If you often make purchases in some currency - just convert money in advance, so you won't incur in the weekend fee. For example I charge CHF and then convert everything immediately to EUR. If I need to pay CHF - I just use other cards, almost all other foreign transactions are in EUR. And if, from time to time, I happen to make a weird currency purchase on a weekend - those 0.5% of whatever do not play a huge role

They still charge you every time you make a payment in GBP if you are a Swiss resident, even if your money is already in GBP.

Urs Max 09.08.2021 23:27

Re: Credit Card - surcharge abroad
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by erchegyia (Post 3336188)
I asked UBS about this in the past. They stated the surcharge is based on the currency but on the merchant being located abroad. You have no way of knowing in advance :mad:

I tend to disagree with that.

Check their location mentioned in their imprint/Impressum, and the location of legal dispute according to the T&C, that should be a reliable indication. Not 100% reliable of course, but unless both are in CH you probably should assume foreign, or enquire to be sure.

Oh btw, bikester.ch and campz.ch have the same address in Germany, ain't it funny what a small world they live in.
That said, according to each Impressum they're subsidiaries of internetstores.com.

axman 09.08.2021 23:36

Re: Credit Card - surcharge abroad
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Urs Max (Post 3336322)
That said, according to each Impressum they're subsidiaries of internetstores.com.

Correct, and you can buy from them via galaxus and get the Galaxus T&C.

otec 10.08.2021 07:44

Re: Credit Card - surcharge abroad
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pfirsichaehnlich (Post 3336270)
Just get the UBS Global card then you won't get any fees. Since this came out there is not really any reason to use a currency card
https://www.ubs.com/ch/en/private/ac...s/special.html

If you don't want the UBS card I'd recommend https://www.neon-free.ch/en/ or Wise as others have mentioned.

Avoid Revolut, their charges really aren't very transparent (weekends for example) and they have zero customer service.


Revolut's customer service is indeed struggling a lot in last 1-2years.

I guess its a result of the massive growth.

Google's customer service is non-existent as well.


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