How To Avoid International Transaction Charges



When you travel abroad for work or holiday, you would have pre-booked your flight and hotel. Even so, many other expenses pop up throughout the trip, be it a museum entry fee or a
dining out.





The most convenient option for such international transactions is the credit cards, but these could tally up to a sizeable amount on transaction fees if you are not wise. Wouldn’t you instead spend that on beautiful experiential art or musicals on your trip?


Here are a few tips, categorized into ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’, to help you avoid overseas charges when travelling abroad.

Tips to Avoid Charges for International Transactions: Dos


Use credit cards
Credit cards are usually a convenient option to make payments abroad. Many big issuers offer credit cards with low mark-up exchange rates. These cards come with many rewards points and benefits. For example, The Platinum Card® from American Express entitles you to 3x Membership Reward points on every transaction you make abroad. 


Withdraw cash from ATMs 
Most banks these days have alliance partner banks in countries abroad. If you are not able to locate an ATM from your bank’s network, then you can make use of these partner ATMs for cash withdrawals. For example, America Express has partnered with ICBC, China CITIC Bank and Shanghai Bank in China, so you could use the ATM of any of these banks. Being an American Express customer and you withdraw cash at a Citibank ATM in Germany, it will not attract any ATM charges.

Tips to Avoid Charges for International Transactions: Don’ts


Don’t use your home country currency

Some establishments give you the option of transacting in the home or local currency. Ensure that you make all payments in the local currency as conversion into your home currency will attract a high international payment fee.


Don’t buy travel money at the airport

Travel exchange bureaus at the airport, such as Travelex, have a 10% mark-up on the exchange rate. Unless there is a need, it is better to exchange your currency at the local bank. Alternatively, carrying the currency of the country you are visiting is always good.


Avoid travelers’ checks

Travelers’ checks are a good alternative to carrying cash. However, they are outdated and require your signature for every use. Some vendors may not accept them too!


The optimal solution is to use credit cards that are customized for travel. You can use your American Express® Platinum Travel Credit Card for all your foreign travel as it comes with a low mark-up exchange rate. The rewards points and airline miles that you get in return, practically eliminate the cost of using the credit card abroad. What’s more, as a Cardholder, you also have access to a host of airport lounges, world-class services, and platinum experiences to make your travel more rewarding.  

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