Foreign transaction fees – charged by lenders for converting U.S. dollars into another currency – are still applied to many American credit card accounts and can add up quickly for consumers, according to a report from the International Business Times. A recent study by Pew Trust found that more than 90 percent of credit cards issued in the U.S. carried foreign transaction fees.
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However, in an attempt to lure more affluent members who travel overseas regularly, some banks are also dropping foreign transaction fees for certain accounts, the report said. Large lenders such as American Express, Chase and Citi no longer hit some borrowers with the charges – which usually amount to between 2.7 and 3 percent of a transaction’s total value – as long as they have high-end accounts.
“Our aim is to strengthen relationships with card members who rely on American Express because they appreciate the value of world class service and the benefits of our premium products,” Ed Gilligan, vice chairman of American Express, told the news agency.
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In addition, some lenders are now issuing credit cards that will ease the process of making a purchase overseas. Most businesses around the world cannot accept standard American credit cards because they have long since stopped using the antiquated magnetic strip technology still popular in the U.S.