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paying for USA resort stay with Australian credit card(how to avoid bank fees)

Discussion in 'Hotels' started by John Grier, Dec 18, 2016.

  1. AAGK

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    If you don't want to get a card without foreign transaction fees (and they don't necessarily have a worse exchange rate), then pay cash. You can bring the cash or wire it from your checking account. Wires are free from my bank, even international.
     
    #21
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  2. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    If it is over $10,000 he will have a very hard time even getting the cash into the U.S. And most hotels will not accept wired money and it would have to be wired before arriving.

    Plus you have absolutely no consumer protection by not using a credit card if there are any problems.

    We are going on a safari and the company we are using gave us a choice of wiring funds or using a credit card for a 3% fee. We are taking the fee because we want to make sure we have protection in case anything goes wrong and we don't get the services we are paying for. Sometimes you just gotta suck up the fees to have protection.
     
    #22
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  3. AAGK

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    I would do the same but he wants to avoid fees. He can take the money out here and he can walk out with 17k easily depending on his bank. If his bank has a branch in the US, then it's no problem. Most banks have that on hand , though not all. He can also travel with that amount.
    We took a family vacation a few years ago and my grandpa was a cash only guy. He brought the money with him for a family with 8 people to Italy. The Rome hotel and house owner in Tuscany were thrilled with the cash. It sounds crazy but it is an old school thing.

    If I was the LW, I would have this convo with my bank to learn the options as the bank is best positioned to deal with this request. I agree, not using a credit card is not a great move but when you've never been burned with travel plans, then it's easy to see why folks do it this way.
     
    #23
  4. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    My wife is a former banker. Anything withdrawn (or deposited) $10,000 and over has the be reported when withdrawing. You can't just walk into a bank and withdraw money like that especially if your account is in another country.
     
    #24
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  5. Christina H

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    Even with the same bank holding companies, the actual banks operating in different countries may be different companies and unable to access the info where the account is held. I have had this issue in Europe with major banks.

    Also one should remember that banks charge a conversion fee or commission, as does every currency exchange place. When one looks at the foreign exchange fees there is the interbank rate which is not for the general public, that is large scale commercial, and then there are the ones given at atms, credit cards, etc, all taking a commission. The traveler pays in one way or another.

    As to the OP, there are websites that list the benefits of various Australian credit cards with information such as

    Bankwest Zero Platinum MasterCard, which levies no foreign currency conversion fee (typically as high as 3 per cent), and has no annual fee and complimentary travel insurance. There's also a 24-hour concierge service, should you need it.

    For business purposes I make and receive a few international wire transfers per year. They can take 3-5 business days (in Europe) and again what exchange rate would the wire from the outgoing bank use if the wire is in US $ -- or if the OP sends AUS $ then the receiving bank uses their own conversion.
     
    #25
  6. kenish

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    The exchange rate comment is untrue for almost all credit cards in the US (see post #20 above). The interbank rate is used to calculate the conversion and the CC agreements specifically state this. Most cards have dropped the international transaction fee, a few still charge 2-4%, and some have a 1-2% rebate on all purchases. A good deal if you don't carry a balance and pay in full monthly; not so good if you carry a balance as many have a higher APR.
     
    #26
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  7. Christina H

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    When I used the term interbank currency exchange I am going by this definition --
    The spot foreign exchange market is by far the largest in the world, with more than $5 trillion changing hands daily. The largest portion of the activity takes place in the interbank market, in which the largest trading rooms execute transactions that range from $25 million to over a billion dollars each.
    The currency market, however, is a decentralized market. There isn't one "exchange" where every trade is recorded. Instead, each market maker records his or her own transactions and keeps it as proprietary information. The primary market makers who make bid and ask spreads in the currency market are the largest banks in the world. They deal with each other constantly either on behalf of themselves or their customers. This is why the market on which banks conduct transactions is called the interbank market.

    The larger the retail forex broker in terms of capital available, the more favorable pricing it can get from the interbank market. If a client or even a bank is small, it is restricted to dealing with only a select number of larger banks and tends to get less favorable pricing.

    Read more: The Foreign Exchange Interbank Market | Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/articles/forex/06/interbank.asp#ixzz4U4EaW3Wo
    Follow us: Investopedia on Facebook

    Read more: Interbank Rate Definition | Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/interbankrate.asp#ixzz4U4CEiTNY

    That is the major banks trading currency on volume are going to have a better rate between themselves than what is available to the consumer even through their credit cards. 10 International banks dominate the trading and banks like Capital One is not one of them

    Currency markets are really complex... I am always amazed when small investors try to speculate.
     
    #27
  8. kenish

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    Whatever definition you or I invent doesn't matter...what matters is the CC agreements on all my cards explicitly state they use the Interbank Rate (and one agreement comments it can be looked up online or in the newspaper) while one says they use Visa International's exchange rate (available on their website, and consumer articles say it's essentially the same as the Interbank rate, just rounded up or down to limit things to 4 decimal places).

    You're correct the actual Forex markets are a whole different realm....the CC's have chosen to use that rate in their conversion.
     
    #28
  9. Christina H

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    Kenish I admit to being cynical and believe the banks reserve the best rates for themselves and large scale traders and that consumers get a worse rate. I use a Capital One card because of the no foreign fees, it was one of the reasons I applied for it. My other card started charging the foreign fees after the 2008 financial crisis. -- when banks started to get fee happy.

    If one is going on an expensive overseas trip then it makes sense to use a card with no fees but one has to have time to research and apply. I would not trust some of these new online money transfers and certainly do not think walking around with a briefcase full of cash is prudent in many areas. Banks in the US are supposedly more alert to over 10,000 transactions because of money laundering.

    I tried to get a bank check in the UK in UK pounds and the bank would not do it as I was not a customer of the UK bank only the US one. I ended up going to the post office and getting a money order.
     
    #29
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  10. kenish

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    From what I've read, declaring over $10000 is no big deal but it MUST be reported. Per the CBP, they seize $356,396 in undeclared currency per day! Note you can't divvy up money among your party to avoid the $10k limit, and cash, bearer instruments, and other cash equivalents must be included in the total.

    ISTR other countries have similar limits...but I don't pay attention after a long flight, and since it's never an issue for budget travelers like me!
     
    #30
  11. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    All these arguments going on for a problem that can be easily resolved by searching for a bank in Australia that doesn't charge a fee like we have here or just accepting the fee.
     
    #31
  12. Christina H

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    Kenish there are specially trained dogs with Customs that can sniff out large wads of cash. I saw a demonstration on them -- Dutch Shepherds are used at JFK.

    Neil you are so correct, I think the OP only became aware of the issue when it was too late to apply for a different card as it can take weeks to get approved and receive the card.
     
    #32
  13. John Grier

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    can carry $10,000 each without any issues.

    Still waiting on answer from resort regarding paying with Paypal. Have given them a credit card, but asked them not to process it, as would like to pay with cash.
     
    #33
  14. John Grier

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    Australian banks are thieves & most profitable in the world. They either give you a poor exchange rate or charge big fees or both. They get you one way or the other.
     
    #34
  15. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    This happens to all of us that don't have cards that waive the fees when we travel to Austraila. It isn't exclusive just to Austrailia.
     
    #35
  16. technomage1

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    I would not recommend carrying that much cash for theft and safety reasons. Travelers checks might be an option.
     
    #36
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  17. ORresident

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    And I wouldn't recommend carrying that much cash because of civil forfeiture laws.
     
    #37
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  18. Carrie Livingston

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    Since he's coming to the US, that shouldn't be a problem but it's getting harder and harder to cash those things these days.
     
    #38
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  19. kenish

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    No, your party is limited to $10k total into the USA. The CBP and Treasury websites state this clearly. Now, whether or not you can get away with it is another question, but the entire amount will be confiscated if you're suspected.
     
    #39
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  20. jsn55

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    Oh please don't tell me that we'll next hear from John in prison for trying to smuggle cash into the US??? John, did you ever follow up on the suggestion that you arrange a credit for food or whatever to cover the cost of the FTF?
     
    #40

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