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There was a successful class-action suit against credit-card companies for charging a fee on foreign transactions between 1996 and 2006. I am surprised to hear that they are still charging these fees. See

The class-action suit was not because of the existence of the fees; there's nothing illegal about them. The suit was because the card-issuers did not include the fees in their terms, so there was no way for people to know about the fees ahead of time.

As long as the card-issuers state the fees in their terms of service, they can charge whatever they want for foreign (or domestic for that matter) transactions. These are fees that are not likely to go away any time soon.

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