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I'm getting ready to head out of the country at the end of the week so I'm doing travel notifications. Chase has something that is new to me. I have more than one credit card from them including one I use pretty extensively when traveling(Sapphire Reserve). What I like is that when I was setting a travel notification, they showed me all the cards along with the international transaction fee for each.

Yes, I should know but I really only paid attention to my main one. Smart move on their part because I will take the others with no fee, too, just in case.

(BTW, Capital One says they need no notice)
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Chase is my least favorite for foreign transactions. I have only tried to use it once outside the U.S., but the charge was declined even though I had notified Chase of my travel plans. Then, when I tried to send them a secure message through their web site, they disabled my web access.
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Chase is my least favorite for foreign transactions. I have only tried to use it once outside the U.S., but the charge was declined even though I had notified Chase of my travel plans. Then, when I tried to send them a secure message through their web site, they disabled my web access.

I admit I am biased against big banks (as a customer).

I use three credit cards; one only for historical reasons.

1.) American Express: I have never had it refused overseas (Italy, France, England). Once I took my sister to Venice and we rode the Orient Express to London. And we came back. The cost for that was $8500 (this was around 20 years ago). American Express did not even blink an eye and did not call me about that charge. I called them after getting the tickets and hotel reservations to be sure the card would still be honored. They said it would, that there is no limit on what I could charge.

2.) I then got a Visa card from my local credit union. Here in USA there are a few establishments that will not take American Express, but will take Visa and Master Card. And there is no annual fee for that Visa card. I do not like Visa because they charge very high fees and instant interest on some transactions*. Also, my credit union no longer likes them and so I then got

3.) Master Card, which also has no annual fee. So far, in USA, everyone who takes credit cards takes that.

I notice that lately a few businesses have started imposing a service charge when credit cards are used. They call it a discount for cash purchases. In the old days, credit card companies prohibited that, but I guess they cannot do that anymore. The highest is about 3.75%, another 2.5%. Many will not take credit cards if the purchase is under some minimum (typically $10). My barber will take only cash; no credit cards, no checks.

And this has nothing really to do with this topic, but I have been getting a lot of telephone calls about my Visa card. They can lower my interest, the want to check on my purchases, etc. But these are not really from Visa at all. But Phishers and other nefarious [censored].

_____
* As an example, if I want to send money by Western Union, they add a $25 fee to the amount in addition to Western Union's already high fees, and they start charging interest immediately, not just starting at the beginning of the next billing period.
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JeanDavid,

You wrote, I admit I am biased against big banks (as a customer).

I can certainly understand that for deposit accounts. But big banks usually offer the best deals on credit cards.

Also, 2.) I then got a Visa card from my local credit union. Here in USA there are a few establishments that will not take American Express, but will take Visa and Master Card. And there is no annual fee for that Visa card. I do not like Visa because they charge very high fees and instant interest on some transactions*.

* As an example, if I want to send money by Western Union, they add a $25 fee to the amount in addition to Western Union's already high fees, and they start charging interest immediately, not just starting at the beginning of the next billing period.


I recently needed to send some money an old school chum that was in a financial bind. I investigated Western Union to see if it was as bad as I remembered. The fees were outrageous. And the time lag was horrible, unless I was willing to pay something like a $60 wire fee. I don't know why anyone would use them.

I opted to have Amazon send a Visa Gift card instead. I think there was a $6 activation fee for the card, but as an Amazon Prime member they sent it second day free of charge. I followed that up by having him open a cash management account online at Fidelity (free to open, no minimums, pays interest). Of course he had to wait to have a debit/ATM card mailed to him to access that cash. But he received the gift card quickly to cover basic expenses. And now if what I sent him wasn't enough I can get him cash the same day he asks for it.

All in I was out $6 plus what I gave him.

And no, I wouldn't do that for most of my school friends; but he and I were best buds for quite a while and we've kept in touch...

- Joel
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I recently needed to send some money an old school chum that was in a financial bind. I investigated Western Union to see if it was as bad as I remembered. The fees were outrageous. And the time lag was horrible, unless I was willing to pay something like a $60 wire fee. I don't know why anyone would use them.

I never had to pay that high a fee for sending money by Western Union. The problem I had with sending money any other way was that my friend was frequently homeless, or living in a condemned abandoned building, and therefore had no legal address, and no bank account, and no credit card. And any ID gets stolen, so how do you send her money for the $50 or whatever it is these days for a new photo-id for someone who does not drive so does not even have a license.

Here is a recent transfer. I probably used Master Card. If I used Visa, they would have added $25 and started charging the interest immediately.

Payment
Credit card ending in ...
Delivery
Cash at WU agent location
Money available: In minutes
Summary
Transfer amount
30.00 USD
Transfer fee
+ 6.50 USD
Total
36.50 USD
Total to receiver
30.00 USD

Perhaps Western Union would charge more if it were outside the country. In the above case, it was in another state.
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Chase is my least favorite for foreign transactions.

Could be helpful to share what you prefer.
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