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credit cards in italy

I have conflicting reports regarding international transaction fees for credit cards. what is the best credit card to use to reduce these fees

Posted by
23464 posts

First, call your credit card company and ask them what the fees. ALL fees are solely determined by your credit card issuer. Three percent for currency conversion is common. Some of the Capital One credit cards do not charge a currency fee but there are others credit cards companies that do not. It is all marketing and that is one of the strong points for Capital One. However, you do need to stick with a VISA or Mastercard brand. Do your homework by calling and asking about their fees.

Posted by
11479 posts

We found Capital One lived up to our expectations with no intl transaction fees. Also, for debit card, Charles Schwab refunds all ATM fees. While it might only be a $45-$50 issue for your entire trip, that is the price of our average dinner while in Italy, so if I can save enough on fees to pay for a meal, well, why not?

Posted by
791 posts

Cap One. been using it for 10 months and no transaction fees.

Posted by
361 posts

We have a debit and credit card from our credit union and it charges NO international transaction fee. Just returned from 12 days in Italy, looked at my statement to be sure and NO Fees, Nyet, Nada, None. Check out your local credit union, even if they have a fee I'll bet it won't be more than 1%.

Posted by
7737 posts

Cap One credit card and a Cap One Money Market account for debit/ATMs.

Posted by
29 posts

Charles Schwab has a debit card that repays all transaction fees and all international fees. I keep one just to use when I travel. (I use another "credit" card that earns miles other times, of course.) You have to tie it to a "high yield investor checking" account, but you don't have to keep a large balance in it. It is really nice to come home from a trip and not have any credit card balance, so I have become a big fan of using a debit card. I do take another credit card along for backup, of course.

Posted by
6898 posts

Note that your question refers to credit cards and not ATM cards. There is a large difference. For cash, you will want to use the ATMs. They are everywhere and you will be interested in the ATM fees and charges charged by the different issuers. When you withdraw cash using an ATM card, you are withdrawing your own money. If you are using a credit card to withdraw cash, you are borrowing the bank's money. The best use of your credit card is for hotels, dining or retail purchases.

Posted by
203 posts

You "generally" cannot get out of foreign transaction fees when you use your bank issued ATM to withdraw money, but you can talk to your bank and find out how to avoid the charge for withdrawals that are not from your home bank. My bank charges $4 when you do this overseas. I called my bank and they changed my banking plan and the new plan will a:) waive the fee for withdrawals from ATM machines owned by other banks and b:) raised my daily withdrawal limit from $500 to $1000. This cost me nothing, but I do have to be sure to maintain a higher balance, which I did anyway. No harm in asking your bank if something similar can be done for you.

Posted by
15673 posts

And always let all your card issuers (cc and ATM) know your travel destination and dates, so they don't freeze your cards.