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Can some one please confirm this for me. It appears that Westpac through their Altitude Plantinum card charge a whopping 3.5% conversion fee for any foreign currency transactions made using ...
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  1. #1
    Junior Member lopes2017's Avatar
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    Westpac Altitude 3.5% Foreign Currency Conversion

    Can some one please confirm this for me.

    It appears that Westpac through their Altitude Plantinum card charge a whopping 3.5% conversion fee for any foreign currency transactions made using the Amex card. See below

    ___________________________________

    Foreign Currency Transaction Fee
    The following foreign transaction fees may be payable:

    1. Westpac charges a fee of 2% of the Australian dollar value of any purchases or cash advances/withdrawals when the applicable credit card scheme converts the transaction from a foreign currency into Australian dollars. This fee is incorporated into the Australian currency equivalent of the transaction shown on your statement.

    2. The applicable credit card scheme may also charge Westpac fees for processing foreign transactions. We pass these fees on to you. The fees vary depending on the applicable credit card scheme:

    • Visa International Service Assessment fee 1.0%1
    • American Express foreign exchange conversion fee 1.0% for Altitude & Altitude Gold and 1.5% for all other credit cards (including Altitude Platinum).
    • MasterCard Issuer Cross-Border Assessment3 of 0.8% plus MasterCard Currency Conversion Assessment4 of 0.2

    ___________________________________________

    They state above that the scheme will charge in addition to Westpacs charge of 2% and additional 1.5% which may be passed on to the card holder.

    Is this correct? What is your experience with Westpac ie do they indeed pass on the additional 1.5%?

    At 2% there is a slight loss to the card holder when the rewards program is factored in, with the extra 1.5% the loss is staggering...

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  3. #2
    Junior Member lopes2017's Avatar
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    Re: Westpac Altitude 3.5% Foreign Currency Conversion

    I have just confirmed with Citibank that 3.5% conversion fee is correct.

    Does anyone know any other alternatives other than the wizard credit card that has low to zero conversion fees for credit card purchases.

  4. #3
    Senior Member dajop's Avatar
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    Re: Westpac Altitude 3.5% Foreign Currency Conversion

    In the past, same day, same country, my American Express (held directly with American Express) has had lower fees - by about 0.4% than my Westpac Altitude Gold Amex. Don't have a recent comparison, as since then have not used the Westpac Amex for foreign currency transactions.

  5. #4
    Junior Member lopes2017's Avatar
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    Re: Westpac Altitude 3.5% Foreign Currency Conversion

    Thanks for that. Did check Amex card directly from American Express, the foreign currency conversion fee is 2.5% lower than Westpac but still high.

    However, the new Amex Plantinum cashback card with the 5% cash back for the first $300 and then 1% there after offsets the 2.5% conversion fee!

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  7. #5
    Established Member Nigelinoz's Avatar
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    Re: Westpac Altitude 3.5% Foreign Currency Conversion

    Not sure if this is of much use but as at 01 Dec St George Bank (Now owned by Westpac of course) were charging a FCC fee of 2.5% on it's Visa and Mastercard products and I recently got a brochure in the mail
    from the Greater Building Society (Don't ask me where they are based-maybe Google it) promoting their Visa card with a 2.0% Fee.
    (I doubt if St George will keep the rate at 2.5 now that Westpac own them)

  8. #6
    Junior Member lopes2017's Avatar
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    Re: Westpac Altitude 3.5% Foreign Currency Conversion

    Found a low rate credit card by SCU credit union who only pass on the Visa charge of 1% for currency conversion.

    Must admit I thought threre would be more cards that had 0% like wizards clear advantage....maybe this is nothing more thn wishful thinking!

    Happy to be proven wrong!

  9. #7
    Moderator serfty's Avatar
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    What's this and Why?
    Actually Amex is now an effective 3%. I confirmed this with a Recent Amazon purchase by putting it though xe.com's credit card charges calculator: XE - Credit Card Charges Calculator

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  11. #8
    Junior Member lopes2017's Avatar
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    Re: Westpac Altitude 3.5% Foreign Currency Conversion

    Thats strange. Checked with amex yesterday and they advised me that their rate is 2.5% across the board for currency conversion.

  12. #9
    Moderator serfty's Avatar
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    What's this and Why?
    Quote Originally Posted by lopes2017 View Post
    Thats strange. Checked with amex yesterday and they advised me that their rate is 2.5% across the board for currency conversion.
    Their "currency conversion" rate is 2%, however there are other subtle charges.

    FWIW, the transaction was for USD42.11 dated Dec 25 and charged AUD63.52. This is a variance of 2.989% from "Mid-Market" rates. Note that the AUS/USD exchange rate was very stable that day.

  13. #10
    Junior Member lopes2017's Avatar
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    Re: Westpac Altitude 3.5% Foreign Currency Conversion

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    Quote Originally Posted by serfty View Post
    Their "currency conversion" rate is 2%, however there are other subtle charges.

    FWIW, the transaction was for USD42.11 dated Dec 25 and charged AUD63.52. This is a variance of 2.989% from "Mid-Market" rates. Note that the AUS/USD exchange rate was very stable that day.

    Do you suppose that this is a general issue with most credit card companies?

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