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2.5% Foreign Currency Conversion Fee being introduced

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serfty

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My last CitiBank Statement came with a letter and a leaflet regarding new fees and increases to fees. One that caught my eye was:
Foreign Currency Conversion Fee

2.5% of Transaction Amount of which up to 2% of Transaction Amount is payable by Citibank to Visa and/or Citishare Corporation. The total Fee amount is included in the Transaction Amount shown on Your Statement.
I have been using a Citibank redicredit card overseas since NM had pointed out that CitiBank had no foreign currency conversion fee, unlike Amex or Visa.

I am trying to relate the phrase "payable by Citibank to Visa and/or Citishare" and how it may affect the cost of FT cash when O/S.

Is my ready credit account now doomed? I will cancel it if I have to pay a ForeX fee.
 

NM

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serfty said:
I am trying to relate the phrase "payable by Citibank to Visa and/or Citishare" and how it may affect the cost of FT cash when O/S.

Is my ready credit account now doomed? I will cancel it if I have to pay a ForeX fee.
I suspect they have struck a deal with Visa to process their foreign currency transactions and they now need to pay Visa for that function.

I will probably maintain the card for its free cheque facility, and am going to evaluate its value for foreign currency cash withdrawals. It may still be useful for that purpose. On my last trip I withdrew a total amount equivalent to $547, which would have cost me an extra $13.69.

I am not interested in using travellers cheques and only want an ATM card for cash withdrawals. Prior to my Citibank card I used a Comm Bank Mastercard for this, but their charge of A$4 for using an overseas ATM would have lead to significantly more than fees than the new CB fees.
 

mick

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NM said:
I am not interested in using travellers cheques and only want an ATM card for cash withdrawals. Prior to my Citibank card I used a Comm Bank Mastercard for this, but their charge of A$4 for using an overseas ATM would have lead to significantly more than fees than the new CB fees.
I'm in the same boat. When I called Citibank last week, they told me the foreign currency conversion charge was currently 0% on Ready Credit accounts and that this 2.5% charge from 1 September 2006 is new. I find that a little hard to believe, but that's what they said.

I then quizzed them on the Visa Debit facility on the card, as nowhere do they state that you can use the card over the counter in banks to make a cash advance. They assured me that you certainly can do this which would add to the card's usefulness where ATMs are not so readily available.

Of course, I'd only use my money when performing a cash advance, not the bank's, to avoid any interest charges.
 

Damien

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mick said:
I then quizzed them on the Visa Debit facility on the card, as nowhere do they state that you can use the card over the counter in banks to make a cash advance. They assured me that you certainly can do this which would add to the card's usefulness where ATMs are not so readily available.
I just received the following email. It seems it is possible, but you need to ask for it first.

Citibank Australia said:
As a valued customer, Citibank would like to offer you a new and exciting option that will make your Citicard more convenient than ever before.

Add VISA Debit access to your Citicard and you'll be able to access ReadyCredit wherever VISA is accepted:
  • for online purchases
  • over the phone
  • at more than 23 million retail outlets worldwide
  • to access cash at ATMs.
It won't cost you a thing to add VISA Debit access to your Citicard, and you'll still be able to access your ReadyCredit easily via Cheque, EFTPOS, ATM, Funds Transfer and BPAY.
 

serfty

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Good news, CitiBank still have no fees for these withdrawals from a redi-credit account. (As long as it is not a visa).

I used it in HKG recently and no additional fee appears to have been applied.

About 2 months ago I receved a letter from CitiBank suggesting I convert the Redi-credit card to a Visa. Implication was that it would be far more useful as it would be accepted in more locations. I binned that.

I now believe that If I had converted I would have been charged the fee, so all is well and good ... for now ... :rolleyes:
 
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NM

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serfty said:
Good news, CitiBank still have no fees for these withdrawals from a redi-credit account. (As long as it is not a visa).

I used it in HKG recently and no additional fee appears to have been applied.

About 2 months ago I receved a letter from CitiBank suggesting I convert the Redi-credit card to a Visa. Implication was that it would be far more useful as it would be accepted in more locations. I binned that.

I now believe that If I had converted I would have been charged the fee, so all is well and good ... for now ... :rolleyes:
I took the same approach with the offer to "enhance" my card with the Visa link. I have not have any issue finding ATMs that will give me cash with the card, and I never intend to use it as a credit card for over-the-counter purchases - I have real credit cards for that purpose.

I also received an update to the terms and conditions for the card that said that if the account is left in credit (them owing me money) for more than 45 consecutive days, they reserve the right to close the account and send you a cheque for the balance amount. And if that balance is less than $10 then they will not even send a cheque and instead consider it a fee for the service of closing the account.

I always keep my account with a credit balance so I don't have to pay any interest. I wonder how long until they close my account. Current balance is less than $2.
 

JohnK

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serfty said:
Good news, CitiBank still have no fees for these withdrawals from a redi-credit account. (As long as it is not a visa).

I used it in HKG recently and no additional fee appears to have been applied.
That's good news! I have a readicredit account also not visa. Now just need to work out how to use it in Thailand next month.
 

JohnK

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That map is in Thai. :confused:

When you are in BKK find out which banks ATM's you can use and I will apply this logic to Pattaya.

Thailand and logic? What am I thinking! :rolleyes:
 

serfty

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JohnK said:
That map is in Thai. :confused:

When you are in BKK find out which banks ATM's you can use and I will apply this logic to Pattaya.

Thailand and logic? What am I thinking! :rolleyes:
Not in Thai for me ... maybe you have a cookie set.

I suggest going to CitiBank Online , select English toward the top right, then select locations on the bottom right.
 

JohnK

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serfty said:
I suggest going to CitiBank Online , select English toward the top right, then select locations on the bottom right.
Ahhh, that explains it. It still doens't help because it only shows the Silom area in BKK and I won't be anywhere near there.

Not to worry I know where an ATM is located for at least 4 Thai banks and I will just have to try each one. If no luck then call Citibank in Australia for assistance.
 

chevalier

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NM said:
I also received an update to the terms and conditions for the card that said that if the account is left in credit (them owing me money) for more than 45 consecutive days, they reserve the right to close the account and send you a cheque for the balance amount. And if that balance is less than $10 then they will not even send a cheque and instead consider it a fee for the service of closing the account.


Wonder how strict they are in enforcing the 45 day rule for credit balances? I've recently put in some funds in preparation for my trip to Ireland & Italy over Xmas and the funds will definitely sit as a credit balance for greater than 45 days before I start using it. I'ver certainly found the Citibank redicard the best for accessing money from atms in europe.

I suppose I could take it out and put it back in again prior to leaving!!
 

mick

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serfty said:
Good news, CitiBank still have no fees for these withdrawals from a redi-credit account. (As long as it is not a visa).
Thanks for the info, serfty! I also treated the invitation to convert to a Visa with the respect it deserved. I was happy to keep the account open until I also got the same update to the T&Cs as NM. It'll be interesting to see how seriously they'll adhere to the account closure terms.

Those mongrels in Citibank are such killjoys! :)
 

beardoc

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So does this apply only to Citibank Visa cards and not Citibank Mastercards?
 

serfty

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beardoc said:
So does this apply only to Citibank Visa cards and not Citibank Mastercards?
As far as I know it certainly applies to the Visa; you would need to check the T&C's of the Citibank M/C (BP?) to find out.
 

serfty

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JohnK said:
Ahhh, that explains it. It still doens't help because it only shows the Silom area in BKK and I won't be anywhere near there.

Not to worry I know where an ATM is located for at least 4 Thai banks and I will just have to try each one. If no luck then call Citibank in Australia for assistance.
Checked this site: Citibank Thailand and found the following: "You can choose to withdraw cash at any ATMs under ATM Pool and PLUS logo from ATM machines worldwide".

The first ATM I found at BKK arrivals happily presented we with THB2900 on request.
 

JohnK

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serfty said:
Checked this site: Citibank Thailand and found the following: "You can choose to withdraw cash at any ATMs under ATM Pool and PLUS logo from ATM machines worldwide".

The first ATM I found at BKK arrivals happily presented we with THB2900 on request.
Thanks for that information Ross.

How did the exchange rate compare with the cash rate?
 

serfty

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Going by XE.com:
Code:
Calculation of the Bank Charges for this Transaction
For your convenience, print out this page and retain 
it for use with the Travel Expenses Calculator.

Date shown on receipt for this transaction:     December 3, 2006
Amount shown on receipt for this transaction:   2,900.00 THB
Raw Exchange rate for THB to AUD on 2006.12.03:
(Not including bank charges) 	                0.0353402
Value of transaction in your currency:
(Not including bank charges) 	                102.49 AUD
Amount shown on statement for this transaction: 105.56 AUD
Your estimate of the bank charges:              2.64 AUD ( 2.500% )
ACTUAL BANK CHARGES for this purchase: 	        3.07 AUD ( 2.999% )
So I guess CitiBank are already taking a 3% commission.

I guess an additional fee of 2.5% would apply to the CitiBank Visa making 5.5%! :shock:
 
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