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best card for overseas spending

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Old 25-08-2012, 10:13 PM   #61
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which is why it is important to make prudent purchases with credit cards when one is overseas.

if an item cost S$100 in Singapore, you have to make sure the same item is selling at, maybe, the equivalent of S$80 in your visiting country. when you factor in the lousy exchange rates and the service fees, you would still have nett savings. the free miles/vouchers given by the card-issuing banks just sweetened the deal further.
The difference is hardly that much. Generally you're losing about 5% in terms of exchange rate & fees, without taking into account any points/miles you will earn. How much savings you need before it is worthwhile carting the item back to Singapore is a matter of personal judgement, anyhow.

yes, i read that on SCB terms..

so far the lowest i saw was maybank and cimb.. 1.5%... anyone knows anymore lower one?
No, that's not quite right.

From their T&Cs (here), para 5.

... The Bank shall charge the Cardmember the converted amount, an administrative fee of 1.5% of the said amount (or such fee as the Bank may determine from time to time), and any charge levied by the card associations.

The 1.5% is collected by Maybank. There is an additional charge collected by Visa (the card association) which Maybank will also collect from you. I admit that I do not know exactly what Visa charges Maybank, but it seems that generally, it's 1%.

So total admin fee for Maybank is (probably) 2.5%.

CIMB's T&Cs are in a bit of mess, but it does seem to indicate that there is only that 1.5% bank charge and no fee charged by the card association, which is impossible.
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Old 26-08-2012, 12:57 PM   #62
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Most Visa/MC cards have that 1.5% bank surcharge on top of the 1% Visa/MC commission except for SCB which charges 2.5%.
I see...
I made 2 transaction on the same day - 23 August.
SCB Singpost card is USD222.49 which exchanged to be SGD 287.38 while UOB one card is USD 210.56 exchanged to SGD 270.15.

Can see the 1% difference.
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Old 26-08-2012, 03:34 PM   #63
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Just a note:
Will Singapore JCB card (i.e UOB JCB Plantium) actually charge lower admin/exchange rates when charging in Japanese Yen?
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Old 26-08-2012, 04:40 PM   #64
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Just a note:
Will Singapore JCB card (i.e UOB JCB Plantium) actually charge lower admin/exchange rates when charging in Japanese Yen?
It will depends on the exchange rates imposed by JCB, I think the admin fees are all the same as per other UOB cards:
UOB : UOB Cardmembers Agreement

.4 Card transactions in foreign currencies other than US Dollars, will be converted into US Dollars before being converted into your card billing currency based on the prevailing exchange rate determined by the relevant card brands (including but not limited to Visa, MasterCard, JCB International, China Unionpay and American Express).

For Visa, MasterCard, JCB International and China Union Pay credit cards, all transactions in foreign currencies will be subject to an administrative fee of 2.5% (or such other rate as determined by us or the relevant card brands) levied by us and the applicable card associations.

All MasterCard transactions effected in Singapore dollars and processed overseas are levied an additional fee of 0.8% by MasterCard International.

For foreign charges converted by American Express, a foreign currency factor of 3.25% will be added to the converted amount, 1.25% of which will be retained by American Express.
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Old 26-08-2012, 11:31 PM   #65
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Amex is the worst but i think Visa and master is standard across all banks. Now when you compare local charges by banks, maybank still the best.
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Old 26-08-2012, 11:56 PM   #66
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Amex is the worst but i think Visa and master is standard across all banks. Now when you compare local charges by banks, maybank still the best.
Not true. Maybank should charge about 2.5%, same as Citi and a bunch of others.
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Old 27-08-2012, 01:26 PM   #67
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Maybank doesn't mention the card association fees (as i can see behind the bill). It just says they charge 1.5% and whatever the card association charges (no specific amount). Considering UOB charges 2.5% + card association charges, maybank is definately cheaper. I am not sure how much citibank charge, dont have a card
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Old 27-08-2012, 01:38 PM   #68
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Maybank doesn't mention the card association fees (as i can see behind the bill). It just says they charge 1.5% and whatever the card association charges (no specific amount). Considering UOB charges 2.5% + card association charges, maybank is definately cheaper. I am not sure how much citibank charge, dont have a card
No, the 2.5% charged by UOB is inclusive of card association charges.
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Old 27-08-2012, 06:40 PM   #69
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Most banks charge 2.5% by now. If spending small amount, it is ok. But if you buy big ticket items. 2.5% can means a lots. So cash is king!

By the way, those exchange rate that credit used is way up. Becareful.
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Old 19-09-2012, 07:39 PM   #70
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it seems like CIMB/Maybank is the best?

how about overseas withdrawal? I am heading to africa soon and not sure which card to use for atm withdrawl...
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Old 19-09-2012, 08:48 PM   #71
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Just bought air ticket in foreign currency with SCB Xtrasaver debit card. The rate charged is even slightly better than the fair market rate shown on Yahoo finance at the same time. That means a 2% net cashback, should beat all cashback-style credit cards in town.
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Old 19-09-2012, 09:19 PM   #72
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it seems like CIMB/Maybank is the best?



how about overseas withdrawal? I am heading to africa soon and not sure which card to use for atm withdrawl...
Maybank is about the same as others, 2.5% service fee. CIMB is lower at 1.5% but the rewards from their card is poor.

If you are talking about withdrawal from credit card, try not to do that. It is considered a cash advance, and ridiculous amount of interest is charged on that. Use your ATM card instead.

Just bought air ticket in foreign currency with SCB Xtrasaver debit card. The rate charged is even slightly better than the fair market rate shown on Yahoo finance at the same time. That means a 2% net cashback, should beat all cashback-style credit cards in town.
You would still have paid more than someone using another credit/debit card. Exchange rate is determined by Visa/MC. SCB adds a 3.5% commission on top of that. Most banks charge 2.5%. If currency is not USD, you will pay commission twice (once to convert from foreign currency to USD, once to convert from USD to SGD).

Last edited by Suleyman; 19-09-2012 at 09:23 PM..
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Old 19-09-2012, 10:02 PM   #73
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Maybank is about the same as others, 2.5% service fee. CIMB is lower at 1.5% but the rewards from their card is poor.

If you are talking about withdrawal from credit card, try not to do that. It is considered a cash advance, and ridiculous amount of interest is charged on that. Use your ATM card instead.



You would still have paid more than someone using another credit/debit card. Exchange rate is determined by Visa/MC. SCB adds a 3.5% commission on top of that. Most banks charge 2.5%. If currency is not USD, you will pay commission twice (once to convert from foreign currency to USD, once to convert from USD to SGD).
apology if you don't understand what i mean. SCB DEBIT card seems to have much better exchange rate. I calculated by using the SGD amount POSTED. If SCB charged 3.5% on this transaction, it implies Mastercard would discount 3.5%, which i consider impossible.

also your claim that currency other than USD would be charged double commission is not true. In fact, by converting foreign currency into USD before changing into SGD, you lose twice the FOREX SPREAD set by Visa/Mastercard (about 0 to 1%), but not the commission (order of magnitude is 1.5%-3.5%)

Last edited by lainm07; 19-09-2012 at 10:07 PM..
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Old 19-09-2012, 10:23 PM   #74
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actually i also found someone else's blog showing the SCB debit card might be foreign transaction saver..

Portfolio Diversification: Overseas credit card transaction
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Old 19-09-2012, 10:47 PM   #75
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apology if you don't understand what i mean. SCB DEBIT card seems to have much better exchange rate. I calculated by using the SGD amount POSTED. If SCB charged 3.5% on this transaction, it implies Mastercard would discount 3.5%, which i consider impossible.

also your claim that currency other than USD would be charged double commission is not true. In fact, by converting foreign currency into USD before changing into SGD, you lose twice the FOREX SPREAD set by Visa/Mastercard (about 0 to 1%), but not the commission (order of magnitude is 1.5%-3.5%)
Firstly, I know what it is you mean. Anyway, one correction. SCB now charges 2.5% (according to this), so good for them. Doesn't change that they are not 'cheaper' than other banks since most of them charge 2.5%. Exchange rate is set by Mastercard and is different from what you see on Yahoo. Maybe that day you lucky and MC gave a good rate.

The double commission 'claim' is not from me. It's what SCB says. Look here, para 14.23.

FYI, this is standard procedure for ALL cards issued by Visa, Mastercard & Amex, credit or debit.
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