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chrishillson

Elan Fidelity foreign transaction fees on PayPal transactions

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I recently got an Elan Fidelity Rewards card and used it to make a PayPal purchase. I just noticed they charged a 1% foreign transaction fee on a PayPal purchase. The merchant does indeed appear to be in Hong Kong, but I've made similar purchases on a Chase card (3% FTF) and it wasn't charged.

 

Chase:

 

PAYPAL *ZHANGZHIGAO

Additional merchant and transaction information
4029357733000000000HK
Online, Mail, or Telephone transaction

Elan:

 

PAYPAL *FASTTECH 4029357733 HK

Merchant Info
4029357733
Hong Kong
Merchant Category
ELECTRONICS SALES

 

I'm not going to raise a stink over $0.25 but I'm curious what the deal is? I've used PayPal for years, made many purchases from overseas, but have never been charged a FTF.

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You made a foreign transaction and Fidelity charged you for it. They are within their right as it seems like you actually made a transaction. Different banks have different policies so this one got you and now you know.

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With the info provided I would ask how you are defining "similar purchases."  

 

If the charge is from a merchant that is outside the US and the card charges FTFs, I would expect to see a FTF on a purchase from that merchant.  

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In this case when I say "similar purchases" I mean:

 

Merchant is outside the US

Merchandise was shipped from outside the US

Transaction processed through PayPal

Card statement shows HK which is presumably Hong Kong

 

 

Chase doesn't charge an FTF, Elan does.

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They must be doing something differently, as I don't think I've ever been charged a FTF on a foreign payment being passed through Paypal, and that's what the OP is probably wondering about. So things must have changed somewhere along the line.

I will say that I'm sure Paypal charges a higher percentage to the (foreign) merchants and they somehow do an average on the exchange rate back to the person submitting the payment.

 

 

 

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There are a couple of different variables.  

 

Some cards charge foreign "transaction" fees and others foreign "exchange" fees.  I've used several different cards that were not fee-free with a Canadian merchant that charges in US$.  Some charged me a fee and some didn't.  

 

Then there is PayPal.  With PayPal they give you two choices.  You can either let the foreign currency amount pass through to your credit card or you can accept PayPal's exchange rate and they pass through a US$ amount to your card.  

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9 hours ago, PotO said:

There are a couple of different variables.  

 

Some cards charge foreign "transaction" fees and others foreign "exchange" fees.  I've used several different cards that were not fee-free with a Canadian merchant that charges in US$.  Some charged me a fee and some didn't.  

 

Then there is PayPal.  With PayPal they give you two choices.  You can either let the foreign currency amount pass through to your credit card or you can accept PayPal's exchange rate and they pass through a US$ amount to your card.  

That pretty much explains it -  I have gotten away from using PayPal for Foreign transactions as the merchants discourage it, the fees they are charged, far exceed what their banks charge them in merchant fees to take Visa/MC directly.   That's the main reason I keep the Capital One VISA, I think they're the only card I own that doesn't charge a FTF.

 

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