The Platinum Card from American Express is one of the best travel cards currently available in the market. The Amex Platinum Card has unbeatable benefits for cardholders who enjoy traveling regularly. From extensive statement credits to exclusive complimentary benefits, Platinum cardholders have the best card experience.
The Platinum Card is also a travel rewards credit card, allowing its cardholders to earn Membership Rewards points while using their card. However, the steep annual fee of $695 usually makes the Platinum Card seem unattainable, but its travel benefits compensate for it.
One of the best benefits of the American Express Platinum Card is the lack of foreign transaction fees charged to the cardholder. Usually, most premium competing cards will charge between three to five percent for any international transaction. However, the Platinum Card will not charge its cardholders any foreign transaction fee, saving cardholders huge amounts of money.
Thus, the Platinum Card is the best option, especially for people who travel and make transactions outside the U.S. It is important to understand the fine print and know which charges are applied to your Amex Platinum Card.
· The Platinum Card from American Express has the best travel benefits, including statement credits and complimentary airport lounge access
· The Amex Platinum Card charges no foreign transaction fee to its cardholders, an added advantage over other competing credit cards
· Cardholders must understand the different types of charges which they may incur even though they will not pay a foreign transaction fee
Is There a Foreign Transaction Fee on the Amex Platinum Card?
A foreign transaction fee is charged to the total international transaction made using a credit card. Usually, credit cards will charge between one to five percent of the total transaction as a foreign transaction fee. The credit card company will indicate which card will carry a foreign transaction fee during the card application.
American Express has credit cards with a foreign transaction fee, but others, like the Platinum Card, do not charge the fee. Also, American Express credit cards will carry a fee of up to 2.7%, which is relatively lower than other credit card issuers.
The American Express Platinum Card is slowly gaining popularity since it is available in over 160 countries worldwide. Thus, cardholders can use their Platinum Card worldwide without the added transaction costs per transaction. However, when using their card internationally, the cardholder might receive extra charges, such as currency conversion fees.
Cardholders must check their fine print when using their card outside the country and understand which charges may apply. Ultimately, the Amex Platinum Card is a money-saving card best suited for frequent travelers spending worldwide.
Generally, it is important to note that using your credit card while making international transactions is not totally free. However, the best option is to use a credit card without a foreign transaction fee, such as the Platinum Card from American Express. Additionally, using American Express as your payment processor guarantees to pay less for more transactions.
Therefore, you will pay fewer extra charges, including ATM fees, while making foreign transactions. The better you understand the fees charged to your credit card, the more money you save while traveling.
How Much Does It Cost to Use my Amex Platinum Card Abroad?
No foreign transaction fees charged to the Amex Platinum Card are an added advantage over other competing cards. Additionally, American Express is an independent payment processor, making the Platinum Card even more affordable internationally. Thus, American Express Platinum Card cardholders have the best money-saving benefits for travel.
However, as seen earlier, cardholders may incur extra charges they must understand before traveling.
Some of the charges applied to the Amex Platinum Card while using it abroad include the following:
Fee 1: Foreign Exchange Rate Markups
Foreign exchange markups, or Forex markup fees, are those charged to credit cards when making foreign currency transactions. Usually, many stores, hotels, and retailers in foreign countries will only accept their local currency, even from foreigners. Thus, cardholders using their credit card will also incur the Forex markup fee on the total transaction made. The foreign exchange rate markup fees are usually applied when the cardholder makes international physical and online transactions or international ATM withdrawals.
Usually, credit cards will charge between one to three percent of the total amount as a Forex markup fee.
It is important to note that the Forex markup fees differ from the currency conversion rates charged to a card. The credit card company charges foreign exchange markup fees, while the payment processor charges currency conversion fees. Thus, if you have a 2% Forex markup and a 1% currency conversion rate, you will pay 3% fees on the total transaction.
However, some credit card issuers will include both as a network rate charged separately from the foreign transaction fees. American Express charges no network charges or foreign transaction fees on the Platinum Card, but currency conversion fees apply when applicable.
Fee 2: Foreign Transaction Fees
Foreign transaction fees are the charges applied to a credit card when the cardholder uses the card to make a foreign transaction. The Platinum Card does not carry a foreign transaction fee, making it a cheaper option among other travel credit cards. However, that does not exempt the card from other foreign charges that can apply to the card for international transactions.
For example, cardholders can receive ATM and currency conversion fees while using their Platinum Card. Generally, the Platinum Card offers lesser charges, saving the cardholder more money as they travel internationally.
Many cardholders get confused by currency conversion fees and foreign transaction fees, which are different charges. Foreign transaction fees are fees charged to the credit card company for making international transactions while using the credit card. Currency conversion fees, on the other hand, are fees charged for converting foreign currency to local currency while outside the country.
The currency conversion fees are charged by the credit card payment processor, not the credit card company. Normally, the currency conversion rate is 1% for all payment processors, which include MasterCard, Visa, and American Express.
Fee 3: ATM Fees
ATM fees are charges incurred when credit cards are used to make transactions through an ATM, depending on the ATM used. For example, cardholders will pay more fees for out-of-network and international ATMs than those owned by their provider. Usually, the fees may range between $2 to $6, depending on the transactions made through the ATM.
Also, your bank may charge you a non-network fee for using an ATM that does not belong to your bank or provider. It is important to note that you will be charged depending on the ATM used, not your credit card.
Sometimes, American Express may consider ATM transactions as cash advances, which carry a separate fee and a high interest. Depending on your card, you can access the Express Cash or Cash Advance program in participating ATMs. The Platinum Card is a charge card that can work as a traditional credit card, meaning ATM transactions are from your credit.
For cash advances, you will incur a 5% fee of the total transaction but more than $10 and a 26.74% APR. Therefore, if you use your ATM transaction for a cash advance, you will pay the ATM fee, cash advance fee, and interest.
Fee 4: Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC)
Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) allows credit card users to make payments in their home currency in a foreign country. DCC fees are the most expensive since merchants at the point of sale will regulate the fees through a service provider. Also, merchants will incorporate their markup charges, which may be more than those available.
Although the markup charges are unknown, the exchange rate is locked in, and the currency conversion is transparent, occurring in real-time. However, DCC charges are optional, and cardholders can decline the service while making online or in-person purchases.
It is important to note that cardholders must also pay any other foreign transaction fees charged to their card. However, the foreign transaction fees do not apply to Platinum cardholders, which may make DCC charges cheaper if markup charges are cheaper. Ultimately, the best option is to pay in a local currency other than foreign currency to avoid DCC charges completely.
Additionally, always look for and avoid ATMs with a DCC option, which may increase fees to over 7%.
Fee 5: Credit Card Interest Rates
Credit cards usually charge interest rates when cardholders use their credit cards for making purchases and transactions. Cardholders will also pay the interest incurred within the stipulated time when paying back their credit. Thus, cardholders must make a minimum payment to avoid penalties, late fees, or damage to their credit report.
However, the Platinum Card differs from traditional credit cards since it was originally rolled out as a charge card. Charge cards require cardholders to pay the entire amount of credit monthly without interest charged to the card.
However, failure to pay back the full credit amount for a Platinum Card will attract a hefty 29.99% APR as a penalty. Additionally, the cardholder must pay other late fees, which will be reported to the major credit bureaus, affecting their credit report. American Express’s payment plan allows the Platinum Card and other American Express charge cards to offer flexible credit payments.
The Pay Over Time feature allows cardholders to pay back eligible purchases at an APR between 15.99% to 25.99%. All other purchases must be paid back in full every month to avoid penalties since the feature applies to eligible purchases only.
Tips to Avoid Paying Foreign Transaction Fees on the Amex Platinum Card
As seen above, the Platinum Card from American Express does not carry a transaction fee, unlike other premium cards in its category. However, international transactions tend to attract other charges, which may seem hefty to the cardholder. The good news is that Platinum cardholders can avoid these extra charges with a few tips listed below.
That way, cardholders will save more and spend less on extra fees even as they continue traveling using their Platinum Card.
Some of the tips to avoid paying extra foreign transaction fees on the Platinum Card include the following:
· Avoid paying using foreign currency in retails or other points of sale and use the local currency instead. That way, you will avoid paying expensive DCC charges, which the merchant usually levies.
· Exchange your currency for the local currency of the country you are traveling to so as to avoid high foreign exchange rates.
· Use American Express ATMs in participating countries to avoid paying extra ATM charges. If you cannot find American Express ATMs, look for those that charge less and have lower fees than others.
· Avoid ATMs with the DCC feature and make withdrawals or transactions with local currency instead of dollars.
The Platinum Card from American Express is one of the best travel cards available in the market. Not only is the card loaded with exclusive and luxurious benefits, but it is also one of the best cost-saving cards. The Platinum Card does not charge a foreign transaction fee to cardholders, making it a cheaper alternative.
However, cardholders might be charged other foreign transaction fees, such as ATM charges. Cardholders can opt to exchange their currency for the local currency before leaving the country to avoid extra charges while using their card.
What exchange rate does Amex Platinum use?
American Express uses the daily Forex Rate and Currency Conversion Rate to determine how much a transaction costs. However, the currency conversion fee remains 1% since American Express is an independent payment processor. Although the Platinum Card does not carry the foreign transaction fee, currency conversion rates may apply.
Additionally, the Forex rate markup fees will apply when making transactions in dollars within a foreign country.
How much is Amex international fee?
American Express does not charge a foreign transaction fee on the Platinum Card, but the fee is applicable on other Amex cards. Other international fees, such as ATM transactions or withdrawals, will attract some charges. Thus, the cardholder must understand the different fees applicable to their Platinum Card as they travel.
How do I get my Amex Platinum fee waived?
Unlike other cards, the Amex Platinum Card does not carry a foreign transaction fee. Some international fees cannot be waived, especially when cardholders transact using dollars in a foreign country. However, cardholders can use different cost-saving tips, such as avoiding DCC programs while making international purchases. That way, cardholders will pay fewer charges they may incur while using the card in different countries worldwide.