Sunday, June 29, 2014

Credit Card Cross Border Transaction Fees

Recently I bought an air ticket through, and also a service from  The prices were quoted in Singapore dollars, and everything seemed to me that the transaction is done within Singapore shore.  However, when I checked my credit card bills, I noticed I had been charged more than the stated amount.  Feeling uneasy, I called up the credit card company.  Their explanation is that the merchants are located overseas, so a 'cross border transaction fee' had been incurred.  The rate is 0.8% of the transacted amount.  I am fine with the fee if I had been informed of it and I can tell whether the merchant is a Singapore one or an overseas merchant, but in this case, I bought a service in Singapore, through a .sg website, but in fact the transaction is considered 'cross border'.

A search on the internet shows that almost all the banks in Singapore have this charge, with the exception of OCBC, at the moment.  The worst seems to SCB, a foreign bank, and it happens to be the one I am using.

Now, the only safe way is to support our local business.  Book your air tickets, hotels, etc, everything from a local Singapore company, not with those overseas brands, not even if they have a .sg suffix in their website.  

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