American Express International Fees: What You Need to Know
If you’re a frequent traveler or do business overseas, you may have encountered American Express international fees. These fees can add up quickly and eat into your budget, so it’s important to understand what they are and how to avoid them.
What are American Express International Fees?
American Express international fees are charges that the company imposes on transactions made outside of the United States. These fees can include foreign transaction fees, currency conversion fees, and ATM fees.
Foreign Transaction Fees
Foreign transaction fees are charged when you use your American Express card to make a purchase in a foreign currency. The fee is usually a percentage of the transaction amount, typically around 2-3%. For example, if you make a $100 purchase in a foreign currency, you could be charged a $2-3 fee.
Currency Conversion Fees
Currency conversion fees are charged when you use your American Express card to make a purchase in a foreign currency, but the transaction is processed in U.S. dollars. This can happen when you’re given the option to pay in your home currency instead of the local currency. The fee is usually a percentage of the transaction amount, typically around 2-3%.
ATM fees are charged when you use your American Express card to withdraw cash from an ATM outside of the United States. The fee is usually a flat rate, typically around $5-10 per transaction, plus a percentage of the amount withdrawn.
How to Avoid American Express International Fees
Fortunately, there are ways to avoid American Express international fees. Here are some tips:
1. Use a card with no foreign transaction fees. Some American Express cards, such as the Platinum Card and the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card, have no foreign transaction fees. If you travel frequently, it may be worth considering one of these cards.
2. Use a card with rewards that offset the fees. If you have a card with foreign transaction fees, make sure it offers rewards that can offset the fees. For example, the American Express Gold Card offers 4x points on dining and groceries, which can help offset the 2.7% foreign transaction fee.
3. Use a local ATM. If you need cash, try to use a local ATM instead of using your American Express card. This can help you avoid ATM fees and currency conversion fees.
4. Pay in local currency. When making a purchase, always choose to pay in the local currency instead of your home currency. This can help you avoid currency conversion fees.
In conclusion, American Express international fees can be a costly surprise for travelers and businesspeople. By understanding what they are and how to avoid them, you can save money and make your international transactions more efficient.