With credit cards APRis important if you plan to shop a lot and carry a balance. Of course, with the rise of e-commerce, the shopping bag has gone global. Interested in those hip shoes from London? Click! What about that obscure cool gadget from China? Click! Chances are you are one of the millions of people who at some point has acquired gifts, goods, and products from another country using the World Wide Web. But while internet shopping gives you the freedom to be a borderless consumer, there are still some issues you face when using your credit card. These include the currency you are charged in by the online retail site, and the shipping costs you’ll pay to make sure your goodies arrive at your door.
Your credit cards APRwill not vary depending on where you shop, but fees will. Currency exchange rates can be one of the biggest headaches for you, especially if you love the shopping selection of the Eurozone. For example, as of August 2014, the purchasing power of the American dollar in Europe has been consistently 30 percent less. Luckily however, the dollar remains strong in many Asian countries. But let’s face it, unless you are a titan of industry, there is little you can do to influence world economic events. So why not influence the events of your wallet instead? By using a credit card with no foreign transaction fee, you can at least save on the 3% conversion fees that many banks and institutions normally charge for these international purchases. This means that credit cards APR is not the only thing that matters – look at fees too.
Credit cards you may want to consider are those that offer no conversion fees along with cash back rewards – all the more moola for you to spend on future purchases! One such card is the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards credit card, which gives you unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase. This card gives you a $100 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months, making it an ideal choice for the online shopaholic. Another option is the Discover it Chrome credit card, which offers 1% cash back on online purchases, and 2% cash back up to $1,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and gas stations every quarter. That means you’ll rack up even more savings when you show off your new French outfit while going out to dinner.
If you don’t want to get a credit card with no foreign transaction fees, another option for you is to make sure the web site you are using gives you the choice to change your currency settings. Web sites for major European brands like Burberry and Zara use an automatic default to the correct currency by using a home page with country selections. But if you end up on a smaller web site, double check to see if you have the option to change to pricing in USD.
While you may save through buying in your own currency, or by using credit cards with no foreign transaction fees, don’t forget that those savings could get eaten up in international shipping charges. One way to bypass this is to look for sites where international shipping is free. Below are a few places to check out. Happy online shopping!
Now you know that one way credit card companies make money is with foreign transaction fees and other fees for processing payments – it’s not all about credit cards APR and annual fees. Armed with this knowledge you can make better decisions about what’s in your wallet.
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