There are American Express exchange rates for sending and receiving money in more than 80 currencies. They include the Canadian Dollar, the British Pound, the Euro, the Mexican Peso, the Russian Ruble and the Japanese Yen. The rate is automatically applied to international purchases charged to Amex credit cards. American Express FX International Payments customers can access their accounts online to get the day’s exchange rates. However, these rates are not available to the public.
Exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and all other currencies fluctuate daily. But because American Express does not publish them openly, it’s difficult to track them. Visa and Mastercard publish their exchange rates daily. Discover does not. Many reports say Mastercard offers slightly better exchange rates than Visa. American Express reportedly is closer to Visa than Mastercard.
It’s also useful to know that you can’t make foreign transactions directly from an American Express savings account. But if you make a foreign transaction using your checking account, debit card or prepaid card, the exchange rates are the same as those used for credit cards.
If you use a credit card for your international purchases, you won’t need to worry about exchange rates. The card automatically makes those calculations for you. But you do need to make sure you’re using a credit card with no foreign transaction fee. That exempts you from an additional 1%-3% surcharge on all purchases outside the U.S.
American Express has several cards that do not charge their standard 2.7% foreign transaction fee. The best is the Amex Platinum Card. However, it does come with a $550 annual fee.
If you’re unfamiliar with foreign transaction fees, they’re a surcharge for using a credit card with a foreign merchant. Credit cards with foreign fees usually charge 1%-3% of the purchase price. That can really add up, especially since Amex’s 2.7% foreign fee is on the higher end of the spectrum.… read full answer
Here are the American Express foreign transaction fees:
American Express cards with a foreign transaction fee charge 2.7%.
Many American Express credit cards have no foreign transaction fees.
Amex foreign transaction fees apply when you buy things abroad OR shop at foreign merchants online.
Some of the best American Express cards with no foreign fees include Amex Platinum and Premier Rewards Gold as well as the PenFed Premium Travel Rewards card and the Amex cards affiliated with Starwood, Hilton and Delta.
If you’re looking for an international credit card, it’s best to get one with no foreign transaction fee, and American Express does have a good selection. But American Express cards aren’t accepted by nearly as many foreign merchants as Visa and Mastercard. So you may find yourself somewhere your Amex won’t work. And that’s why it’s probably better to have a Visa or Mastercard for travel.
You can calculate an exchange rate by dividing the amount of the currency you start with by the amount of the foreign currency you’ll get back. For example, if you have $100 and you get €80 back, your exchange rate would be 100 divided by 80, or 1.25 Euros per dollar. … read full answer
Most of the time, someone else will calculate the exchange for you. Credit cards automatically handle currency conversion when you make a purchase from a foreign merchant. The two worldwide card networks – Visa and Mastercard – post their exchange rates online and update them daily. And those rates are quite a bit lower than what banks and airport kiosks charge for exchanging hard currency. In fact, using a Visa or Mastercard credit card with no foreign transaction fee can save you up to 9% on all your international spending, according to WalletHub’s exchange rate study.
It will generally be more useful for you to know how to calculate the amount of a foreign currency you’ll get based on the exchange rate. You can do that with simple division. Divide your starting amount by the exchange rate to get the converted amount. For example, $100/1.25 = €80.
Understanding how exchange rates work is vital to make sure you don’t get taken advantage of while traveling. There are a few more things you should know about the process, too.
Here’s how to calculate exchange rates:
Check your card network’s website. Visa and Mastercard publish daily exchange rates from U.S. Dollars to all other major currencies. Discover and Amex don’t, but card network exchange rates tend to be very similar.
The formula for calculating exchange rates is: Starting Amount (Original Currency) / Ending Amount (New Currency) = Exchange Rate. For example, if you exchange 100 U.S. Dollars for 80 Euros, the exchange rate would be 1.25. But if you exchange 80 Euros for 100 U.S. Dollars, the exchange rate would be 0.8.
To calculate how much of a foreign currency you’ll get with a particular exchange rate, divide the amount of money you’re starting with by the exchange rate.
While it’s good to be conscious of exchange rates when you go abroad, using a credit card to automatically access the best conversion rates is a great way to make things simple and relatively inexpensive.
Just make sure to avoid Dynamic Currency Conversion. That’s when a foreign merchant converts your purchase total to U.S. Dollars, supposedly as a convenience but really to apply a high exchange rate and turn a bigger profit. So always pay in the local currency.
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