Be mindful of hidden credit card charges

Consumers must note that the issue of extra charges is prevalent not only with overseas credit card transactions but can also arise with transactions on local websites with an ".sg" suffix, where payments are processed overseas ("Riding with Uber? Read fine print on extra charges"; last Friday).

Dynamic currency conversion is a service provided by merchants to give credit card customers the option to pay in their home currency. There is not much transparency around these fees, which are determined by the banks, and the amount does not appear on the transaction receipt, but only in the monthly credit card bill.

These charges are not exactly straightforward, as each bank has its own fees for cards with different networks. Consumers should be mindful of these and make it a point to understand and compare the fees, as savings can be substantial.

When using credit cards overseas and given the option to pay in your home currency, choose not to, as the conversion is unlikely to be favourable. 

Rohith Murthy

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 02, 2016, with the headline 'Be mindful of hidden credit card charges'. Print Edition | Subscribe