Anyone use Pen Fed Card for Foreign Cash Advances

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Carl53
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Anyone use Pen Fed Card for Foreign Cash Advances

Post by Carl53 » Sat Jan 28, 2012 9:48 am

I will be traveling overseas (not Europe) in the near future and have a PenFed Visa card. They recently reduced their foreign transaction fees to zero and according to their summary of terms, there is no cash advance fee.

I inquired about the costs of using the card for cash advance and was told the same, but they did not know if there were fees charged by the overseas bank/ATM.

Anybody have any experience with using their CC, in particular a PF Visa card overseas at a commercial ATM or bank. The countries I'll be traveling to do not have any US military bases.

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Hat
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Re: Anyone use Pen Fed Card for Foreign Cash Advances

Post by Hat » Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:59 am

I recently returned from a trip to Australia and New Zealand. I used my Penfed Visa for credit card cash advances at ATM's in both places. Sometimes the ATM charged a fee and sometimes not. When a fee was charged, the advanced amount and the fee were combined into one charge and converted to US dollars on the card's transaction history. The statement containing these charges has not yet been generated.

There were no foreign transaction or cash advance fees, as stated in the terms and conditions.

Carl53
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Re: Anyone use Pen Fed Card for Foreign Cash Advances

Post by Carl53 » Tue May 01, 2012 4:15 am

After reviewing my statements from my recent visit to Australia, I find that PenFed Platinum Visa Rewards credit card did not charge any foreign transaction fees nor any surcharges as advertised. I did get dinged at one ATM by ANZ bank that had an ATM charge that was oddly worded. Most ATMs that would charge extra had wording come up that you could readily ascertain that you might be charged a fee. Those transactions I cancelled. Bendago Bank, Melbourne Bank and WestPac ATMs were all free for cash advances with the PF card.

On a related note, the PenFed card did kick back 3% rebates on grocery purchases in Australia. We inadvertantly used the AMEX Blue Preferred one time at a grocery. Only 1% back, not 6% at I got the privilege to pay several percent of foreign transaction fees. I guess I could have left home without it.

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VictoriaF
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Re: Anyone use Pen Fed Card for Foreign Cash Advances

Post by VictoriaF » Tue May 01, 2012 4:51 am

Carl53 wrote:After reviewing my statements from my recent visit to Australia, I find that PenFed Platinum Visa Rewards credit card did not charge any foreign transaction fees nor any surcharges as advertised. I did get dinged at one ATM by ANZ bank that had an ATM charge that was oddly worded. Most ATMs that would charge extra had wording come up that you could readily ascertain that you might be charged a fee. Those transactions I cancelled. Bendago Bank, Melbourne Bank and WestPac ATMs were all free for cash advances with the PF card.

On a related note, the PenFed card did kick back 3% rebates on grocery purchases in Australia. We inadvertantly used the AMEX Blue Preferred one time at a grocery. Only 1% back, not 6% at I got the privilege to pay several percent of foreign transaction fees. I guess I could have left home without it.
I specifically got PenFed's AMEX to avoid foreign transaction fees. That's not the same AMEX that you have used, right?

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Carl53
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Re: Anyone use Pen Fed Card for Foreign Cash Advances

Post by Carl53 » Tue May 01, 2012 5:43 am

VictoriaF wrote:
Carl53 wrote:After reviewing my statements from my recent visit to Australia, I find that PenFed Platinum Visa Rewards credit card did not charge any foreign transaction fees nor any surcharges as advertised. I did get dinged at one ATM by ANZ bank that had an ATM charge that was oddly worded. Most ATMs that would charge extra had wording come up that you could readily ascertain that you might be charged a fee. Those transactions I cancelled. Bendago Bank, Melbourne Bank and WestPac ATMs were all free for cash advances with the PF card.

On a related note, the PenFed card did kick back 3% rebates on grocery purchases in Australia. We inadvertantly used the AMEX Blue Preferred one time at a grocery. Only 1% back, not 6% at I got the privilege to pay several percent of foreign transaction fees. I guess I could have left home without it.
I specifically got PenFed's AMEX to avoid foreign transaction fees. That's not the same AMEX that you have used, right?

Victoria
Right. I had the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred.

tj
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Re: Anyone use Pen Fed Card for Foreign Cash Advances

Post by tj » Tue May 01, 2012 11:40 am

Bendago Bank, Melbourne Bank and WestPac ATMs were all free for cash advances with the PF card.
Carl, this is good info!! Are these banks all around Sydney? I wonder if I can find similar info for New Zealand - then I won't have to do high priced currency exchange at the airport. :)

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Watty
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Re: Anyone use Pen Fed Card for Foreign Cash Advances

Post by Watty » Tue May 01, 2012 11:53 am

Just in case you didn't know, the PIN number for the credit card is different than the normal PenFed PIN that you got when you opened the PenFed account.

You need to call them and have them send you credit card PIN by mail.

I am doing the same thing with the PenFed card for an upcoming trip and I wanted to make sure that the Credit card worked for getting cash out of an ATM so I just got $100 out of an ATM to confirm that it at least works in the US.

Carl53
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Re: Anyone use Pen Fed Card for Foreign Cash Advances

Post by Carl53 » Tue May 01, 2012 12:34 pm

tj wrote:
Bendago Bank, Melbourne Bank and WestPac ATMs were all free for cash advances with the PF card.
Carl, this is good info!! Are these banks all around Sydney? I wonder if I can find similar info for New Zealand - then I won't have to do high priced currency exchange at the airport. :)
I used Bendigo and WestPac in Sydney, Melbourne, Cairns and Tasmania. They have websites listing locations of ATMS. Some are located in gas stations and just on the street. The cash exchange rates offered by local agencies often was 8-10 cents worse for currency exchange places plus a foreign exchange fee of perhaps 3%. These banks had virtually no markup versus the going price (within a fraction of a cent of what the closing price was listed as) and no fees. The airport price was even worse.

Edited: clarified that other currency exchange vendors were more expensive.
Last edited by Carl53 on Tue May 01, 2012 2:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Carl53
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Re: Anyone use Pen Fed Card for Foreign Cash Advances

Post by Carl53 » Tue May 01, 2012 12:36 pm

Watty wrote:Just in case you didn't know, the PIN number for the credit card is different than the normal PenFed PIN that you got when you opened the PenFed account.

You need to call them and have them send you credit card PIN by mail.

I am doing the same thing with the PenFed card for an upcoming trip and I wanted to make sure that the Credit card worked for getting cash out of an ATM so I just got $100 out of an ATM to confirm that it at least works in the US.
Good point about the PIN. I guess I found about that on their website, but not exactly sure. Anyway they assign you the PIN, I did not find any way to change it.

livesoft
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Re: Anyone use Pen Fed Card for Foreign Cash Advances

Post by livesoft » Tue May 01, 2012 12:43 pm

I'm confused. I have ATM/debit cards and I have credit cards. If I use a credit card in an ATM, then that is a cash advance and I have to pay my credit card company the 3% cash-advance fee. However, if I use my bank's ATM/debit card(s), then I pay no fees.

So are you all writing about a credit card with no cash-advance fees? Or are you writing about a ATM/debit card? Or something else? Thanks!
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skow
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Re: Anyone use Pen Fed Card for Foreign Cash Advances

Post by skow » Tue May 01, 2012 1:22 pm

I have used the pedfed visa promise card successfully for ATM cash advances in Germany with no foreign transaction fees.

Anytime I did this though, I made sure I had a credit balance on my account. Without a credit balance, I believe interest will start accruing immediately since it is a cash advance.

I also used the penfed AMEX for purchases in Germany. While again the foreign transaction fee was again zero as expected, the FX rate given by AMEX was on average 2.5 percent higher than my visa cards.

My MasterCard Capitol One also has zero foreign transaction fees for purchases, and I get 1.5% cash back. On top of that, the Mastercard FX rate is typically .25-.50 better than visa's.

If anyone is interested, I've found where you can view the FX rate for Visa or MC. I haven't found one for AMEX...

Visa:
http://corporate.visa.com/pd/consumer_s ... _rates.jsp

MC:
https://www.mastercard.com/global/curre ... index.html

From the few experiments I have run, the exchange rate you get with zero foreign transaction fee cards is very close to what is found on these websites for the transaction date.

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skow
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Re: Anyone use Pen Fed Card for Foreign Cash Advances

Post by skow » Tue May 01, 2012 1:33 pm

livesoft wrote:I'm confused. I have ATM/debit cards and I have credit cards. If I use a credit card in an ATM, then that is a cash advance and I have to pay my credit card company the 3% cash-advance fee. However, if I use my bank's ATM/debit card(s), then I pay no fees.

So are you all writing about a credit card with no cash-advance fees? Or are you writing about a ATM/debit card? Or something else? Thanks!
My understanding is this: When you use a credit card at overseas ATM you will get charged what ever the normal cash advance fee is (say typically 3%, but penfed promise visa offers 0%) plus an additional foreign transaction fee (typically 1-3%, but some cards offer 0%). Most debit cards also have a foreign transaction fee when used at a foreign ATM.

My understanding is that the networks (Visa, MC, AMEX) charge the issuers like Penfed 1% or so to utilize their networks. Most banks pass this fee on to consumers, plus tack on a percent or two of their own. This is what makes up the foreign transaction fee when when the card is used either at an ATM or making a POS.

An additional consideration is that whatever network (Visa, MC, AMEX) processes the transaction sets your FX rate. My experience is AMEX offers the worst FX (about 2.5% higher than MC, Visa) and MC is usually .25-.5% better than Visa, but not always.

Carl53
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Re: Anyone use Pen Fed Card for Foreign Cash Advances

Post by Carl53 » Tue May 01, 2012 1:53 pm

skow wrote:
livesoft wrote:I'm confused. I have ATM/debit cards and I have credit cards. If I use a credit card in an ATM, then that is a cash advance and I have to pay my credit card company the 3% cash-advance fee. However, if I use my bank's ATM/debit card(s), then I pay no fees.

So are you all writing about a credit card with no cash-advance fees? Or are you writing about a ATM/debit card? Or something else? Thanks!
My understanding is this: When you use a credit card at overseas ATM you will get charged what ever the normal cash advance fee is (say typically 3%, but penfed promise visa offers 0%) plus an additional foreign transaction fee (typically 1-3%, but some cards offer 0%). Most debit cards also have a foreign transaction fee when used at a foreign ATM.

My understanding is that the networks (Visa, MC, AMEX) charge the issuers like Penfed 1% or so to utilize their networks. Most banks pass this fee on to consumers, plus tack on a percent or two of their own. This is what makes up the foreign transaction fee when when the card is used either at an ATM or making a POS.

An additional consideration is that whatever network (Visa, MC, AMEX) processes the transaction sets your FX rate. My experience is AMEX offers the worst FX (about 2.5% higher than MC, Visa) and MC is usually .25-.5% better than Visa, but not always.
With the PF Platinum Visa credit card (and maybe with other PF cc's) I paid no cash advance fees and no transaction fees, foreign or otherwise while in Australia to PF or the local bank (except one time when I did not read the fine print close enough and paid 1% to the Aussie bank, ANZ) to make cash advances at ATMs. Very convenient! I did have about $14 of interest accrue on over $3000 of cash advances over 2 statements while on vacation. I suggest making a payment prior to the end of the billing period to minimize those charges. Credit purchases were automatically paid off in full and accrued no interest.

I have never used this card for cash advances in the states. I think for that use there may be a fee if it is out of network, but not for overseas!

Carl53
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Re: Anyone use Pen Fed Card for Foreign Cash Advances

Post by Carl53 » Tue May 01, 2012 2:00 pm

One other piece of advice, often transactions ask if you want to use the standard conversion. Always decline. The standard conversion usually is 3-4% extra.

livesoft
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Re: Anyone use Pen Fed Card for Foreign Cash Advances

Post by livesoft » Tue May 01, 2012 2:04 pm

OK, I see the PenFed credit card is special and unlike other credit cards in this regard.

I agree that Amex sucks with respect to foreign currency. In Australia, they always say, "I'm sorry but there is an extra charge for using American Express, do you have another card that you would like to use instead?"
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