Citibank refunds $5 million in credit card international transaction fees

Sally McMullen 31 March 2017

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223,000 Citibank customers can expect a refund in their credit card account.

Citibank has learned the hard way that it's easier (and cheaper) to be straight up with customers. Citigroup Pty Limited, otherwise known as Citibank, has refunded approximately $5 million to around 223,000 credit card customers today. This is because it failed to properly disclose that credit card international transaction fees apply to Australian dollar transactions where the merchant uses an overseas-based bank or entity to process its transactions.

To keep cardholders in the loop, Citibank has also updated its product disclosure statement to clearly state that Australian dollar transactions that are processed overseas will also collect an international transaction fee.

This refund applies to all Citi-bank branded and partnered credit cards including Virgin Money, Bank of Queensland and Suncorp Bank cards. Citibank will also refund more than $48,000 to 30,174 Virgin Money credit card customers after overcharging an incorrect percentage amount of 0.1% of the international transaction value.

Citibank isn’t the first bank to feel the brunt of failing to be transparent. In September 2016, we reported that Westpac refunded $20 million to 820,000 customers after it also didn’t provide sufficient information regarding foreign transaction fees.

These fines don’t change the fact that credit card holders will be stung with fees when they make purchases in Australian dollars that are processed overseas, though. As always, make sure you carefully read over the card’s product disclosure statement to understand exactly what the card will cost you.

Picture: Shutterstock

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