ME Bank reduces foreign transaction fee

Alison Banney 27 March 2017

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ME Bank customers who make transactions overseas will now only be charged a 2.30% transaction fee.

With some foreign transaction fees as high as 5.0%, many Australians are getting hit hard when they spend overseas with their regular debit card.

ME Bank customers jetting overseas can celebrate a small win with the provider last night announcing that it has reduced its foreign transaction fee from 2.50% to 2.30%.

It may not seem like much but this reduction can mean quite a significant saving for regular travellers who use their Australian debit card for all their overseas spending.

Generally, most providers will charge a foreign transaction fee of around 3.0% when Aussies use their debit card overseas or when shopping online from non-Australian websites.

This foreign transaction fee is comprised of a merchant cross border fee, which is charged on transactions where the merchant account (for example, Visa or Mastercard) is not held in Australia, and an international fee, which is charged on any foreign currency transaction converted into Australian dollars, payable at the time the currency conversion is made.

This is in addition to ATM fees, which can be as high as $5 when withdrawing cash in another country.

ME’s reduced foreign transaction fee is relatively low when compared to the Big Four. Westpac, NAB, ANZ and CBA each charging a 3.0% fee for international purchases.

Among the highest is QBank, which has a foreign transaction fee of 3.65%, and Queenslanders Credit Union, which charges a huge fee of 5.0% of the purchase amount converted into Australian dollars.

There are several providers who don’t charge any foreign transaction fees, including the Macquarie Bank Platinum Transaction Account and the Citibank Plus Everyday Account.

Heading overseas soon? Check out the ways you can avoid currency exchange fees when travelling.

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