Paying with card abroad - VISA Exchange Rates

How much does it cost to pay with VISA cards abroad?

Paying with a debit or credit card in your home country is a very convenient way to handle your daily purchases. The card may also come in handy while travelling abroad on holidays or for business trips. That way, you don’t have to worry about purchasing various foreign currencies or carrying lots of cash in your wallet, which may be dangerous or simply inconvenient. However, you need to keep in mind that even though your card will apply to convert the currencies automatically, the rates applied may not be the same as the market ones. Every card provider has their own rates and fees scheme.

By default Visa doesn’t charge any flat fees for international payments. They only apply their exchange rates, which are always transparently provided on their website. The difference between Visa rates and the market ones is almost unnoticeable, as it is kept below 1%. However, you need to be careful as your bank or the platform, which provided you with your card may add their own charges and fees.

Visa exchange rate calculator

Visa provides you with an easy to use calculator, which allows you to learn how much you will get depending on the date of transaction, your original card currency and the currency that you want to convert to, while making the purchase. With this tool, you can also check historical data of how much you got or could’ve got in the past for the same amount.

Currencies value and market fluctuations

To understand Visa currency rates, you need to understand that the prices and values of each currency constantly change based on the market fluctuations and various economical factors.

You can monitor currency value on the forex market, where you can see that one day you can buy 1 dollar for 0.89 euro, but only few days later it’s worth 0.91. Cryptocurrency market, which is the attempt to create convenient digital money, is still quite young, and therefore susceptible to even larger and more impressive price fluctuations. The price can vary even up to 10% from day to day.

What are mid-market rates?

Mid-market rates or interbank rates are considered the true currency exchange rates, as they are the rates which banks and financial institutions use to exchange the money on their own financial marketplace. Then, to this rate they add their own margins to cover the operational costs and to make their own profits. That’s also how you can compare, which company offers you the best available rates. The closer they are to the mid-market rates, the better.

We can find few examples of online transfer providers, who don’t put any margins on the exchange rates and allow you to send money abroad with these interbank rates.

Additional card fees for paying abroad

Unless you have some special travel offer or attractive bank account, you should expect a small percentage or flat fee to be charged for each of you foreign transactions or ATM withdrawals. For example, ANZ bank charges additional 3% and Barclays has a margin of 5% on their exchange rates when purchasing foreign currency with them. You should be able to find all of these details in your bank’s documentation. We also try to cover all of the hidden fees on transactions and exchange rates, while making reviews of various card and account offers.

International card payments and online transfers

If you are in need of making frequent abroad purchases and you exchange currencies a lot, there are some offers and platforms suited better for this type of clients. There are platforms and banks, which allow you to open accounts, where you can store at the same type multiple currencies. That way, you don’t even need to worry about exchange rates, as you can simply topup all of the needed currencies and hold them all on one card. There is also a variety of travel and holiday-focused credit or prepaid cards, which are great option if you don’t want to hold all of the cash in your pockets, while on your business trip or vacation. They often cost only few dollars to get and then don’t charge any more fees for the transactions.

Visit cards review section on our platform to find best cards for international payments.

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