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Charges for using your credit card abroad

Using your cards when you travel abroad means you won't have to rely on just cash.

However, there may be credit card fees for international transactions when using your debit or credit card abroad.

What will you be charged for using your cards outside India?

Withdrawing cash from ATMs or making purchases in a foreign currency may come with extra fees. These are the charges you need to know about.

1. Dynamic currency conversion rate

You may be asked at the point of sale whether you'd like to pay in the local currency or in rupees.

If you choose to convert to rupees, the dynamic currency conversion (DCC) rate is set by the overseas merchant. Because of this, fees can often be high. When you're asked how you want to pay, always choose the local currency. Your card issuer will do the currency conversion at their current rate, and in most cases, you'll save money. 

You should always have the right to select which currency to pay in.

2. Foreign transaction fee

Unlike the DCC, which is set by the merchant, this foreign transaction fee is charged by the credit or debit card issuer.

For example, HSBC will charge you a cross-currency conversion markup of 3.5% (plus applicable taxes) on all international transactions using the HSBC Premier Platinum Debit Card. The total amount is converted to Indian rupees (INR) when the transaction is debited to your account.

The cross-currency conversion markup of 0.99% is applicable on transactions using an HSBC Premier Credit Card.

3. Debit card cash withdrawal fee

If you use your card to withdraw money from an ATM, there's often a separate fee on top of the foreign currency conversion.

For HSBC Premier Platinum Debit Card customers, there's no cash fee for using your debit card to withdraw money from an HSBC ATM outside India. For all non-HSBC ATMs, you'll be charged a fee of INR120. Some other banks may levy an access fee for the use of their ATMs abroad. This is over and above any ATM cash withdrawal charge that may be levied by HSBC.

4. Credit card cash advance fee

Whereas a withdrawal using a debit card takes cash straight from your account, a cash advance on your credit card is really a short-term loan borrowed against the balance of your card. 

A transaction fee of 2.5% of the cash advance amount would be levied at the time of the transaction for the HSBC Premier Mastercard Credit Card and HSBC Advance Platinum Credit Card. This fee is subject to change at the sole discretion of HSBC.

5. Interest charges

If you use your credit card to pay for things outside India, or to withdraw cash, interest charges will apply in the same way they do at home.

Will you see these fees on your statement?

Your bank statement will show details of your international transactions, including a breakdown of any charges.

It should include:

  • the exchange rate
  • the cost of what you've paid for when converted to Indian rupees
  • any foreign currency conversion fee
  • the cash fee if you've withdrawn money with your debit or credit card

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