Overseas Credit Card Transaction Fees

In 2007 I received a letter saying that I was owed money from Visa for a number of charges that we’re added (illegally) to transactions that were made outside of the US. At the time, I believe I was given 2 choices, take a small sum of money and call it even or fill out a bunch of info showing where all my transactions took place and then receive a percentage of that sum at some point in the future. My question is- when is that point going to be? It’s already been three years!

You are probably referring to the Currency Conversion Fee Antitrust Litigation. The web site has details including a FAQ.

Being you asked what is the point, I feel I can answer even though this is getting into IMHO territory. This is a class action. The law allowing class actions was written to punish companies which do things that result in a small loss by many individuals. It’s now worth the effort for any individual to sue, but the total involved can be substantial. However, in past cases the lawyers end up getting anywhere from 40 to 75% of the total settlement.

The point seems to be to (1) punish companies for doing things they shouldn’t and hence discourage these behaviors and (2) pay lawyers.

A little off topic, but I have been very happy with my Capital One card for charges while traveling abroad. I get an extremely fair exchange rate and no transaction fees at all. Not as wild about Chase or AmEx (my back up cards). Since not every place takes credit cards, I also use my Bank of America account to draw cash funds. I’ve found this to be a much better deal than using currency exchange places, which seem to go out of their way to obfuscate the real rate. This is especially true in countries where they have a reciprocal agreement, such as here in Germany with Deutsche Bank. I can use DB ATMs to get money, with a very good spot rate and no usage fees.

Good luck with your class action.