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Fees for currency exchange in UK

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  • aq.1988

    Hi,

    I’ve got a trip to Dubrovnik coming up next month. I am unable to pay in advanced on Booking.com, where I made my reservation, and annoyingly the hotel only takes cash payments. So I can’t even use my Revolut card in person.

    I will need some Kuna or Euros, and wanted to use my Amex to buy the currency in the UK, as its almost £1k, and my one year Gold anniversary is coming up and I’m about £800 short of £15k spend. So wanted to know if Amex will charge a fee for using it to buy a foreign currency in the UK? I know they charge a 2.99% fee for foreign transactions, but does it apply if its in the UK? Or will this come with a cash advance fee, and therefore still apply a fee, and worse still, look bad on my credit score?

    Thanks!

    DJ

    I think it really depending on the merchant category code used for this type of transactions, there is no way to know unless you test it with a smaller transaction.

    As per the general rules, credit cards can charge you cash advance fees if you use it for any cash or cash-like transactions.

    And cash transactions on a credit card do appear on some credit reports.

    aq.1988

    Thanks for the reply.

    I might do a small transaction as a test then to see how its charged.

    NorthernLass

    You will almost definitely get charged some sort of fees or daily interest charges for buying foreign currency on any credit card, otherwise people would be doing it all the time as a form of MS. I’m pretty sure they treat it as a cash advance as if you withdrew the money from an ATM.

    John

    Firstly, your plan is not going to work because a cash-like transaction won’t count for the £15000 spend threshold.

    Secondly, any bureau de change which accepts Amex is going to have awful exchange rates.

    If they did take Amex, there wouldn’t be an Amex 2.99% fee, because they would charge you in GBP. But their spread will be much higher than 2.99%.

    One cash withdrawal on a credit report is not going to negatively affect you, and it doesn’t even matter unless you want to take out new credit cards in the next 6 months.

    Why can’t you just book a hotel that takes Amex?

    polly

    Got some forex in the post office recently using Amex bonvoy. Only marginally worse than John Lewis. No extra fees charged. Just went through as post office counters. Same as paying car tax l guess. Have done it a few times, as not all small places take curve cards abroad.

    aq.1988

    Firstly, your plan is not going to work because a cash-like transaction won’t count for the £15000 spend threshold.

    Secondly, any bureau de change which accepts Amex is going to have awful exchange rates.

    If they did take Amex, there wouldn’t be an Amex 2.99% fee, because they would charge you in GBP. But their spread will be much higher than 2.99%.

    One cash withdrawal on a credit report is not going to negatively affect you, and it doesn’t even matter unless you want to take out new credit cards in the next 6 months.

    Why can’t you just book a hotel that takes Amex?

    Thanks for the pointing out that as it would be a cash-like transaction, it wouldn’t count towards my £15k spend, and so its become a moot point now.

    Guess I’ll just use my debit card, and spend the remaining £800 required on other stuff. Ideally was hoping to spend the £15k required before the new Gold card rules on 12th October so there’s no issue getting my 10k points, even though my card anniversary date isn’t until November.

    With regards to changing the hotel, my wife has her heart set on this particular apartment, and I think I’ve gone past the free cancellation date in any case.

    NorthernLass

    Got some forex in the post office recently using Amex bonvoy. Only marginally worse than John Lewis. No extra fees charged. Just went through as post office counters. Same as paying car tax l guess. Have done it a few times, as not all small places take curve cards abroad.

    Hi Polly, did you not get charged daily interest on these transactions? This article suggests Amex charges a fee PLUS daily interest on foreign currency purchases. The fees might only show as an extra entry on your statement.

    https://www.yourmoney.com/credit-cards-loans/shouldnt-buy-travel-currency-uk-credit-card/

    My OH accidentally used a cc to pay for some currency a few years ago and when I checked they said we would definitely incur interest charges so I had to pay the whole balance off early to avoid this.

    memesweeper

    Got some forex in the post office recently using Amex bonvoy. Only marginally worse than John Lewis. No extra fees charged. Just went through as post office counters. Same as paying car tax l guess. Have done it a few times, as not all small places take curve cards abroad.

    Hi Polly, did you not get charged daily interest on these transactions? This article suggests Amex charges a fee PLUS daily interest on foreign currency purchases. The fees might only show as an extra entry on your statement.

    https://www.yourmoney.com/credit-cards-loans/shouldnt-buy-travel-currency-uk-credit-card/

    My OH accidentally used a cc to pay for some currency a few years ago and when I checked they said we would definitely incur interest charges so I had to pay the whole balance off early to avoid this.

    I think @polly was suggesting the post office might be an anomaly, or perhaps the transaction was mishandled by the agent. If today wasn’t the worst day since decimalisation to buy dollars I’d be tempted to pop into a PO and attempt to repeat this myself for a small sum.

    NorthernLass

    I know! I’ve just been making points bookings as back ups for some of my US cash stays over the next year in case things don’t improve. I’ve been digging down the back of the sofa cushions for any $ which might be lurking 😂

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