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Rogers Mastercard Exchange Rate Experience
December 30, 2018
4:18 pm
Save2Retire@55
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I have been using Rogers MasterCard and the MasterCard exchange rate seems really close (maybe better) to what FX and Google says.
Ex. FX says it is $11.27 and I get charged $11.34 including the 2.5% exchange fee.
Considering I am going to get 3% in points. My actual charge is $0.002 less than $11.
I am happy with using Rogers MasterCard in foreign countries.
Way better exchange rate than using Tangerine to withdraw money from Scotia Bank ATM.

December 30, 2018
9:39 pm
Rick
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Thanx for sharing.
I'm happy with my Home Trust Visa for FX, but I've often wondered how exchange rates compared to actual rates posted by BoC. Charges can vary a great deal between pending and posted status, depending on what the dollar does in the mean time.
Your posting spurred me into checking how they compare, so I checked an actual charge against closing FX rate for that day.
Charge was 19.99 USD. BoC posted rate for Dec 27 was 1.3641. HT charge was 27.31 CDN or 1.366%. Considering the FX rate fluctuating by the second...pretty bang on I'd say. Cash back and I'm ahead.
As for Tang'a rate.... it's all relative. There's a pretty standard spread in the buying/selling rates. Thanx to certain members who shall remain nameless, I've been converting my Tang M/C rewards and keeping them in a Tang USD savings account.... just in case the CDN $ DOES hit 60%.
Happy ForEx'ing!
EDIT:
Just for fun compared RBC M/C rates to BoC posted rates. Charged 18.45 USD on Oct 12. RBC rate was 1.336585 (wow...4 decimal points) and BoC closing rate was 1.2993. That's why I rarely use the card in the US.

December 31, 2018
10:44 am
Mole
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Going through the same process myself with RBC....Dec 27 charge...RBC rate was 140.01.....XE Currency on that date 1.3654...so they charge 2.5% foreign transaction fee...I called and asked if they charge the spot rate + fee..they said yes..obviously they are taking almost another 1% on top...bs...fortunately my spouse is from the US...picked up Amex and Visa in US funds..will pay the monthly bill from one of the discount currency providers.

December 31, 2018
11:29 am
Norman1
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Make sure one uses the exchange rate of the day the credit card charge was posted, not the date of the transaction. Merchants batch credit card transactions and submit the batch a few days later. Card issuers convert based on the Visa, MasterCard, or AMEX exchange rate on the posting date.

Also, one has to be careful of the rates used for comparison. Bank of Canada foreign exchange rates now are indicative rates and not actual rates:

Exchange Rates

All Bank of Canada exchange rates are indicative rates only, derived from averages of transaction prices and price quotes from financial institutions. As such, they are intended to be broadly indicative of market prices at the time of publication but do not necessarily reflect the rates at which actual market transactions have been or could be conducted. …

As such, their rates are more like mid-market rates, between the buy and sell rates, and not rates anyone actually bought or sold currency at.

The spot rates, from sources like NYMEX, are for future contract settlements. The Canadian Dollar contract is for C$100,000. One won't be getting the spot rate unless one is exchanging around $100,000.

December 31, 2018
3:29 pm
lhsaid
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Question: I'm trying to avoid exchange fee when withdrawing cash from bank machines overseas. I have both Rogers MasterCard and Home Trust Visa. If I load extra money into one of these credit cards and then use it later to withdraw cash overseas, would that still be considered cash advance and get charged interest of >19% ?

December 31, 2018
6:05 pm
Loonie
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lhsaid said
Question: I'm trying to avoid exchange fee when withdrawing cash from bank machines overseas. I have both Rogers MasterCard and Home Trust Visa. If I load extra money into one of these credit cards and then use it later to withdraw cash overseas, would that still be considered cash advance and get charged interest of >19% ?  

In my opinion, this shouldn't be considered a cash advance, as they are not loaning you their money; it is your money. There will still be currency exchange and any ATM fees to consider

However, to be on the safe side, you should ask them directly, preferably by chat or email where you can keep a record of the conversation.

January 1, 2019
1:14 am
Peseta
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lhsaid said
Question: I'm trying to avoid exchange fee when withdrawing cash from bank machines overseas. I have both Rogers MasterCard and Home Trust Visa. If I load extra money into one of these credit cards and then use it later to withdraw cash overseas, would that still be considered cash advance and get charged interest of >19% ?  

Yes, it will be considered a cash advance. Also, if you buy anything along the lines of lottery tickets, make purchases at a casino, etc. it will also be considered a cash advance, which will attract a cash advance fee and interest charges (unless you load extra money as you have mentioned). I am not sure if they also have a specific fee related to actual cash withdrawals, so I would call them to double check in order not to be caught off guard.

To take cash out in foreign countries, I've been using STACK prepaid MasterCard for about three months now and I am really happy with it. You can load cash on it and then use it for ATM withdrawals as well as purchases. STACK itself doesn't have any fees, and it uses MasterCard's published exchange rates, which are very close to Interbank rates. As far as I am aware, there is no cheaper alternative in Canada right now. I've used it in Spain, Poland, Germany and Finland and so far I haven't paid a cent in fees. What do you need to watch out for, however, is the local ATM owner/operator fees.

Check it out: https://www.getstack.ca

Happy New Year 🙂

January 1, 2019
5:47 am
Norman1
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Under the Home Trust Preferred VISA card agreement, the cash withdrawal would be a "Cash Advance". Whether the withdrawal results in a positive balance outstanding or not is irrelevant:

“Cash Advance” – An advance of cash (or equivalents to cash, including wire transfers, money orders, chips and other “quasi cash”) that is charged to the Account with or in connection with the Card;

No foreign exchange surcharge. But, there would be a 1% (minimum $2.50) or 1½% fee (minimum $4.50 or $5.50) for the cash withdrawal at ATM's:

ATM Charge: 1% of amount withdrawn (Minimum fee of $2.50 and Maximum fee of $10.00) for a Cash Advance from an ATM displaying the Visa or Plus logo located in Canada; 1.50% (Minimum fee of $4.50 and Maximum fee of $45.00) if the ATM is located in United States; 1.50% (Minimum fee of $5.50 and Maximum fee of $15.00) if the ATM is located outside Canada and the United States. This is in addition to any other charges that may be levied by the owner/operator of the ATM.

January 1, 2019
6:32 am
Loonie
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No doubt this is for the lawyers to pick over, which normally means we lose, but I don't see how a "cash advance" is necessarily the same as a "cash withdrawal". Whose cash is it anyway?

I see that they plan to charge 1%+ for the service. I would call that a service fee, much like an ATM withdrawal from a bank account. But i don't see that they are necessarily going to charge interest. I don't see how they can.
Interest on cash advances is normally charged from the day it's incurred until the day it's paid, I think; but this money has been paid from the outset - as long as you don't carry any kind of balance. I've never taken a cash advance, but my recollection is that the fine print usually says they will pay off your cash advance last, after your regular credit card bills. They make more money that way.

January 1, 2019
10:52 am
Norman1
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Loonie said
… But i don't see that they are necessarily going to charge interest. I don't see how they can.
Interest on cash advances is normally charged from the day it's incurred until the day it's paid, I think; but this money has been paid from the outset - as long as you don't carry any kind of balance.

That's my understanding as well.

Credit card interest is calculated on outstanding balance. For the Home Trust Preferred VISA, interest is calculated with the "Average Daily Balance" for the billing period. If the daily outstanding balances remain zero or negative, then the "Average Daily Balance" will be zero or negative. Consequently, no interest will be charged, regardless of the purchases and cash advances.

I've never taken a cash advance, but my recollection is that the fine print usually says they will pay off your cash advance last, after your regular credit card bills. They make more money that way.

Depends on the card. Payments to the Home Trust Preferred VISA card are applied to first to balances with the highest interest rate:

13. Application of Payments: Each payment of the Debt is first applied towards my Minimum Payment. If I pay more than the Minimum Payment, you [Home Trust Company] will apply the amount over the Minimum Payment (i.e., the excess payment) to the remainder of my New Balance. If the different amounts that make up my New Balance are subject to different interest rates, you will allocate the excess payment first to the amount with the highest interest rate and you will then allocate any remaining portion of the excess payment to the other amounts that make up the New Balance for the billing period in descending order, based on the applicable interest rates. You reserve the right, subject to applicable law, tochange the order in which you apply payments, without notice to me. …

January 1, 2019
11:40 am
Rick
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lhsaid said
Question: I'm trying to avoid exchange fee when withdrawing cash from bank machines overseas. I have both Rogers MasterCard and Home Trust Visa. If I load extra money into one of these credit cards and then use it later to withdraw cash overseas, would that still be considered cash advance and get charged interest of >19% ?  

Not sure how they can charge you 19% if your card has a positive balance. If you have a negative balance anytime in the billing period, the cash will obviously go toward paying that down first. Shouldn't they pay you interest if they are holding your cash for you? Since it's not an actual bank account, that's a one way street and it's not going in our direction. I'd also make sure there's a cushion to allow for fluctuating exchange rates. The foreign cash you take out will not be worth what it was when you put it in, one way or the other.
Despite all the excellent advice and quotes, let us know what happens if you do load it up in advance. Sometimes even CSRs have been known to give incorrect advice that usually ends up costing us money.
Please let us know the actual results if/when you do preload and withdraw. Might be worth it to do a little experiment with a small amount just to see what happens. Not really a big fan of cash, but might consider it one day if it pre-payment works out.

January 2, 2019
7:15 am
lhsaid
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Thank you all for all these wonderful thoughts and hints. I'm not planning to go overseas in the near future but definitely I'll give it a try next time.
Thanks Peseta for the STACK link. That's exactly what I need. I just created an account. Though I find the layout of their web site very confusing !! I
I also found some reviews online that talk about this topic, here is a good one about STACK and the cash advance issue:

This card will be great when you if you're travelling and need local currency. Most purchases that you make internationally should be with a credit card such as the Home Trust Preferred Visa, or the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite to earn rewards and have better protections with insurance benefits and chargebacks. However, there will always be places that don’t accept credit cards, which will vary dramatically based on where you’re going.
The worst place to get currency are at airports exchange kiosks. In some cities, local exchanges may have better rate, but those will also vary significantly. The most consistent option is through a local ATM. You don’t have to bring money with you, and you have recourse if issues arise later. Normally, withdrawing with a bank card, will incur a foreign transaction fee, bank account withdrawal fee by your bank, and sometimes an ATM fee charged by the operator. The Stack MasterCard avoids the first two fees.
This is better than the current cheapest option, which involves prepaying your credit cards with no foreign transaction fees prior to using the ATM. With this method, there is a cash advance fee, but are not charged interest because you have a credit balance. I find this complex, and the Stack MasterCard presents a substantially better solution. As Stack MasterCard does not control the fees charged by the ATM operators, that may be a fee you incur.

January 2, 2019
7:36 am
Top It Up
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Just be sure to read and understand STACK's Terms and Conditions about Privacy and their use of your private data.

January 2, 2019
8:58 am
lhsaid
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Top It Up said
Just be sure to read and understand STACK's Terms and Conditions about Privacy and their use of your private data.  

I went through their privacy policy (briefly) I can't see anything unusual !

January 2, 2019
9:26 am
Top It Up
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This is how it reads in the Data and Privacy Policy section

2. Personal Information: Collection, Retention and Use

STACK will only use your Personal Information for the purposes set out in this Policy.

STACK collects Personal Information when you provide it to sign up to receive information from STACK, join the waiting list for the beta launch, create an account, complete your profile, access and use the Site, and when you communicate with STACK. Personal Information is collected when provided by you, and includes at least your name, address, telephone number, email address, and credit card information, and through the Account.

Personal information is used by STACK to register you to receive information about the beta launch of the STACK platform, create your account, populate and maintain your profile, and provide information to you or otherwise communicate with you for each of these purposes.

Personal Information is also used by STACK for customer service and marketing purposes, including to let you know of new products and services, and notify you of special merchant offers. You may opt-out of email-based marketing communications at any time by sending an email with “Unsubscribe” to the email address provided in the marketing communication or by clicking on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the marketing communication. You may opt-out of receiving special merchant offers in the STACK mobile app by disabling “Receive merchant offers” in the account profile menu of the STACK mobile app. If you decide that you no longer want STACK to store your personal information for the purposes of optimizing its merchant offer distribution system, you may close your STACK account and your STACK Prepaid Mastercard card in the account profile menu of the STACK mobile app.

This is how it reads in the Cardholder Agreement

Personal Information: By applying for a Card, you consent to the collection, use, disclosure and retention of your personal information by STACK (pursuant to the Account Terms), Peoples Trust Company and their service providers as described below. The collection of that information is necessary for the entering into and performance of this Agreement.

Therefore, if you do not consent to the collection, use, disclosure and retention of your personal information as set out in this Cardholder Agreement and the Account Terms, you may not apply for or use a Card. If you choose to opt-out of the STACK Account Agreement, you opt out of the Cardholder Agreement and you are free to apply for another Peoples Trust Company issued product.

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