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Sears credit cards no longer to charge foreign transaction fee
July 22, 2012
9:26 pm
Peter
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I got an e-mail from a PR firm sharing that starting July 23, Sears Financial credit cards (http://www.searsfinancial.ca/C.....Cards.aspx) will no longer charge the usual 2.5% foreign currency transaction fees. This could be useful for travellers to the US and other destinations who don't have a US (or other) currency credit card. I don't see any other differentiating factors unless you shop at Sears or use Sears travel, but that feature is interesting in itself.

July 23, 2012
8:51 pm
Doug
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Peter, this is great news! It could have something to do with the fact that JPMorgan Chase, which issues, manages and funds the Sears Financial credit cards among other others, recently launched the no-fee Amazon.ca Rewards Visa card which featured NO foreign currency transaction fee (that is usually 2.5%) and you get direct VISA International settlement rates. Perhaps they decided to roll it out to their other cards?

Interesting to see if they roll this out to the Marriot Canada Rewards Visa and Best Buy Canada Reward Zone Visa? ;)

Cheers,
Doug

July 24, 2012
8:05 am
Peter
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Ah, thanks for pointing out the Amazon.ca card. For those who are interested, here's a link:

http://www.amazon.ca/gp/cobran.....ttr=CACCMP

July 24, 2012
2:42 pm
Doug
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No problem - I wasn't sure if you guys had heard about it yet - although it's been a popular thread on "RedFlagDeals.com Forums".

Thanks for pointing out the Amazon.ca-based link, Peter. I couldn't, for the life of me, find one. I could only find the one on the Chase Card Services Canada website:
https://www.chase.com/online/canada/amazon-ca-home.htm

Either link will work for sign-ups/enrollments. :)

Cheers,
Doug

July 27, 2012
8:57 am
Peter
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I've written up a quick post on the subject, and also gave a bit of a mention to US-dollar credit cards: https://www.highinterestsavings.ca/2012/07/canadian-credit-cards-that-waive-foreign-currency-transaction-fees/

July 27, 2012
10:26 am
moneysaver
Ontario
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Hi Peter. I read your write up on the US$ credit cards. I actually have the US$ credit card from BMO. I had it for a couple years now and they actually waive the $25 annual fee if you spend more than $1000 in US Funds per year. I havent paid an annual fee as of yet becuase I have spend much more than that as I cross the border about 5 or 6 times a year for shopping and vacation. I made the choice to get this card so I would'nt have to worry about the changing currency rates. I get my US$ dollars to pay my US$ Mastercard from XE.Com, Ally.ca and Ingdirect.ca

July 27, 2012
11:14 am
Peter
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Thanks for your feedback! I've incorporated the note about the $1,000 threshold on the BMO card into the post.

July 27, 2012
8:48 pm
moneysaver
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It's funny Peter. I was just going through my mail today and in my mail was my $US dollar mastercard statement from BMO. On the statement it says "Effective Sept 1, 2012 the annual fee will be changing from $25 to $35, however when you spend $1000 US or more in a year the annual fee will be rebated". BMO's website doesnt mention this. It still says $25. I guess just clients of the card will get to know first. Just a F.Y.I.

July 28, 2012
12:41 pm
Peter
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Great tip, thanks. I've added that note to the post as well.

July 30, 2012
4:52 pm
88kanaka
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moneysaver said:

It's funny Peter. I was just going through my mail today and in my mail was my $US dollar mastercard statement from BMO. On the statement it says "Effective Sept 1, 2012 the annual fee will be changing from $25 to $35, however when you spend $1000 US or more in a year the annual fee will be rebated". BMO's website doesnt mention this. It still says $25. I guess just clients of the card will get to know first. Just a F.Y.I.

You read your statement!!! lol. I have to check mine! To date I have never paid an annual fee for my US$ MC at BMO. I usually change my funds to US online with BMO and they usually do it with in an hour or so. I understand from the tellers at BMO that you get a better rate by transferring funds from say your Chequing account to your US$ account and then withdraw cash or pay your US$ MC from the US$ account.

So help me here. I have not been using my BMO US$ MC as the exchange rate is so low I just use my CDN $ MC or AMEX. I figure no matter what I have to pay the exchange rate plus the service fee that the bank or credit card adds. Is there a cheaper way?

July 31, 2012
4:37 am
Mhooper
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Anyone attached any of these cards to a PayPal account? I'm interested in knowing if this would eliminate the conversion fee on those transactions coming from US$ to C$.

July 31, 2012
6:29 am
moneysaver
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88kanaka said:

So help me here. I have not been using my BMO US$ MC as the exchange rate is so low I just use my CDN $ MC or AMEX. I figure no matter what I have to pay the exchange rate plus the service fee that the bank or credit card adds. Is there a cheaper way?

I am not sure if there is a cheaper way 88kanaka. What I do is when the dollar is below par or at par I buy thousands of US$ and put it in my three US$ accounts. Ally, Ing and BMO. During my trip to the USA I then just use the BMO US$ Mastercard and upon my return I just pay it off with the US$ funds I purchased over the years. Then there's no foreign conversion fees to worry about. These new cards from Sears and Amazon sounds like a good deal too though. For now I will just stick with the BMO one.

July 31, 2012
6:33 am
88kanaka
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Mhooper said:

Anyone attached any of these cards to a PayPal account? I'm interested in knowing if this would eliminate the conversion fee on those transactions coming from US$ to C$.

Paypal usually hoses you on US$ to CDN$ conversion.

August 2, 2012
7:42 am
Sean
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I am interested in the Amazon No Foreign Currency charge Visa card (to replace one of my mastercards) but I can't figure out what those reward points are worth in dollar terms. Apparently you get 2 "points" when you shop at Amazon and 1 "point" elsewhere.

Does anybody have this card? How does it compare to MBNA Cash rewards card?

April 7, 2013
11:03 am
Rick
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Finally got my Amazon Visa last week and was anxious to try it out. We do a lot of shopping in the states and on line and a 2.5% premium was really adding up. I had no trouble adding it to my PayPal account and other on-line sites as a method of payment and have used it no problems. The Chase web site leaves a little to be desired. Doesn't actually give you a list of your recent transactions. You select what type of transaction you want to view over what time period (1-7 days) and it shows them to you. And some seem to "disappear". Shows a charge for yesterday but doesn't show the same charge in the last 7 days. Unless I am not understanding the system, ie only shows charges for the day you request, seems kind of redundant. All transactions for the statement period would be much simpler. Don't see a monthly statement link, but haven't done a cycle yet. As for the exchange rate "as set by Visa", it is just a bit higher than the posted exchange rate on Rateman (http://apps.associon.com/web/g.....et=rateman takes a minute to load). Still WAAAAAY less costly than my BoM MC. So far....so good. Thanx for turning me on to them! sf-laugh

April 7, 2013
11:07 am
Rick
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Sean said

I am interested in the Amazon No Foreign Currency charge Visa card (to replace one of my mastercards) but I can't figure out what those reward points are worth in dollar terms. Apparently you get 2 "points" when you shop at Amazon and 1 "point" elsewhere.

Does anybody have this card? How does it compare to MBNA Cash rewards card?

get 2000 points they credit your statement with 20 bux. 1 dollar = 1 point. Using on Amazon.ca ONLY- 1 dollar = 2 points.

April 7, 2013
1:29 pm
Peter
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I also have this card now. My only complaint is the inability to get a proper online statement. They force you to receive paper statements.

One nice thing about their online interface is that you can view "approvals" that haven't yet shown up on your bill.

November 21, 2014
6:45 pm
kanaka
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JP Morgan as of November 2015 will no longer supply Sears with the no transaction fee Sears Master Card or Sears Card. What alternative will be offered by Sears...not mentioned as of yet.

And just a question.
Some retailers in Washington can detect you are using a Canadian credit card and will offer you to pay in either USA or Canadian funds. We never take the offer, as no doubt there is a hidden fee to handle the conversion and now that we recently acquired the Sears Master Card.....why would you? Any comments?

November 21, 2014
7:42 pm
Loonie
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It appears that the deal between Chase and Sears was struck when Sears sold Chase their credit card business in 2005. It was a 10yr agreement, so this will be the first time they've had a chance to get out of it. http://www.thestar.com/busines....._fall.html

I wonder if Chase will do the same thing with the amazon.ca card. I was just about to apply for it, but wouldn't want to waste the credit check!sf-frown

I wonder too if Sears Canada's questionable financial future has anything to do with this decision. Maybe Sears couldn't meet their terms, whatever they might be (like Costco vis-à-vis AMEX).

I would not accept the Cdn change from US retailer as long as the loonie is worth less than the US$. My guess is that they would offer you the loonie at par. Years ago, in Florida (perhaps still?), many businesses would accept Cdn$ cash at par, regardless of which currency was

November 21, 2014
7:51 pm
Loonie
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There is still no forex fee with the Chase amazon card https://www.chase.com/online/canada/document/Schd5Eng.pdf

or the Marriott card
https://www.chase.com/online/canada/document/19827_MarriottPreDiscEN.pdf

I wonder if it makes a difference that these 2 are Visa, whereas the Sears one is MasterCard. Could the decision have something to do with MC? This is the only MC that Chase offers. Maybe they want to limit themselves to working with Visa? I don't know enough about how this business works to say.

If it were me, I would ask them to switch me to one of these before the Sears one goes bust.
It's hard to imagine Sears not having their own card, so they may come up with another deal, provided they are still in business.. This article says they are looking for someone to buy the CC business http://www.reuters.com/article.....O620141117 .

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