Amex offers many perks for their credit card holders. One of which is the ability to get cash back on any purchase at a participating Amex store or on the Internet. This can be a valuable perk, especially when you think about the money you may have to spend to obtain all those items. Amex has been accused of many practices though including hiking up their fee, and many people do not believe this charge to be fair.
The issue with the Amex foreign transaction fee that is being called a fee is not really a fee at all. The fee is actually referred to as an “introductory fee” and is included as part of the monthly card statement. Many people are confused by this and assume that their card will then increase their fee once they use it overseas. Amex clarifies the situation in their terms and conditions:
The Amex foreign transaction fee may increase or decrease as you travel internationally. However, this fee is not an ongoing fee. Once your balance increases to a certain point, you may notice a flat fee being charged on your card statement for any future transactions. You may be able to reduce or eliminate this fee altogether though by speaking to customer service.
Amex cards allow you to purchase gas for your vehicle at a participating station in just a few steps. You can also use this feature to pay for parking at a restaurant. The fee for these services is not included in your card balance but must be paid separately. In this case, you should contact customer service to find out if you qualify for any discounts or special pricing on purchases at these participating businesses.
If you are traveling internationally for business, your wallet may be quite a bit lighter. You can get an all-inclusive resort package for a great rate, if you purchase your hotel stay, food, and admission tickets from the same place you'd pay at an upgraded hotel. However, keep in mind that some hotels charge a separate service fee for this option. Before you select this option, make sure you research all of your options and ask questions. Keep in mind that there may be separate fees for your personal purchases or if you are using the card for any other purchases, such as airline tickets.
Paying the international Amex foreign transaction fee isn't a necessary fee, but it can save you money and time. When you pay the fee for your international transactions, it should be a flat rate that doesn't change. You should always pay your credit card with the Visa or MasterCard that you'll use to make your purchases overseas, as these cards offer the best cash perks and don't charge an additional foreign transaction fee.
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