A few weeks back I got a letter from Chase bank saying that the Amazon-Chase visa card is going to be phased out sometime in March! The benefits of this card was the Amazon points and no fee when I am travelling abroad i.e. if I bought a coffee at Heathrow for 3 pounds, I will just pay its equivalent in Canadian Dollar with no surcharge/processing fees!

Does anyone know of similar or better alternatives?

  • Welcome to TSE. Stack Exchange is not a discussion forum, but a Q&A site that seeks to build a library of definitive questions and answers; as such, open-ended questions that ask for suggestions or other lists are poorly suited to our format. Additionally, an expectation of questions on the network is that the original poster demonstrate some initial research efforts; surely there are credit card review sites that would give you places to start. I strongly encourage you to take the site tour and review the help center for additional guidance. – choster Feb 2 '18 at 21:46
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    @choster Exchange-surcharge-fee credit cards are, for some reason, very uncommon in Canada and so I'm inclined to think this to be a fair question here. This is a very travel-focused issue and so the typical credit card-focused sites don't explore the issue in great depth. – Jim MacKenzie Feb 2 '18 at 21:48
  • @JimMacKenzie That's entirely fair, but that information should be included in the original post. – choster Feb 2 '18 at 21:50
  • I'll leave this for Canadians to answer. I asked the Canadian Costco tie-in credit card (Capital One) and their fee is 2.5% The USA Costco tie-in credit card (Citibank), which I have, just dropped its 3% fee to zero effective Jan 28, 2018. – Andrew Lazarus Feb 2 '18 at 23:02
  • Me too. The last of my low-fee Canadian cards rewrote the rate to 2.5% on foreign transactions, so I'm out of suggestions too. – Itai Feb 3 '18 at 0:00

I have this same card and face the same issue. I participate in a long thread on another website about the issue and the recommendations, thus far, are limited:

Fido - has a rewards credit card through Rogers. It does have a 2.5% exchange surcharge, but you get a total of 4% rewards back on it at the end of the year, which makes it net 1.5% bonus. Unfortunately, the rewards can only be used on Rogers products and services (like Fido, Rogers, etc.).

Home Trust - has a credit card with no currency exchange surcharge. However, it is not available in Quebec and is apparently limited to ten transactions per day, which may be somewhat limiting if you are doing microtransactions like your coffee purchase. They are also a small institution and right now, are taking six to eight weeks to process credit card applications.

Perhaps another option will become available for us, but these are the only ones of which I know.

People who are primarily concerned with US transactions can work around it by getting a Canadian-issued US-dollar credit card. Purchasing US dollars from one's bank is cheaper than paying the exchange rate on most credit cards. But this doesn't solve the problem for people making frequent purchases in other currencies.

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  • I have searched quite a bit and haven’t really found anything as good! Just as an experiment I used my Scotia visa for a Uber ride in India, cancelled the ride (Rs. 55 was the fee for cancellation). Scotia charged me 3.86 CAD for a 1 dollar expenditure! – SaiBorg Feb 3 '18 at 13:15
  • @SaiBorg Even with the Chase card without the currency surcharge, there is a significant spread between the buy rate and the sell rate for foreign currencies. – Jim MacKenzie Feb 3 '18 at 14:43
  • I understand that and I am quite fine with that, it is a 'for profit' business after all! The surcharge on top of that really makes a difference. When I fly to any other country I do buy some currency to have some floating cash around and there are firms that provide us competitive prices, they do have a spread but minimal to no surcharge really improves experience, I feel. – SaiBorg Feb 3 '18 at 22:04
  • @SaiBorg Fair enough - I just didn't want it to seem like cards with currency surcharges have a $3.86 additional charge on a one-dollar transaction without realizing that cards without currency surcharges would probably have additional charges of probably half of that. You should run the same experiment on your Chase card to see how the spread resolves. – Jim MacKenzie Feb 4 '18 at 0:27
  • found an alternative, brimfinancial.com. They have something with Amazon coming up soon too. Check it out and let me know what you think. @jim – SaiBorg Mar 4 '18 at 21:38

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