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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Getting clipped

Their ads say that they're "everywhere you want to be." Frankly, I'm just feeling clipped.

So $ 85.00 won't send me into chapter 11. The reason it won't is that Four of Four and I have nearly always watched our Ps and Qs when it comes to money. We won't carry a card that charges an annual fee, and we always pay our balance off in-full each month. I call that being financially responsible; the credit card company has another term for it: "dead beat." That should tell you something about how they think.

But back to the $ 85.00. It showed up as an "international service fee" on my last statement. When I contacted the issuing bank, they told me that it's a 2% fee levied on all charges made outside the United States. The fee is mandated by VISA, and the bank just passes it on to the customer. Hadn't I seen the notice in a recent statement? Ah, no, I hadn't. Translate: No refund, sucker.

My employer, who sponsors employees to receive the card, is now looking into other options. Meanwhile, if enough of the rest of us globetrotters raise our voices, maybe VISA will get the message. After all, what point is there in carrying a supposedly worldwide credit card if every time you set foot outside the U.S., you get clipped?

Photo courtesy of Flickr.


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