American express credit card exchange rate

Author: Agossewen Date: 30.05.2017

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Grabbit Shop don't drop Freebies Competitions. Join s of MoneySavers in the Forum's many discussion boards. For all the latest deals, guides and loopholes - join the 12m who get it. Rosie Edited by Sam D. When preparing to go on holiday, you might be so busy counting down the days till sunny climes and getting away from it all that you forget to think of holiday money. We know that specialist overseas credit cards give you one of the best deals when you're spending abroad but, in true MSE style, we wanted to do some in-depth analysis on which card issuer offers the best exchange rates.

Which really is the best card to take on holiday with you? A bit of background to this first. Debit and credit cards can be used wherever you see the Mastercard, Visa or Amex symbol, depending on what your card is branded.

There are two factors that have an effect:. So, when you spend overseas, your bank or credit card provider first uses the wholesale rate set by Mastercard, Visa or Amex on the day your transaction is processed typically a day or two after you've actually spent the money to make the exchange. Then it adds its commission, typically between 2. You may also see other fees for cash withdrawals, and a few even charge a fee for spending.

But this isn't our focus for this article. Some specialist overseas credit cards , like Creation Everyday or Halifax Clarity, don't charge this transaction fee. We know collectively these cards are one of the cheapest ways to spend abroad.

But are all these cards equal? Does it matter which you pick? We wanted to know, and for this, as there are no fees, it's a straight Mastercard versus Visa versus Amex comparison. We've heard anecdotally that Mastercard's rates tend to beat Visa and Amex on overseas spending. But does Mastercard always offer better rates?

Is this true for the euro and US dollar only the main currencies we use for calculations , or is it a winner across the board? To find out, we took the published exchange rates for Mastercard's, Visa's and Amex's wholesale rates for euros and dollars at two different dates in each month for a year from April to give us a decent number of data points to compare As you can see, at almost every data point, Mastercard's rates are above the Visa and Amex ones which more closely match each other.

There are only a few points where the reverse is true. Breaking it down for euros and dollars, we had 54 different data points.

American Express Travel Services and Travel Reservations

But sometimes these differences can be quite large. This is a huge gap for one euro being exchanged. So, Mastercard tends to win for the big, most-commonly used currencies, but what happens when we look at slightly lesser-used currencies? We looked at two currencies, the Turkish lira and the Polish zloty; and the same holds true.

Although we looked at only one data point per month for these currencies, we still see that the majority of the time, Mastercard holds the exchange rate crown. Amex and Visa vie for bottom place with both currencies. How much better is the Mastercard rate than the Visa and Amex rate? The charts above show you that Mastercard plastic, barring a few anomalies, gives you a better rate than Visa and Amex cards for comparable spending.

But, how much better is the Mastercard rate? We've analysed the spread by 'indexing' the Mastercard rate for euros over a year meaning it's always on this graph and then allowing the Visa and Amex euro exchange rates to vary around it.

Though it does show that for the points we picked, Mastercard is the winner for all but five. On average, from the euro and dollar data sets we looked at, Mastercard's exchange rates were 0. While we haven't checked every day and every currency, it's likely that the data we do have shows a pattern that would be replicated. If you don't have a specialist overseas card already, this might mean you pick a best-buy provider offering a Mastercard.

However, if you do already have an overseas card which is a Visa or Amex and you're happy with it, it's probably not worth changing unless you spend a lot overseas each year. For this research, we've pointed out and emphasised the differences between the two rates. But the fact remains that an average 0. If you do want to get a new top overseas spending card, or change the card you have, then our top picks can be seen in the Cheap Travel Credit Cards guide.

A brief summary is here:. If you use the cards abroad, you might see the same trend. Mastercard is accepted at more than 36 million retailers worldwide, Visa 40 million, and although Amex won't give us an exact figure, estimates are that they're accepted at around 16 million outlets worldwide. Do let us know in the forum if you've found countries or cities where you couldn't use a Mastercard, Visa or Amex, but the others worked. Mastercard vs Visa vs Amex.

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Exchange Rates | American Express FX International Payments

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american express credit card exchange rate

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Tips for Using Your Credit Card Overseas | American Express

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american express credit card exchange rate

How this site works We think it's important you understand the strengths and limitations of the site. This info does not constitute financial advice, always do your own research on top to ensure it's right for your specific circumstances and remember we focus on rates not service.

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