Visa cash withdrawal charges

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I was in Thailand in February ’07 and made four cash withdrawals at ATMs using my Visa card. The withdrawals totaled $1,152.

My next Visa statement showed I was charged a total of $71.46, attributed to finance charges for these transactions. The sketchy explanation on the statement indicated a fee of $10 per transaction for a total of $40. An interest charge at 23.99% had also been assessed, as best as I could determine, on ALL of my Visa charges for the period, even though without the cash withdrawals there would be no interest charge if the full outstanding balance were paid on time.

I’m no mathematician, but as I calculate the finance charge on the cash withdrawals it amounts to a whopping 72% simple interest annually.

I inquired at my bank what alternatives to the Visa card were available when traveling abroad. I was advised to simply use my bank debit card at ATMs that showed the appropriate financial affiliations. I followed this advice on my next trip (Costa Rica in March), and on my only cash withdrawal the bank assessed a total transaction fee of $2 and no interest charges.

I will never again use my Visa card for any ATM cash withdrawals. The term “outrageous” doesn’t come close to describing Visa’s unconscionable charges for simple (and wholly automated) cash withdrawals. My charges on Visa last year exceeded $60,000, and I never paid any “finance charges” unless a cash withdrawal was involved. Visa cardholders, beware!

JAMES JOHNSON

Incline Village, NV

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

I was in Thailand in February ’07 and made four cash withdrawals at ATMs using my Visa card. The withdrawals totaled $1,152.

My next Visa statement showed I was charged a total of $71.46, attributed to finance charges for these transactions. The sketchy explanation on the statement indicated a fee of $10 per transaction for a total of $40. An interest charge at 23.99% had also been assessed, as best as I could determine, on ALL of my Visa charges for the period, even though without the cash withdrawals there would be no interest charge if the full outstanding balance were paid on time.

I’m no mathematician, but as I calculate the finance charge on the cash withdrawals it amounts to a whopping 72% simple interest annually.

I inquired at my bank what alternatives to the Visa card were available when traveling abroad. I was advised to simply use my bank debit card at ATMs that showed the appropriate financial affiliations. I followed this advice on my next trip (Costa Rica in March), and on my only cash withdrawal the bank assessed a total transaction fee of $2 and no interest charges.

I will never again use my Visa card for any ATM cash withdrawals. The term “outrageous” doesn’t come close to describing Visa’s unconscionable charges for simple (and wholly automated) cash withdrawals. My charges on Visa last year exceeded $60,000, and I never paid any “finance charges” unless a cash withdrawal was involved. Visa cardholders, beware!

JAMES JOHNSON

Incline Village, NV