I wanted to pass along a tip for those of you who have to deal with currency conversion when ordering from JNS (or other international sites) using PayPal. It might save you a little money, depending on your credit card company.
PP’s built in currency conversion can be a ripoff. From their website, “We receive a wholesale rate quote from our bank twice a day and add 2.5% to determine the retail foreign exchange rate to apply to transactions that involve a currency conversion”. So they charge you a 2.5% conversion fee on top of the wholesale rate they are getting, which hopefully is similar to the market or spot rates. You can do better.
PP offers you the option of doing the transaction in the vendor’s currency, with your credit card handling the FX exchange. You simply choose an alternate “funding source” when you are checking out.
Some credit cards don’t charge a markup on the exchange rates, saving you some money. Here’s a list of some US banks and what they typically charge:
- Capital One – none
- Discover – none
- American Express – 2.7% fee (except for the $450 Platinum Card which has no fee)
- Chase – 3% fee
- Citi – 3% fee
- Bank of America/FIA Card Services – 3% fee
- Barclaycard/Juniper – 3% fee
- HSBC – 3% fee
- Wells Fargo – 3% fee
- US Bank – 3% fee
Keep in mind not all cards issued by the bank have the same fee. You’ll need to look into your specific card. I use my CapitalOne credit card for all PP foreign currency purchases as well as when I’m travelling abroad – the savings add up. One final thing to keep in mind when using your credit card for a foreign purchase is that the actual conversion rate will be as of the post date, which might be a few days after you actually order.
You can see the retail exchange rates published by the credit card processors here:
Visa Foreign Exchange Rates: http://corporate.visa.com/pd/consume...r_ex_rates.jsp
Mastercard Foreign Exchange Rates: https://www.mastercard.com/global/currencyconversion/
I hope this helps you save some money.