1. Travel
James Martin

Currency Conversion Fees Antitrust Litigation

By September 5, 2005

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When travellers abandoned travellers checks in favor of far less messy ATM and credit card currency transactions during their European vacations, there was enough competition between card companies so that currency conversion rates settled upon a fairly reasonable figure. Then fees shot up, and we searched far and wide for the best credit cards to use on our vacations. Eventually, reasonable fees seemed to vanish. A poster on our forum revealed his distaste at the high rates he was forced to pay on his annual vacation last year. What happened?

Perhaps not surprisingly, allegations of conversion fee price fixing have surfaced recently. The Independent has reported, "eight banks - Bank of America, Capital One, JP Morgan, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, HBSC, MBNA and Providian - are said to have agreed with American Express on minimum fees for currency conversion into US dollars for Americans abroad."

The law firm of Berger & Montague is coordinating a class action lawsuit alleging that "the defendants conspired to artificially set and inflate currency conversion fees United States cardholders incur each time they use their cards in foreign currency transactions. This alleged conspiracy was facilitated, in part, by the fact that the card issuer banks occupy important management positions in both the Visa and MasterCard organizations."

Comments
June 9, 2012 at 5:42 pm
(1) Edgewater Termites says:

It�s nearly impossible to find well-informed people on this subject, however, you seem like you know what you�re talking about! Thanks

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