Shopping Discussion

Thumbs down on Amazon currency conversion

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 14th, 2019 7:59 am
Deal Fanatic
Jul 24, 2009
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The only solution prevents the currency-sync is using different email addresses for the .ca and .com account right now.
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Dec 6, 2012
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Montréal, QC
And this is why 10+ years ago I took a $US Mastercard, it's free if you put at least $1000 on it per year. I have a checking account in $US too and transfer money myself from CAD to US and vice-versa, watching rate.
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Jan 9, 2011
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Magister wrote:
Feb 12th, 2019 8:15 am
And this is why 10+ years ago I took a $US Mastercard, it's free if you put at least $1000 on it per year. I have a checking account in $US too and transfer money myself from CAD to US and vice-versa, watching rate.
USD credit cards are good only for Canadians who have USD income or can otherwise obtain USD cheaply to pay the bill. Otherwise you're still going to be hit with a forex charge, but at payment time instead of at purchase time. You say you're moving money between your CAD and USD chequing accounts, what kind of rates are you getting? If it's anything like the big banks' rates you might as well forget it and just use your CAD credit card with its 2.5% surcharge in the first place.
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Kiraly wrote:
Feb 12th, 2019 1:08 pm
USD credit cards are good only for Canadians who have USD income or can otherwise obtain USD cheaply to pay the bill. Otherwise you're still going to be hit with a forex charge, but at payment time instead of at purchase time. You say you're moving money between your CAD and USD chequing accounts, what kind of rates are you getting? If it's anything like the big banks' rates you might as well forget it and just use your CAD credit card with its 2.5% surcharge in the first place.
Last time I check it was 1.5% when I move currency, so I save 1% plus whatever the exchange rate if I time it correctly. (I put ~5000 $US on the card per year).
[OP]
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Jun 11, 2015
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Vancouver, BC
death_hawk wrote:
Feb 11th, 2019 5:01 pm
I was thinking of something else, but here's some numbers that I just pulled:

Amazon:
1.3776643591

RBC USA:
1.3601

VBCE:
1.34259


On the face of it, yes, Amazon is more.
But I'm pretty sure that RBC rate doesn't include the 2.5%/3% FX fee because that's for a cash to cash transfer.
Not everyone has an FX free card (I don't, but I do have a USD based credit card) so Amazon would still be cheaper if you don't.
But if you want to actually save money, sign up at VBCE.

Thumbs up for Amazon Currenty conversion.
The RBC rate you are quoting includes the 2.5% already.

If you buy something using an RBC credit card, you pay the cc rate (which doesn't include 2.5%) plus 2.5%.
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Magister wrote:
Feb 12th, 2019 1:21 pm
Last time I check it was 1.5% when I move currency, so I save 1% plus whatever the exchange rate if I time it correctly. (I put ~5000 $US on the card per year).
So you're paying a 1.5% surcharge on all your purchases, or $75/year? You could be earning $75/year on your USD purchases if you used a CAD credit card like Rogers World Elite that gives you a net 1.5% cash back reward on foreign currency transactions.
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Dec 6, 2012
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Kiraly wrote:
Feb 12th, 2019 1:36 pm
So you're paying a 1.5% surcharge on all your purchases, or $75/year? You could be earning $75/year on your USD purchases if you used a CAD credit card like Rogers World Elite that gives you a net 1.5% cash back reward on foreign currency transactions.
Interesting, 4% cash back on foreign currency is not bad. I have no rogers product however.
Newbie
Apr 20, 2012
34 posts
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Montreal, Quebec
Ew! That's horrible. It's a good thing I use survey sites where I can redeem for amazon.com gift cards. Thanks for the heads up!
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
24043 posts
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Kiraly wrote:
Feb 12th, 2019 1:08 pm

USD credit cards are good only for Canadians who have USD income or can otherwise obtain USD cheaply to pay the bill.
There's a bunch of 3rd party FX companies that will do this cheaply.
I was with XE Trade but am now with VBCE.
Otherwise you're still going to be hit with a forex charge, but at payment time instead of at purchase time. You say you're moving money between your CAD and USD chequing accounts, what kind of rates are you getting? If it's anything like the big banks' rates you might as well forget it and just use your CAD credit card with its 2.5% surcharge in the first place.
I posted numbers above.
VBCE is 0.01751 less than RBC for cash and 0.022984 less than RBC's credit card with 2.5%.

TWELVES wrote:
Feb 12th, 2019 1:24 pm

The RBC rate you are quoting includes the 2.5% already.

If you buy something using an RBC credit card, you pay the cc rate (which doesn't include 2.5%) plus 2.5%.
I don't have an RBC card so I had to do some digging and apparently you're correct.
Most agreements just state that it'll be a spot rate plus 2.5%. This is the first time I've seen actual documentation stating what the rate will be.

https://usa.visa.com/support/consumer/t ... hange+rate

So in this case RBC is now 1.36557400 which does make it worse than Amazon.

It's still higher than VBCE though.

Side note: it's damn hard to find the full paperwork nowadays. I saw no mention of it on RBC's site. I had to Google pretty hard.

Surprisingly a 0% FX fee card (assuming it posts at the listed rate) is actually even cheaper than VBCE.
Time to look for a 0% card I guess...
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Aug 18, 2005
18685 posts
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Amazon.ca charging in USD even though CAD was selected?!?
BobSagget wrote:
Feb 11th, 2019 4:07 pm
I posted about this in an older thread. At least for now it seems pretty obvious when it's being used so you're unlikely to not realize unless you're checking out with your eyes closed lol.
I'm getting more and more skeptical about this.

I made a purchase recently on amazon.ca using the app. And I am absolutely 100% sure I picked CAD.

But the charges on my credit card are not the CAD amounts in the confirmation e-mails. They are slightly higher.
For example, the e-mail says "CDN$ 22.60 (US$17.68)", and the online banking says $23.48.

Of course this is the new Rogers MC garbage website, so it doesn't show you anything about forex. It only shows the final amount in CAD.

But I can say with some confidence that Amazon.ca charged me in USD even though I clearly chose CAD in the checkout.

Edit: CONFIRMED. IT SHOWS FOREX IN THE ROGERS REWARDS POINTS SUMMARY. I PICKED CAD AND AMAZON.CA CHARGED USD. Face Screaming In Fear :facepalm: Face Screaming In Fear

***

I started a new thread about this here:
Amazon.ca Currency Converter WARNING - Selected CAD but charged USD
What if there were no hypothetical questions?
Deal Expert
Jan 7, 2002
16442 posts
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Waterloo, ON
Jucius Maximus wrote:
Feb 13th, 2019 10:27 pm
Edit: CONFIRMED. IT SHOWS FOREX IN THE ROGERS REWARDS POINTS SUMMARY. I PICKED CAD AND AMAZON.CA CHARGED USD. Face Screaming In Fear :facepalm: Face Screaming In Fear
At least for the time being I would suggest that every time someone gets the FX option they take a screenshot to keep as evidence should they be charged in a different currency than they selected. This is the only way to establish conclusively that Amazon isn't honouring the FX option you select. Then if necessary either open a dispute with Amazon or do a chargeback with the CC company.
veni, vidi, Visa

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