Currency fees are in the spotlight
When you convert money into a foreign currency, transfer money overseas or use your credit card or debit card to buy something online in a foreign currency, you’ll be hit with a fee. These fees certainly add up – Aussies are charged $2 billion in foreign transaction fees every year.
And we’re paying a lot more than people in other countries do. According to Rod Sims, chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, if you send $1000 overseas from Australia, on average you’ll pay $9 more than if you sent an equivalent amount from the UK and $23 more than if you sent it from the US.
The Australian government has asked the ACCC to put these excessive fees under the microscope and report back early next year with its recommendations. RateCity’s Sally Tindall says a handful of banks boldly scrapped their overseas fees in the past 12 months and now it’s time for the big banks to step up to the plate. Time will tell.