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Discussion Starter #21
-the cash advance came over at the same rate as two purchases that day, ie the visa exchange rate with no hidden add on fx service charge
This is the surprise for me. I had no idea the cash advance would be exchanged at the same, no-FX visa exchange rate!

So this means the HT charges zero FX spread, not only for purchases but also for cash advances? Amazing
 

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Yes. That is why we do it. We did the same for a number of years on the Marriott/amazon card before the cards were discontinued.

It is incredible when you think of how much money the banks earn each day just from fx service charges on their visa, mc, and atm transactions with no human intervention required. It is a licence to print money!

Those computer systems pay for themselves in months, not years.
 

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This is the surprise for me. I had no idea the cash advance would be exchanged at the same, no-FX visa exchange rate!

So this means the HT charges zero FX spread, not only for purchases but also for cash advances? Amazing
Many people use this method of pre-loading a credit card to avoid the interest from day one that using a credit card at an ATM usually results in james4beach. Usually because they have a no FX credit card and their Debit Card does charge for FX exchange. All the cards I know of with no FX loading apply that same no FX loading to cash advances, there is nothing 'amazing' in that at all or unique to the HT card.

So you could look at any no FX charge card available to you and expect to find the same thing. That then allows you to choose which card you want to use based on OTHER factors, like rental car insurance, etc. as is most beneficial to you personally.

Ian appears to withdraw considerable amounts of cash when travelling. Not everyone does that. I personally don't tend to withdraw more than say $100 cash per week of travel. I pay for pretty much everything using a credit card. Cash is just used for 'pocket money' small purchases like a coke for example.

So in my case, using a card that pays 4% on all foreign transactions such as the Rogers card would reward me more than using an HT card would which has just lost it's 1% reward. The Rogers credit card (it's not one I have by the way) would reward me 1.5% more than the HT card given how I handle my money when travelling, even after having to pay the 2.5% FX loading the Rogers card does charge.

Here is a fairly accurate article on the alternatives available depending on how you handle your money when travelling. https://www.rewardscanada.ca/NoFXFees/ You'll see it refer to, "You can choose a true no foreign transaction fee credit card where you won't be charged fees on any non Canadian currency purchases or you can be selective and use a card that offers rewards that provide a higher return than the foreign transaction fee."

I'm not suggesting one over the other, just pointing out that getting hung up on no FX charge cards can be a case of overlooking an alternative that may suit an individual better. Many people DO get hung up on this no FX charge issue.

For example, I happen to have a no FX charge Debit Card (from a UK bank) that I use for ATM withdrawals when travelling and a Canadian Credit Card that gives me rewards that are greater than the 2.5% in FX loading that it does charge me.

So compare that to ian's method and see what happens. On an ATM withdrawal I pay nothing in FX and no ATM transaction fee (the $2 or $5 ian pays each time). The UK bank that my Debit Card is from does not charge any ATM transaction fee and refunds any ATM transaction fee a foreign bank charges. Nor does it charge me the 1.5% cash advance fee ian says he pays for using his HT credit card in the ATM even after having pre-loaded his card. Bottom line, ian pays something, I pay nothing at all for ATM transactions. But that card while available to me as an individual is not available to everyone unless they can open an account with that UK bank. Each individual is different and that's the point.

The only way to determine what will work best for YOU to is to look at every available option you have in detail.
 

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It is referenced in this review.

https://www.greedyrates.ca/blog/home-trust-preferred-visa-review/

Scroll down and it is listed under "Drawbacks"

Reading the blog, which follows the review, is certainly not enticing me to apply for the card.
I hadn't given any real thought to the Roadside Assistance perk. I just took it as being a good perk when others mentioned it saved them having to pay CAA for the equivalent. But on the link you gave, it shows it only covers a 5km tow! That is useless for anyone who drives outside of a town/city. Yet another point that should be on the 'drawbacks' list in my opinion. Who NEVER drives more than 5km away from a service garage? My roadside assistance from CAA covers 200km tows and I even consider that as not covering all situations although it will cover most. Coverage of just 5km is as near to useless as you could get.

I can understand the 10 transactions per day limit. It is designed to limit the card issuers risk of a lost/stolen/cloned card being used for fraudulent transactions. It's for THEIR benefit, not for the user's benefit. That other cards do not have this limitation is really not a big deal since most people do not use their card more than 10 times in ONE day.
 

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It is referenced in this review.

https://www.greedyrates.ca/blog/home-trust-preferred-visa-review/

Scroll down and it is listed under "Drawbacks"

Reading the blog, which follows the review, is certainly not enticing me to apply for the card.
We have had the card for a while now.
We were disappointed when they removed cashback on foreign purchases. But really that only came to about $100. We still save the FX fees which are about $250. Considering it is a no-fee card, we are happy with that.
Only other minor issue was that at gas stations that required a ZIP, the usual trick of using the three numbers in postal code plus two zeros didn't always work. Had to go inside to pay, but then we were using washrooms anyway ;)
We had one payment declined. But just as well - the condo rental agency accidentally charged us twice and this put us over our maximum (which we are purposely leaving at the low initial amount)

I wouldn't choose this as an only card. We have a Scotia momentum that we use for groceries (and at Walmart, because everything there is classified as groceries!).4% cashback less FX fee. We also have a US$ Mastercard that is also essentially FX fee free because US$ cash comes from US dividends.
My wife has CAA, so we have kept that, but we cancelled my membership. That saved us something - I forget how much - Maybe $50? When I am driving alone, I would rely on the HT card. Another plus. Probably saving us in total $400+ a year.

Maybe there will be something better next year, but for now these cards work for us.
 

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The basic Alberta Motor Assoc. membership only includes a 5km tow limit.
CAA in South Central Ontario provide 10km towing. The 5km for HT is minimal, but if your destination is on THEIR return route there may not be an extra charge. Otherwise, you just have to pay a little extra. The Roadside assistance offer more than towing - how often would we need towing anyway? In an accident, insurance would cover that.

Home Trust Roadside Assistance (not sure if all of this is free?)

- emergency towing services – will take you to any garage within a 5km radius,
- have 5L delivered to you free of charge, if you run out of gas,
- tire service,
- winching,
- battery boost
- lost key lockout assistance.
 

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CAA in South Central Ontario provide 10km towing. The 5km for HT is minimal, but if your destination is on THEIR return route there may not be an extra charge. Otherwise, you just have to pay a little extra. The Roadside assistance offer more than towing - how often would we need towing anyway? In an accident, insurance would cover that.

Home Trust Roadside Assistance (not sure if all of this is free?)

- emergency towing services – will take you to any garage within a 5km radius,
- have 5L delivered to you free of charge, if you run out of gas,
- tire service,
- winching,
- battery boost
- lost key lockout assistance.
The only service I have ever used for Roadside Assistance is towing agent99. I've needed a tow a couple of times, the last time was when my vehicle radiator sprung a seam. We were on a simple day trip drive but still nearly 100km from home and there certainly wasn't any garage anywhere near 5km from where I pulled off to the side of the road when I saw the temperature gauge going through the roof.

The time before that, I was in a desert area of the US Southwest and got bogged down in a ' desert wash' (know what that is). Some nice pictures of some here https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1CHZL_enCA704CA704&sxsrf=ACYBGNQ6s-b6UtaITldml170DPwyOGUxNg:1581460623203&q=desert+wash+photos&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjCjLD1x8rnAhXYHc0KHSMhBloQsAR6BAgKEAE&biw=1366&bih=657
A lot more than a 5km distance from a garage.

Before that was a tire puncture and a wheel that the nuts had been put on with a torgue wrench at such a high setting I could not get the nuts off even when jumping on the wheel wrench. So I had to call a tow truck to come out and tow us back to a garage in Page, Arizona. Only about 80 miles away yet again. In some places you know there are a lot of miles between one place and another. Never seen a sign, 'NEXT gas 100 miles'?

A 5km tow radius is about as useful as the proverbial Ts on a B. The other services are fine I suppose but if you need a tow, there is no point in saying, 'oh well, the coverage is good if I needed some gas delivered because I was too stupid to notice what the gas gauge was telling me.'

CAA in South Central Ontario that you mention, is where I get my Roadside Assistance insurance from. The offer 10km, 200km and 320km. If the Home Trust offered the same choice for a small add-on payment, then I would agree it was worth having but having no choice but 5km is just not worth having at all as far as I am concerned.
 

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I have only once in over 60 years of driving ever needed a car to be towed. Even then it was not 100% necessary.

What happened, was that the serpentine belt on our Mercedes broke. This while on an elevated expressway with no place to pull off. When this happens, you lose power steering, alternator, cooling water pump, A/C and anything else driven by the belt. In our case despite being very difficult to steer, the engine temperature increased rapidly. Engine would have soon seized, yet I had nowhere to stop. What I did, was open all windows and turn the heater on full. This provided enough cooling to stop the rise in engine temperature.

We were about 5km from our US condo and after exiting freeway, made it back there. If I had had a spare belt, and more tools, I could have easily installed it. But instead, I called AAA (CAA affiliate) and they took car on flatbed to the nearest Mercedes dealer some distance away.

Distance was much further than the CAA/AAA allowance. I had to pay the driver for the difference. I think it was something like US$60. However, my automobile insurance policy had a rider in it that covered towing and other roadside assistance. They refunded me the difference in full.

So, if you are concerned about the 5km towing on the HT card, check your insurance policy. You may have towing coverage that you don't know about! Similarly, with newer cars - Your new car warranty should include free roadside assistance for at least the duration of the new car warranty.

Alternatively, consider the possible cost of paying for extra towing mileage. Not possible with HT, but with CAA, you can get extra towing coverage at significant cost and pay for this every year. Or self insure and just pay the extra towing cost if ever you do need longer distance towing. We chose the latter option for wife's CAA. At 10km, just slightly better than HT.
 

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We have had one 6 or 7 km tow in thirty plus years and only two boosts that I can remember. Glad we did not have auto club for all that time!
 

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We have had one 6 or 7 km tow in thirty plus years and only two boosts that I can remember. Glad we did not have auto club for all that time!
Then if you consider the need to be very low, why not self-insure and remove that consideration from your choice of what cards to use? If I can get 4% cashback(results in $800 per year cashback) and no Roadside Assistance with one card or I can get Roadside Assistance but no cashback at all with an HT card, which card would you suggest I go with?

A 'perk' is only a perk if you benefit from it. There is no benefit from just having it.
 

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Then if you consider the need to be very low, why not self-insure and remove that consideration from your choice of what cards to use? If I can get 4% cashback(results in $800 per year cashback) and no Roadside Assistance with one card or I can get Roadside Assistance but no cashback at all with an HT card, which card would you suggest I go with?

A 'perk' is only a perk if you benefit from it. There is no benefit from just having it.
lta - just give it up. We each do what suits us best.
 

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I took a cash advance from Santander Bank ATM yesterday. At the end ther were two questions, side by side on the screen.

In green..do you want to accept the transaction at $601 CAD.

In red, on the left of the screen....the option with the words ‘I do not accept’. I went with this one.

The difference was $31 CAD. By selecting red the fx conversion was done by HT. The HT converted number was $570.
 

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I took a cash advance from Santander Bank ATM yesterday. At the end ther were two questions, side by side on the screen.

In green..do you want to accept the transaction at $601 CAD.

In red, on the left of the screen....the option with the words ‘I do not accept’. I went with this one.

The difference was $31 CAD. By selecting red the fx conversion was done by HT. The HT converted number was $570.
That has nothing to do with HT vs any other bank ian. That was a choice of 'Dyamic Conversion' which is a 'service' offered by vendors, usually through a third party service. It is interesting how they presented it though, usually, the choice is asked in terms of which currency you wish to make the transaction in. Choosing your 'home' currency results in a higher exchange rate being used vs choosing to have the transaction done in local currency. Dynamic Currency conversion is now common around the world and travellers need to be aware of it and always choose to have the transaction done in the local currency. Your example is a particularly sneaky example of it.

https://www.investopedia.com/dynamic-currency-conversion-dcc-term-4769305
 

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I took a cash advance from Santander Bank ATM yesterday. At the end ther were two questions, side by side on the screen.

In green..do you want to accept the transaction at $601 CAD.

In red, on the left of the screen....the option with the words ‘I do not accept’. I went with this one.

The difference was $31 CAD. By selecting red the fx conversion was done by HT. The HT converted number was $570.
On Paypal they ask a similar question.
 

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LTA...that may be so but since having this card and using it for ATM cash advances in Europe, Asia, and Australia probably twenty plus times over the last two or three years we have NEVER been asked, or experienced this on a foreign bank atm cash advance.

We have Of course experienced this at the retail purchase level. Also never has the words ‘do not accept’ at a retail level either.

Of course I realize that this is not a HT issue. You know LTA, it is not an admirable quality to assume that you are brilliant and that everyone else is a lesser being!
 

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I took it as a simple description of what happened where instead of implying what entity triggered the currency fx option.


I use CC's at retail level so that's where I have seen this attempt to fatten the bottom line with a more expensive fx rate. It has been rare enough that I don't recall the exact wording but remember that it was defaulted so one had to actively pick the CC fx rate. Anyone in a hurry, clicking "accept" or "ok" without reading would be selecting the more expensive fx rate.


Cheers
 

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LTA...that may be so but since having this card and using it for ATM cash advances in Europe, Asia, and Australia probably twenty plus times over the last two or three years we have NEVER been asked, or experienced this on a foreign bank atm cash advance.

We have Of course experienced this at the retail purchase level. Also never has the words ‘do not accept’ at a retail level either.

Of course I realize that this is not a HT issue. You know LTA, it is not an admirable quality to assume that you are brilliant and that everyone else is a lesser being!
This thread is read by more than just you ian. Information about something like Dynamic Currency Conversion is of general interest and is worth explaining. I don't just write to you even if I am referencing a comment you make. As you wrote it, a reader could easily have read what you wrote as saying your HT card was somehow the reason you got a lower exchange rate. I simply wanted to make it clear that ANY card would have got a lower exchange rate and that the issue was Dynamic Currency Conversion. Frankly, I think that is what YOU should have been pointing out but you didn't.

It is not admirable to assume that because you understand something, that everyone else will. I find it better to assume nothing including who is or is not a 'lesser being' in terms of knowledge. Not knowing whether someone has less knowledge about something does NOT imply you see someone as a 'lesser being' in ANY other way, which is what YOU are implying I was doing. Your comment in that regard belittles you, not me, in my opinion.
 

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I took it as a simple description of what happened where instead of implying what entity triggered the currency fx option.


I use CC's at retail level so that's where I have seen this attempt to fatten the bottom line with a more expensive fx rate. It has been rare enough that I don't recall the exact wording but remember that it was defaulted so one had to actively pick the CC fx rate. Anyone in a hurry, clicking "accept" or "ok" without reading would be selecting the more expensive fx rate.


Cheers
I understood what ian was describing Eclectic12 and other readers might have as well, as you did. However, some readers might NOT have understood it that way and might NOT have understood that the REAL issue was Dynamic Currency Conversion and what that is. Ian could have chosen to explain the issue but did not and so I explained it for those who are not familiar with it.

You are correct in saying that sometimes the credit card terminal 'defaults' to the choice you do not want. In other cases, you are asking to select by pressing 1 or 2, there is no 'accept' or 'OK'. It varies and means you have to pay attention and look before clicking on anything.

It happens both on retail transactions and obviously as ian has reported, on ATM transactions as well. I wouldn't know about ATM transactions since I use a debit card for those. I don't need to mess around pre-loading a credit card to avoid interest charges and FX loading since I use a debit card that does not charge FX loading or ATM usage fees and refunds any ATM usage fees that another bank charges when you use their ATM.

Now ian's in a huff because I clarified the issue. LOL
 
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