I didn't like the foreign transaction fee either, but they are a real cost that is passed to the card holder. Some other companies will waive them, but normally recoup the cost by hiking up the interest rate. My USAA credit card interest rate is super low and no other card can match it. While in Germany, I used a Capital One that did not have the fee (but was high interest) and just ensure it was paid off each month so I didn't get hit with the interest.
I don't think it would be financially feasible for a bank that does not have a physical presence in country to deal in foreign currencies - not to mention any issues pertaining to banking regulations.
DoD normally has to contracts with banks to offer these services on bases overseas.
But you know, if you use an ATM which has charges, USAA will reimburse you I believef up to $15 per month. I also don't know why they can'not pay the 3% fees. They make PLENTY of money, enough to open up many many new offices with staff. So I have questioned this also.
Are you talking about the PenFed Credit Card? They are very competitive, but their interest rates are still higher than my 6% (4% for a year when you Deploy or PCS) USAA card. Definitely get the PenFed card to use for overseas transactions.
Each has their advantages.
So much this.
So I moved over to the UK a few months ago. I thought I was in good shape knowing that USAA supports military all over the world so they must surely be adept at managing financial issues overseas. Nope. Quite wrong.
1) Changing my address has been a nightmare. Had to actually call and change it rather than use the online as it didnt recognize an international address (despite clicking the "international" option on the box. I've since moved again and of course its the same nightmare but this time they seem to want to change the address for everyone in my family thats associate with USAA. What?!...unbelievable.
2.) The "international help line" they tout is anything but, first of all the linked number doesnt actuall work when clicked on from a smart phone. I have also tried dialing the number from land lines....nope. they dont' seem to have the correct country code and dial-out protocols. How many international based customers do you have? You can't get these things down?
3.) After giving up out of frustration and then paying nearly $60 to be consecutively put on hold as they tried to figure out why my address couldnt be updated (one rep confirmed he had fixed it, he had not and in doing so seemed to wipe my profile clean).
4.) I loved USAA been a member for many years, but they just seem to lack basic ability to operate in an international environment and can't seem to support their members overseas. I think I might have to move on to a more established international player, which suck because I hated Bank of America when I was in the states.
I just don't see why USAA is so far behind the times. They went as far as introducing the chip cards but without pin they still don't work with a lot of European (not sure about other places) terminals.
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AngelaCabanUSAA Community Manager,
I wish you would have answered PeteO online for we all have the same problem for International Address Changes. I have tried numerous times trying to put in an International Address Change in For Costa Rica to no avail. I CAN NOT CALL you due to my phone service here does not allow me to make International Calls. Your form wants an International Zip Code, they do not use or have zip codes for here. In fact, they do not have addresses for homes here. for example if you want to tell someone where you live, you tell them the Province, the two closest cities you are in between, your district, how many meters you are from the entrance and name the closest business to you. Your international address is set us like we are living in the states with street addresses, city, state and zip. Sorry, that does not compute for International. You would be much better having a comment box for International Residents so they can do the address the correct way it is for that particular country.
My other beef.
I need to do a wire transfer so I can pay customs on my vehicle which is due in less than 3 weeks now. There is NO FORM online for me to do so. Had there been a form, I would have printed it out, filled in the information, signed the form, scanned it and emailed it back to the documents section. But no, they want me to call and I still have the same problem as I had with the address situation, I CAN NOT CALL the US even with your international number due to I can NOT make International Calls, I do not have that capablility with the cell phone plan I have. I opened up a Corporate Account in Costa Rica thinking I could transfer my money from my USAA account to here without a problem, wrong. I can not set up the Costa Rica Account in the Banking Section due to again, they have it set up as if we were in the United States and not set up to do International. My husband has been with USAA for over 40 years, we have been married for over 38 years and yet, we have to jump through so many hoops to get what is ours, when we can get it. Please talk with Banking to see about changing the way they do business for us Internationally as well as changing your way of dealing with addresses for us. By the way, the address I finally put in is not properly done, it would never reach me if I needed anything mailed to me.