Budget Babe (avatar)
updated 11 months ago

Saving $ if you shop / travel overseas often

Shop online often on overseas sites like ASOS or Colourpop?

Travel overseas regularly to places like Bangkok, Japan, Australia, Hong Kong, Europe or even the U.S.?

I recently found a hack to save more money if you do, and not get ripped off by foreign exchange fees and dynamic conversion charges (DCC) on my credit card. You know, those annoying "FX charges" or "DCC charges" you see at the end of your credit card bill.

Let's say you see an ASOS dress for USD 100. Using the Google exchange rate, you figure that it'll translate into about SGD 135, give or take. That's reasonable for your budget, so you go ahead with it.

But when the final bill comes at the end of the month, you realise the dress actually cost you closer to SGD 150! Super frustrating isn't it?!? I know because I'm so annoyed every month by these charges.

You can avoid these sneaky charges by having a local account that lets you pay in the local currency each time. But this isn't exactly feasible when you keep shopping or travelling to a number of countries right πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ imagine having one account per country - it'll be a real headache to manage!

The best way? Get ONE account that lets you pay like a local overseas.

DBS Multi Currency Account (MCA)

There wasn't such a solution until recently so I really applaud DBS for being the first to launch such a product in Southeast Asia! (a fellow scholar friend of mine from uni days actually worked on the product development hehe I'm so proud!)

The MCA essentially let's you pay like a local overseas with NO FOREIGN EXCHANGE FEES incurred, while letting you buy currencies AT YOUR PREFERRED RATE and keep them till you need to use it.

It holds 12 common currencies now but I'm sure the team will be adding more in time to come.

Lemme show y'all how to use this to your benefit hehe

Convert when the currency rate is favourable. For instance, remember how the pound dropped during Brexit?!? If you had the MCA you could simply just convert it online and skip a trip to the moneychangers at the Arcade.

πŸ™Ž: "Eh please la the bank rates sure higher"
I thought so too, but apparently not at all! My friend Aaron did a comparison of the rates at the Arcade vs DBS and both were super competitive. Y'all can google his article if you want.

Source: The Straits Times

Why queue when I can convert online πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜ˆ

Keep it in your MCA.

A few months later when you need to spend the money, you can then use it! Imagine you exchanged USD when it was 1.30 and then you're spending it now when it is 1.40 wahahah save money!

Another example for the #dayretravels

When booking travel stuff online

When I booked our hotels and train tickets in Italy for our honeymoon in Feb, it cost me a bomb because I needed to pay in EUR using my credit card online and there was forex fees + DCC charges on top of the ticket price. So annoying 😠

Next time you can just use your MCA Visa Debit Card to pay in the local currency and skip all the extra charges!

When shopping online

Eh #dayreshopaholics you guys should already know this ASOS hack where if you shop in EUR it'll be cheaper than the SGD price right?

But your savings will also go towards paying the forex + DCC charges so WHAT'S THE POINT πŸ˜‘

Hack this hack by using the MCA next time! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ (lolol simi hack this hack)

Ran out of foreign cash overseas?

Please don't be so stupid as to withdraw cash from the ATM using your credit card okay cos I made that mistake when I was in BKK and ran out of money to pay for my clothes at Platinum πŸ˜‘πŸ˜‘

Why you let yourself be fleeced by the ATM or foreign moneychanger’s rate when you can simply withdraw from your MCA overseas (just pay the nominal ATM withdrawal fee – it is a small price for convenience and is usually about S$5 per withdrawal).

Or what happens if you have insufficient foreign funds in your MCA? No worries, simply log on and transfer the foreign amount you need, and continue spending using your debit card overseas.

Easy peasy.

❗Disclaimer : I have a sponsored blog post on this (and it was actually me who requested for the sponsorship from my friend cos I wanted to review it anyway so why not get paid for doing it right HAHAHA), BUT this Dayre post is totally not sponsored and I wasn't even asked to post here. Genuinely sharing this because I really think everyone who shops or travels overseas ought to get this account!

Also, I do not get a single cent whether you guys sign up or not. It's a free account yo❗

But do take note!

♨ The DBS Visa Debit card that is tagged to your MCA account allowing you to swipe and pay in local currency is ultimately a DEBIT card. So if you like to chalk up 10x miles for overseas cc spending, you're not gonna enjoy that benefit here.

You essentially choose between:
1) skip conversion fees and pay at favourable rates for more savings
2) pay using credit to get miles / reward points but pay conversion fees

You can't have your cake and eat it too.

♨ Make sure you have enough foreign currency in your MCA before you pay, cos otherwise the full transaction will be deducted from your SGD funds instead and you’ll end up incurring FX fees at the prevailing bank rate (eg. JPY to SGD to JPY).

Eg. If your item cost USD 1000 but you only have USD 800 in your account, the full $1000 will be deducted from your SGD account instead. It is NOT a case where only the remaining USD 200 gets deducted once you run out k!

Day 205

Monday, 24 Jul 2017

174 34
jermaiiinee (avatar)

jermaiiinee Omg yes I used MCA for my exchange and it's super handy!!!!

11 months ago

sgbudgetbabe (avatar)

sgbudgetbabe @jermaiiinee you lucky girl! I had no such MCA option when I was on MY exchange! 😩😩

11 months ago

windmillsandmerlion (avatar)

windmillsandmerlion is there mca for other banks? if you don't own a dbs account can you use it?

11 months ago

tanalicia (avatar)

tanalicia How come sometimes I get charged the DCC fee but sometimes I don't? I realized since last year I get charged for booking on Hotels.com, Uber & such... but still not yet for ASOS.

11 months ago

sgbudgetbabe (avatar)

sgbudgetbabe @windmillsandmerlion nope this is an industry first in Singapore. I'm waiting for the other banks to follow in DBS footsteps.

@tanalicia wah I dunno how to answer you HAHA I think only the cc companies know sia. Uber is the sneakiest - I hate it! stopped using it ever since I found out about the sneaky DCC charges wahlau when I'm quoted S$15 for a ride I pay exactly that with Grab but with Uber I always end up paying a little more cos of these sneaky fees!! 😑😑

11 months ago

kyyeoh28 (avatar)

kyyeoh28 hi @sgbudgetbabe thanks for the info! but I'm just wondering is there any difference between MCA and Foreign Currency Account?

11 months ago

sgbudgetbabe (avatar)

sgbudgetbabe @kyyeoh28 which bank is that?

11 months ago

kyyeoh28 (avatar)

kyyeoh28 @sgbudgetbabe there are few of the Banks offer ie Citibank / HSBC / CIMB. These are the banks in Malaysia, I think maybe MCA doesn't apply here.. my bad, should have check it first πŸ˜…

11 months ago

holly (avatar)

holly There is an additional admin charge when withdrawing from this account which I feel it is not worth to do withdrawal over the counter. Otherwise, online shopping is great for this account. Or even overseas shopping.

11 months ago

missy_xl (avatar)

missy_xl Hi do you use credit card to pay when u are oversea?

11 months ago

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