UOB foreign transaction fee: What you should know

Elle Kasser

Spending with your credit card when you travel or shop online with international retailers can be more expensive than you think. As well as the potential to run into interest costs, you’ll pay an overseas transaction fee which is a percentage added to the converted costs of your purchases.

Learn more about the UOB foreign transaction fee - and a few of the other charges to watch out for when using your card internationally - in this guide. We’ll also touch on how you can save on the costs of international spending with the Wise multi-currency account and card.

UOB overseas transaction fees

In general terms, the foreign transaction fees used by credit card issuers in Singapore are on the rise.¹

The overseas transaction fee for UOB cards currently sits at 3.25%².

Depending on the card type you have, this might be described as a foreign currency factor or an administrative fee. This charge has gone up over recent years - it was 2.8% until September 2019³, before rising to 3.1% for some cards, and finally being set to 3.25% for all card types.

There are also a few other costs associated with using a card for international spending, which we’ll look at in just a moment.

Instead of using your credit card when you travel or shop with international ecommerce stores, get a Wise multi-currency account and card.

You’ll be able to convert your SGD to a wide range of foreign currencies using the mid-market exchange rate, for just a low, transparent fee.

You can then spend any currency you hold for free using your smart linked Mastercard.

It’s simple, and there are no hidden costs, minimum balances or maintenance fees to worry about. See how much you can save with Transferwise, today.

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What other fees should I know about?

The foreign transaction fee isn’t the only cost you need to know about when shopping internationally with your UOB credit card. Here are a few more points to consider.

You may pay extra thanks to an inflated exchange rate

When you spend in a foreign currency using your Singapore issued credit card, the costs will be converted back to SGD using the bank or card issuer’s chosen exchange rate.

If you spend in any currency other than SGD, USD or AUD, your payment will be converted to USD first, and then to SGD for billing to your card. The rates used may not be the same as the mid-market rate you find on Google - and could include an additional fee in the form of a markup.

There’s an international payment processing fee - even if you pay in SGD

Any payment processed outside of Singapore attracts a 1% fee.

This applies even if you’re actually paying in Singapore dollars - and can be tricky especially if you’re shopping online. If the retailer you choose marks their prices in SGD, you may not even know that the payment is processed internationally, until you see the 1% surcharge appear.²

ATM withdrawals come with extra costs

It’s a smart idea to avoid using your credit card for ATM withdrawals - at home or abroad.

As well as any currency charges, you’ll also have to pay an 8% - SGD15 minimum - cash advance fee, and 28% interest which applies immediately.²

Pay in the local currency wherever you are to get the best overall deal

One final cost to know about when you’re overseas - dynamic currency conversion, or DCC.
This is when you’re asked if you’d rather pay in SGD or the local currency in the country you’ve travelled to.

Paying in SGD can seem like a simple way to see immediately how much your purchase or withdrawal is costing - but it means you’ll get a poor exchange rate and may need to pay extra fees.
Choosing to pay in the local currency is the best way to get the fairest exchange rate.

You can also learn more about dynamic currency conversion here.

Because of some steep - and sometimes surprising - fees, using your credit card when you’re abroad isn’t always the best idea. You may be able to get a better deal - and pay less for your international transactions - if you use your Wise multi-currency account and card. Get currency conversion with the real mid-market exchange rate, and spend for free using your card. It couldn’t be easier.

See if you could save

  1. The Milelion - OCBC increasing foreign currency transaction fee to 3.25% from December 2019
  2. UOB - Cardmembers Agreement
  3. UOB - Revisions to UOB Fees for Foreign Currency Transactions and Transactions Processed Outside Singapore

All sources checked on 18 December 2020

Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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