Learn all about exchanging currency in Salt Lake City
Apple Pay¹ allows easy mobile payments online and in store — and because it’s very broadly accepted globally, you can also use Apple Pay internationally. But does Apple Pay charge international fees when you make a purchase in a foreign currency?
This guide covers all you need to know about how Apple Pay foreign transaction fees work, as well as whether or not there are any Apple Pay/Apple Cash international fees to worry about.
And because Apple Pay isn’t an option for making a direct payment to friends, family or businesses overseas, we’ll also look at how you can pair up Apple Pay and Wise to make low cost international transfers to 80+ countries with the mid-market exchange rate.
Let’s dive right into the main question: does Apple Pay have international fees?
Apple Pay doesn’t charge you any foreign transaction fee when you make a mobile payment using its service². However, if your card issuer or bank levies a foreign transaction fee, this will still apply — which means that there may still be a cost when you shop online or in person using Apple Pay.
Foreign transaction fees are often in the region of 3% — which doesn’t sound too bad, but which quickly mounts up the more you spend.
The smart way to get around this is to only use Apple Pay internationally with cards which don’t charge a foreign transaction fee themselves.
Apple’s credit card — the Apple Card³ — could be one option, although because it’s a credit card you may still find there are some costs in the form of interest or penalty interest involved with spending.
If you’re in the market for a debit card which doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, opening a Wise account may be a good alternative. We’ll look in more detail later, at how you can spend in dozens of currencies with low fees and the real mid-market exchange rate with Wise, later.
The Apple Card does not charge a foreign transaction fee. In fact there are pretty much no Apple Card fees at all — but there will be interest to pay if you don’t clear down your bills. And if you’re late paying, you may find a penalty interest is charged, which can mean your overall debt goes up.
If you’re in the US you may be familiar with Apple Cash⁴ for sending payments easily to family and friends. Apple Cash is a really handy service for USD transfers — but unfortunately you can’t make an Apple Cash payment overseas⁵.
Don’t worry though — you’ll be able to send payments to friends, family and businesses around the world with Apple Pay easily, simply by using a specialist service like Wise. More on that next.
Apple Cash offers convenient ways to send payments within the US, but unfortunately Apple can’t help you directly if you’re looking to send money to someone overseas. Wise can.
Simply open a free Wise account online, to send payments with low fees and the mid-market rate, to 80+ countries. Set up your transfer online or in the Wise app, and when it comes to paying, just select Apple Pay as the payment method.
That means it’s simple, with no need to add your card or bank details — and because Wise uses the real mid-market exchange rate every time, it can be a cheaper alternative to other services, too.
And if you love Apple Pay for the convenience of mobile payments, but don’t want to get caught out by tricky foreign transaction fees levied by your regular bank, take a look at the Wise international debit card.
Get your card for a low, one time fee, and spend in 174 countries with Apple Pay for easy contactless and mobile payments. You can hold and exchange 50+ currencies in your Wise account — but if you don’t have the one you need, the card automatically converts currency at the best rate whenever you spend. Easy.
Apple Pay will use the exchange rate that’s set by your card issuer or network. So for example, if you have a Visa card which is linked to your Apple Pay, international payments will be converted to USD using the Visa exchange rate, with any relevant foreign transaction fee deducted at the same time.
Apple Pay doesn’t charge a fee when you use your card for a mobile payment. However, any fees your card issuer levies will still apply to Apple Pay payments.
That means it’s essential to look out for common international transaction costs. Read your card terms and conditions, particularly checking for fees like these:
|Exchange rate markup
|Most cards use the network exchange rate, which is normally pretty fair. However, it can include an exchange rate markup, do check your card’s terms and conditions before you spend
|Foreign transaction fees
|Foreign transaction fees are set by your network and card issuer, and can commonly include a fee to the network and an administration fee to the bank or issuer. Charges of around 3% are common
|Don’t forget, if you’re spending with a credit card you’ll be liable for any interest owed if you don’t pay your bills on time — late fees may also apply
Apple Pay is an easy way to spend at home and abroad — and second nature to many of us. But before you tap to pay when you’re overseas, do check out whether your own card issuer or bank will charge you any extra fees for a foreign currency payment. If they do, you might find you can save by choosing Wise instead.
- Apple Pay
- Apple Pay support - Foreign transaction fees
- Apple Card
- Apple Cash
- Apple Support - International options
Sources checked on 09.19.2022
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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