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Credit Card Class Action Settlement: Foreign Currency Transactions

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    Credit Card Class Action Settlement: Foreign Currency Transactions

    By Valerie S. Johnson

    In the last ten years, have you traveled overseas and shopped with your credit or ATM/debit card or made a cash withdrawal? Paid for your hotel or bought souvenirs? Or have you stayed stateside but purchased something in foreign currency over the Internet?

    If so, you may be eligible to be a member of a $336 million class action lawsuit against Visa, MasterCard and Diners Club. The plaintiffs allege that the credit card issuers concealed fees of 1-3% which were added to the amounts of your foreign transactions. If the fees were not adequately disclosed to you, the plaintiffs claim, then numerous federal and state laws were violated. The defendants deny any wrongdoing.

    The exact dates of eligible transactions are February 1, 1996 to November 8, 2006. If you made a foreign transaction during that time with a U.S.-issued Visa, MasterCard or Diners Club card, you may benefit from the settlement. Translation: some or all of the transaction fees you paid may be refunded to you. Your other options are to exclude yourself from or to object to the settlement.

    For more information, go to the official website at You need to total the amount of your transactions by credit card account and by year. You do not submit your statements, but you should keep proof of your eligible transactions in case your claim is audited. You can order six of your old statements for free from some of the banks involved in the settlement. Deadline to file your claim is January 9, 2008.

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    Money mag had a piece on this in their March issue (page 20). The deadline to file a claim has been extended until May 30, 2008.

    There are 3 options for filing a claim, and the one you should choose depends on how much you used your credit card overseas and how much detail of card use you can provide. "Option 1" is quite easy, and you just get a flat refund of $25. If you have more detailed information you can provide and you travelled extensively overseas, you'll probably want to go with Option 2 or 3.

    My husband & I just submitted our claims at - Home and it was very easy.