Visa has launched a new currency conversion website designed to help cardholders prepare for international travel.
The service is the only site that approximates the rate that cardholders will receive when using their Visa card internationally. This is different from other online currency conversion tools which are typically based on commercial foreign exchange market rates unavailable to the average consumer.
"Consumers trust Visa when they travel internationally -- carry your Visa card and your passport and you are good to go," said John Elkins, EVP, Global Brand and Marketing. "Knowing Visa's competitive rates, consumers can be even more confident all their travel needs are being met."
Visa is committed to providing cardholders with a safe, convenient and cost-effective way to pay when traveling internationally. For seven consecutive years, the World Travel Awards, the prestigious awards ceremony that acknowledges significant achievements in all areas of the travel and tourism industry, has named Visa the "World's Leading Credit Card."
The new Visa website also provides useful travel and security tips, explains Visa's policy on international transactions and allows users to print out a helpful currency "calculator" that includes the appropriate Global Customer Assistance Center hotline to assist cardholders when traveling internationally in the event of having a lost or stolen card.
To get the most accurate information, users will also need to know the optional issuer mark-ups that some banks assess on international transactions. If cardholders do not know if any mark-ups are assessed, they should contact their issuing bank directly. Issuing banks determine the cardholder pricing structure. Some banks charge mark-ups for cross-border transactions; some impose no mark-ups. If cardholders frequently travel internationally these mark-ups should be one of the factors that they consider when selecting the Visa card that best suits their needs, just as they compare annual fees, interest rates, and rewards programs. Visa cardholders receive, through their issuer, an effective foreign exchange rate that is typically better than converting cash at a local currency dealer.