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Add this to apps you should download.
I love handy travel apps and saving money, and this one really impressed me.
It’s a small app, about ~9MB, that lets you add all your credit cards. They’re all there. Seriously.
Then, you can select the country you’re in and how much you want to spend.
Mercez tells you the exchange rate on each card and highlights your best option.
I randomly selected a few cards: a Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and AMEX card. All of them have NO foreign transaction fees except the AMEX EveryDay Preferred, which has a 2.7% forex fee.
I entered in a country on the Euro, Belgium, and a random amount of 614 Euros to see what would come up.
All of the cards, to my surprise, had different exchange rates. Nothing earth-shattering, but you can save ~$22 by using the Chase Sapphire Preferred as opposed to the AMEX EveryDay Preferred (another win for Chase).
The app doesn’t seem to track the forex fees on the individual cards, which kinda sucks. It would be awesome if they could build that into the service at some point.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred even beat out the other 2 no forex fee cards, including the Barclaycard Arrival Plus by about $17. If you’re going out and eating out a lot in another country (which duh, you are), this could add up to save you some serious cash on your trips overseas.
Color me impressed!
It’s a free app so you have literally nothing to lose by downloading it. For now, you’ll just have to remember which of your cards do NOT have forex fees.
A quick poke around on their website shows they’re working on a couple of new features for the app (Swap for currency exchange and Lifeboat, presumably to track your options for returns/damaged goods overseas), so it’s very much a work in progress, which is really cool.
It’s nice to see some transparency brought into this area. I’ll definitely keep the app on my phone to compare options next time I travel internationally.
The only other thing to consider is category bonuses, as it might be worth spending an extra buck or two if you really want the points at restaurants, gas stations, etc.
Mercez is a cool little app that’ll help you save money overseas by telling you the best exchange rate based on the cards you have and the country you’re visiting.
They’re based in Atlanta, and seem to be working on a few more features to add to the app in the coming months. If you travel and have a smartphone, this is a great app to have.
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- Capital One Venture X Rewards - Earn 75,000 Venture miles plus a $300 annual statement credit for travel booked through Capital One
- Chase Ink Business Preferred - Earn 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months and 3X bonus points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
- Amex Blue Business Plus - Earn 15,000 Amex Membership Rewards points and 2X bonus points on up to $50,000 in spending per year with NO annual fee
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