Standard Bank customers have reported spotting a new fee on their credit card statements in recent months.
The line item on their statements is listed as “Intl. Trans Fee”, and is linked to payments made in US dollars or to international companies.
A MyBroadband reader who shared his credit card statements for 2018 with us said that he only recently noticed the fee, and went back to look when is started being charged to his account.
After checking, he saw the fees started in April and May 2018.
The user has an Amazon Prime and Netflix subscription, priced in US dollars, and also recently signed up for Apple Music – in rand, but paid to Apple.
In April, the user said he was charged an Intl. Trans Fee of R3.06 for a purchase of $9.19 from Amazon for an ebook. His Amazon Prime and Netflix subscriptions did not incur a linked charge, however.
In May, though, his Amazon Prime membership of $12.99 incurred an Intl. Trans Fee of R4.44, while his Netflix subscription of $11.99 incurred an Intl. Trans Fee of R4.18.
These fees continue from May until his most recent bill, August 2018.
During this time, the user also signed up for Apple Music at R59.99 per month. The subscription has had a linked Intl. Trans Fee, which was R1.65 in August.
Multiple MyBroadband readers stated that they, too, only noticed these charges in recent months.
According to Standard Bank’s credit card pricing document, the bank charges an international transaction fee to users.
The fee is 2.75% of the rand value of the transaction.
“An international transaction fee of 2.75% will be billed as part of the transaction amount for any purchases and cash withdrawals done at merchants/stores/service providers located outside of South Africa,” states the bank’s website.
Update – Standard Bank comment
Standard Bank responded to requests for comment following the publication of this article.
Standard Bank has always charged a fee for international transactions, which was previously known as the Currency Conversion Fee, and is charged at a rate of 2.5% or 2.75%, dependent on card type, of the transaction amount.
Cardholder communication has been sent throughout the year and is included in the 2018 Pricing Guide.
The International Transaction Fee is charged in cases where the merchants/stores/service providers are located and/or acquired in geographies outside of South Africa.
In the past, the fee amount used to be included as part of the transaction amount that would reflect on the statement of the account. Now the International Transaction Fee is split out of the transaction amount to ensure ease of reconciliation and transparency for our cardholders.