Meerkats at the Metro Toronto ZooAs expected, CitiBank hit me on my latest statement with some Foreign Transaction Fees we unknowingly incurred while we were on vacation earlier this month.

On my last statement, they charged me $5 for one Canadian transaction that I made online to buy some CFL football tickets.

Naturally, though I’d made the initial purchase weeks in advance, they didn’t display that additional fee on my “latest transactions” until after I’d already made 6 more purchases while in Canada. Gee, thanks…

You see, the Metro Toronto Zoo was a pretty good deal and I enjoyed the meerkats, but had I known that it was costing me an additional $5 each time I pulled out my Citi MasterCard, I probably would have kept it in my pocket.

So on this latest statement that came out this morning, I was kind of expecting $30 in foreign transactions fees, you know, $5 multiplied by 6. That would make sense…

But I was incorrect.

The foreign transaction fee listed on my latest statement is $31.33.

No explanation of where that number comes from. It doesn’t even divide evenly?! Just some arbitrary number apparently…

I’m not going to call them on it. I’m just moving on and chalking it up as a learning experience: I won’t be using their card in Canada ever again.

Adding insult to injury, the transaction fee didn’t even get me reward points.


  1. Citi charges 3% of the transaaction amount (after converted to USD) for charges made in a foreign currency -whther merchant is in the US or not.

    so 1. the convert using exchange rate
    then 2. they add 3% to that converted amount

  2. That’s what my mother suggested was the cause as well, but it doesn’t work out.

    For $175 worth of football tickets last month, they hit me with a $5 fee, but for charging well over $1.5k for hotel rooms and attrations and things, they only nailed me for $31 in transaction fees.

    By percentage — if they calculated it that way — the foreign transaction fee would have been a lot higher.

    Once the paper statement arrives, I’ll check for details in the fine print.

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