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Old 04-15-2010, 03:31 PM   #1
summon
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Avoiding exchange rate fees? (Buying books outside US)

Hi,

I am currently living in the US but I'm moving permanently back to Europe soon. I wonder how I can keep purchasing books for the US price there. I know that I can just use a US adress and do so, but each time I pay a book in the US store, there would be a exchange rate fee due to my German credit card.
Even if I kept my US debit card, I need to fill up the checking account constantly, which also incurs a fee.

So how can I do it without the fees? Can I maybe purchase Gift Cards on the German Amazon.de and use it on Amazon.com?

Thanks!
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Old 04-17-2010, 09:14 AM   #2
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I don't know about Amazon Germany, but the gift cards from Amazon Japan aren't transferrable to Amazon US, nor vice-versa. I just suck it up and purchase Amazon US gift cards in e.g. $200 blocks with my Japanese credit card, incurring the exchange fees only once. Then I just buy all my Kindle books with those points.

Another idea might be to find someone in the US (a German expat?) who wants Amazon.de credit, and do periodic gift-card exchanges?
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Old 04-18-2010, 01:42 PM   #3
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Sorry I don't see how you can get away from paying an exchange rate fee unless your are paid in USD's. Even then you would be charged an exchange rate in Europe. That is how bank's make their money. They charge you in either direction.

I agree with the other poster. Keep a USA account open with a debit or credit card access. Keep a balance in the account and pay using that resource.

Then keep an eye on the exchange rate and transfer $$ into the account when the USD is low or basically when you have a good exchange rate.

That's what we do when we go to the UK from Canada.

Added statement:
But beware there may be an additional fee to transfer the $$ overseas from your European acct to the USA acct and then still get charged the exchange rate on top of that.

As stated before - either way there will be a fee.

Last edited by jlg432; 04-18-2010 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 04-18-2010, 02:03 PM   #4
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I'd be prepared to open a US account of some sort or a US credit/debit card primarily for Amazon e-book purchases. Can I do that legitimately from Toronto, Canada?
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Old 04-18-2010, 02:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlg432 View Post
Keep a USA account open with a debit or credit card access. Keep a balance in the account and pay using that resource ...

But beware there may be an additional fee to transfer the $$ overseas from your European acct to the USA acct and then still get charged the exchange rate on top of that.... either way there will be a fee.
Yes, that's absolutely right. Transferring funds from a European country to the US, or vice versa, is expensive, however you do it. Both banks will charge a fee, and they'll add a loading to the exchange rate as well.

The simplest solution is to use a European debit card to buy gift vouchers from Amazon.Com (not Amazon.de or uk), then pay that voucher into your Amazon.com account, and use it to purchase the books.

Contrary to what some poeple here have said, you can use non-US money to buy dollar gift vouchers. Your bank will charge you a fee, but it's probably a flat rate per transaction, in which case it pays to buy a fairly large voucher and to use it over a period to make smaller purchases.
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Old 04-19-2010, 02:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SensualPoet View Post
I'd be prepared to open a US account of some sort or a US credit/debit card primarily for Amazon e-book purchases. Can I do that legitimately from Toronto, Canada?
With how our dollar is doing, you're honestly worried about the exchange rate? Gosh, a few days ago we were ahead of the game, and we will be again.... ;')
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