I am thinking about applying for my first credit card, but I do not understand the meanings of the various transaction fees. There are several items listed as transaction fees:

  • Balance Transfer
  • Convenience Check Advance
  • Cash Advance
  • Cash Equivalent Fee
  • Foreign Fee

My questions are:

  1. Will I be charged each of these fees in addition to the amount of money that I actually spend?
  2. Under what conditions will each of these fees be charged?

1 Answer 1


All the fees are added to the amount you actually spend, but they only occur when you do these kind of transactions. They do not happen for any other reason.

  1. Balance Transfer

If you transfer a balance from another credit card this fee is added to your balance. Since this is your first credit card you don't have to transfer any balance.

  1. Convenience Check Advance

This site says that this is a special type of check, linked to your credit card account, not to your checking account. If you write this type of check to a merchant the additional fees will apply.

  1. Cash Advance

If you use your credit card at an ATM this fee will be applied on top of the money you withdraw. Usually it is a percentage of the amount you withdraw.

  1. Cash Equivalent Fee

According to this site, a cash equivalent is something like casino chips which can be easily converted back into money without any loss.

  1. Foreign Fee.

If you use your credit card in a different currency, for example Euro but your credit cards currency is Dollar. Usually a percentage of the amount (~3-5%). If you withdraw money from a foreign currency ATM they add usually a fixed amount plus a percentage or any combination of this.

  • So it seems if I use the card to do regular shopping in the store or online, there will be no those fees because they are no applied to regular shopping. Am I right? May 20, 2016 at 21:40
  • 1
    Depends on what you call regular shopping. Some gas stations, Arco for example, have different prices for cash and credit cards. I would consider them as fees as well but you clearly see them in the sum of your receipt and also before you even fill up your tank. In general, yes: If you buy only goods, don't get cash/write checks then you should be one the safe side.
    – Freddy
    May 20, 2016 at 21:59
  • @Freddy really? It's illegal in Canada to change the price based on the method of payment May 21, 2016 at 15:19
  • Not Arco, but see this picture 4.bp.blogspot.com/-XyhhSycFu8A/UUf9XLp2VHI/AAAAAAAAHz4/…
    – Freddy
    May 21, 2016 at 16:02

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