Online shopping: when NOT to pay by credit card

This is a follow-up to my earlier post on budget airlines and credit card fees. Many online shopping websites charge extra credit card fees, even those primarily based in Singapore. And for payment in foreign currencies, there are conversion and bank charges.

For example, Groupon (Singapore website and company) processes their payment overseas, so an additional Dynamic Currency Conversion fee is charged when a credit card is used for payment.

So here are the alternative payment options which DO NOT incur an extra charge:

  • Groupon (Singapore): Use your Paypal balance to pay. Note that it must be the Paypal balance (money stored in the Paypal account) to avoid additional fees. For Singapore users, withdrawal of >SGD 200 from Paypal balance is free, so just top-up your balance to >SGD 200 before you withdraw your balance.
  • Bodyline: Use your Paypal balance to pay. Before you pay, look at the total in JPY first. Then log in to Paypal and convert your balance to get the exact amount of JPY you need. Then use the JPY Paypal balance to pay. This gives a better rate than converting the balance during payment.
  • Taobao: eNETS gives the best exchange rate, and costs only SGD 1 per transaction. Consolidate your orders and pay together in 1 transaction. For multiple small transactions (e.g. shipping fee for consolidated shipping), get the Alipay card from AXS machines. Note that the Alipay card has a better exchange rate for higher amounts.

1 thought on “Online shopping: when NOT to pay by credit card

  1. Pingback: Going cashless: a case of keeping up with the Jiangs? | Mad Science Laboratory

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