Australian (ASX) Stock Market Forum

Cashless society

I wasn't going to share my story, but I just had a conversation with a good customer that had a similar experience.

Under pressure from the ministry of finance, Qantas is offering large incentives to join up to one of their credit card partners. After researching all the business cards, it came down to two, our existing bank but with smaller benefits for the amount we spend, or Amex with much larger points bonus and other benefits. Signed up for Amex with an approved $30,000 p/m spend, got the card and was told that there is no limit on it. the following day went to pay a $22,000 bill but was declined.

Now we get to the point of where I started to get angry because of the waste of time and the pointless circles I had to go through. First, I logged in online, no luck there, then I called them only to be caught in an endless circle because none of the recorded options met my issue (much later I found out how to get a real person, it is not easy and requires listening to all the options in three categories). Onto the app and chat section, and after several back-and-forth conversations by text I'm told they can't help and I need to speak to someone, to which I explain the issue I have of trying to talk to a real person, so they give me a different number to call.

Another phone call and I finally get someone and find out that my limit is $10,000 and I need to prove my spending over the next 1 to 3 months before they adjust the spending limit. I ask, "what happened to the unlimited spend amount I was told about before, during and after the sign-up process?" Anyway, to cut a long story short, I want to transfer the funds across so that I can pay the bill and get the points. I am told it can be done online. Yeah sure, after more time wasted checking and re-checking, I find that it is not possible. Another call, and I'm told because I'm new it must be done over the phone.

Money transferred, now I have to wait "up to 72 hours". Happily, I found it in my account the next day, I pay the bill and get confirmation that it has gone through. 30 minutes later I get a phone call from Amex informing me that as a new client I have to do a once off and prove my BSB details match what they have on record, go online fill out a form and send a screen shot of my bank statement. I am flabbergasted, I need to give more proof to allow the funds that i put in the day before to be able to spend it, once only.

Off I go, online do all that is necessary. it is done but i have no confirmation that it is successful and no response telling me when and if I will receive confirmation of success or failure. I have 6 days to pay the bill, which should be enough, but if I'm late they hit me with a fee. I call Amex again, can't get through because of the recorded messages are not correct for me (I still haven't found the way to get to a real person). I try the app chat, only to be told that they can't help. I get back on the phone and finally work out that I need to listen to all the directory messages and wait after the last one, which takes me to another directory of messages that I must listen to all of and wait again, and then I get to wait for a person.

I am told that because I've just completed the form, they are unable to see it, I first explain how dumb their system is for a business where time is money, and then about the chanced of me having to pay interest/fee on a late payment if I've incorrectly filled out the form, and I need to know. the representative says hold and I'll go further, after a considerable time on hold he comes back and says that it is all good.

This experience has been beyond stupid. I hope that it is smooth sailing from here on out.

And why did I decide to post this? A customer of mine is traveling to the US in a week or two, he and his partner went to transfer money from their account for US currency in a specific travel account. They couldn't do it; the service would not accept their Bendigo bank or another which I can't remember. They had to travel to their bank, which is 1 and half hours away, to get the money and then back to finish the transaction.

Yes, there are benefits to a cashless system, but there is also time wasting and frustration, especially when it comes to trying to access your own money held in financial institutions. Yet hackers and fraudsters find it a fairly easy system to hack.
Just a note for those who are Travelling such as your friend, don’t fall into the trap of using a Travel money card. Even though these are often marketed as being low fee or zero fee, they are actually just as bad as exchanging cash with a cash currency exchange booth. You end up paying a hidden 6% fee.

It’s best to just use your regular credit card and accept the 3% fee or even better use a credit card that gives you the free international transactions such as the Coles awards card or CBA Ultimate card. That way you get the actual whole sale exchange rate and not a dodgy exchange rate

———————

I once spoke to a lady from one of the Travel Card companies who swore blind her card was Zero fee and that there was no hidden fee even though I told her I had done the Math.

So,

I said - “if I put $100 Australian dollars into USA dollars on the card how much do I get”

She said - “$62 USA dollars”

I said - “Now if I transfer that $62 USD back to Australian how much Australian do I get”

She said - “$88 Australian”

I Said - “where did the other $12 go”

She went quite and then finally said I guess they have to make money some where, I agreed that they had to make money, but when advertising zero fee it was misleading, especially when people are trying to work out whether to pay 3% on their regular credit card or use a travel card, and end up pay 6%-8% hidden fees while trying to avoid the up front 3%.
 
True but they were also underwritten by the Govt guarantee, they were a great pick up at $15 post GFC. :xyxthumbs
Plus they don't have to real with the stigma, "oh they are terrible for lending money to people who lied about what they could afford to borrow a couple of years later", then "oh they are terrible for not lending money to people who can't afford it". Now "oh it's terrible interest rates have gone up and people are struggling to pay their loans".?
I am not sure about that, the guarantee doesn’t protect the majority of Macquarie’s high margin businesses.
 
Just a note for those who are Travelling such as your friend, don’t fall into the trap of using a Travel money card. Even though these are often marketed as being low fee or zero fee, they are actually just as bad as exchanging cash with a cash currency exchange booth. You end up paying a hidden 6% fee.

It’s best to just use your regular credit card and accept the 3% fee or even better use a credit card that gives you the free international transactions such as the Coles awards card or CBA Ultimate card. That way you get the actual whole sale exchange rate and not a dodgy exchange rate

———————

I once spoke to a lady from one of the Travel Card companies who swore blind her card was Zero fee and that there was no hidden fee even though I told her I had done the Math.

So,

I said - “if I put $100 Australian dollars into USA dollars on the card how much do I get”

She said - “$62 USA dollars”

I said - “Now if I transfer that $62 USD back to Australian how much Australian do I get”

She said - “$88 Australian”

I Said - “where did the other $12 go”

She went quite and then finally said I guess they have to make money some where, I agreed that they had to make money, but when advertising zero fee it was misleading, especially when people are trying to work out whether to pay 3% on their regular credit card or use a travel card, and end up pay 6%-8% hidden fees while trying to avoid the up front 3%.
Citibank used to be good for our overseas trip money esp in Europe. However it had close this type of account n we are in the process of either selling the stock now or seeking another bank that have this type of services.
Have overseas stock that paid Div in Euros n had been depositing into that acc for holiday euros spending.
Will investigate CBA ultimate card.
 
Just a note for those who are Travelling such as your friend, don’t fall into the trap of using a Travel money card. Even though these are often marketed as being low fee or zero fee, they are actually just as bad as exchanging cash with a cash currency exchange booth. You end up paying a hidden 6% fee.

It’s best to just use your regular credit card and accept the 3% fee or even better use a credit card that gives you the free international transactions such as the Coles awards card or CBA Ultimate card. That way you get the actual whole sale exchange rate and not a dodgy exchange rate

———————

I once spoke to a lady from one of the Travel Card companies who swore blind her card was Zero fee and that there was no hidden fee even though I told her I had done the Math.

So,

I said - “if I put $100 Australian dollars into USA dollars on the card how much do I get”

She said - “$62 USA dollars”

I said - “Now if I transfer that $62 USD back to Australian how much Australian do I get”

She said - “$88 Australian”

I Said - “where did the other $12 go”

She went quite and then finally said I guess they have to make money some where, I agreed that they had to make money, but when advertising zero fee it was misleading, especially when people are trying to work out whether to pay 3% on their regular credit card or use a travel card, and end up pay 6%-8% hidden fees while trying to avoid the up front 3%.
I had discovered that too with Travel card at shopping centre. While the bank Travel card will charge a withdrawal fee, had to becareful on how many tap tap in retail shopping n dinning.
 
Just a snap shot of our massively profitable Banks, IMO if they weren't paying a decent dividend, no one would buy their shares.
Check out Macquarie share price history compared to some of our local retail banks, it kind of shows what the shareholder think of who has the most upside IMO.


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I can't understand why Macquarie doesn't want to get into the retail banking sector, they must be getting vertigo doing what they are doing. ? ? ?


they 'dabble' they have a small amount of residential mortgages ( about 1% last i saw several years back ) they do offer 'high interest rate ' savings account but with hardly any branches they don't have a huge market penetration

i assume that they dodge a huge amount of regulation ( in Australia ) by staying a minnow in retail banking , besides when you are as complex as MQG Aussie retail margins are probably unimportant compared say hedging contracts for cash-strapped miners

the flip-side is MQG is less liable to be bailed-out by the Federal Government if needed , so don't forget your risk premium
 
I had discovered that too with Travel card at shopping centre. While the bank Travel card will charge a withdrawal fee, had to becareful on how many tap tap in retail shopping n dinning.
I travel quite a bit, I have realised it’s best just to use my everyday credit card, it has 0% international transaction fees, and the currency conversion is at the wholesale rate.

Even if your everyday credit card charges you 3% international transaction fee, it’s better to take that hit and get the wholesale rate on the conversion.

———————
Also, some international websites, eftpos machines and ATM’s offer to convert the price to Australian dollars for you, this is a trap, the conversion rate they give you has a huge profit margin in it for them, again it’s best just to do it in the foreign currency and take the 3% hit on your credit card, or as I said get a credit card that offers free international conversion.
 
Citibank used to be good for our overseas trip money esp in Europe. However it had close this type of account n we are in the process of either selling the stock now or seeking another bank that have this type of services.
Have overseas stock that paid Div in Euros n had been depositing into that acc for holiday euros spending.
Will investigate CBA ultimate card.
CBA ultimate card is great, only catch is you have to spend $2500 per month or you get a $35 monthly fee. (If you spend more than $2500 / month the card is free)

Coles Awards credit card is next best, it has a $90 per year fee, but if you spend more than $3000 per year internationally you get that $90 back in savings.

———————

Also, by using the credit card instead of a travel money card, you get three benefits.

1. Lower or even zero fees.

2. You keep your cash earning interest longer, until you credit card payment is due.

3. You can earn points, which depending how you use them can be worth up to 3% of your spend.
 
True but they were also underwritten by the Govt guarantee, they were a great pick up at $15 post GFC. :xyxthumbs
Plus they don't have to real with the stigma, "oh they are terrible for lending money to people who lied about what they could afford to borrow a couple of years later", then "oh they are terrible for not lending money to people who can't afford it". Now "oh it's terrible interest rates have gone up and people are struggling to pay their loans".?
picked mine up in 2011 'averaging down 'as they slid to $20 a share , my av. for the ( consolidated ) shares is $26.76 ( calculated ONLY on buying prices ) i have since taken plenty of profit out of that holding since , but still hold some
 
I have an HSBC Global multi currency account in which you can exchange and hold various currencies at competitive rates (*very competitive for large amounts)

It has worked very well when moving countries so should be pretty good for traveling. FWIW
 
I have an HSBC Global multi currency account in which you can exchange and hold various currencies at competitive rates (*very competitive for large amounts)

It has worked very well when moving countries so should be pretty good for traveling. FWIW
Yes, aren't they are also removing this service too?
 
Well JohnDe if it was me in your shoes the explosion of frrustration would have been heard over at your side of the country. Fools, idiots and incompetence I do not tolerate in any shape or form.
Though I am glad to see that you prevailed and finally got an answer, but wow what a saga.

Another customer, another story.

Lets call him Matt. Matt is in his late 40's, he purchased a 6-year-old Subaru from a woman of similar age. they got on very well and found a mutual trust, a deposit was paid and then Matt organised the transfer of funds from his bank to hers. With document of transfer witnessed and the usual 24-hour processing period, the owner let matt take the car on trust.

Matt said that he had not heard from the previous owner over the following two days and thought all was well with the transfer. On the third day he received a message informing him that she had not received the funds.

Matt called the bank and was put on the usual hold, and text the previous owner to inform her what he was doing.

A bank representative in another country told Matt that the funds had been locked because it had been flagged as suspicious by the fraud group. Matt asked why he was not notified, the answer "usually you should have received a phone call". No, Matt had received no notification through phone, text or email. Matt asked for the funds to be released, he was refused. First, he would have to fill out an online form giving reason for the transfer, once approved the funds would be release, this will take 72 hours.

Matt, not a happy chap, insisted that his money needed to be released now because he had purchased a car and the previous owner was waiting for the money to make her own purchase. Finally, after a lot of talking he was transferred to bank representative based in Australia, re-explaining the situation the money was instantly released. He asked what would have happened if he did not contact the bank? The money would be held until you made contact with us.

Matt said, and I agree, it is great to have security measures in place and use caution but there needs to be better follow up involved. Notification should have been established as soon as his money was seized and put on hold, if they could not contact him, they should have kept trying until they did.
 
Just a note for those who are Travelling such as your friend, don’t fall into the trap of using a Travel money card. Even though these are often marketed as being low fee or zero fee, they are actually just as bad as exchanging cash with a cash currency exchange booth. You end up paying a hidden 6% fee.

It’s best to just use your regular credit card and accept the 3% fee or even better use a credit card that gives you the free international transactions such as the Coles awards card or CBA Ultimate card. That way you get the actual whole sale exchange rate and not a dodgy exchange rate

———————

I once spoke to a lady from one of the Travel Card companies who swore blind her card was Zero fee and that there was no hidden fee even though I told her I had done the Math.

So,

I said - “if I put $100 Australian dollars into USA dollars on the card how much do I get”

She said - “$62 USA dollars”

I said - “Now if I transfer that $62 USD back to Australian how much Australian do I get”

She said - “$88 Australian”

I Said - “where did the other $12 go”

She went quite and then finally said I guess they have to make money some where, I agreed that they had to make money, but when advertising zero fee it was misleading, especially when people are trying to work out whether to pay 3% on their regular credit card or use a travel card, and end up pay 6%-8% hidden fees while trying to avoid the up front 3%.

The example I gave came from someone traveling to the US for a business purpose, the money transfer set up for the purchase of goods for his business. No travel money card.
 
Another customer, another story.

Lets call him Matt. Matt is in his late 40's, he purchased a 6-year-old Subaru from a woman of similar age. they got on very well and found a mutual trust, a deposit was paid and then Matt organised the transfer of funds from his bank to hers. With document of transfer witnessed and the usual 24-hour processing period, the owner let matt take the car on trust.

Matt said that he had not heard from the previous owner over the following two days and thought all was well with the transfer. On the third day he received a message informing him that she had not received the funds.

Matt called the bank and was put on the usual hold, and text the previous owner to inform her what he was doing.

A bank representative in another country told Matt that the funds had been locked because it had been flagged as suspicious by the fraud group. Matt asked why he was not notified, the answer "usually you should have received a phone call". No, Matt had received no notification through phone, text or email. Matt asked for the funds to be released, he was refused. First, he would have to fill out an online form giving reason for the transfer, once approved the funds would be release, this will take 72 hours.

Matt, not a happy chap, insisted that his money needed to be released now because he had purchased a car and the previous owner was waiting for the money to make her own purchase. Finally, after a lot of talking he was transferred to bank representative based in Australia, re-explaining the situation the money was instantly released. He asked what would have happened if he did not contact the bank? The money would be held until you made contact with us.

Matt said, and I agree, it is great to have security measures in place and use caution but there needs to be better follow up involved. Notification should have been established as soon as his money was seized and put on hold, if they could not contact him, they should have kept trying until they did.
Just bought another truck recently.
Asked the owner how do you want to be paid EFT or cheaue.
The later he said. I'll just take the cheque to the bank and there will be no problems.
After reading these two horror stories i am glad he went with the cheque.
Had it cleared the same morning and I drove off with the truck.
Two happy chappies.
 
Daughter just back from US... she used a debit card; said for services, tipping was inbuilt, and given the options of 18%, 20% or 22 per cent.

Also employees are so old; flight attendants in their 60s, at hotel and food outlets some into their eighties
Essentially a GST that the server *may directly get. I'm skeptical however, probably gets shared out evenly (or some portion thereof).
 
Daughter just back from US... she used a debit card; said for services, tipping was inbuilt, and given the options of 18%, 20% or 22 per cent.

Also employees are so old; flight attendants in their 60s, at hotel and food outlets some into their eighties

The worst aspect of tipping in the USA is that it has turned from a payment for good service to a service wage top up that is paid regardless of the service.

The US would be better served to have a higher minimum wage and allow tipping to go back to its original intended purpose.
 
The worst aspect of tipping in the USA is that it has turned from a payment for good service to a service wage top up that is paid regardless of the service.

The US would be better served to have a higher minimum wage and allow tipping to go back to its original intended purpose.
Agreed, last time I was there, service was pretty ordinary overall.
 
Daughter just back from US... she used a debit card; said for services, tipping was inbuilt, and given the options of 18%, 20% or 22 per cent.

Also employees are so old; flight attendants in their 60s, at hotel and food outlets some into their eighties
Just go to show when we need money to survive, we will have to work regardless of age. Unlike some people living in this Great country loves to sponge the centre link for money.
 
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