Cliff logged on to his U.S. internet connection to use his U.S. credit card to buy airline tickets on Aer Lingus in U.S. dollars, a transaction he assumed wouldn’t incur a foreign transaction fee. Nope! Citibank slapped a 3% fee on the $2,600 purchase, something Cliff feels the airline should have warned him about.
One would think that when you book a flight with an international airline from a US IP address and pay in dollars, they would execute the credit card transaction in the US. However, that is not necessarily the case. I charged four tickets on Aer Lingus to my Citibank credit card for a total of around $2600 and just saw on my statement that Citibank charged a 3 percent foreign transaction fee on that entire amount—even though I booked from the US on aerlingus.com and paid in dollars. Those still traveling in this economy should seriously consider booking through one of the online travel agencies instead directly with a foreign airline to avoid this unexpected charge.
Call Citibank and tell them you don’t want to pay a foreign transaction fee for an ostensibly domestic purchase. As a courtesy, they should be able to waive the fee.