Buying Things In Puerto Rico Is Apparently "International" Commerce

So, Puerto Rico is a self-governing unincorporated territory of the United States. Its head of state is Barack Obama. Its currency is the US Dollar. So why is one of Chris Elliott’s readers being charged an international transaction fee on her Visa?

The reader said:

I have paid such fees in the past when I have used my Visa card in many countries I have visited and understand that it is warranted in those cases because there are different currencies that have to be converted.

However, in Puerto Rico, there is no other currency but the U.S. dollar. I contacted State Farm Bank and pointed this out to them, as well as the fact that I did not have to use a passport to travel to Puerto Rico nor go through international flight immigration and customs there or on the return.

They insisted that Puerto Rico is international travel, and would not remove the $16 fees in international transaction fees.

He suggested she dispute the fee, and she did. Then the bank responded by waiving the fee, but confirming that “Puerto Rico is still considered a Latin America country as it pertains to currency conversion,” and that the fees were valid.

We’ve never been to Puerto Rico, but Wikipedia says they use the US Dollar, and that seems to be an error that would get noticed. We are confused.

Has this happened to anyone else?

Credit card charges gone wild: “international transaction fee” added to Puerto Rico purchase [Elliott] (Thanks to everyone who sent this in!)