How to Get a Refund on Citizens Bank Foreign Transaction Fees

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Get a Refund on Citizens Bank Foreign Transaction Fees

When traveling abroad, many people are aware that they will be charged a fee if they use their Citizens Bank debit card at an ATM. However, many are surprised to discover that Citizens Bank changes fees if customers pay for foreign purchases with their debit card by swiping, inserting the chip, or even paying via Apple or Google Play. While these charges can often be refunded, doing so is a process that can result in legal research and taking the time to plead your case to bank officials either in writing, in person, or on the phone. DoNotPay's Fight Bank Fees product can help you easily appeal hidden bank fees and request a refund.

What Is a Foreign Transaction Fee?

A foreign transaction fee is a fee you pay when you use your debit card (either through ATM, in-person, or electronic purchases) while of the U.S. The 3 percent fee is actually made up of two separate charges:

  1. A 1 percent network foreign transaction fee is charged for any transaction, purchase, or withdrawal made outside the U.S. or U.S. territories.
  2. A 2 percent foreign transaction fee that Citizens Bank charges during nightly batch processing for all international purchases or withdrawals.

Why Do Banks Charge Foreign Transaction Fees?

Originally, the foreign transaction fee was intended to help financial institutions to defray the costs associated with processing and settling foreign transactions. While the modernized global banking system has removed many of the pain points involved in foreign transactions in recent times, many banks still charge these fees to their customers.

While a 3 percent fee on every foreign purchase may not seem like much at first blush, the charge is added with every transaction you make and can result in hundreds of dollars in unexpected expenses. Despite this risk, customers are generally assured by their bankers that the safest way to spend is actually with an electronic payment card such as a debit card because it is less risky than carrying cash if it is stolen. If your credit card is stolen, you are not responsible for the purchases that the individual who stole the card made with it.

Does Citizens Bank Charge a Foreign Transaction Fee?

Yes, Citizens Bank charges the 3 percent foreign transaction fee, which includes both the network foreign transaction fee and the bank foreign transaction fee. They note these activities on customer banking records by showing both a transaction for the purchase or withdrawal amount, as well as a separate transaction for the foreign transaction fee. It should be noted that these fees are separate from the ATM transaction fee that the customer will incur for using an ATM outside the U.S.

How to Request a Refund of a Citizens Bank Foreign Transaction Fee

Bank customers are usually not aware of the legal protections they have against unfair bank fees. With a bit of research and a carefully prepared argument, you can request a refund of Citizens Bank foreign transaction fees through several actions, including:

  • reaching out to a chat specialist on the bank's website to discuss the fee.
  • making an in-person visit to your local Citizens Bank branch.
  • calling the bank's customer service department any time of the day or night at 1-800-922-9999.

Bear in mind that you will need to not only be prepared to discuss a valid reason why you should not have to pay the fee, but you will also need to provide information about the laws that protect you from such fees.

Can DoNotPay Help with Foreign Transaction Fees?

DoNotPay's Fight Bank Fees product allows you the ability to appeal hidden bank fees and request a refund or waiver of the fee through a few simple steps. DoNotPay’s tool works with any type of fee, including foreign transaction fees, ATM fees, overdraft fees, and other types of transaction fees that banks charge their customers -- often without the customer agreeing to or understanding that they were going to be charged. Even better: DoNotPay’s tool works for any bank and for customers in any state.

How to Request a Foreign Transaction Fee from Citizens Bank Through DoNotPay

DoNotPay can appeal your foreign transaction fee and request a refund from Citizens Bank on your behalf. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Open the DoNotPay Fight Bank Fees product.

  2. Enter the name of your bank.

  3. Verify the last 4 digits of your bank account.

  4. Choose which fees you want to waive, including overdraft, ATM, and transaction fees.

And that's it. DoNotPay will send the legal appeal letter on your behalf to your bank, so your fees get refunded. If your bank has any further comments, they'll reach out to you directly. Sign up to DoNotPay today to learn even more about the ways they can help you!

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