Appeal TD Bank Currency Exchange Fees In 4 Easy Steps

Fight Bank Fees Appeal TD Bank Currency Exchange Fees In 4 Easy Steps

How to Waive TD Bank Currency Exchange Fees for Smoother Travels

Though most of us would expect that currency exchange rates are as simple as looking up the present exchange rate and charging a small amount extra for operating expenses, the reality is quite different. In 2013, the average cost of an international 12-night vacation was $3,251 per person, according to ValuePenguin.com. With a typical currency exchange fee of 3%, the traveler is looking at almost $100 extra in exchange fees; but you can read on to learn how to effectively eliminate TD Bank currency exchange fees for good.

What Are TD Bank's Currency Exchange Fees?

When you need to convert one currency for another, TD bank will charge 3% of the transaction amount. As explained in their fee schedule, this automatically happens upon any use of a TD Bank Debit Card or ATM Card outside the United States, or upon any goods and services or cash-advance transaction requiring foreign currency. Here's a comparison of foreign currency exchange fees at other banks (with regular personal checking accounts):

BankFee
Wells Fargo3% of the transaction
Bank of America3% of the transaction
Citigroup Inc.3% of the transaction)
Chase3% of trans. (free for active-duty military)

As you can see from the four most popular U.S. banks, 3% is a pretty standard transaction fee on foreign currency exchanges.

Why Does TD Bank Charge Currency Exchange Fees?

However out of hand exchange-rate dealings have gotten, there is a fundamental reason for the currency exchange fees: banks charge them to cover not only operating costs but the inevitable fluctuations in exchange rates that can happen at any given moment. It's essentially insurance for the banks to ensure that they won't lose money on currency exchanges. Ostensibly, they put these fees in place so that the customer does not have to wait an exorbitant amount of time every time they try to make a transaction abroad while the bank calculates the current exchange rates and decides what to charge.

Rather, banks charge (some customers) a consistent blanket fee to cover the daily adjustments that are common to foreign exchange transactions. They pass these fees on to customers and only tend to adjust or erase them as part of package deals on upgraded banking services or credit lines, which we will explain below.

TD Bank's Foreign Bank Draft Fees Explained

Beyond the 3% fees on transactions at foreign retailers, TD Bank has fees on foreign bank drafts its users should be aware of. From their fee schedule:

Foreign Bank DraftFee
Collections items$17.50 (+ correspondent fee)
Drafts ($250 and above)$25
Drafts (less than $250)$35
Foreign banknotes ($250 and above)$7.50
Foreign banknotes (less than $250)$17.50

The customer will almost unfailingly be made aware of these fees before being able to authorize a bank draft in a foreign country (except possibly when ordering foreign currency banknotes online from foreigncurrency.td.com, if they gloss over the fine print). For most currency exchanges (e.g., retail and ATM transactions), these won't apply. Do the math and decide if it is more cost-effective to perform a large bank draft and incur the one-time fee than to be charged 3% on every single retail and ATM transaction during your travels.

Keep a tight eye on your budget both before and during your journey to know at what point a large draft for a one-time fee becomes cheaper than many smaller transactions with no fee limits. In either case, for most people, this is a bit of a buzzkill when you're just trying to enjoy yourself; that's why we're here to show you how to simply make the fees obsolete.

Best Credit Cards for Avoiding Currency Exchange Fees in the First Place

To avoid currency exchange fees altogether (rather than incur, and then fight them), there are credit cards with "no foreign transaction fee" perks. Some of these cards are offered to those with hefty minimum deposits, annual fees, and impeccable credit scores, and they also often come bundled into broader travel rewards benefit packages. If that's you, it's definitely one of the better options as far as both credit lines and exchange fees go.

TD Bank offers only one card like this: TD First Class℠ Visa Signature® Credit Card. It has an $89 annual fee, but it can net you upwards of 25,000 free bonus miles if you spend a certain (somewhat high) amount within six months.

Though this is certainly a step up, there are other cards from other banks which offer zero foreign transaction fees as well as zero annual fees. Here are some of the most common ones (along with pros and cons):

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card
  1. Great rewards
  2. Easily earned sign-up bonus
  3. Uncomplicated
  • Few travel perks
  • Mild sign-up bonus
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
  1. 1.5x miles on all purchases
  2. Reliable cashback
  • Generic rewards categories
Discover it® Miles Travel Credit Card
  1. Double miles in 1st year
  2. Miles never expire
  3. Turn miles into cash
  • Low rewards for bigger spenders
  • Less international acceptance
USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card
  1. 1.5% cashback
  • High APR
  • No starting bonus
Ramp Visa Corporate Credit Card
  1. 1.5% cashback
  2. Redundancy spending protection
  • Only for businesses
  • No travel perks (except zero exchange fees)
Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card
  1. 1.5% BC back
  2. No cashout minimums
  • Limited state acceptance
  • No starting bonus
Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard®
  1. Great travel benefits
  2. Big starting bonus
  • Travel benefits only
PenFed Gold Visa® Card
  1. Low APR
  2. No cash advance fees
  • 750+ credit scores only

This is just a small number of the credit cards out there which eliminate currency exchange fees for no annual fee. Note also that all Capital One cards have zero currency exchange fees. Check with your preferred TD Bank alternatives to see if they offer a card with features similar to those above (or opt for the TD First Class℠ Visa Signature® Credit Card).

Will TD Bank Refund Fees for Currency Exchanges?

It is generally quite difficult for the average vacationer to convince TD Bank to waive their fees on foreign currency exchanges. Other than for active-duty military service members, large investors, and those who already have higher-tiered accounts at TD Bank, most people with basic personal accounts and credit lines end up either accepting the fees (and disappointment), or they expend time and energy on learning how to eliminate them on their own. However, it can be done painlessly, as you're about to see.

How to Get Refunds on Currency Exchange Fees Charged by TD Bank

Upgrade Your Account

Complaining about the fees, especially if your account is in good standing, may encourage the bank to upgrade your account. Most banks charge the full currency exchange fee on their basic personal checking accounts and have better deals for those with preferred, business, or otherwise upgraded accounts. See about the possibility of having your currency exchange rate fees dropped in exchange for signing up (and possibly paying) for a higher-level account. Consider also if you can find some way to justify getting a business account, to these ends.

Special Circumstances

Many banks also waive currency exchange fees for active-duty military members. If you or your family work for government services contractors or some similar travel-dependant government work, this also may influence the bank to waive currency exchange fees. In either case, it's because they know that exchanging currencies is more of a routine necessity for you, and such customers are likely to find – and prefer – one of the many methods to let you do that without penalty. Instead, they ensure that they are the ones in that position; they want to keep your business, after all.

What most of us can do in this light is demonstrate the likelihood of conducting more international business, and they will be more likely to not only help you make currency transaction fees a thing of the past but also drop those fees already incurred.

Offsetting the Fees With Rebates

Another method is to offset the fees with rebates. Though it doesn't outright erase the fees, it has a higher probability of success. Many have used the dissatisfaction over the fees as leverage to offset the loss with a rebate of some kind in exchange for enrolling in a service that the bank is promoting. This might open the door to more ongoing savings and benefits, though it requires a broadening of your goals – i.e., accepting the fees, but doing so to obtain a service of equal or higher value from the bank – such as an upgraded credit card with preferred rates, cashback rebates, and other perks. (See the cards listed above, for example.)

This is a common tactic employed by fee-masters in general, and it can be seen as a "win, win" situation. If that's good enough for you, it may lead the way to the elimination of currency exchange fees going forward.

Throwing Some (Financial) Weight Around

Beyond this, if you have sizable investment services with the bank, you'll be more likely to convince them that a few exchange fees are not worth your unhappiness because you might take your wealth elsewhere.

In any case, see what your branch will do for you by contacting your favorite TD Bank associate. It pays in general to develop good, friendly relationships with your preferred branch manager and staff – but if a certain level of white-glove service is lacking, don't hesitate to recruit some help!

Solve TD Bank Currency Exchange Fees With the Help of DoNotPay

Rolling up your sleeves and hacking away at every currency exchange fee quickly becomes an unpaid job. DoNotPay can help tackle all of this, and more, by automating the process of waiving TD Bank currency exchange fees.

You can always file an appeal to the bank yourself to stop letting banks charge you excessive fines and fees, but you can get them waived automatically with DoNotPay. Simply sign up, submit all pertinent information and let the world's first "robot lawyer" make the best case for your specific situation.

Here's how you can use DoNotPay to appeal fees:

  1. Search "appeal fees" on DoNotPay, choose the Fight and Waive Fees product, and select the type of fee you want to appeal.

     

  2. Select the merchant you want to appeal fees for and enter the details of your transaction, including an associated account if you have one.

     

  3. Submit your case! DoNotPay will generate the best argument for your case and make sure your fee waiver request gets sent to the merchant for processing.

     

What Other Types of Bank Fees Can I Get Refunded With DoNotPay?

DoNotPay can stop all kinds of bank fees – not just foreign exchange fees. Successfully countering international, ATM, wiring, overdraft fees, and more are all possible for a quarterly $36 subscription. You can even have DoNotPay automatically appeal bank fees for you every month – and that goes for all banks and credit cards. We go toe-to-toe with all banks and financial institutions on behalf of customers who don't have the time and knowledge to wade through it all. See also:

Banks have been getting undue, preferential treatment since before almost any of us were born – but we've amassed the resources and knowledge necessary to take back the advantage and streamline the process as well. DoNotPay can help you with bank fees, vendor fees, and so much more. Contact us or visit our homepage to learn more.

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