Canadian Credit cards in U.S. restaurants

Spring 2016 CSANews Issue 98  |   Posted date : Jul 15, 2016.Back to list

Bird talk - Le Jaseur
We recently used our Canadian credit card to pay for a meal in a U.S. restaurant. The total was $22.15 before tip, so I left a $4 tip for a total of $26.15. I noticed a few days later that my credit card was charged $ 53.15 Canadian...I know our dollar is low, but not that low....I inquired and it seems the restaurant charged me US$38.15…so a $16 tip on a $22 bill. I contacted the manager and he advised me that his server made a mistake. It seems that they only do up the actual final credit card charges later in the day and he applied this $16 tip to the wrong card. I'm not convinced of this and I told him so...he did refund me the overcharge. This does not occur in Canada, as we have chip/pin identification on our credit cards and we enter the tip amounts ourselves, usually on hand-held devices...just thought I should share this information with your readers. The lesson here, always keep your restaurant receipts and check them against your actual purchases.

Richard F.
Bath, ON

Response :
Ed.: Good Advice! I would also not return to that restaurant; this was not a simple mistake, in my opinion. The other point to make here is that the bank charged you a 40% currency exchange – this is a huge ripoff and very common. Using a Canadian credit card or debit card in the U.S. is very, very expensive. I have found that having a U.S.-based bank account with a debit card attached is, by far, the best and cheapest way to buy anything in the U.S. Wells Fargo (my U.S. bank) has also given me a small line of credit for unexpected emergencies.

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