BPI Credit Cards Announce Fee Revisions
By Michael Tan, Financial Correspondent
MANILA — The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) recently issued an advisory to its cardholders, outlining imminent changes to the Foreign Transaction Service Fee for BPI Credit Cards. These revisions are slated to become operational on February 1, 2024.
Formerly labeled as the “Foreign Currency Conversion Fee,” BPI has rechristened this charge as the “Foreign Transaction Service Fee.” This rebranding indicates a broader ambit, reflecting the bank’s recalibrated approach to foreign transaction charges.
Transactions in foreign currencies will sustain the prevailing fee structure. A charge of 0.85% of the converted sum will be levied on cardholders. Additionally, a 1% assessment fee, as determined by Mastercard or Visa based on their prevailing foreign exchange rate, will be applied when the transaction is registered.
Yet, it is the transactions denominated in Philippine Peso that will witness a marked departure from the current paradigm. Historically untouched by the Foreign Transaction Service Fee, specific Philippine Peso transactions will, from February 2024, be subject to a 1% Mastercard or Visa assessment fee.
Primarily, this fee will be applied to foreign currency dealings that undergo conversion and are subsequently billed in Philippine Pesos at the sale point. This is a scenario frequently encountered by individuals traveling abroad or indulging in online shopping on platforms such as Amazon.
A more nuanced application of this fee will be for transactions, which, albeit quoted in Philippine pesos, are processed by a foreign entity at the sale point. This is a commonplace occurrence with online subscription services or digital storefronts operated by international behemoths like Netflix, Disney+, Airbnb, Apple, and Google.
BPI’s communication further elucidated that the 1% assessment fee would be transparently incorporated into the monthly Statement of Account dispatched to cardholders.
While the impending modifications underscore BPI’s strategy to optimize its fee schedule, the bank was prompt in assuaging cardholder concerns. Transactions executed in foreign currencies, whether online or outside Philippine shores, will retain their existing fee mechanics, remaining unaffected by the 2024 alterations.
As the global financial tapestry continues to shift and banks navigate the complexities of international fiscal engagements, BPI’s directive underlines the necessity for Filipino consumers to remain abreast of evolving banking stipulations.