Show Currency Exchange Rates for MasterCard and Visa


#1

I have multiple USA debit cards from MasterCard and Visa. Which one gives a better exchange rate USD->EUR and USD->GBP? I’d like to see their official daily exchange rate along with the Revolt exchange rate. That way I’d know which card to top up with, or possibly even use the exchange feature.

https://www.mastercard.us/en-us/consumers/get-support/convert-currency.html

https://usa.visa.com/support/consumer/travel-support/exchange-rate-calculator.html/

I understand that there’s multiple factors involved in determining ultimate conversion cost (e.g. additional bank charges) but a big one is the daily currency rate charged by MasterCard and Visa.


#2

The straight MasterCard, Visa-USA and Visa-Europe rates, and the interbank rate used by Revolut (weekdays) are all considered to be the best you can get, with slight variations that have no real significance when compared to the effects of fees and exchange rate loading imposed by the banks that issue most cards. So, if you can stick to the providers who charge no such fees and spreads (including Revolut), you don’t really have much else to worry about.


#3

By best rates, you are measuring Revolut against the daily rate set by MasterCard and Visa. The closer to the card issuer rate the better. Several issues. First, there’s always differences in the exchange rate set by MasterCard and Visa. I’d like to know which one is lower for the day. Why not let us see the better rate before we select which card to use? Secondly, while the rates used by Revolut may be the best now, that may not hold true in the future – trust but verify.


#4

I came here to ask the same thing, As far as I understand, when paying in a foreign currency, the bank just converts your account currency in EUR/USD and then it’s further converted by Visa / Mastercard, Revolut being a Mastercard card, what’s the difference between paying from a Revolut EUR account and another EUR account Mastercard card? Wouldn’t it basically be exactly the same thing/rate?

*I’m generally still leaning on using the Revolut account because of the app.


#5

How could you get a live rate from Mastercard / Visa when they determine its own final mid-market rate afterwards?

I have a EUR Debit Mastercard with zero additional FX fees. When I use it with USD, I get a push notification with a preliminary rare. After a couple of days, the preliminary rate at time of authorization changes to the final Mastercard’s mid-market rate at the time of presentment.

As far as I understand it, Mastercard’s rate for a day is just not set yet at the time of authorization.


#6

Hm, I don’t think that there’s a “double conversion”. But I think Banks are free to use whatever rate they want. Most Banks I am aware of use Mastercard’s / Visa’s rates out of convenience. But banks big in the card issuing business, like Barclays, might want to use their own rates. In most cases, the Credit card company (MC/Visa) would do the conversion and would deduct the money from the current account in the currency of that account.

@pax, the difference is that Revolut uses wholesale interbank bid rates at the time of authorization, and a “standard” Mastercard would use most likely Mastercard’s mid-market rates at the time of presentment, a couple of days later.

Se here and search this forum for “interbank rate” if you want to know more about it:

https://community.revolut.com/t/weekend-exchange-rate-surcharge-clarification/4483/15?u=frank


#7

@Frank, I always know exactly what MC/Visa rate I’m going to get with my USD debit cards (e.g. Capital One 360/Schwab via Apple Pay). I first sample the rate by exchanging $10. If I like it, I’ll exchange the needed amount. One must wait around 30 minutes to exchange the additional amount otherwise a fraud services block might occur. If so, you’ll have to call your bank to get unblocked. I frequently get rates better than Revolut using this method.


#8

Interesting, using Apple Pay (et al.) allows one to “lock” the otherwise preliminary MC/V rate?

This might be an Apple Pay feature, or it might be how your bank handles this? Because the rate I see in a push notification with my current account’s Mastercard Debit might change secretly after a couple of days. When a transaction is no longer pending but settled.


#9

I’ve never seen the charged amount change, nor seen it described as preliminary using any US bank debit card. It doesn’t matter if I use the card with Revolut or an international ATM, it never changes. That said, Chase Bank does tack on their added percentage after a few days. That’s a clearly documented fee on Chase’s website. Capital One and Schwab don’t have any such fees so I always use those cards.


#10

Sounds like you get a good deal here with Capital One and Schwab :slight_smile:

I think it might be still confusing for customer’s to integrate a “live rate information” for foreign cards, because I think they simply have no idea which rate a card issuing bank is actually using. There is this online rate tool from Mastercard, and this is what they state there:

In order to provide easy access to exchange rate information, Mastercard has created a tool using multiple market sources (such as Bloomberg, Reuters, Central Banks and others).

Please Note: The foreign exchange rate and the converted FX amount are indicative only (…) . Your bank may or may not use Mastercard foreign exchange rates to bill you and may impose additional fees in connection with foreign currency transactions. Foreign exchange rates are specific to the date and time Mastercard processes the transaction which may be different from the transaction date.

https://www.mastercard.us/en-us/consumers/get-support/convert-currency.html


#11

It would be great to see the applied markup on the actual rate…
Be it comparing to visa and MasterCard (maybe average them both) or something like that :joy:


#12

Hi guys,

We’ve recently written a blog post to explain the difference between the Interbank Exchange Rate (or Real Exchange Rate) which is used by Revolut and e.g. the Mastercard Exchange Rate:

Interbank vs Mastercard Exchange Rate?

Cheers,
Val


#13

The app always shows you the rate you get. Weekend markup is included. But there is no live rate for MC / VISA during weekends to compare this rate to.