Reminder, get your credit card foreign exchange settlement tonight

Just a reminder, if you purchased things outside the USA with credit cards or used foreign ATMs the companies gouged you on exchange rates, and lost a class action case. You can go to the CCF Settlement page to fill out the form tonight, just a few hours left. Your options are:

  • Just get a plain $25
  • Report how many days you were outside the USA from 1996 to 2006 (that’s 216 days for me.) I’m guessing you might get back $2/day or so, but nobody knows.
  • Actually calculate all your foreign transactions — only easy if you have an accounting system which would make that easy to do. Get 1% to 3% of them back.

Most people are going with #2 because of how much work #3 will be. This is typical in class actions. Clearly the credit card companies know exactly how many transactions they charged you foreign exchange on, and could calculate this for you, but they arranged a settlement that worked the other way. The lawyers get their fees, though.

(I should note that the EFF has done one class action and is doing another, and learned how hard it is to get something that’s really good for the plaintiffs. However, as a civil rights foundation, we really are highly interested in the punitive nature of these cases, and any fees we get are plowed right back into more civil rights work.)

You probably got a settlement form in the mail. If you kept it, it has a number that you can key in to make this very easy. If you didn’t, you may have to disclose some info and might decide not to do so. For me, they already had most of my info from the CC databases, I just entered my refund ID #, my days outside the USA, and some questions the typical purposes of my trips. Much easier than is typical.