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Foreign travelers and purchasers could see refund

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YONKERS, N.Y. (12/31/07)--If you used a credit card when you traveled overseas, or used the Internet to make an overseas purchase in the past 10 years, you might be eligible for a refund for exchange fees that you paid (ConsumerReports.org Dec. 10). More than 20 million people who used a Diners Club, Visa or MasterCard for travel or purchase between Feb. 1, 1996, and Nov. 8, 2006, will receive notices from a New York court about the refunds. The refunds are part of a class-action lawsuit claiming the card companies and seven issuing banks overcharged customers for currency exchange rates. If you’re eligible for the refund, you have three options, according to USA Today (Dec. 13):
* Easy refund of $25--If you traveled outside the U.S. for less than one week or made foreign transactions of less than $2,500 using the cards. * 1% of estimated transactions--If you traveled outside the U.S. for more than a week or had foreign transactions totaling more than $2,500. * 1% to 3% of annual estimated foreign transactions--If you can supply year-by-year information and traveled extensively overseas or made a lot of overseas transactions.
Refund amounts ultimately will depend on the amount of people who file. You have until Feb. 14 to object or opt out of the proposed settlement. If you don’t opt out, you’ll automatically be covered by the settlement terms, which include giving up your right to pursue future claims against the company. For more information, visit ccfsettlement.com/ or call 800-945-9890. Also, more information is included in “Arbitration Clause Denies You Your Day in Court” in Home & Family Finance Resource Center.