The magic behind Zero Fees of YouTrip

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Ever wondered what are the fees you pay when making payments with your card overseas? Here’s how YouTrip ensures 0% fees when you pay in all 150+ currencies worldwide.


Meet Fee Man. He’s invisible but everywhere and every time you make a payment overseas, he shows up. Worst of all, you’ll have to pay him first in order to pay for the item you want.

When you use your credit card to pay overseas, a foreign currency exchange has to happen and two Fee Man pops up. In return for converting your money to the required foreign currency, the bank sends one Fee Man to you, collecting 2.5%-3.5% in the form of Foreign Transaction Fees or markup in the exchange rate.

The credit card association (Mastercard, Visa, or AMEX) also sends one Fee Man to the merchant for making the transaction possible which ranges from 2.65%-3.5%. Which is typically known as the Merchant Discount Rate. But no worries this does not affect you.

The 2 Fee Mans usually involved in overseas card transactions

While the above illustrates what usually happens when you pay by credit card overseas, sometimes you may also be offered to pay in SGD rather than the required foreign currency. This works via Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) where your transaction amount is converted to the local currency by the merchant’s point of sale (POS) provider. This gives you a more straightforward transaction history as everything is recorded in SGD.

While this sounds like a pretty sweet deal, there is a catch. When you pay by DCC, a conversion of currency still happens and merchants charge a markup on the exchange rates. This is usually 4%+ more than the interbank exchange rates (the rate at which banks swap currencies between one another),  and along with the extra 1% of admin fee from the bank, the total can hit a whopping 5% or more of extra charges. This means your US$120 ticket to catch a play on Broadway will end up costing SG$173.90 or more. That’s $8.80 more than what you’d pay using the exchange rates found on Google (at 11 Oct, 7:10 PM SGT) which would convert at SG$165.60.

Here’s how it all stacks up:

Payment in USDPay in US$ with bank Credit/Debit CardPay in SG$ with bank Credit/Debit Card (using DCC)Pay with YouTrip
US$120.00US$124.60 (SG$171.90)SG$173.90SG$165.10

Fee Man has been accepted as a norm whenever we pay overseas with a bank card. Some say it’s the cost of convenience. But does it have to be a norm?

The 2 Fee Mans at work in a restaurant in Paris

We felt that there had to be a better way about this; one that didn’t penalize us for spending our own money. YouTrip was the end result of this search – a multi-currency travel wallet that allows us to actually ‘bypass’ Fee Man.

Basically, we’ve removed Fee Man out of your end of the equation. Whenever you pay overseas, there is no commission or markup on your expense. Even when you change currency in the YouTrip app, it’s converted at wholesale exchange rates where there are no markups unlike at retail banks or money changers.

“No fees? How do you even make money?” is one of the most common reactions we get when we tell people ‘no fees overseas’. Here is how we do it:

Remember the Fee Man that Mastercard sends to the merchant? He’s still around, but the good thing is he does not affect you, the consumer. By keeping our teams lean with a technology at the forefront of everything we do, we are able to keep YouTrip going, with commission only taken from the merchant.

The merchant’s Fee Man staying out of your way when you pay with YouTrip

With enough people supporting YouTrip through their purchases, we’ll be able to keep Fee Man where he should be and out of your end! This way you don’t have to be penalised for spending money overseas, because you deserve to enjoy your trip abroad with a peace of mind.  

Start your no fee journey anywhere your heart takes you. Download the YouTrip app to sign up for your free account in just 3 minutes!

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