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By Tony Mecia, The Charlotte Observer, N.C. Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Feb. 7--Think credit cards are the way to go when traveling abroad? Think again.
Although charging expenses overseas will usually yield the best exchange rate, many banks are now tacking on a fee for using credit cards in foreign countries.
As a result, travel experts say it's no longer advisable to simply charge your way through Europe or any other foreign land. Take that approach on a lavish summer vacation, and it could cost you a few hundred extra dollars. U.S. money tends not to go as far as it used to anyway, with the dollar at near-record lows against the euro.
For a long time, Visa and MasterCard have levied a 1 percent "foreign currency conversion fee" on purchases made abroad. But in the past five years or so, more …