Understanding the Optional International Issuer Fee
  • 27 Oct 2022
  • 1 Minute to read

Understanding the Optional International Issuer Fee

Some U.S. and International cardholders can be affected by "International Service Fees" depending on their issuing bank (the bank providing them with their credit card). These fees can appear on the cardholder credit card statement as "INTL Service Fee" or sometimes will be built-in to the total transaction charge (usually between 1 to 3% on top of the transaction total). It is important to understand that these fees are not being charged by Helcim, the acquiring bank nor the merchant. These fees are also not a currency conversion fee. Regardless of the fact that merchants are processing in USD funds, because of their Canadian business location some credit card issuers recognize these transactions as "International" and choose to charge a service fee accordingly.

Not all cardholders are affected by these charges as this is an optional fee collected by their bank. Cardholders that are concerned with these charges should contact their bank and discuss the possibility of having the fee removed or changing to a card issuing bank that chooses not to charge these fees.


  • These fees are not collected by the merchant or the processor.
  • These are not currency conversion fees as there is no conversion for Canadian merchants USD MIDs processing USD funds.
  • These fees affect some U.S. and International cardholders depending on their bank.
  • Cardholders should address their complaints to their credit card bank.

No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards

The website below (not affiliated with Helcim) lists some credit card banks in the US that do not charge these fees.


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