I've just received notice that I'm a member of the class in the In re Currency Conversion Fee Antitrust Litigation (MDL 1409) case. The defendant credit card companies are settling massive claims that they bilked card holders by manipulating fees and exchange rates on foreign-currency purchases. They of course deny everything, but are still coughing up a massive payout — one in which consumers will get actual cash instead of valueless coupons.
The proposed settlement offers me three choices:
- $25 cash money.
- Estimate how many days I was abroad in 1996-2006, and get a rebate of 1% of what they guess I spent with my credit card based on some formula they do not disclose. Key to that formula is whether I characterize my travel as sometimes/often/mostly “business,” “visiting friends or relatives,” or “vacation or leisure”. (In fact it was some of each.)
- Provide detailed receipts of my credit card usage abroad in that period and get 3% back.
Option 3 is out — too much work.
But I think I can figure out how much I was abroad by going over my back calendar files. It was a lot.