A while back, I discussed the ongoing foreign transaction fee class action lawsuit and how you might stand to see some returns on your foreign travel. In very short, if you used certain Visa, MasterCard or Diners Club cards for transactions in a foreign country between February 1, 1996 and November 8, 2006, the lawsuit says you were overcharged from one to three percent in foreign transaction fees and are entitled to a refund (if you think you belong to the class but never received a claim form, download one here).
A recent Chicago Tribune article does a much more thorough job of spelling out the class action's specifics and the different refund options. Unfortunately, the article also mentions some distressing news on timing: Plaintiffs' counsel stated that the judge will not review the settlement until March 31st and that, even if the settlement is approved, it can take another eight months for refunds to be paid out. And, that's assuming nobody objects, as a successful objection could tack another year or more onto the payout time frame. Translation: we poor, aggrieved travelers may not see our money until December 2009 or later.
If you'd rather look on the bright side, by the time the refunds are finally paid out, maybe the dollar will be worth something against the pound and the euro again. Maybe.