Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards

Credit cards with no foreign transaction fees are fairly easy to find. However, not all work equally well for everyone. We’ve reviewed all the leading ones so that you can select one with ease.

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Last Updated: 11/18/2022

The best international credit card without foreign transaction fees depends on which features, benefits, and rewards are most important to you. We have arrived at the best of the lot after accounting for factors such as the credit score you may need to have, annual fees, interest rates, rewards and added perks. Go through more recommendations lower down the page.

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Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards

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Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards for 2022

MoneyGeek experts have compared the leading no foreign transaction fees credit cards in the U.S. across parameters such as annual fees, interest rates, rewards and added benefits. If a seemingly great card comes with a possible drawback, we’re quick to highlight it.

Best Travel Reward Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees

The best travel rewards cards with no foreign transaction fees are ones that come with multiple travel-specific perks, higher reward earn rates on travel-based spending and generous introductory bonus offers.

IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card - Ideal for IHG Rewards Club members
The Chase IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card offers a sizable welcome bonus to cardholders who meet a spend-based requirement. You can als earn 10,000 bonus points and a $100 statement credit by spending $20,000 on purchases every calendar year. After each account anniversary, you receive a free night at IHG hotels worldwide. And when you redeem your points for three reward nights, you get a fourth night for free. You get up to $100 as a statement credit toward Global Entry/TSA PreCheck/NEXUS fees once every four years. Other benefits include baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement and trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance. This card charges an annual fee of $99.

Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card - Great for Delta flyers who don’t want to pay annual fees
This American Express credit card comes with no foreign transaction fee and no annual fee. If you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months, you earn a welcome bonus of 10,000 miles. This card offers 2X miles per dollar on purchases made directly with Delta. You get 2X miles per dollar on dining at restaurants worldwide, and on takeout and delivery in the U.S. Plus, you receive 20% back when you use this card for Delta in-flight purchases. It comes with complimentary car rental loss and damage insurance and gives you access to Global Assist Hotline.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card - Ideal for earning rewards on everyday purchases
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers an early spend bonus of 75,000 miles if you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months. It offers 5X miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 2X miles per dollar on all other purchases. You get two free visits to Capital One Lounges each year. Cardholders also receive a statement credit toward Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fees once every four years, complimentary travel accident insurance and an auto rental collision damage waiver. This card charges an annual fee of $95.

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card - A good alternative for Hilton Honors members
The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card comes with a welcome bonus of 130,000 Hilton Honors points that you may earn by spending $2,000 on purchases in the first three months. You get 12X points per dollar on eligible purchases made at hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio. A few bonus categories offer 6X points per dollar. All cardholders get complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status and Priority Pass Select membership with 10 free airport lounge visits each year. If you spend $15,000 on purchases in a calendar year, you get a free weekend night reward. Car rental loss and damage insurance are also offered. This card charges a $95 annual fee.

United Club℠ Infinite Card - Ideal for frequent United Airlines flyers looking at premium benefits
While the United Club℠ Infinite Card comes with a steep annual fee of $525, it offers an array of perks to offset the cost. For starters, it comes with a sizable spend-based welcome bonus. You also get complimentary United Club membership that, among other benefits, gives you and eligible travel companions access to all United Club locations and participating Star Alliance-affiliated lounges. Spending on United Airlines purchases earns 4X miles per dollar, and you get 2X miles per dollar on other travel purchases. You and a companion traveler benefit by getting two bags checked for free on United-operated flights. You can receive a statement credit of up to $100 for Global Entry/TSA PreCheck/NEXUS fees once every four years. Other benefits include 25% back on United Airlines in-flight purchases, IHG Rewards Platinum Elite status, premier upgrades on award tickets, auto rental collision damage waiver, trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, trip delay reimbursement and access to Premier Access travel services and Visa Infinite Concierge services.

United Quest℠ Card - Best for frequent United Airlines flyers
The Chase United Quest℠ Card offers new cardholders the option of earning a significant number of bonus points by meeting a spend-based requirement. While you need to pay a $250 annual fee for this card, taking full advantage of the perks offered will help offset that cost. You can receive up to $125 in statement credits for United Airlines purchases every account anniversary. After your first account anniversary, you get 5,000 miles back after you take a United/United Express-operated award flight booked using miles, up to twice every year. This card offers 3X miles per dollar on United Airlines purchases. Other travel purchases earn 2X miles per dollar, as do dining purchases and purchases on select streaming services. All other purchases earn 1X miles per dollar. You and a companion traveler get two bags checked for free on United-operated flights. Other benefits include 25% back on United in-flight purchases, upgrades on award tickets, priority boarding, Global Entry/TSA PreCheck/NEXUS fee credit, no blackout dates, auto rental collision damage waiver, trip delay reimbursement, lost luggage reimbursement, baggage delay insurance and trip cancellation/interruption insurance.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi - Perfect for Costco members who don’t want to pay annual fees
You may apply for the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi if you’re a Costco member. You earn 4% cash back on spending, totaling up to $7,000, on eligible gas purchases, including gas at Costco. All other purchases at Costco and Costco.com come with 2% cash back. You receive 3% cash back on eligible travel purchases and at restaurants. And all other purchases earn 1% cash back. This card does not charge any annual fees.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card - Good for frequent Delta flyers who are looking for added benefits
The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card comes with a $250 annual fee, but it offers various perks to offset the cost. A welcome offer enables you to earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) by spending $2,000 on purchases in the first three months. You get 3X miles per dollar on purchases made directly with Delta and hotel purchases made directly with hotels. And spending on dining and supermarkets in the U.S. earns 2X miles per dollar. This card offers a domestic main cabin round-trip companion certificate each year. You enjoy priority boarding on Delta flights and may also benefit by getting your first bag checked for free. Other benefits include statement credit for Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fees, Delta Sky Club per-visit rate, 20% back on Delta in-flight purchases, car rental loss and damage insurance, trip delay insurance and baggage insurance plan.


  • IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card

    A fantastic card for earning rewards when you stay at IHG hotels and resorts.


    • Good-ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $89Annual Fee
    • 1–25 Points per $1*Rewards Rate
    • 25xRewards Rate at Hotels
    • 2xRewards Rate on Groceries

    Terms, rates and fees apply

  • Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

    A great miles rewards card with no annual fees


    • ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 2 Miles per $1*Rewards Rate
    • 2xRewards Rate on Air Travel
    • 2xRewards Rate on Dining

  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

    A great rewards card that lets you earn miles


    • Good-ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $95Annual Fee
    • 2 Miles per $1Rewards Rate
    • 2xRewards Rate on Air Travel
    • 2xRewards Rate at Hotels

  • Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

    An excellent credit card for earning Hilton Honors points


    • Good-ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $95Annual Fee
    • 3–12 Points per $1*Rewards Rate
    • 12xRewards Rate at Hotels
    • 6xRewards Rate on Groceries

  • United Club℠ Infinite Card

    An excellent card for earning United’s MileagePlus miles


    • ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $525Annual Fee
    • 1–4 Miles per $1*Rewards Rate
    • 4xRewards Rate on Air Travel
    • 2xRewards Rate at Hotels

  • United Quest℠ Card

    A good choice for United Airlines flyers looking to earn more miles and enjoy some travel perks


    • Good-ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $250Annual Fee
    • 1–3 Miles per $1Rewards Rate
    • 3xRewards Rate on Air Travel
    • 1xRewards Rate on Groceries

  • Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

    One of the best cards available for Costco members who spend a lot on gas


    • ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 1–4% Cash Back*Rewards Rate
    • 3xRewards Rate on Dining
    • 3xRewards Rate on Air Travel

  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

    An excellent card for earning Delta SkyMiles


    • Good-ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $250Annual Fee
    • 1–3 Miles per $1Rewards Rate
    • 3xRewards Rate on Air Travel
    • 3xRewards Rate at Hotels

Best Cash Back Credit Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees

The best cash back cards with no foreign transaction fees include ones that offer high flat cash back rates for all purchases and ones that offer even higher cash back rates on category-based spending. However, you need to account for the annual fee you’ll need to pay as well.

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card - Perfect for people who want to earn cash back without paying annual fees
The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card does not charge any annual fees. It offers new cardholders an early spend bonus of $200 if they spend $500 on purchases in the first three months. Spending at grocery stores and on dining, entertainment and popular streaming services earns 3% cash back. Purchases made through Capital One Entertainment come with 8% cash back. An intro 0% APR offer applies on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. Cardholders also get complimentary travel accident insurance.


  • Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

    A great no-annual-fee card that comes with rewards


    • Good-ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 3% Cash Back*Rewards Rate
    • 3xRewards Rate on Entertainment
    • 2xRewards Rate on Groceries

Best Credit Cards for International Students & Study Abroad

The best credit cards for international students and study abroad come with no foreign transaction fees. Several top student credit cards offer cash back/rewards. You might also benefit by getting complimentary situation-based insurance coverage.

Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students - The Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students charges no annual fees and earns 1% cash back on all purchases. This card offers cell phone protection of up to $600 and a collision damage waiver. International students may apply without Social Security numbers.

Journey Student Rewards from Capital One Card - You pay no annual fee toward the Journey Student Rewards from Capital One Card. All your purchases come with 1% cash back, which you may increase by a further 0.25% if you make your payments on time.


  • Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students

    Best student cash back card for limited credit history


    • None-PoorCredit Needed
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 1% Cash BackRewards Rate
    • 1xRewards Rate on Online Shopping
    • 1xRewards Rate on Groceries

  • Journey Student Rewards from Capital One

    Best student credit card with up to 1.25% cash back


    • Limited-FairCredit Needed
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 1.25% Cash Back*Rewards Rate
    • 1xRewards Rate on Online Shopping
    • 1xRewards Rate on Groceries

Best Business Credit Cards Without Foreign Transaction Fees

The best business cards with no foreign transaction fees are typically ones that are geared for international travel by offering benefits such as access to airport lounges, priority boarding and travel insurance. Several such cards offer rewards/cash back as well.

Capital One Spark Cash Plus - Ideal for business owners who wish to earn cash back on everyday purchases
The pay-in-full Capital One Spark Cash Plus Card charges a $150 annual fee. You earn an early spend bonus of $500 if you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months and an additional $500 if your spending in the first six months reaches $50,000. Hotel and rental car bookings made through Capital One Travel come with 5% cash back. You get 2% cash back on all other purchases. If you spend $200,000 or more in a year, you receive a $200 bonus. There is no additional fee to receive employee cards, and their spending also earns you cash back. All cardholders get access to complimentary roadside assistance.

Capital One Spark Miles for Business Card - Good for business owners who wish to earn rewards on everyday purchases
The Capital One Spark Miles for Business Card offers an early spend bonus of 50,000 miles if you spend $4,500 on purchases in the first three months. This business credit card offers 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 2X miles on all other purchases. You may transfer your miles to over 15 travel partners. Cardholders get two free visits to Capital One Lounges per year and a travel credit toward Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fees once every four years. You pay no annual fees for the first year and $95 per year after that.

Capital One Spark Cash Select - $500 Cash Bonus - Perfect for business owners who wish to earn cash back without paying annual fees
With the Capital One Spark Cash Select - $500 Cash Bonus Card, you can earn a one-time $500 early spend bonus by spending $4,500 on purchases in the first three months. This no-annual-fee business card offers 5% cash back on hotel and rental car bookings made through Capital One Travel. All other purchases earn 1.5% cash back. Employee cards come at no extra cost. All cardholders get access to roadside assistance.

Hilton Honors American Express Business Card - Ideal for frequent travelers who are Hilton loyalists
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card lets you earn a welcome bonus of 130,000 Hilton Honors points by spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months. It offers up to 12X points per dollar on category-based spending. All cardholders get complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status. You stand to earn free nights by meeting annual spending requirements. Upon enrolling in the Priority Pass Select Membership program, you get 10 complimentary visits to over 1,200 airport lounges each year. This card comes with a $95 annual fee.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi - Perfect for business owners who are Costco members and don’t want to pay annual fees
You must be a Costco member to apply for the Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card. It offers 4% cash back on spending of up to $7,000 toward eligible gas purchases worldwide. Using your card for eligible travel purchases and at restaurants comes with 3% cash back. Non-gas purchases at Costco earn 2% cash back. This card doesn’t charge any annual fees.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card - Ideal for business owners who are frequent Delta flyers
The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card comes with a welcome offer that lets you earn 60,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) by spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months. Purchases you make directly with Delta and hotels come with 3X miles per dollar. Eligible large purchases of over $5,000 earn 1.5X miles per dollar, up to a maximum of 50,000 additional miles per year. And all other purchases earn 1X points per dollar. Cardholders receive a domestic round-trip companion certificate every year. You get Main Cabin 1 priority boarding on Delta flights, and your first bag is checked for free. Added benefits include in-flight savings, Delta Sky Club per-visit rate, Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee credit, car rental loss and damage insurance, trip delay insurance and baggage insurance plan. In exchange for all the benefits this card offers, it charges a $250 annual fee.


  • Capital One Spark Cash Plus

    Excellent card for earning rewards through employee spending


    • ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $150Annual Fee
    • 2% Cash BackRewards Rate
    • 2xRewards Rate on Gas
    • 2xRewards Rate on Groceries

  • Capital One Spark Miles for Business

    Best flat-rate rewards card for frequent flyers


    • Good-ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $95Annual Fee
    • 2 Miles per $1Rewards Rate
    • 2xRewards Rate at Hotels
    • 2xRewards Rate on Groceries

  • Capital One Spark Cash Select - $500 Cash Bonus

    A great no-annual-fee business card with 1.5% cash back


    • Good-ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 1.5% Cash BackRewards Rate
    • 1.5xRewards Rate on Gas
    • 1.5xRewards Rate on Groceries

  • The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

    This business credit card is perfect for earning Hilton Honors points


    • Good-ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $95Annual Fee
    • 3–12 Points per $1*Rewards Rate
    • 12xRewards Rate at Hotels
    • 6xRewards Rate on Gas

  • Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi

    An excellent no-annual-fee rewards card for Costco members


    • ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 1–4% Cash Back*Rewards Rate
    • 4xRewards Rate on Gas
    • 3xRewards Rate on Dining

  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card

    A great card for frequent business travelers who want to enjoy Delta travel perks and pursue elite status


    • Good-ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $250Annual Fee
    • 1–3 Miles per $1Rewards Rate
    • 3xRewards Rate on Air Travel
    • 3xRewards Rate at Hotels

Quick Tips for Comparing Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees

Different aspects require your attention when comparing credit cards without foreign transaction fees.

  • Credit needed: People with good to excellent credit are able to choose from several no international fee credit cards. If you have fair credit, you still have a few options. Some student credit cards come with no foreign transaction fees. If you have poor credit, you may want to consider getting a secured credit card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Annual fee: While it’s common for airline and hotel travel rewards cards to charge annual fees, you may still find a number of credit cards with no foreign transaction fees and no annual fees. If you plan to get a card with an annual fee, determine if the rewards you earn and the benefits you stand to enjoy will outweigh the cost of the card.
  • Interest rates: You’ll want to pay particular attention to the annual percentage rate (APR) that comes with a credit card if you plan to carry a balance from one billing cycle to the next.
  • Rewards/cash back: Many no foreign transaction fee cards offer rewards/cash back. While some cards offer flat earn rates across all spending, others offer higher earn rates on category-based spending. The latter might be beneficial if you spend more on any particular category such as travel, dining, gas or groceries.
  • Introductory offers: Introductory offers typically require you to spend at least a minimum amount within a given time frame to earn a bonus that may come in the form of points, cash back or miles. For example, a card might offer $250 as cash back if you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months.
  • Added benefits: People who plan to use their cards internationally may benefit by looking for travel-related benefits such as complimentary insurance coverage, priority boarding, airport lounge access and seat upgrades. Other benefits may come in the form of statement credits, extended warranty and $0 fraud liability.
Other Cards to Consider

cashBack

MoneyGeek’s Quick Guide to Understanding Foreign Transaction Fees

When you use a credit card issued in the U.S. outside of the country, you might need to pay a foreign transaction fee of around 3%. Cards that charge this fee apply it to every international transaction. As a result, if you plan to use a credit card outside of the U.S., it makes sense to travel with one that does not charge any foreign transaction fees.

Foreign transaction fees come as fixed percentages. This implies that no matter the size of your transaction, you’ll need to pay a fixed percentage of the transaction amount as fees.

How Do Foreign Transaction Fees Work?

Foreign transaction fees typically consist of two parts — network fees and issuing bank fees. Credit card networks charge the former, whereas a card’s issuer charges the latter. Cards with no foreign transaction fees are ones where issuers absorb the network fees. The foreign transaction fee that you see in your card’s Terms and Conditions under the Fees section includes both and is denoted as a percentage.

How Much Are Foreign Transaction Fees

Foreign transaction fees are typically around 3%, but some card issuers may charge more or less. What this essentially means is that you’ll end up paying around $3 per $100 you spend on international transactions.

This fee might also apply if you make purchases through international websites that use foreign banks or institutions as payment processors.

Foreign purchase price x 0.03 = Fee amount
Foreign purchase price + Fee amount = Cost of foreign purchase

  • Foreign purchase in dollars
    +3% fee
  • $20

    $20.60

  • $50

    $51.50

  • $100

    $103

  • $500

    $515

Which Credit Card Issuers Charge Foreign Transaction Fees?

Most credit card providers charge foreign transaction fees with a few or more of their cards. Capital One is one bank that does not charge any fees when you use its credit cards for foreign currency transactions.

  • Credit Card Issuer
    Standard Foreign Transaction Fee
    Cards Without Foreign Transaction Fees
  • American Express

    2.70%

    • American Express® Business Gold Card,
    • Hilton Honors American Express Card,
    • Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card,
    • Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card,
    • Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card,
    • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card,
    • Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card,
    • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card,
    • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card,
    • American Express® Gold Card,
    • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card,
    • Business Platinum Card® from American Express,
    • The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • Barclaycard/Luxury Card

    0%

    • Mastercard® Gold Card™,
    • Mastercard® Black Card™,
    • Mastercard® Titanium Card™
  • Chase

    3%

    • Chase Sapphire Preferred Card credit card,
    • Chase Sapphire Reserve Card,
    • Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card,
    • Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card,
    • United Club Infinite Card,
    • United Gateway Credit Card,
    • United Quest℠ Card,
    • United Explorer Card,
    • British Airways Visa Signature card,
    • Aer Lingus Visa Signature card,
    • Iberia Visa Signature card,
    • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card,
    • Marriott Bonvoy Bold credit card,
    • World of Hyatt Credit Card,
    • IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card,
    • Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card,
    • World of Hyatt Business Credit Card,
    • Ink Business Preferred credit card,
    • United Business Card,
    • Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card
  • Citi

    3%

    Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi, Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi, Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Citi Premier® Card, Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card Business, United℠ Business Card, United Club℠ Infinite Card, United Explorer Card, United Gateway Card, IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card, Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®, Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®, CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®

  • Capital One

    0%

    • Journey Student Rewards from Capital One,
    • Capital One Platinum Credit Card,
    • Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card,
    • Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card,
    • Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card,
    • Capital One Secured Mastercard,
    • Capital One Spark Cash,
    • Capital One Spark Cash Select - $500 Cash Bonus,
    • Capital One Spark Miles for Business,
    • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card,
    • Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
  • U.S. Bank

    2% - 3%

    • U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card,
    • U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card,
    • U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card,
    • U.S. Bank FlexPerks Gold American Express Car
  • Wells Fargo

    3%

    • Hotels.com Rewards Visa Credit Card

Who Should Consider a Card with No Foreign Transaction Fees?

Credit cards with no foreign transaction fees may come in handy under different scenarios:

  • Studying abroad: American students who plan to study in other countries may benefit by using such cards. A number of student credit cards come with rewards/cash back too.
  • Vacationing internationally: Getting a travel rewards credit card with no foreign transaction fees is the way to go if you vacation outside of the U.S. frequently.
  • Shopping from international websites: You might end up paying foreign transaction fees without leaving the country if you shop through websites based outside of the U.S. In this case, using a card with no foreign transaction fees might be in your best interest.
  • Doing business globally: If you or your employees need to travel internationally for business purposes, getting a business credit card without foreign transaction fees may lead to noticeable savings, all the more so if it comes with rewards/cash back.

How to Prepare for Foreign Travel

Traveling overseas requires paying attention to different factors, one of which includes how you plan to use your money. Fortunately, following a few simple measures can help minimize the possibility of things going wrong while you’re away.

  • Inform your card provider: Your card provider might decline an out-of-the-blue international transaction on account of it being possibly fraudulent. To ensure this does not happen, inform your card provider about your plan to use your card outside of the country in advance.
  • Carry more than one card: Carrying more than one card when overseas is a good idea because there’s no telling when you might face declined transactions. Besides, carrying multiple cards gives you the ability to maximize your reward-earning potential through category-based spending. Remember that while cards from Visa and Mastercard find widespread acceptance outside of the U.S., the same is not the case with American Express and Discover cards.
  • Use no foreign transaction fee cards: Unless you want to pay around 3% of each international transaction as additional fees, using a no foreign transaction fee card is the way to go.
  • Check the protection your cards offer: Check which of your cards offer protection in the form of accident insurance, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, trip delay reimbursement, baggage delay coverage and lost baggage insurance. Remember that you might need to use the card in question to book your flight tickets to take advantage of these benefits.
  • Carry cash: Several merchants worldwide do not accept credit cards, all the more so in remote locations. In Europe, cash transactions still account for a significant percentage of all monetary transactions. According to a 2020 study carried out by the European Central Bank, cash payments accounted for 73% of the total volume of point-of-sale (POS) and peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions across 17 euro area countries in 2019.

How to Avoid Foreign Transaction Fees

You may avoid paying foreign transaction fees by:

  • Using the right credit cards: These include ones that come without overseas transaction fees.
  • Paying in local currencies: When presented with the option of paying in the local currency or U.S. dollars, opt for the former. This is because local merchants and ATM operators that let you transact in U.S. dollars add built-in conversion fee markups that are typically higher than those charged by payment networks such as Visa and Mastercard.
  • Using traveler’s checks: Traveler’s checks give you a secure way to take your money with you, and you might not have to pay any fees if you get them through your bank. However, not many merchants accept them anymore.
  • Exchanging currency before you leave: You might be able to get a better deal when buying foreign currency through your bank before leaving than at an airport, your hotel, or a currency exchange center in a foreign country.
  • Avoiding using ATMs: Using ATMs outside of the country tends to come with additional fees. If you’re unable to find partner ATM networks you may use for free, consider limiting the number of ATM transactions you carry out.
  • Paying with cash: Using the local currency you have is a surefire way of avoiding overseas transaction fees. Paying in cash also provides opportunities to haggle on prices with local vendors, which can offer even more savings.

How We Rank No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards

Our lists of the best credit cards are based on publicly available data from card issuers and other reputable sources like the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. We review each card's fees, interest rates, rewards, benefits and more to assign a rating for each feature. These ratings are stack ranked and weighted for each card category to determine our top selections for each type of user. Because card details change regularly, we revisit our data each month to update our ratings, recommendations and other card information as needed. Learn more about our data collection and ranking process.

Top Rating Criteria for No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards

lowInterestAPR
APR
rewards
Rewards Rate
annualFee
Annual Fee

FAQs About No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards

Learning the answers to other commonly asked questions about credit cards with no foreign transaction fees will help when comparing your options and choosing a card.

Since there is no single best international credit card, consider selecting one from the array of great rewards, cash back, travel and student credit cards that we’ve determined are among the best through meticulous research.

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About the Author


Rajiv Baniwal has been writing about different financial topics for over 15 years. Meticulous in his research, he makes sure he provides accurate and up-to-date information. His areas of expertise include mortgages, personal loans, credit cards, insurance and international money transfers.


sources
*Rates, fees or bonuses may vary or include specific stipulations. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. We recommend visiting the card issuer’s website for the most up-to-date information available.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses and recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity.
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