Despite their reputation for not being widely accepted overseas, you can use American Express cards abroad. What’s more, you can use your cards abroad and not pay a fee on your transactions. However, not all Amex cards come with no foreign transaction fees.
Some American Express cards charge a 2.7% foreign transaction fee. This is lower than the 3% fee most other cards charge. To put this into perspective, a 2.7% foreign transaction fee means you’ll pay a $27 fee for every $1,000 spent abroad or online with foreign merchants.
Most American Express travel cards, including hotel and airline cobranded cards have no foreign transaction fees. Compare these cards to find the right card for your travel needs.
If your final determining factor is that your American Express card comes without foreign transaction fees, then you can choose any of the cards listed above. Delta credit cards and Hilton credit cards are good options for not foreign transaction fees. If you’re looking for additional value, take other features and perks into consideration, including the following:
- Annual fee
Almost every American Express credit card without foreign transaction fees has an annual fee ranging from $95 — which is waived for the first year on some cards — up to $550 annually. However, there is an Amex card with no foreign transaction fees and no annual fee: the Hilton Honors American Express Card (Terms apply, see rates & fees).
- Intro APR period
You won’t find a 0% intro APR period in any of these cards. If you’re looking to consolidate your debt or carry a large purchase interest-free for a long period, look for 0% intro APR cards.
- Welcome offer
Each of these cards come with a generous welcome offer. When comparing the ratio between the welcome offer and the annual fee, you’ll find that the highest value comes with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card. This card has a $95 annual fee (Terms apply, see rates & fees) and the size of their welcome offers are either the same as or come close to the more expensive versions of them.
All of the American Express credit cards with no foreign transaction fees let you earn miles or points that you can redeem for certain rewards. The Hilton Honors™ Aspire Card has one of the highest point-earning values on your Hilton purchases, flights booked directly with airlines or the American Express travel site, car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies and at US restaurants.
If you frequently travel and spend money on dining, the American Express® Gold Card could be a valuable addition to your wallet. With this card, you earn accelerated points at restaurants, US supermarkets and flights booked directly with airlines or through the American Express travel site. In addition, you can early monthly credits on dining.
If you don’t fly with any single airline, the The Platinum Card® from American Express or the Hilton Honors™ Aspire Card could be worth considering. Both Amex travel cards let you earn accelerated points on all flights booked directly with airlines or through the American Express travel site. But if you prefer to fly Delta, consider one of the three Delta co-branded cards without foreign transaction fees. With a Delta card, you get Delta-specific perks like priority boarding, first checked bag free and an annual companion flight certificate for the more expensive cards.
- Complimentary lounge access
With the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, you get complimentary access to all Delta Sky Club lounges. While with The Platinum Card® from American Express, you get complimentary access to Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass Select, The International American Express lounges and even Delta Sky Club when flying Delta.
Amex offers The Platinum Card® from American Express which earns accelerated points on prepaid hotels booked through the American Express travel site. However, if you’re loyal to a certain brand of hotels, consider a Hilton credit card, which has additional hotel perks and features. Compare Amex’s hotel cards to see whether a cobranded or general card is the right pick for you.
- Additional perks
For a variety of perks, The Platinum Card® from American Express is undoubtedly worth considering. The card’s rewards range from Uber credit and airline fee credit to complimentary lounge access and hotel perks.
Is it cheaper to use a credit card or a debit card abroad?
If you’re planning to make cash withdrawals, a debit card is usually cheaper. If you’re planning to use your card for payments, the card that doesn’t have foreign transaction fees is cheaper.
When choosing an American Express credit card without foreign transaction fee, consider how much you’re willing to pay for the card and which additional perks you want. But know that these cards are poor choices for a 0% intro APR period.
Not sure if any of these cards will work for you? Check out other travel credit cards and cards with no foreign transaction fees to compare your options.