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Best no foreign transaction fee credit cards
Save money on transactions made abroad and get additional perks.
What are the best credit cards with no foreign transaction fee?
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card: Best for Southwest travelers
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Best for point transfers
- The World of Hyatt Credit Card: Best for Hyatt travelers
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Best for flat rate miles
- Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card: Best card for everyday use
- Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card: Best credit card for travel within the US
- Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card: Best for signup bonus
Best for Southwest travelers
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
Finder rating 4.1 / 5 ★★★★★
Best for point transfers
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Finder rating 4.6 / 5 ★★★★★
|Welcome Offer||60,000 points|
|Minimum Credit Score||670|
Best for Hyatt travelers
The World of Hyatt Credit Card
Finder rating 3.8 / 5 ★★★★★
Best for flat rate miles
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Finder rating 4.4 / 5 ★★★★★
|Welcome Offer||60,000 miles|
|Minimum Credit Score||670|
Best card for everyday use
Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card
Best credit cards with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fee
If you’re looking to save even more, these cards don’t charge an annual or a foreign transaction fee.
Best for signup bonus
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card
Finder rating 3.2 / 5 ★★★★★
|Welcome Offer||25,000 points|
|Minimum Credit Score||670|
How to choose the best no foreign transaction fee credit card
The lack of a foreign transaction fee itself is a great perk, but it’s not the only thing to focus on when choosing a credit card. Here are some steps to take to help you choose.
- Look at the annual fee. If you want to avoid foreign transaction fees, you might also want to minimize your credit card cost by avoiding the annual fee. Some cards without foreign transaction fees charge an annual fee for strong rewards or perks. Make sure any benefits are worth the additional fee.
- Think about whether you need to carry a balance. The annual percentage rate influences how much interest you pay whenever you don’t pay your balance in full during the grace period. It’s best to pay your balance in full to avoid interest and debt. But if you carry a balance, a lower annual percentage rate will minimize the amount of interest you pay on balances you carry.
- Look for promotional rates. Some cards without foreign transaction fees offer 0% introductory promotional interest rates on balance transfers, on purchases or on both.
- Do you want rewards? Cards with no foreign transaction fees commonly pay rewards that you can use toward future travel. With a credit card that pays rewards, pay close attention to the rewards you earn for each dollar you spend.Look for a credit card that pays the most rewards on the categories where you typically spend the most money. Be sure also that the rewards you earn are rewards you can use.
- Go for the biggest signup bonus. Many rewards credit cards offer a sign up bonus, which is a lump sum of rewards that you can earn by spending a certain amount of money within the first few months of having the credit card. Compare signup bonuses based on the amount of the bonus you can earn and the amount you have to spend to earn the bonus. Keep in mind that your spending habits and credit limit will influence your ability to meet the spending requirement.
- Is the card accepted abroad? Don’t take for granted that your card will be accepted while you’re traveling to other countries. Visa and Mastercards are widely accepted worldwide.However, Discover and American Express are not as widely accepted in other countries. Consider where you’re likely to travel and research to learn whether the credit card network is widely accepted in that country.
- Other credit card perks. Many no foreign transaction fee credit cards include other travel perks. These perks can make the credit card even more worth using.Benefits like travel insurance, waived baggage fees, and priority boarding are things that you should consider when you’re choosing a no foreign transaction fee credit card. Read the fine print of these perks to be sure they continue to apply when you travel internationally.
How do foreign transaction fees work?
Let’s say you’re paying $1,000 for overseas accommodation and use a card that charges a 3% foreign transaction fee, the additional cost would be $30. Similarly, if you were shopping online and spent $100 with a retailer overseas, you could expect to pay $3 extra.
Even though this percentage can seem like a small amount, with large expenses like travel-related costs, these extra fees can add up to a substantial amount over time.
When is a no foreign transaction fee credit card worth it?
This is pretty simple to answer: a no foreign transaction fee credit card is worth it if you plan on spending time abroad and need to make purchases during that time using your credit card. If you don’t plan on traveling abroad, you shouldn’t need to worry about this feature much when card hunting.
It’s easy to see how having a card with no foreign transaction fees can be worth if you first make the mistake of traveling with a card that does charge fees. Chris Panteli, owner and founder of LifeUpswing.com, learned this the hard way.
“When I split with my fiance the year before the pandemic, I treated myself to a trip to Dubai, and that place get’s expensive and fast,”
Panteli tells Finder.
“In fact, just a single beer was costing in excess of $20 at most places. So, as you can imagine, I was running through my currency pretty quickly.I thought it would be a good idea to try and spread the cost of some of my purchases onto the credit card, thus enabling me to retain more of the local currency for the duration of the trip.”
“Alas, I had not done my research properly on the transaction fee costs, and ended the trip racking up over $150 in fees.I definitely wish these fees could be avoided somehow, but to be honest, I blame myself. As a self proclaimed personal finance expert, it is quite embarrassing to have let such an obvious thing pass me by. I knew I would incur some sort of charge, but should have really done my due diligence on the actual costs involved.”
You asked, we listened: Top 3 questions about no foreign transaction fee credit cards
- What do I need to know about traveling with a credit card?
Before you travel internationally, give your credit card issuer a call to let them know that you’re going to be making purchases in other countries. This way your credit card issuer won’t flag your international purchases as fraud.
- Can the credit card issuer later add a foreign transaction fee?
Yes, your issuer is allowed to change the terms of your credit card at any time. Fortunately, providers aren’t allowed to change the terms of your credit card without letting you know first, and they are required to notify you within 45 days of the effective change date.
- Can I get more than one no foreign transaction fee credit card?
Yes. Carrying multiple cards may increase your spending ability or help you take advantage of different rewards programs. As long as you meet the credit requirements, you can have as many cards as you can be approved for. Take care with multiple credit cards to avoid taking on more debt than you can handle.
Credit cards with no foreign transaction fees serve as excellent cards for frequent travelers. And most of these cards offer solid rewards, which makes them useful even for everyday purchases.
If none of these cards fit your financial needs, compare more credit cards with no foreign transaction fees to find the right fit.
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Our team evaluates credit cards to determine their value against similar cards on the market.
We rank card types — travel, cash back, business — on a set of factors that are most relevant to that type of card. We create these rankings to help you narrow down a credit card that best suits your spending and budget.
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