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No annual fee credit cards with no foreign transaction fees

If you're heading overseas or just enjoy online shopping, compare and save big with no annual fee or foreign transaction fee credit cards.


Fact checked

Credit cards typically charge a 2.5% fee when making a transaction in a foreign currency. Designed for international purchases, some credit cards waive this foreign transaction fee completely. If you’re looking to cut costs further, consider a card with no annual fees and no foreign transaction fees.

Compare no foreign transaction fee credit cards

Name Product Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Benefits with this card Description
HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®
$0 annual fee for the first year ($149 thereafter)
Earn 3% in travel rewards on all eligible travel purchases (6 Points per $1 spent) and earn 1.5% in travel rewards on all other eligible purchases (3 Points per $1 spent).
Earn up to 40,000 Points ($200 travel value), plus a full annual fee rebate for the Primary Cardholder for the first year ($149 value). Apply by March 29, 2021. Conditions Apply. This offer is only available to residents of Canada other than the province of Quebec (Quebec residents eligible for separate offer).
BMO U.S. Dollar Mastercard
$35 USD
Receive an annual fee rebate with a minimum yearly spend of US$1,000. Plus, spend in US Dollars with no exchange rate surprises.
When your purchases total US$1,000 or more in a year, the next year's annual fee (US$35) is rebated to your card.
Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
Earn 5 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible grocery, dining and entertainment purchases, 3 points per $1 spent on eligible gas, transportation and select streaming services, and 1 point per $1 spent on eligible purchases elsewhere.
Earn 25,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points when you spend at least $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months. Apply by February 28, 2021.
Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card
Earn 2 Scotia Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible grocery store, dining, entertainment and daily transit purchases, and earn 1 Scotia Rewards point for every $1 spent elsewhere.
Earn up to 30,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points (up to a $300 travel value) in your first year. Apply by February 28, 2021.

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How to compare credit cards with no annual fee or foreign transaction fee

While these cards can help you cut down some of your credit card costs, there are a few other fees and features that you can compare to find the right card for you:

  • Annual fee. Does the card offer a $0 annual fee for the life of the card or is it just for a promotional period such as the first year? Make sure you confirm the details of the annual fee before you apply.
  • Purchase rate. If you’re using your card to make purchases overseas, it’s important to compare the interest rates you’ll attract if you don’t pay your account in full each billing cycle. If you do regularly pay off your balance in full, you could also compare cards by the number of interest-free days offered.
  • ATM withdrawal fees. If you use your card for ATM withdrawals, you may be charged a cash advance fee and cash advance interest rate. Some cards may also charge additional ATM withdrawal fees for overseas transactions.
  • Complimentary insurances. If your card is designed for overseas use, it could come with complimentary travel insurance coverage. Some cards also offer purchase insurance coverage and extended warranties, which could come in handy if you’re a regular spender. Make sure you check the policy terms and conditions before you apply so you understand the eligibility requirements, what is covered and how to make a claim.
  • Rewards programs. If your card offers no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees, it may not come with a rewards program. However, if you spend regularly and often pay your balance in full, the value of rewards points could outweigh annual fees and currency conversion costs.
  • Global acceptance. While Visa and Mastercard are accepted in millions of locations around the world, you should ensure that your credit card isn’t restricted by economic sanctions before you travel overseas. In addition, cards like American Express are not as widely accepted around the world.

Compare credit cards with no foreign transaction fees

How much can I save with a no annual fee and no foreign transaction fee card?

If you opt for a credit card that doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee or an annual fee, you could significantly reduce your card costs.

Below, we’ve calculated how much you could save with a card that doesn’t charge either of these fees in comparison to a card that charges no annual fee but has a foreign transaction fee of 2.5%. Please note that we’ve assumed that you repay your balance in full each month, allowing you to avoid interest costs on either card.

No annual fee and no foreign transaction fee cardOther credit card with standard fees
Foreign transaction fee0%2.5%
Currency conversion fee0%3% of transaction value
Overseas ATM withdrawal Fee$0$3 per withdrawal
Amount of purchases made$3,000$3,000
Number of withdrawals made55
Total cost of using credit card overseas for 12 months$0$175

Rates and fees used for example purposes only.

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Bottom line

If you find yourself overseas a lot or you’re frequently shopping online and purchasing from overseas merchants, you may benefit from a no annual fee no foreign transaction fee credit card.

Before applying for a card, carefully compare your options to find one that offers you the most benefits. You can learn more in our credit card guide here.

Frequently asked questions

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