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No-foreign-transaction-fee credit cards

Avoid the sting of fees when you travel overseas with your cards.

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Our pick for no foreign fees: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card logo

Up to 5x

Points

  • Signup bonus worth $750 with Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 1:1 point transfer to partner hotels and airlines
  • Low annual fee for a travel card
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When you’re traveling internationally, you may be subject to a fee on every credit card purchase you make. If you plan on spending money overseas, a credit card without foreign transaction fees can save you hundreds of dollars.

Compare cards with no foreign transaction fees

Want to size up your options side-by-side? Choose your credit score below and click Show cards to start comparing no foreign transaction fee credit cards.

Name Product Foreign transaction fee Annual fee Purchase APR Filter values
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
None
$95
15.99% to 22.99% variable
Earn a signup bonus worth $750 with this popular travel card. Combine with other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards for even greater value.
American Express® Gold Card
None
$250
See pay over time APR
Earn up to 4x points on select purchases, a bevy of travel perks, and a welcome offer worth up to $600 with this upper-mid tier travel card. Rates & fees
Petal® 2
None
$0
12.99% to 26.99% variable
Build your credit with rewards and no fees: Apply if you're new to credit or have a fair to good score of 600 or higher. See if you prequalify with no impact to your score.
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No-foreign-transaction-fee cards by issuer

AMEX logoBank-of-America-LogoBarclaycard-Logo
Capital-One-LogoChase-LogoCiti credit cards logo
Discover provider logohsbc logoTD Bank provider logo
US Bank provider logoUSAA provider logoWells Fargo Card provider logo

Foreign transaction fees by credit card issuer

Below you’ll find a list of the lowest, highest and average foreign transaction fees you’ll find across the major credit card providers.

Card issuerAverage foreign transaction feeLowest foreign transaction feeHighest foreign transaction fee
American Express0%0%2.7%
Chase0%0%3%
Bank of America0%0%3%
Capital One0%0%0%
Citi3%0%3%
Barclaycard0%0%3%
Wells Fargo3%0%3%
US Bank3%, or 2% in USD0%3%, or 2% in USD

When is a foreign transaction fee applied?

Credit card providers may apply a foreign transaction fee for any of the following transactions:

  • Overseas transactions
  • Transactions made online in a foreign currency
  • Transactions made with a retailer outside of the US

Credit card companies can charge foreign transaction fees even when the purchase is made in USD, though some companies charge less than purchases made with other currencies.

Case study: How do foreign transaction fees work

Let’s say you’re paying $1,000 for an 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.

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How to choose a 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.

  • 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.
  • APR. 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.
  • Promotional rates. Some cards without foreign transaction fees offer 0% introductory promotional interest rates on balance transfers, on purchases or on both. You’ll pay no interest during the promotional period as long as you make your payments on time.With a low promotional rate, you can use your credit card to book a trip and make purchases while you’re traveling at no interest and with no foreign transaction fee. Consider also the length of the promotional rate and the interest rate after the promotion ends.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Security features. Many credit cards now feature safer EMV chip technology, which makes it more difficult to copy or duplicate the credit card. Fortunately, many foreign countries already accept EMV chip credit cards. Look for a no foreign transaction fee credit card with EMV chip technology for safer transactions when you’re traveling abroad.
  • International credit card acceptance. 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.
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How can I avoid foreign transaction fees?

Here are some other options that allow you to avoid or minimize foreign transaction fees:

  • Prepaid travel money cards.
    Consider travel money cards, which offer the convenience of credit cards without the costs of international transaction fees or ATM withdrawal fees.
  • Foreign cash.
    Using cash eliminates bank transaction and ATM fees, but you may still have to pay a fee for the currency exchange. You could also use a money transfer service to send money to your destination and pick it up when you arrive. Be careful with large amounts of money — if you lose it, it’s not replaceable.
  • Traveler’s checks.
    These can help you avoid international transaction fees, but they are slowly being phased out because of other fees and limited acceptance.
  • Foreign partners of your bank.
    Check with your bank if it’s in an ATM alliance with financial partners abroad. If so, you may be able to use a foreign bank’s ATMs with waived fees.

How will I know if a credit card is a no-foreign-transaction-fee card?

If a credit card doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee, you can be sure that the credit card issuer markets this benefit prominently in its credit card offers. You can also check the credit card terms and conditions to find out whether a card issuer charges a foreign transaction fee. If you have trouble locating the foreign transaction fee for a credit card, call the credit card issuer to find out whether the card charges a foreign transaction fee or not.

Common mistakes to avoid when using no-foreign-transaction-fee travel credit cards

  • Withdrawing cash.
    Just because a card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees doesn’t mean you won’t pay fees for withdrawing cash. In actuality, you’ll be hit with cash advance fees, and your transactions will start accruing interest at a higher cash advance APR.
  • Forgetting about currency conversion.
    Foreign transactions are usually converted to USD at the applicable exchange rate. Because of this you might not know exactly how much your purchase will add to your balance before it posts to your account. Keep currency conversion in mind so you don’t exceed your credit limit.
  • Paying off your balance only partially.
    If you don’t pay off your balance in full by the due date each billing period, the remaining balance will start accruing interest.

No-foreign-transaction-fee credit card vs. using cash

When you’re traveling overseas, whether to carry cash or credit depends on where you’re traveling and what your plan to purchase. Cash is universal, and many countries accept US dollars, however, a credit card is often a better choice. While you may carry some cash for smaller purchases, like restaurants, a credit card is a better option for hotels and car rentals.

Carrying cash is riskier in cities because of the chance of being pickpocketed. If your cash is stolen, you can’t recoup your funds. On the other hand, your credit card issuer likely has a zero fraud liability policy that will eliminate your responsibility for charges made on a stolen credit card.

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Frequently asked questions

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4 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    MarinaOctober 12, 2018

    I believe that there are no international fees on a ’28 Degree Mastercard’.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      nikkiangcoOctober 12, 2018Staff

      Hi Marina,

      Yes, you are correct! There are no foreign transaction fees when you use Latitude 28° Global Platinum Mastercard to make a purchase when you travel or shop online.

      There are also no overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee, however, there is an overseas cash advance fee which is 3% of the cash advance or $4 (whichever is greater).

      Hope this was helpful. Don’t hesitate to message us back if you have more questions.

      Regards,
      Nikki

    Default Gravatar
    MebbieNovember 17, 2017

    Looking for credit card with no foreign transaction fees, cash back rewards, and no annual fee. I have excellent credit rating.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ArnoldNovember 18, 2017Staff

      Hi Mebbie,

      Thanks for your inquiry

      The page above already shows you options for credit cards with no foreign transaction fees. You may go ahead and compare them to check which one suits your needs. However, you can also check no annual fee credit cards with rewards.

      Please make sure you check if you meet the eligibility requirements to avoid applying for the wrong credit card.

      Hope this information helps

      Cheers,
      Arnold

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