Traveling is expensive enough. Save money with a credit card that has no foreign transaction fee. Whether your sampling local cuisine or shopping online abroad, these cards give you one less thing to worry about. And for even more travel perks, check out our list of travel cards from our partners.
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Updated: February 1, 2018
Many credit cards charge a foreign transaction fee, but there are some that don’t. If you are a frequent traveler or shop online with overseas vendors, it might be worth your while to find a card without a foreign transaction fee. But there are some things to know, which we explain here:
We not only explain what you need to know about foreign transaction fees, but also overseas travel and picking the right card. Take a look here:
Foreign transaction fees are charges many credit card issuers placed on purchases made in a foreign currency or on purchases that involve a foreign bank. Most foreign transaction fees are 2%-3% of the purchase. There are actually 2 fees: One from the payment network and one from the card issuer. Networks Visa and Mastercard typically charge a 1 percent fee for each foreign transaction. Then, issuers might charge an additional 1%-2%. American Express, which doesn’t use Visa or Mastercard’s payment system, often has a foreign transaction fee of 2.7% on its cards.
A foreign transaction can be a purchase processed through a foreign bank or when you travel overseas, including when you use ATM machines. (Note that there can actually be multiple fees at a foreign ATM machine, including a flat-rate international ATM surcharge and an ATM access fee.) The foreign transaction fee is a charge that is processed by a foreign bank or is in a foreign currency. Heads up that even if the charge is in U.S. dollars, if it passes through a foreign bank, there can be a foreign transaction fee.
|Card||Rewards Rate||Welcome Bonus||Bonus Requirement|
|Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card||Unlimited 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day||20,000 Miles||Spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases||50,000 Bonus Points||Spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening|
|Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card||Unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day||50,000 Miles||Spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening|
|HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card||1.5% cash rewards on all purchases||$150 cash rewards||Spend $500 in the first 3 months|
|Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card||Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day||$150 Cash Bonus||Spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening|
|Discover it® Cashback Match™||Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.||Discover will match all the cash back earned at the end of your first year, automatically||Automatic|
|Capital One® SavorSM Cash Rewards Credit Card||Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, 2% on groceries and 1% on all other purchases||$150 Cash Bonus||Spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening|
|Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card||Unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases||20,000 Online Bonus Points||Make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days|
|The Platinum Card from American Express||5x points on travel booked through the Amex Travel website||60,000 Membership Rewards® points||$5,000 in spend over the first 3 months|
|The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN||3x points on 1 of 5 categories, 2x points on other 4 categories, and 1x points everywhere else||50,000 Membership Rewards® Points||Spend $5,000 in the first 3 months|
Once you narrow your choice down to a few products, you can find product-specific reviews for travel cards, hotel cards and airline cards. Use these reviews to help make your final application decisions!
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