No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards

May 2, 2018 - Traveling is expensive enough. Save money with a credit card that has no foreign transaction fee. Whether you're sampling local cuisine or shopping online abroad, these are the best cards that give you one less thing to worry about. And for even more travel perks, check out our list of travel cards from our partners.

See the best no foreign transaction fee credit card offers from our partners below.

Apply Now Credit Needed
Excellent, Good
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • New! Earn 10 miles per dollar on hotels when you pay with your Venture card at hotels.com/venture; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
Apply Now at Capital One's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
14.49% - 24.49% (Variable)
Annual Fee
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Credit Needed
Excellent, Good

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

7,668 customer reviews

Apply Now Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel.
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Apply Now at Chase's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
17.49% - 24.49% Variable
Annual Fee
$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95
Credit Needed
Excellent/Good

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Apply Now Credit Needed
Excellent, Good
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day and pay no annual fee
  • New! Earn 10 miles per dollar on hotels when you pay with your VentureOne card at hotels.com/venture; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Enjoy a low intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 13.49%-23.49% variable APR after that
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
Apply Now at Capital One's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
0% intro on purchases for 12 months
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
13.49% - 23.49% (Variable)
Annual Fee
$0
Credit Needed
Excellent, Good

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card

11,756 customer reviews

Apply Now Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire
  • 20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $200 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want – you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees
  • Comes with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases, then 16.49% - 24.49% Variable APR
  • Get an additional 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when you have an active Bank of America® checking or savings account
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25% - 75%
Apply Now at Bank of America's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
0% Introductory APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
16.49% - 24.49% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Annual Fee
$0
Credit Needed
Excellent/Good

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card

Apply Now Credit Needed
Good/Excellent
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on all purchases.
  • Earn a $150 cash rewards intro bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months.
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus on all Cash Rewards earned once a year.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers, then a 14.49%, 18.49% or 24.49% variable APR.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $0 liability for unauthorized purchases.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply Now at HSBC's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
0% Intro APR for 15 months
Regular APR
Variable APR of 14.49%, 18.49% or 24.49%
Annual Fee
$0
Credit Needed
Good/Excellent
See Rates & Fees

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Apply Now Credit Needed
Excellent, Good
  • One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 14.49%-24.49% variable APR after that
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months; 14.49%-24.49% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
Apply Now at Capital One's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
0% intro on purchases for 15 months
Balance Transfers Intro APR
0% intro on balance transfers for 15 months
Regular APR
14.49% - 24.49% (Variable)
Annual Fee
$0
Credit Needed
Excellent, Good

Discover it® Cashback Match™

Discover it® Cashback Match™

26,257 customer reviews

Apply Now Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
  • 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.
  • Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Intro Offer: Discover will match all the cash back earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • No annual fee.
Apply Now at Discover's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
0% for 14 months
Balance Transfers Intro APR
0% for 14 months
Regular APR
13.49% - 24.49% Variable
Annual Fee
$0
Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
See Rates & Fees

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Apply Now Credit Needed
Excellent, Good
  • Earn a one-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, 2% on groceries and 1% on all other purchases
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 15.99%-24.74% variable APR after that
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months; 15.99%-24.74% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
Apply Now at Capital One's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
0% intro on purchases for 15 months
Balance Transfers Intro APR
0% intro on balance transfers for 15 months
Regular APR
15.99% - 24.74% (Variable)
Annual Fee
$0
Credit Needed
Excellent, Good

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

2,315 customer reviews

Apply Now Credit Needed
Excellent Credit
  • Earn 50K bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Named a ‘Best Travel Credit Card for 2017’ by MONEY® Magazine
  • 3X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Plus, no foreign transaction fees
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
Apply Now at Chase's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
17.49% - 24.49% Variable
Annual Fee
$450
Credit Needed
Excellent Credit

Discover it® Miles

Discover it® Miles

322 customer reviews

Apply Now Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
  • We'll match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 30,000 Miles, you get 60,000 Miles.
  • Unlimited 1.5x Miles per dollar on all purchases, every day, with no annual fee.
  • No Blackout Dates - fly any airline, stay at any hotel.
  • Redeem your Miles as a statement credit towards travel purchases.
  • Freeze your account in seconds with an on/off switch either on the mobile app or website to prevent new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Receive Free Social Security number alerts— Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • No Annual Fee.
Apply Now at Discover's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
0% for 14 months
Balance Transfers Intro APR
10.99% for 14 months
Regular APR
13.49% - 24.49% Variable
Annual Fee
$0
Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
See Rates & Fees

Comparing Credit Card Offers with No Foreign Transaction Fee

Updated: May 2, 2018

You just got back from a pricey trip abroad and while reviewing your credit card statement, you noticed the expected airfare, lodging and food charges, but also “foreign transaction fee” charges. What’s that all about?

Traveling is expensive enough. Save money with a credit card that has no foreign transaction fee. Whether you’re 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.

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. To get to our top picks, we evaluated over 50 credit cards without a foreign transaction fee using the following criteria: other rates and fees, general rewards rates, sign-up bonuses, point values, redemption options, customer service and other miscellaneous travel benefits. Here are our results, along with helpful tips to help you make a decision on the right card.

We not only explain what you need to know about foreign transaction fees, but also how to plan for your overseas travel financial strategy, and pick the right card to accompany your travels. Take a look below:

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.


At a Glance: The Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards of 2018

CardBest For:Annual FeeWelcome BonusBonus Spend Requirement
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit CardBest for hotel purchases$0 intro for first year, then $9550,000 Miles$3,000 / 3 months
Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardBest for flexible travel rewards$0 intro for first year, then $9550,000 Bonus Points$4,000 / 3 months
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit CardBest for no annual feeNone20,000 Miles$1,000 / 3 months
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit CardBest for online bonusNone20,000 Bonus Points$1,000 / 90 days
HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit cardBest for anniversary bonusNone$150$500 / 3 months
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit CardBest for flat-rate cash backNone$150 Cash Bonus$500 / 3 months
Discover it® Cashback Match™Best for rotating bonus categoriesNoneDiscover will match all the cash back earned at the end of your first year, automaticallyAutomatic
Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit CardBest for foodiesNone$150 Cash Bonus$500 / 3 months
Chase Sapphire Reserve® CardBest for airport lounge access$45050,000 Bonus Points$4,000 / 3 months
Discover it® MilesBest for flat-rate bonus milesNoneMatch Mile For Mile: We'll match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first yearAutomatic

Methodology

No foreign transaction fee credit cards analyzed: 938

Criteria used: Rates and fees, rewards rates, rewards categories, sign-up bonuses, point values, redemption options, redemption flexibility, credit needed, travel benefits, transfer partners, international customer service, security, ease of application

What is a foreign transaction fee?

Foreign transaction fees are charges – usually around 3 percent of the total amount – that many credit card issuers and payment networks place on purchases made in a foreign currency or on purchases that involve a foreign bank.

Usually, foreign transaction fees are a percentage of the amount of each foreign currency purchase, with no minimum or maximum. The card issuing bank may choose to pass that fee along to consumers; most do, and some tack on their own fees.

Banks can add foreign transaction fees onto any credit card charge that’s processed outside of the United States. These aren’t foreign exchange fees, so you can find these charges on your credit card statement even when you make overseas purchases in US dollars. In fact, you don’t even have to leave the country to get hit with foreign transaction fees; if you so much as place an online order from a foreign company, including something as innocuous as booking an airline ticket from a carrier that doesn’t have a US-based website — you could find yourself with an additional 3 percent fee rolled into the total cost of your transaction.

The bottom line is that, like baggage and passports, foreign transaction fees have been a standard part of international travel for years. Banks can get away with these fees… so they do, both ways: Our international counterparts are also being charged these fees on their foreign credit cards whenever they make purchases from US companies and on American soil.

Fortunately, the average consumer has gotten more and more savvy to these hidden costs, and credit card companies are dropping their fees in response.

If you’d like to avoid paying these unnecessary fees on any potential foreign transactions you make (including buying a postcard stamp in Canada) – you’ll want to consider a no foreign transaction fee card similar to the ones we introduce below. Here are the ins and outs of this fee, and advice on avoiding extra charges when traveling abroad.

What our experts are saying

Credit card holders are typically charged foreign transaction fees when they purchase items while overseas or when they make purchases that use an overseas bank to process the transaction.

Why? “Because banks have to convert your money spent into U.S. dollars so they can charge your account,” said Victoria L. Fillet, a financial adviser with Blueprint Financial Planning in Hoboken, New Jersey. That conversion costs money, and some card-issuing banks pass that cost along to consumers in the form of foreign transaction fees.

According to Nessa Feddis, vice president and senior counsel for the American Bankers Association, foreign transaction fees also help banks offset the greater fraud risks associated with international transactions. "There are risks and costs associated with any money conversion,” she said.

This trend of disappearing foreign transaction fees is expected to continue, according to industry experts, which is good news for consumers.

“It’s called ‘competition,’” ABA’s Feddis said. “Cards without foreign transaction fees are widely available in a highly competitive market as banks fight to attract and keep customers. For people who don’t travel abroad it may not be important, but there are many for whom it might be very important. So you will see banks respond. It’s the customers who drive the credit card features and terms.”

Tips for spending internationally (before, during and after travel)

  • Diversify. “My biggest tip for spending overseas is to diversify; always carry both cash and credit,” says Lyn Alden, world traveler and founder of Lyn Alden Investment Strategy. “Credit cards are safer, more convenient and give better rewards, so I use them as my primary spending method. But when you're outside of your country, it's critical to have backups, and to have alternate ways to spend.” Some travel experts recommend that you carry 2 cards with different issuers and different networks.
  • Know your card terms. If you can't readily find information about foreign transaction fees, pick up the phone and call the number on the back of your card. It should also be displayed with your “rates and fees” clause. Note that terms of cards from the same issuer can vary. If you travel often, it may make sense to apply for a credit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees.
  • Research your overseas bank network. Check if your bank is part of a global ATM network that you can use to access cash overseas for free – or at least at a lower cost.
  • Always pay in the local currency. Sometimes, foreign merchants will offer to convert your purchase to U.S. dollars before you pay with your card. Decline so that you avoid dynamic currency conversion costs that you’ll have to shoulder. “So many places try to say ‘convenience,’ but the rate is not favorable to the traveler,” says travel blogger Suzanne Wolko of PhilaTravelGirl.com.
  • About those traveler's checks. “Don’t bother; they are too much of a hassle,” says Wolko.
  • Call your bank. Make sure they are aware that you may use your ATM card in the country you will be traveling to, says Wolko.
  • Use only credit abroad. Some travel experts actually advise that you not use a debit card in a foreign country. That’s because you are protected when there is an unauthorized charge on your credit card, and you might be protected if a product isn’t delivered as promised. A debit card, with your PIN, can mean free money for the bad guys, if your bank doesn’t have protections in place for you. Check with your financial institution.
  • Try local apps. Wolko advises that you use apps tied to your credit card to avoid dealing with cash or credit cards, such as Uber, Lyft or MyTaxi.

How much is the typical foreign transaction fee?

Most foreign transaction fees vary between 2 percent and 3 percent of the purchase. Often, the fee has two parts: one charged by the payment network, such as Visa and Mastercard, and one charged by the card issuer, which can be anything from a bank like Chase, or a brand like Hilton.

Networks Visa and Mastercard typically charge a 1 percent fee for each foreign transaction. Issuers might tack on an additional 1 to 2 percent. American Express, which doesn’t use Visa or Mastercard’s payment system, often tacks on a foreign transaction fee of 2.7 percent onto its cards.

Again, a foreign transaction can be a purchase processed through a foreign bank (such as when you buy something from a non-U.S. retailer website), or when you travel overseas, including when you use an ATM. Note that there can actually be multiple fees at a foreign ATM, including a flat-rate international ATM surcharge as well as an ATM access fee.

How to choose the right credit card with no foreign transaction fee

  1. Does the card fit your lifestyle? OneSavvyDollar.com founder Ogechi Igbokwe says he knew that once he graduated from grad school, he planned to travel overseas, so a card with no foreign transaction fee made sense.
  2. Does it come with an annual fee? Says Igbokwe: “Golden rule when making a purchase: The cost of getting a thing must never outweigh the benefit.” So, make sure you will recoup on the annual fee or that the card has an advantage that makes the fee worthwhile.
  3. Is it widely accepted? “A no foreign transaction fee card is only good if it is accepted everywhere you go,” says Natasha Rachel Smith of TopCashback.com. For example, she says, while 2 of the major card networks are less common outside of the U.S., Visa and Mastercard are more popular overseas.
  4. Any rewards? Because there is such a wide range of cards offering no foreign transaction fee, you’ll want to look at rewards that are offered. However, “Prior to applying for any card, check the terms and conditions to make sure the card allows you to receive rewards on international purchases,” says Smith.
  5. What other features are there? Krista Canfield McNish, of travel website and blog FoodWaterShoes.com, has a card that covers up to $1,500 in trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance per trip for nonrefundable expenses due to personal or family injury, illness, or death if you booked your trip with your card, which she says is a handy bonus. “I also love that the card doesn’t require me to call [the issuer] or to log in online to notify them of upcoming travel before I take off,” McNish says.
  6. Chip and PIN or chip and signature? Most U.S.-based cards are chip and signature (for now), while in other parts of the world, such as Europe, they use chip and PIN. Both are designed for increased safety. (If your card is exclusively magnetic stripe, (the old, common system) that could be an issue for overseas travel – best to apply for a card that carries the chip technology, called EMV.) For the most part, chip and signature will work fine overseas, provided there is a cashier, but if this is an issue for you, check with your bank to see if your card uses a PIN.
  7. Have you done your research? “Keep in mind that not every country is U.S. credit card-friendly (for example, European cards are more likely to work in countries like Cuba than U.S. credit cards), so it's a good idea to do your homework before you take off,” says McNish.

Want more information?

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!

In summary, here are our picks for the best credit cards for international travel with no foreign transaction fee:

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* For additional rates, fees and costs see issuer's website for detailed pricing and terms.