Best Credit Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees

If you’re planning a vacation outside of the United States, you should never leave the country without a no foreign transaction fee credit card. You may not know, that many credit card companies will charge you an additional fee...

Creditcards.org Team

| March 5, 2019

If you’re planning a vacation outside of the United States, you should never leave the country without a no-foreign-transaction-fee credit card. You may not know that many credit card companies will charge you an additional fee (typically 3%) every time you swipe your credit card internationally. And while that doesn’t sound like a lot of money on single purchases, if you add up the entire cost of your vacation, it can end up being hundreds of dollars in fees.

Let’s examine why a credit card issuers charge this fee. Foreign transaction fees were previously called currency conversion fees. In theory, credit card companies charge the fee to cover the cost of exchanging currency and to mitigate the higher risk of fraud associated with international transactions. Visa and MasterCard charge each bank a foreign transaction fee, so the banks charge the consumer.

Are these fees inevitable? No. While you will always have to pay the currency difference, there are quite a few credit cards on the market that no longer charge you for international purchases. American Express was the leader in putting an end to foreign transaction fees, and shortly after, many issuers followed suit. While many cards still charge foreign transaction fees, we have put together a list of our favorite cards that don’t:

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card - 25,000 Bonus Points Offer

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

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Excellent/Good Credit Needed

Benefits & KEY FEATURES

    • 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
    • 25,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 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 17.24% - 25.24% 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%

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 In addition to not charging foreign transaction fees, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card offers 1.5 points for each dollar spent. Plus, you’ll receive a 25,000 point bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days – equal to $250 in travel rewards. If you have an active Bank of America checking or savings account, you can get an additional 10% customer points bonus on every purchase. Lastly, all of these perks come with no annual fee.  This is truly one of the best travel cards on the market.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days

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Good/Excellent Credit Needed

Benefits & KEY FEATURES

    • Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
    • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase
    • New - Control Your Card - Instantly secure your accounts by locking your cards with Barclays SecurHold™, plus set transaction limits and block certain purchase categories for you or your authorized users. Available only on the Barclays mobile app.
    • Book travel your way—no airline, seat or hotel restrictions—and redeem your miles for travel statement credits
    • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • International Chip and PIN for use at self-service chip terminals around the world
    • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
    • See Rates & Fees

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If you are planning to travel soon, and looking to earn a lot of air miles in a short amount of time, check out the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®. This card tops our list for its high point value – earning 2 miles for every dollar you spend. In addition, you’ll earn 70,000 bonus miles if you spend $5,000 in the first 90 days, equivalent to $700 in travel rewards. If you use this card to book your hotel and flight, you could easily put the $700 towards that cost, all while earning 2 points for every travel-related expense. However, there is a small price to pay for this amazing rewards rate: an $89 annual fee, but that is waived the first year. Frequent fliers should easily earn enough rewards in the first two years to justify the annual fee.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

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

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Excellent/Good Credit Needed

Benefits & KEY FEATURES

    • 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 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels, through January 2020; learn more at hotels.com/venture
    • Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
    • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
    • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
    • 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

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Another travel card that doesn’t skimp on the reward rate is the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Card. You’ll earn 2 miles per dollar spent, plus an early-spend bonus of 50,000 miles (after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months). That early-spend bonus is equivalent to $500 in travel and is easily redeemed through your Capital One account. You can redeem your miles as a statement credit against the travel purchases you’ve already made. This makes it easy to apply the credit towards your hotel or airfare. Plus, these rewards never expire! This card does have a $95 annual fee, but it’s waived the first year.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World EliteTM Mastercard®

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*

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Excellent/Good Credit Needed

Benefits & KEY FEATURES

    • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
    • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations*
    • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at restaurants*
    • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases*
    • Earn a $100 American Airlines Flight Discount after you spend $20,000 or more in purchases during your cardmembership year and renew your card*
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees*
    • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation*
    • Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights*
    • Receive 25% savings on inflight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights*

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The last card on top of our no-foreign-transaction-fee list is the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World EliteTM Mastercard®. Citi has a partnership with American Airlines, so you can receive great rewards by flying American Airlines. You’ll receive 50,000 bonus miles  after spending $2,500 in the first three months. You’ll enjoy preferred boarding, a free checked bag on domestic flights for you and up to 4 companions and 25% off in-flight food and beverages. Additionally, you can earn double AAdvantage® miles on gas stations, restaurants, and eligible American Airlines purchases. If you are a frequent flyer on American, this card was made for you.

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