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...
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:
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.
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
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®
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.