Best Credit Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees from our partners
If you’re planning a vacation outside of the United States, you should never leave the country without at least one credit card that charges no foreign transaction fee. NOT-SO-FUN FACT: Many American credit card companies will charge you an additional fee every time you swipe your credit card with a foreign company or on foreign soil. Since the typical foreign transaction fee is 3%, if you add up the entire cost of your vacation — hotels, restaurants, attractions — you could end up spending hundreds of dollars in fees THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO PAY.
Let’s examine why 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 extra for international purchases. American Express was the leader in putting an end to foreign transaction fees, and many issuers followed suit. While many cards still carry foreign transaction fees, we have put together a list of our favorite cards that don’t.
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. In addition, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card lives up to its name with 25,000 online bonus points after 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. Lastly, all of these perks come with $0 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. Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases 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 annual fee of $89 (waived first year). Frequent fliers should easily earn enough rewards to justify the annual fee.
Another travel card that doesn’t skimp on the reward rate is the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. Earn 2x miles on every purchase, every day. Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn. 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, which is easily redeemed through your Capital One account. You can redeem your miles as a statement credit against the travel purchases you’ve already charged, making it easy to apply the credit towards your hotel or airfare. This card does have an annual fee of $0 intro for first year; $95 after that.