Credit Cards with no Foreign Transaction Fee for those who Travel

When travelling abroad, one more hassle is added to the language barrier, dealing with unusual situations, and cultural differences: local currencies. In the past, travelers used to stop by a local foreign exchange office just after the airport gate and exchanged some of their money to local currency, being ripped off by fees and unfavorable exchange rates in the process.

Today it has been proven many times that the most cost effective way to exchange money while travelling is by just by using your credit card for all foreign purchases. The exchange rate that your card will offer you is determined by VISA or MasterCard payment systems and is much better than any local exchange offices will ever offer you.

The only big bump on the road is a foreign transaction fee (commonly around 3%) that most U.S. credit cards charge for every foreign purchase. Luckily, there is a good choice of cards that do not charge any FX fee. Have a look at our list of our best credit cards for international travel:

intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR16.49 - 23.49% (V)
intro BT APR no intro offer 16.49 - 23.49%
rewards 1x-2x points on $1 +50,000 bonus
  • earn 2x points on travel and dining out 
  • get 50,000 bonus after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • get 5,000 bonus miles after adding authorized user in 3 months after account opening
  • 25% more in travel redemption

 

good credit required

$95 annual fee, waived for the first year

or no annual fee for basic Sapphire card

2x points on travel and dining

1 point per dollar on all other purchases as usual

the card is made of metal

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intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99%* Variable
intro BT APR 0% for 12 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening) 3%, Minimum $5
rewards 2x miles on all purchases + 50,000 miles on sign up
excellent / good credit required

$89 - waived for first year

Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $500 travel statement credit

Earn 2X miles on all purchases

Redeem for travel or cash back statement credits, gift cards and merchandise. Redemption values vary

Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem

Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing

No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country

0% introductory APR for 12 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, 16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Please note, there is a fee for balance transfers

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intro purchase APR 0% for 12 monthsregular APR12.49%, 17.49% or 22.49%
intro BT APR 12.49-22.49% no BT fee
rewards 1.25 miles/$1 +20,000 miles bonus
  • earn 20,000 miles for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • get 1.25 miles on all purchases
  • redeem miles as statement credit towards travel expenses
good credit required

no annual fee

20,000 miles bonus

1.25 mile/$1 for every purchase

0% intro APR for 12 months

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intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR16.24%, 20.24% or 24.24% Variable
intro BT APR 0% for 12 months 3% BT fee $5 min
rewards 2x miles on travel and dining, 1x miles on all other purchases, 20,000 sign up bonus
excellent / good credit required

Earn 20,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $200 travel statement credit

Earn 2X miles on travel & dining and 1X miles on all other purchases

Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem

Chip card technology, so paying for your purchases is more secure at chip-card terminals in the U.S. and abroad

No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country

0% introductory APR for 12 months for each Balance Transfer made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, currently 16.24%, 20.24% or 24.24%, depending on your creditworthiness

Complimentary online FICO® Credit Score access for Barclaycard Arrival cardmembers

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intro purchase APR 0% APR offerregular APR*see offers
intro BT APR 0% BT APR offer *see offers
rewards earn miles for your spending 
excellent / good credit required

no annual fee

no foreign transaction fee

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In short, all Capital One credit cards do not charge any international transaction fee, along with some travel credit cards from Bank of America, Chase, Barclay’s, and Citi. You cannot go wrong with any of these offers. Just pick the one that caters better your needs.

Consider cards’ sign-up bonuses, regular rewards rate, annual fee, and credit level needed to apply.

It is advised that you do not use AmEx or Discover cards, despite that some of the AmEx cards don’t charge you an FX fee. These cards are not as widely accepted abroad as VISA or MasterCard and chances are you can stack somewhere without the ability to pay with your plastic.

It is also good to know that many VISA and Master Card credit cards offer you these essential travel benefits:

  • Cover rental cars collision damage
  • Medical evacuation expenses
  • And other useful travel perks (call the bank or read your card terms and conditions – usually it depends on your card status level)

 

Yet another good piece of advice is to call a bank in advance to inform them what locations are you travelling – it can prevent triggering an unusual transaction flag and the blocking of your card when you need it most.



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