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 APR24.99% (V)
intro BT APR no intro offer no BT fee
rewards 1.5% on all purchases 

earn 1.5% on all purchases with no cap and limitations

fair credit / no credit required

$39 annual fee

good for average credit/limited credit

1.5% cash back

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intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR15.24, 20.24, 24,24%
intro BT APR no intro offer 15.24-24.24%
rewards +$100 bonus 3% on dining, 2% on groceries
  • get $100 for spending $500 on the card in the first 3 months
  • 3% cash back on dining
  • 2% on groceries
  • 1% unlimited on everything else
excellent required

unlimited rewards 3% on dining, 2% on groceries, 1% on other purchases

$100 bonus for spending $500 on the card in the first 3 months

no annual fee

no balance transfer fee

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intro purchase APR n/aregular APR16.49 - 23.49% (V)
intro BT APR 16.24-23.24% 5% BT fee, $5 min
rewards 100,000 intro spending bonus 3x on travel and dining/$300 annual travel credit/$100 Global Entry credit
  • 3x points on purchases in travel and dining categories
  • 1x regular rewards rate
  • 100,000 points intro rewards for spending $4,000 in the first three months of the account. That's $1,500 to spend towards travel if you purchase through Chase Ultimate Rewards® 
  • $300 annual travel credit
  • $100 credit towards Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check purchase.
excellent required

$450 annual fee

$300 annual travel credit

$100 credit on Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check

50,000 intro bonus for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months.

50% bonus on redeeming through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

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intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR7.49 - 7.49% (V)
intro BT APR 7.49% no BT fee
bad credit / no credit required

no annual fee

7.49% APR

no BT fee

no credit check

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intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR20.49 - 20.49% (V)
intro BT APR 20.49 no BT fee
rewards 1-1.25% 
  • get 1% cash back on al purchases
fair credit / no credit required

no annual fee

student card

up to 1.25% cash back

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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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