Best Rewards Credit Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees Best Rewards Credit Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees

Best Rewards Credit Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees

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If you plan on traveling overseas or purchasing online from an overseas vendor, you can save a small fortune by investing in a credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. Overseas transaction fees are typically around 3%, so for every $1,000 you spend abroad, it will cost you roughly $30 if you use the wrong rewards card.

Use a credit card without foreign transaction fees
Don't pay 3% more for dinner in Plaza Real, Barcelona

Thankfully, the list of credit cards without foreign transaction fees includes some of the best travel rewards cards available to U.S. consumers. Whether you’re paying for a local food tour in Hanoi, purchasing a flight from an airline with no U.S.-facing website, or buying the finest Middle Earth Manuka Honey from New Zealand (yes, you can actually buy Hobbit Honey), these are the best cards to use and not have to pay a foreign transaction fee on your purchase.

Best Cards Without Foreign Transaction Fees

Credit CardBest ForWelcome OfferBonus Rewards CategoriesAnnual Fee
Savor Rewards from Capital OneCash back rewards$300 Cash Back after you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening4% Cash Back on dining, entertainment, and popular streaming services; 3% at grocery stores; and 1 % on all other purchases.$95
Ink Business Preferred® Credit CardTransferable rewards - business cardNew Cardmember Offer! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases-with no limit to the amount you can earn.$95
Chase Sapphire Reserve®Transferable rewards - premium cardEarn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®Earn Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases$550
The World of Hyatt Credit CardHotel rewardsEarn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent.Earn up to 9 points total per $1 spent at Hyatt - 4 Bonus Points per $1 when you use your card at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 you can earn as a World of Hyatt member$95
Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardTransferable rewardsEarn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.Earn 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards (2X on other travel); 3X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out; 3X points on streaming services; 3X points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs); and 1X on all other purchases.$95
Citi Prestige® CardTransferable rewards - premium cardEarn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 within 3 months of account opening.Earn 5X points on purchases at airlines, travel agencies, and restaurants (including cafes, bars, lounges and fast food restaurants); 3X points on purchases on hotels and cruise lines; and 1 point on all other purchases.$495
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressTransferable rewards - premium cardEarn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.$695 - Rates & Fees
Citi Premier® CardTransferable rewardsEarn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024.Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets. Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Other Hotels. Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases.$95
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit CardFixed-value rewardsEnjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 Miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening2 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day, and 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.$95
U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® CardFixed-value rewards - premium cardEarn 50,000 points when you spend $4,500 in the first 90 days of account openingEarn 3X points for every $1 on eligible net travel purchases and mobile wallet spending$400
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®Airline rewardsEarn 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account openingEarn 2X AA miles on American Airlines purchases, at restaurants, and on gas stations purchases, and 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases$99, waived for first 12 months
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®Airline rewardsEarn 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening.Earn 2X AA miles on American Airlines purchases, at telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants, and gas stations, and 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases$99, waived for first 12 months
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®Fixed-value rewardsThis card is no longer available to new applicants.Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase$89 (waived first year)

How to Avoid Foreign Transaction Fees

If you choose the right rewards card, you don’t have to make any extra effort to avoid this nasty fee. Just use your card for every purchase, and your transaction will be converted to U.S. dollars on your statement—typically at a much better exchange rate than you’ll get exchanging U.S. dollars for local currency.

The reason you get a great exchange rate is that payment processors convert huge volumes of foreign currency every day. That means you’re getting the wholesale rate Visa or Mastercard pay on all their global transactions, will little or no markup.

However, the banks have one additional trick up their sleeves: When making a purchase abroad, you may be given a choice between paying in U.S. dollars or the local currency. You definitely don’t want to convert the transaction to dollars. This service, also known as Dynamic Currency Conversion, is a huge ripoff.

Our Selection Criteria for Cards With No Foreign Transaction Fees

When choosing our favorite cards with no foreign transaction fees, we’ve focused primarily on cards that earn transferable or fixed-value rewards, rather than co-brand cards earning airline miles or hotel points. With the current trend of award-chart devaluations and a steady transition to revenue-based rewards programs, points that transfer to a variety of airline and hotel programs offer much better value than points and miles issued by a single hotel or airline brand. We’ve also given plenty of weight to select bonus rewards categories, favoring travel, dining, entertainment, and gas purchases, as they make up a significant portion of vacation and business travel spending.

Another consideration we took into account when compiling this list was how widely the issuer is accepted overseas? In Australia, for example, Visa and Mastercard are accepted everywhere from major cities to small outback country towns. However, American Express cards aren’t as widely accepted and often have an additional ‘merchant fee' of 2-3% tacked on outside of major retailers. A lot of Amex cards also feature bonus spending categories that are restricted to U.S. vendors, so while there are plenty of Amex cards that don’t charge foreign transaction fees, only one made it into the table above.

And, lastly, we look at how well the benefits account for the annual fee. We’ve included more premium travel cards, those with annual fees north of $400 than typically found in ‘best of' lists of cards with no foreign transaction fees. But, in this case, the majority of travel rewards cards with higher annual fees also offer perks such as travel and airline credits, complimentary lounge access, elite status benefits, and a wide range of travel and purchase protections that add an additional layer of value and security when traveling abroad.

Final Thoughts

Acquiring a rewards card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees is a great way of reducing the out-of-pocket expense of traveling overseas. Highlights include the class-leading Ink Preferred business card, which will net you 3x Ultimate Rewards points on travel (up to a combined $150K in bonus category purchases), without the premium annual fee charged on the Sapphire Reserve.

For rates and fees of the cards mentioned in this post, please visit the following links: The Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees)

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  • I haven’t traveled internationally (yet), but this was a great heads-up! I haven’t traveled internationally (yet) so have never considered it, so I checked and am happy to find out that while my card didn’t make the list I won’t be charged a foreign transaction fee!

    However, does anyone still convert their cash to local currency and carry money with them the old-fashioned way anymore? Is it still a good idea to visit the exchanger in the airport, or does everyone generally accept cards these days and hard cash isn’t necessary?

  • Thanks for the recommendations. I really like using my Chase Sapphire Preferred while abroad to avoid foreign transaction fees.

  • Excellent list. 20 yrs ago Outrageous foreign fees were the norm. An AMEX over seas can be useful some spots and others not. I Always keep a back up travel visa & Mc card with no foreign fee.

  • Always good to keep in mind. Foreign transaction fees will eat up any reward value.

  • This is a great write up but don’t forget to point out which cards’ bonus categories don’t apply overseas. Most Amex cards only give bonus categories for purchases domestically. So no, you’re not paying a FTF however you’re missing out on bonus points. The Sapphire Reserve however has no limitations. Just something to consider.

  • Amanda Kinsel says:

    We LOVE our Chase sapphire preferred card for this very reason!

  • Christopher says:

    It is so important to know which cards have foreign transaction fees and which do not. Plus, make sure you update and double check before you leave.

  • John Arnold says:

    Good tips! A lot of places we’ve been traveling in South America are cash-focused, so definitely research ATMs before traveling too.

  • Thanks!! just getting ready for some international travel.

  • I keep forgetting about this! Mostly my husband uses his card and it doesn’t have a fee, so we don’t have to worry. However, this coming trip we both will be charging so I need to look through my cards. This is great info! It’ll help with not having to travel with all my cards too.

    How do you all have your wallet set up when you travel?

  • Joaquin | says:

    Actually I use a lot of promotions outside my country and it’s so difficult since every time they want to left out of the deal just because of paying with a credit card issued by another country..

  • Frank Cheng says:

    Wonder if there any non credit cards with no foreign transaction fees

  • cheap no-fee capital one and discover work great for our budget minded infrequent traveling.

  • Patrick B. says:

    Great to see such a comprehensive list of credit cards offered in the US with no foreign transaction fees. Would be awesome to see a list of those offered in Canada as well

  • All cards by default should avoid this bogus fee.

  • USAA offers several rewards or cash back cards that have no foreign transaction fees.

  • Rodney Ross says:

    Always looking for new card reward offers. I am amazed some of my friends cant be bothered

  • Has you ever considered the Paypal Cashback Mastercard? It has no annual fee, 2% cashback on all purchases, and no FTF. What are your thoughts?

  • I like the Capital One Quicksilver card for no annual fee and no FX fees and simple cash back.

  • Always keep this is mind when traveling overseas.

  • Banks are really greedy. Does not surprise me at all!!!

  • We’ve been using Penfed’s Visa card. No foreign transaction fees… and we’ve been super happy.

  • Maryjane says:

    I have lots of cards with no foreign transaction fees, but until I got the arrival plus card, I didn’t have one that gave more than one point per dollar on regular purchases. It has already been useful.

  • Always travel with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

  • Paul Heymont says:

    Two more points for this great article:

    1. Some banks also charge 1% or 3% on cash withdrawals at ATMs overseas—that’s right, they charge money for money you already own. It’s more common these days; Citibank didn’t charge this in the past and then they did, so check your bank. One way around it: a Charles Schwab account. No minimum, no fee, and they rebate any ATM fees you encounter, and they do not charge Forex fee on your own money!

    2. More and more, bank ATMs in Europe are offering Dynamic Currency Conversion on withdrawals. It’s the same trap as with credit cards; do not accept it!

    • Paul, thanks for taking the time to remind folks of these fees. The more people that can successfully avoid them, the better chance we have of them disappearing all together!

  • I’m trying to remember – ALL CapitalOne cards don’t have the FTF, right?

  • Steven William Van Meter says:

    i like the 3x points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. zero foreign transaction fees.

  • I’ll definitely pick one of these cards up!

  • Great overview of these types of cards. Always something to consider when looking to get a new card.

  • I’ve heard conflicting info about who has the best rates, Visa vs. MasterCard.
    What’s your take on it?

  • It’s hard to put any Amex on this list with their acceptance issues in other countries.

    And while contactless is increasingly an option, I’ve still run into chip+PIN kiosks in multiple countries over the last year, so that’s an important consideration.

  • I don’t know. This list seems rather short. For instance, donn’t all Capital One cards have no foreign transaction fees?

  • Thanks for the list. I need another foreign transaction fee free card.

  • CSR all the time for me!

  • I know for a fact that the many if not all of the so-called no-foreign-transaction-fee Bank of America and American Exprss Cards just bury the fees into the final amount instead of itemizing them as they had done in the past. I found out by making train ticket purchases from the automated ticket machines during single sessions that should not last more than 15 minutes with fee-charging and no-fee BOA and AMEX cards in Europe.

  • CSR and ink are my go to.

  • I use discover card. Works great in Asia (especially Japan) and has no annual fee or foreign transaction fee!

  • Every bit of savings helps. Never charge overseas without a no foreign transaction fee CC.

  • no fx fees are always worth a look

  • Steven William Van Meter says:

    I like that the Wells Fargo Propel Amex earns 3X points on a wide variety of travel and dining purchases and doesn’t charge an annual fee. That will save me $,

  • Stacy Liu says:

    Perks of having the Capital One is no foreign transaction fees!! Super convenient.

    • The entry level Quicksilver having no FTFs is huge. That’s the workhorse right now for my wife and I.

  • I think US Bank is still one of the worst offenders when it comes to FTFs, especially when it comes to travel cards (the Radisson card immediately comes to mind given how many non-US properties they have). AMEX has been really good in the past few years about removing FTFs from their travel cards and it is definitely time US Bank and others that still do this remove them. If anything, do it for the swipe fees you will receive!

  • I keep explaining this to my friends and they just shrug and keep their terrible cards. They don’t travel as much as we do so they can’t be bothered. They are also the ones who will get just $20-worth of cash each time at a foreign ATM, paying a $5 fee…

    • Wow. Not a great parallel but another example of the poor keeping themselves poor. These individuals don’t sound poor but they’re certainly making poor decisions.

  • lorem ipsum says:

    For leisure travel, restaurants and hotels are my biggest expenses, so I use the Citi Prestige at those establishments (and for entertainment purchases until 9/31/19). Outside those categories, I use the Chase Ink Preferred. And I bring a Barclays card for Chip + PIN, if neither of the first two cards are accepted (at some unattended gas stations and train stations, for example).

  • Elizabeth says:

    In this day and age pretty easy to avoid foreign transaction fees. Know the rules before you go.

  • lorem ipsum says:

    If I’m doing leisure travel, restaurants and hotels are my biggest expenses, so I’ve used Citi Prestige most often. If the purchase is not in either of those two categories, I use Chase Ink Preferred. And I bring a Barclays card for Chip + PIN, when the first two cards aren’t accepted.

  • Marlin Seevers says:

    Thank you for clarifying the concern for foreign transaction fees. I’m glad it is as simple as just picking the cards that don’t charge that fee.