AwardWallet receives compensation from advertising partners for links on the blog. The opinions expressed here are our own and have not been reviewed, provided, or approved by any bank advertiser. Here's our complete list of Advertisers.

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
Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit CardCash back rewards$300 Cash Back after you spend $3000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening4% Cash Back on dining. 4% Cash Back on entertainment. 2% Cash Back at grocery stores. 1% Cash Back on all other purchases. Plus, earn 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through May 2020..$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® CardNo annual feeEarn 30K bonus points when you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $300 cash redemption valueEarn 3X points for eating out and ordering in. Earn 3X points for gas stations, rideshares and transit. Earn 3X points for travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals. Earn 1X points on other purchases.$0
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit CardTransferable rewards - business cardEarn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 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 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.Earn 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.$450
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® (See Terms)Fixed-value rewardsEnjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 daysEarn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase$89 (waived first year)
The World Of Hyatt Credit CardHotel rewardsEarn up to 50,000 Bonus Points - 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus an additional 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend a total of $6,000 on purchases within the first 6 months of account opening.Earn 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 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®Earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide$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 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months. - Terms Apply5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.$550 - Rates & Fees
Citi Premier CardTransferable rewardsEarn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.Earn 3 points per $1 spent on travel including gas stations. Earn 2 points per $1 spent at restaurants and on entertainment. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.$95, waived for first 12 months
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit CardFixed-value rewards50,000 Miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day.$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Uber Visa CardCash back rewardsEarn $100 after spending $500 on purchases in the first 90 days.4% cash back on restaurants and Uber Eats, 3% back on airfare, hotels, and travel agencies, 2% on online shopping (including retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, and Macy’s), those made directly from Uber, video and music streaming services (including Netflix, Pandora, HBO Now, and Apple Music), certain online services (including Instacart, Shyp, Angie’s List, Handy, Thumbtack, FlyCleaners, and TaskRabbit), and digital purchases of mobile applications and media on platforms (including iTunes and Google Play).$0
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 making $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.Earn 2X AA miles on eligible American Airlines purchases, at restaurants, and on gas stations purchases, and 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases$99 (Fee waived for the first 12 months)

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 which 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 Wells Fargo Propel Amex which earns a solid 3X points on a wide variety of travel and dining purchases and doesn’t charge an annual fee, and 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), and Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® (See Terms)

Best Rewards Credit Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees
5 (100%) 5 votes
AwardWallet Tip of The Day
Did you know that you can set individual goals for each of your loyalty accounts? Progress towards that goal is displayed under your account balance. You can set goals in bulk or individually by selecting the account(s) and clicking Set Account Goals under the Actions menu.
Show me how

The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Elizabeth says:

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

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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 $,

  • no fx fees are always worth a look

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

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

  • CSR and ink are my go to.

  • 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 all the time for me!

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 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!

  • Always travel with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

  • 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.

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

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

  • Always keep this is mind when traveling overseas.

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

  • 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?

  • Rodney Ross says:

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

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

  • All cards by default should avoid this bogus fee.

  • 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

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

  • Frank Cheng says:

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

  • 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..

  • 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?

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Amanda Kinsel says:

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

  • 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.

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

**You may receive 5 bonus AAdvantage miles for leaving a comment (Details/FAQ)