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Traveling outside the country? Buying anything in a foreign currency? Get a credit card with no foreign transaction fees to avoid paying extra on every purchase.
By Brendan Harkness
Besides having no foreign transaction fee, of course, here are some features to look for.
By Brendan Harkness
Do you often find yourself traveling outside the United States? Are you planning to make any purchases in a foreign currency?
If you answered yes to either of these questions, a credit card with no foreign transaction fees would probably be useful to you.
Foreign transaction fees are a cost that you should do your best to avoid — and luckily, that’s pretty easy to do.
You’ll often find this feature on travel rewards credit cards, designed for traveling abroad, but there are quite a few others that share it as well. And many of these cards don’t have annual fees either, which means you don’t need to pay a cent when using them as long as you avoid interest.
There are four credit card issuers that don’t include foreign transaction fees on any of their cards. These issuers are:
Remember that different credit card networks tend to have more or less worldwide acceptance. Visa cards and Mastercards are accepted nearly everywhere, while American Express acceptance is more limited (but growing — think big cities and tourist attractions). Discover doesn’t have great acceptance outside the U.S., but it is accepted at many merchants that use the JCB or UnionPay networks, which are massive in Asia.
A foreign transaction fee (also known as a foreign currency exchange fee) is an extra charge for credit card purchases made in foreign currency.
Depending on your card, you may be charged a foreign transaction fee if you’re traveling and making purchases outside the U.S., or just buying something from a merchant based outside the States. If that sounds like you, see some of our favorite cards for international travel.
Credit cards often charge 3% for purchases made in foreign currency, but some are more or less than that. You can check your card’s terms to see your foreign transaction fee.
Our favorite cards without foreign transaction fees include:
Most credit card issuers include foreign transaction fees on at least some of their cards. Capital One and Discover break the mold, as they don’t charge foreign currency exchange fees on any of their cards.
Other than that, you’ll find cards without FT fees from issuers including:
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
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