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5 strategies to avoid credit card fees

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4. Foreign purchase fees
4. Foreign purchase fees | michaeljung/Shutterstock.com

4. Foreign purchase fees

Currency conversion fees, also known as foreign transaction fees, were untouched by the CARD Act. A 3 percent fee for foreign currency transactions has become common, and even if you're not a jet-setter you could find yourself stung.

Sherry says banks apply this fee to any transaction conducted outside U.S. borders, even if you're paying in dollars. If you shop online, you could get hit with this fee if the seller is based overseas or if it routes transactions through a bank outside the country. Three percent might not sound like a lot, but if you're abroad for a weeklong trip those small amounts can add up quickly.

To find out if a card charges a foreign transaction fee, study the rate and fee disclosures from the card issuer or call customer service. Capital One is one major issuer that doesn't charge these fees. Other issuers have recently started waiving them for premium cards.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

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