Does my credit card charge a foreign-transaction fee?
There's a nasty little detail hidden in the fine print of many credit cards. It's called a foreign-transaction fee. If your card has one of these fees, it'll charge you up to 3 percent of the purchase price every time you swipe overseas.
Your credit card network, such as Visa or MasterCard, usually takes about 1 percent. The issuing bank eats up the other 2 percent.
That may seem like a small bite, but it can really add up over the course of a vacation. Let's say you charge $4,000 to your card on hotels, taxis, restaurants and other expenses as you gallivant around Paris. Foreign-transaction fees would tack on $120 in additional costs. That's enough for a ticket to the Moulin Rouge or a top-notch bottle of Bordeaux.
So, before you travel, find out if your card has a foreign-transaction fee. You can check with your card's customer service department if you don't know.
If you're shopping for a new credit card and know you have plans to travel to different countries, check out cards that waive the foreign-transaction fee, including Capital One cards and Chase Sapphire Preferred cards.