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What to ask before taking credit cards overseas

Credit Cards » What To Ask Before Taking Credit Cards Overseas

Does my credit card charge a foreign-transaction fee?
Does my credit card charge a foreign-transaction fee? © Andresr/Shutterstock.com

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.

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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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