Best Credit Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees of 2019

Many credit cards are made for those who love to travel internationally — just make sure yours comes without foreign transaction fees or you’ll have to pay extra for every purchase made outside of the country. Additionally, you won’t earn rewards on what you pay in foreign transaction fees. Fortunately, some of the best rewards cards of 2019 feature no foreign fees. Here are our top picks for the best credit cards with no foreign transaction fees from our partners.

Editor's Top Picks: Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards

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Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.

Best for simple travel rewards and a low APR

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Capital One's secure website

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Rewards Rate:
Earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels; learn more at hotels.com/venture Earn 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day and pay no annual fee
Welcome Offer:
20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% intro on purchases for 12 months
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
14.24% - 24.24% (Variable)

Card Details

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day and pay no annual fee. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels, through January 2020; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Enjoy a low intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 14.24%-24.24% variable APR after that
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Best for dining and entertainment

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Capital One's secure website

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Rewards Rate:
Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment Earn 2% at grocery stores Earn 1% on all other purchases
Welcome Offer:
$500 after you spend $3000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
Annual Fee:
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
16.74% - 25.74% (Variable)

Card Details

  • Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus after you spend $3000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases. Plus, earn 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through May 2020.
  • Receive a monthly statement credit for a Postmates Unlimited monthly membership through Dec. 2019 with the Capital One Savor Card
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Capital One cardholders get access to premium experiences in dining, entertainment and more
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, $95 after that
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Best for large sign-up bonus

Citi Premier℠ Card Image

Recommended Credit Score

Excellent (740 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Citi's secure website

Citi Premier℠ Card

Rewards Rate:
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
Welcome Offer:
Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
Annual Fee:
$95, waived for first 12 months
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
16.74% - 25.74% (Variable)

Card Details

  • Earn 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
  • 50,000 Points are redeemable for $625 in airfare on any airline, anytime with no blackout dates when booked through the ThankYou® Travel Center, or $500 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • Points Transfer allows you to transfer points to participating airline loyalty programs
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Best for booking hotels

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Capital One's secure website

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Rewards Rate:
Earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels; learn more at hotels.com/venture Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day
Welcome Offer:
50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
Annual Fee:
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
17.99% - 25.24% (Variable)

Card Details

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels, through January 2020; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Best for points value

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Chase's secure website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Rewards Rate:
2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
Welcome Offer:
Earn 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®
Annual Fee:
$95
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
18.24% - 25.24% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 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®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Best 0% APR introductory offer

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Capital One's secure website

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Rewards Rate:
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
Welcome Offer:
$150 after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% intro on purchases for 15 months
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
0% intro on balance transfers for 15 months
Regular APR:
16.24% - 26.24% (Variable)

Card Details

  • One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 16.24%-26.24% variable APR after that
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months; 16.24%-26.24% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Best for Bank of America customers

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Bank of America's secure website

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Rewards Rate:
Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire
Welcome Offer:
25,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% Introductory APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles
Regular APR:
17.24% - 25.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

Card Details

  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire
  • 25,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want – you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees
  • Comes with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases, then 17.24% - 25.24% Variable APR
  • Get an additional 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when you have an active Bank of America® checking or savings account
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25% - 75%
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Best for simple earning

Discover it® Miles Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Discover's secure website

Discover it® Miles

Rewards Rate:
Earn unlimited 1.5x Miles for every dollar spent on all purchases all with no annual fee.
Welcome Offer:
Discover will match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. For example, if you earn 30,000 Miles, you get 60,000 Miles. That's $600 towards travel!
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% for 14 months
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
10.99% for 14 months
Regular APR:
14.24% - 25.24% Variable

Card Details

  • Intro Offer: Discover will match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. For example, if you earn 30,000 Miles, you get 60,000 Miles. That's $600 towards travel!
  • Earn unlimited 1.5x Miles for every dollar spent on all purchases all with no annual fee.
  • No Blackout Dates – fly any airline, stay at any hotel.
  • Redeem your Miles as a statement credit towards travel purchases.
  • Freeze your account in seconds with an on/off switch either on the mobile app or website to prevent new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Receive Free Social Security number alerts— Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • No Annual Fee.

Best for dining and no annual fee

Capital One® SavorOne℠ Cash Rewards Credit Card Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Capital One's secure website

Capital One® SavorOne℠ Cash Rewards Credit Card

Rewards Rate:
Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment Earn 2% at grocery stores Earn 1% on all other purchases
Welcome Offer:
$150 after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% intro on purchases for 15 months
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
0% intro on balance transfers for 15 months
Regular APR:
16.24% - 26.24% (Variable)

Card Details

  • Earn a one-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 16.24% - 26.24% variable APR after that
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months; 16.24% - 26.24% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No annual fee
Terms and Restrictions Apply
HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On HSBC's secure website

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card

Rewards Rate:
10% Anniversary Bonus on all Cash Rewards earned once a year Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on all purchases
Welcome Offer:
$150 Cash Back Intro Bonus for new HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card customers who spend $2,500 or more in new, net card purchases during the first 3 months from credit card account opening.
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
0% Introductory APR on balance transfers for the first 15 months from account opening
Regular APR:
Variable APR of 15.24%, 19.24% or 25.24% will be applied

Card Details

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on all purchases.
  • Earn a $150 cash rewards intro bonus after spending $2,500 in the first 3 months.
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus on all Cash Rewards earned once a year.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers, then a 15.24%, 19.24% or 25.24% variable APR.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $0 liability for unauthorized purchases.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.


Author: Griffin Miller | Last Updated: March 19, 2019


In this article:

Recap: Editor’s analysis on the best no foreign transaction fee cards of 2019

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Why you’ll love it

The VentureOne is the no annual fee version of the Venture card from Capital One. If you’re averse to fees in general, this is a good card that will help you earn rewards on all of your 2019 purchases. Plus, you won’t have to incur those pesky foreign transaction fees if you’re taking an international trip over the holidays. Additionally, it has a pretty easy to hit sign-up bonus of 20,000 online bonus points after just $1,000 in spend in the first 90 days.

Card Details:

  • Best For: Simple travel rewards and a low APR
  • Bankrate Score: 80/100
  • Credit Needed: Good, Excellent
  • Annual Fee: $0

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Why you’ll love it

If you’re the type of traveler who likes to get a flavor of the local cuisine while you’re traveling then this is the card for you. The Capital One Savor Cash Rewards card offers unlimited 4% back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on everything else. If you anticipate regularly dining out and indulging in local delicacies throughout your 2019 travels, this card’s generous cash back rewards could end up giving you great returns. Capital One is also offering a sign-up bonus of $500 after you spend $3,000 within the first three months of opening the card, this is a sizable and achievable bonus. Having no foreign transaction fee is a nice additional perk to add to this card’s already long list of attributes. It does, however, charge a $95 annual fee (which is waived for the first year), though there are no annual fee cards that also don’t charge foreign transaction fees, this card could more than pay for itself for heavy spenders in dining and entertainment.

Card Details:

  • Best for: Dining, entertainment, and groceries
  • Bankrate score: 97/100
  • Rewards rate: 4% on dining and entertainment, 2% at the grocery store, 1% back on all other purchases
  • Welcome offer: $500 sign-up bonus after spending $3,000 in the first three months of opening the card

Citi Premier℠ Card

Why you’ll love it

The Citi Premier Card has an awesome sign-up bonus of 50,000 ThankYou Points when you spend $4,000 within the first 3 months of account opening. You can redeem 50,000 points for $625 in airfare on any airline, anytime with no blackout dates when booked through the ThankYou® Travel Center (or for $500 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com). With no foreign transaction fees, you won’t have to worry about any of those unexpected fees either while you’re traveling.

Card Details:

  • Best For: Large sign-up bonus
  • Bankrate Score: 95/100
  • Credit Needed: Excellent
  • Annual Fee: $95, waived for the first year

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Why you’ll love it

You’ll earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day, plus 10X miles on thousands of hotels, through January 2020. (Learn more at hotels.com/venture.) That’s an unheard-of rewards rate, even for the best rewards cards available. Keep in mind that because of Capital One’s tie-in with hotels.com, you won’t earn that 10x bonus if you book directly with hotels or through a different booking site. Since hotels.com is worldwide, you’ll have no trouble finding a place to stay no matter where are travel in 2019 — and you won’t pay foreign transaction fees.

Card Details:

  • Best For: booking hotels
  • Bankrate Score: 94
  • Credit Needed: Excellent, Good
  • Annual Fee: $95 (waived the first year)

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Why you’ll love it

The 60,000 sign-up bonus points (after you spent $4,000 within the first 3 months) are super valuable, as Chase Ultimate Rewards are among the most flexible credit card points. That’s $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. If you redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal, they take on another 25% in value, which can add up to hundreds of dollars. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® was designed for travelers; it rewards you with 2x points for pretty much every expense you may incur while traveling, from dining out to rideshares and more.

Card Details:

  • Best For: a big sign-up bonus
  • Bankrate Score: 95
  • Credit Needed: Excellent/Good
  • Annual Fee: $95

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Why you’ll love it

This flat-rate cash back card will earn you 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make in 2019, anywhere in the world. For people who want simple rewards and the option to gradually pay off the cost of their (possibly foreign) vacation over the course of 15 months, Quicksilver is the way to go. You’ll also receive a $150 cash bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months, which is a nice discount on any foreign travels.

Card Details:

  • Best For: its 0% APR introductory offer, variable APR of 16.24% – 26.24% thereafter.
  • Bankrate Score: 93
  • Credit Needed: Excellent, Good
  • Annual Fee: $0

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Why you’ll love it

This card is particularly lucrative if you’re a Bank of America Preferred Rewards client. Your 1.5x points on every purchase can turn into much more, with anywhere from a 25% to 75% bonus on top of that. Throw in no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees on top of that and you have a credit card that you can use anywhere in the world. This means you won’t need to worry about surprise fees or keeping up with certain rewards spending categories during your 2019 travels.

Card Details:

  • Best For: Bank of America customers
  • Bankrate Score: 85/100
  • Credit Needed: Good, Excellent
  • Annual Fee: $0

Discover it® Miles

Why you’ll love it

If you’re looking to plan your 2019 vacations to other countries way in advance, the Discover it Miles card gives you the opportunity to cash in on some solid rewards that are simple to redeem. This card comes with Discover’s very lucrative miles match offer – Discover will match all of the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. So, if you rack up 50,000 miles in your first year, you will have 100,000 miles in your account! That’s pretty awesome, and they are easy to redeem – Discover simply gives you a statement credit towards travel purchases. No annual fees, no foreign transaction fees, and a simple rewards structure.

Card Details:

  • Best For: Simple earning
  • Bankrate Score: 95/100
  • Credit Needed: Good, Excellent
  • Annual Fee: $0

Capital One® SavorOne℠ Cash Rewards Credit Card

Why you’ll love it

The SavorOne is a great card for young adventure seekers who don’t like fees. You’ll earn 3% cash back on all dining and entertainment purchases, 2% back at grocery stores, and 1% back on everything else. And those rewards aren’t limited to just the United States – they apply to purchases abroad too! Couple that with no foreign transaction fees and you have a card that is a solid travel companion to that exotic trip you want to take in 2019.

Card Details:

  • Best For: Dining and no annual fee
  • Bankrate Score: 91/100
  • Credit Needed: Good, Excellent
  • Annual Fee: $0

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card

Why you’ll love it

This isn’t the most well-known credit card, but it offers a few unique perks that make it well worth looking into. You’ll earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases (the same rewards rate as the Chase Freedom Unlimited®), plus $150 cash back after spending $2,500 in the first three months. While this is a slightly higher minimum spend requirement than other cash back card offers, it’s not too difficult to hit if you’re using this credit card for most of your expenses. The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card will also award you an additional 10% anniversary cash back bonus each year, which makes it worth your while to keep it around long after 2019 has passed.

Card Details:

  • Best For: Long-term value
  • Bankrate Score: 86/100
  • Credit Needed: Good, Excellent
  • Annual Fee: $0

How we chose the best foreign travel credit cards

We reviewed rewards cards without foreign transaction fees to find the absolute best cards to use when traveling abroad in 2019. A number of factors were considered when selecting our favorites: our proprietary Bankrate score, rewards rate, perks, and fees.

What are foreign transaction fees?

Foreign transaction fees are charged by credit card issuers when purchases are made outside of the United States. If your credit card has a foreign transaction fee, you’ll often be charged an additional 3%-5% of the total amount you spend, every time you make a purchase abroad in 2019.

Card issuers charge foreign transaction fees to cover currency conversion and to offset the cost of transferring money through a foreign bank.

As most cardholders know, credit card fees are a surefire way of losing out on the benefits you signed up for. Consider the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express — a popular card with good benefits and no annual fee. It does carry a 2.7% foreign transaction fee, which would quickly negate the 1x points you’d earn on purchases in other countries since those fees don’t translate to any extra rewards points. Let’s say you spent the summer in Europe, spending $100 per week for 12 weeks. You’ll have earned 1,200 points (worth $12) and racked up roughly $32 in foreign transaction fees by the time you head home. Because the foreign transaction fees don’t apply to your rewards spending, you won’t be getting an additional 32 rewards points either.

Foreign transaction fees by issuer

Here’s a handy chart of what most issuers charge for foreign transaction fees.

Credit card foreign transaction fees

American Express
  • Issuer fee: 2.7%
  • MasterCard/Visa fee: N/A
  • Total: 2.7%; fee waived on Platinum Card ®, American Express® Gold Card, Pen Fed Premium Travel Rewards card and Hilton cards.
Bank of America
  • Issuer fee: 2%
  • MasterCard/Visa fee: 1%
  • Total: 3%; fee waived on Bank of America® Travel Rewards, Bank of America® Premium Rewards®, Alaska Airlines Visa®, Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard®, Royal Caribbean®, Virgin Atlantic, Asiana Visa Signature®, and Celebrity Cruises.
Barclaycard
  • Issuer fee: 2%
  • MasterCard/Visa fee: 1%
  • Total: 3%; fee waived for AAdvantage® Aviator® Silver World Elite Mastercard®, Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®, JetBlue Plus Card, Lufthansa credit card, Mastercard Black Card
Capital One
  • Issuer fee: none.
  • MasterCard/Visa fee: 1%; absorbed by Capital One
  • Total: 0%
Chase
  • Issuer fee: 2%
  • MasterCard/Visa fee: 1%
  • Total: 3%; fee waived on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, United Explorer Card, United TravelBank Card, United MileagePlus® Club Card, British Airways Visa Signature® card, The World of Hyatt Credit Card, IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card, Ink Business PreferredSM credit card, Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card, United MileagePlus® Explorer Business Card, Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Business credit card
Citi
  • Issuer fee: 2%
  • MasterCard/Visa fee: 1%
  • Total: 3%; fee waived on the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card By Citi and Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card By Citi.
Discover
  • Issuer fee: none.
  • MasterCard/Visa fee: N/A
  • Total: 0%
Wells Fargo
  • Issuer fee: 3%
  • MasterCard/Visa fee: 1%
  • Total: 3%

Other ways to save while traveling internationally

Avoiding foreign transaction fees should be at the top of your list when looking for a credit card to take with you internationally. There are secondary factors to consider and measures you can take when traveling abroad in 2019 to help save even more:

  • Plan your transportation ahead of time and use a credit card that pays a bonus. Though many rewards cards offer bonus points on “travel” purchases, “travel” is defined differently by issuers. For instance, Chase considers rideshares and parking fees travel purchases, while American Express generally does not. Pay attention to the specifics of your rewards program to earn the most points.
  • Look for flights on alternative airlines. Many smaller airlines like Britain’s EasyJet and Norway’s Norwegian Air Shuttle are low-cost alternatives that can still get you where you want to go, for a lot less. It also doesn’t hurt to check with your preferred airline’s affiliate network for cheaper flights.
  • Book through credit card portals or affiliate sites. If you book a hotel room through Chase Ultimate Rewards, your Chase points take on 25%-50% more value. If you use your Capital One Venture Card on hotels.com, you’ll earn 10x miles. Some American Express cards offer $75 credits or more at their exclusive Hotel Collection locations.

Why use a credit card while traveling?

Credit cards are arguably the best payment method to use while you travel for several reasons:

They’re safer than cash or a debit card. If your wallet is stolen, any cash you had is likely gone forever. With a credit card, you can dispute and resolve fraudulent charges before your statement closes — or freeze your card before thieves get a chance to use it. Debit cards are also safer than cash, but you might be liable for a percentage of the unauthorized transaction depending on how long it takes you to discover the activity.

Some have travel benefits and perks. Some credit cards have extras, like exclusive access to cultural attractions and ticket insurance, that make traveling simpler and more fun.

They have better exchange rates. When traveling abroad, it’s usually more cost effective to use a credit card instead of using an ATM or exchanging cash for foreign currency. This might not seem like a big deal for a latte or other small purchase, but more expensive items like a hotel room or rental car can add up quickly.

Further research and reviews

If you still need to do some research, we have your back. There are a bunch of different types of cards that offer no foreign transaction fee on international purchases. We’ve reviewed almost every credit card in each of the major travel categories. Browse through our reviews for 2019 below.

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