Best Credit Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees

You don't have to travel overseas to reap the benefits of a credit card with no foreign transaction fees. You can do it with online purchases from international merchants for you or your small business. Learn how to maximize your credit card value, and check out our top picks for credit cards with no foreign transaction fees from our partners.

Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards

Best for redemption flexibility

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Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Rewards Rate:
Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel. 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
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
15.99%-22.99% 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®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • 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
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Author: Barry Bridges | bbridges@bankrate.com


The information about the Capital One Cards has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.

This page includes information about Discover products that are not currently available on Bankrate.com and may be out of date.

Bankrate’s guide to no foreign transaction fee cards

Bankrate research helps you find the credit cards that best fit your needs, but that’s not all. In addition to analyzing the best cards with no foreign transaction fees, we also dig deep into the subject of international travel to reveal information that you can put to use on your next trip — and every trip.

Comparison of best no foreign transaction fee credit cards

Card Name Bankrate Score Annual fee Best for
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card (not currently available) 4.1/5 $0 Foreign travel beginners
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card (not currently available) 4.8/5 $0 Cash back on international purchases
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card (not currently available) 4.2/5 $0 Straightforward rewards
Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card (not currently available) 4.7/5 $0 Intro APR offer
Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card (not currently available) 4.6/5 $95 Entertainment & dining enthusiasts
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card (not currently available) 4.6/5 $95 Travel rewards
Discover it® Miles (not currently available) 4.7/5 $0 First-year miles bonus
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card 4.7/5 $95 Redemption flexibility
Discover it® Cash Back (not currently available) 4.7/5 $0 Customer satisfaction rating

A closer look at the best no foreign transaction fee cards

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card (not currently available)

Why you’ll love it

With no foreign transaction fee, Capital One VentureOne offers an economical way for international travel rookies to get their feet wet. The card also makes it easy to earn miles whether you’re staying at an international hotel or making everyday purchases at home. Plus, the 20,000-bonus mile welcome offer (equal to $200 in travel) is easily attainable, with a threshold of $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months.

What you might not love

Other cards in the no-foreign-transaction fee category offer higher rewards rates and richer welcome offers, including big brother Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. It may have a $95 annual fee (waived the first year), but the Capital One Venture Rewards also delivers 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, it earns higher rewards on all purchases (2 miles per dollar vs. 1.25 miles per dollar.)

The bottom line

The VentureOne card is a great fit for casual international travelers who have little interest in dealing with complex rewards programs geared toward big spenders. The lack of foreign transaction fees only increases its appeal to travelers who put a premium on simplicity and low maintenance.

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card (not currently available)

Why you’ll love it

Three things make the Capital One Quicksilver a compelling choice for overseas shoppers. First, the unlimited 1.5% cash back rate applies to eligible international purchases just as it does with purchases made stateside. Second, Visa credit cards like this one are among the most widely accepted in the world — more than 200 countries. Third, the lack of foreign transaction fees means you avoid the whole issue of paying for currency conversion.

What you might not love

Many credit cards have more travel-specific rewards programs with higher rewards rates, plus greater value on rewards when you redeem them through the issuer’s travel portal. You’ll even find several on this page’s list of cards that, like the Capital One Quicksilver, don’t charge foreign transaction fees.

The bottom line

Consider making the Quicksilver your designated cash back card for souvenirs, clothing and other retail purchases while pairing it with a second card that earns a higher rewards rate on specific travel, lodging and/or dining purchases. International shoppers could find the combination not just a bargain but potentially quite lucrative.

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card (not currently available)

Why you’ll love it

If you’re a BofA Preferred Rewards member who travels abroad, this card may be one you can bank on. The Preferred Rewards bonus gives the 1.5x rewards rate quite the boost — 25-75 percent, depending on which tier you qualify for. With no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees added to the mix, world travelers who bank and invest with BofA will find a lot to like.

What you might not love

You have to be a Preferred Rewards member to benefit from the bonus at all, and your bonus mileage on every purchase will vary significantly depending on your tier (Gold = 25 percent, Platinum = 50 percent and Platinum Honors = 75 percent). In other words, only a select few will be able to fully maximize the benefits of this particular card.

The bottom line

If you have a Preferred Rewards portfolio, this card provides an easy and convenient way to earn travel rewards. No foreign transaction fees translate to less hassle and less expense for international travelers who bank and invest with BofA.

The information about the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.

Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card (not currently available)

Why you’ll love it

The SavorOne offers many things that international leisure travelers will like (including generous reward rates on dining and entertainment) while sparing them from some of the things that could give them heartburn (such as foreign transaction fees and annual fees). Most of all, the 15-month 0% intro APR offer on purchases (15.49% – 25.49% variable thereafter) creates an opportunity to pay for a big trip over time while avoiding interest charges.

What you might not love

Consider the premier version of this card, the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card (not currently available). You may find yourself debating whether its $95 annual fee (waived the first year) truly justifies opting for the SavorOne despite higher reward rates and a larger welcome offer.

The bottom line

Rewards on dining and entertainment and at grocery stores. No foreign transaction fees. A generous introductory APR offer. It seems like the SavorOne could offer a good fit for budget-conscious foodies who’ve been looking for innovative ways to finance an international vacation.

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card (not currently available)

Why you’ll love it

Fans of culinary tourism will find this card plenty tasty. The Capital One Savor Cash Rewards card offers unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, along with 2% at grocery stores and 1% on everything else. The sign-up bonus of $300 after you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months of opening the card is a sizable and achievable bonus. Having no foreign transaction fee is a nice additional perk to an already long list of attributes. This card could more than pay for itself if you spend substantially on dining and entertainment.

What you may not love

Although the annual fee is waived the first year, you’ll have to pay $95 annually starting in your second year of card ownership. The robust dining and entertainment rewards help offset that cost, but every year after your inaugural season you would effectively be starting $95 in the hole.

The bottom line

The Capital One Savor Cash Rewards is a great fit for a particular kind of international traveler: the foodie who enjoys a side dish of entertainment. If you fit that profile, this card offers a great way to see (and taste) the world without foreign transaction fees.

The information about the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card (not currently available)

Why you’ll love it

The 2X miles reward rate on all purchases is very generous and the travel category is broadly defined by Capital One, which should make this your go-to travel card. Plus, the flexible redemption options, no foreign transaction fees and generous welcome offer help sweeten the deal.

What you might not love

The $95 annual fee (waived the first year) may not suit your tastes. If that is the case consider the VentureOne.

The bottom line

The no foreign transaction fees plus 19,000 hotel locations equals extra appeal for international travelers.

Discover it® Miles (not currently available)

Why you’ll love it

If you can handle some delayed gratification, Discover it Miles could be worth the wait. Discover automatically matches all the miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. For example, 35,000 Miles would become 70,000 Miles, worth $700 toward travel. In the meantime, you’ll earn unlimited 1.5x miles per $1 on all purchases.

What you might not love

Compared with some of the other travel cards on this list, the 1.5x rewards rate isn’t that competitive. Also, most credit card welcome offers pay off within the first 3 months as long as you meet the spending requirements. If your patience wavers as you wait for the year-end miles match, you could experience some buyer’s remorse. Also, Discover is not as commonly accepted abroad as other networks, such as Visa and Mastercard.

The bottom line

This card is well suited for someone who has a big international trip planned for late 2020 or beyond and won’t mind waiting for the miles match. All in all, Discover it Miles is a low-maintenance travel card that goes easy on the fees, including foreign transaction and annual. Good things can come to those who wait.

The information about the Discover it Miles has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Why you’ll love it

A big bonus with bang for the buck — that’s a lot of B’s to describe an A-list card. Even more impressive than the size of the bonus (60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months) is the value. When you redeem points for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, you get a 25 percent boost in points value. That boost turns 60,000 points into $750 toward travel when you redeem the sign-up bonus. Perhaps more importantly, it also adds 25 percent value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

What you might not love

The annual fee will cost you $95 every year, with no first-year waiver. After riding the initial wave from the sign-up bonus, you’ll have to rely solely on rewards and perks (including the lack of foreign transaction fees) to offset the cost of the annual fee.

The bottom line

The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a solid all-around rewards game, and the extra redemption value of Chase Ultimate Rewards helps compensate for areas where the card is less flashy than competitors.

Discover it® Cash Back (not currently available)

Why you’ll love it

The Discover it Cash Back has qualities that make it an outstanding international credit card. They include Discover’s top rating for customer satisfaction among U.S. issuers by J.D. Power. Earning 5% cash back in rotating bonus categories when you activate each quarter (up to the quarterly maximum, then 1%) and having Discover match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year also sweeten the deal.

What you might not love

Cards with rotating bonus categories require time and attention to get maximum value. You have to keep track of the categories and activate each quarter. If you’re not prepared to put the work in, consider an alternative that offers a flat rate on general purchases year-round.

The bottom line

If you’re traveling overseas or just making purchases from an international vendor, you could find yourself out of your element. Superior customer support might take on added importance in situations where you need advice or assistance, conceivably giving the Discover it Cash Back and other Discover cards an edge over competitors.

The information about the Discover it Cash Back has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.

What are foreign transaction fees?

When you use a credit card overseas to buy something in the local currency, your credit card issuer has to convert the money you’ve spent into U.S. dollars to properly bill you. It may seem like any other transaction from your perspective, but behind the scenes the credit card issuer pays various costs associated with currency conversion, transferring money through a foreign bank and so on.

Many issuers offset these costs by charging a foreign transaction fee for every overseas purchase.

The fee usually ranges from 3%-5% of the amount spent on each transaction, which means the cost to you can really add up:

Foreign purchase in dollars +3% foreign transaction fee +5% foreign transaction fee
$50 $51.50 $52.50
$100 $103 $105
$500 $515 $525

Fortunately, a number of credit card issuers have stopped charging foreign transaction fees. The cards profiled on this page offer several examples of issuers banking on the idea that consumers will appreciate issuers absorbing those costs rather than passing them along.

Why do banks charge a foreign transaction fee?

Overseas transactions require banks to convert the money spent into U.S dollars. So when you make a purchase online from an overseas vendor or make an international charge, the conversion process costs money, which is where the foreign transaction fee comes into play. The total fee that you pay often derives by adding the charge from the issuing bank (like Bank of America, Wells Fargo) and the processing fee from the payment networks (like Visa or Discover).

Foreign transaction fees and credit card rewards

Foreign transaction fees don’t apply to rewards spending, since they’re not part of the purchase price. Using the chart above as an example, consider how it would work with a 1 point per dollar credit card charging a 5% foreign transaction fee. A $500 overseas purchase would show up as $525 on your bill, but you’d earn 500 rewards points instead of 525.

In other words, you could:

  • Spend 444 euros (about $500 U.S.) for a hotel on a vacation to Barcelona
  • Owe your credit card issuer $525 for that purchase, counting the foreign transaction fee
  • Earn 500 rewards points, leaving a potential 25 points (5%) on the table

Who should get a no foreign transaction fee card?

International travel has slowed, but that doesn’t mean that the potential benefits with your no foreign transaction fee card have to slow down. Frequent international travelers, those who shop international vendors online or owners of a small business that purchases from overseas sellers could all benefit. If you’re commonly making overseas purchases or planning your future international trips, a no foreign transaction fee card could really be a beneficial perk to take advantage of.

Foreign transaction fees by issuer

Foreign transaction fees among credit card issuers vary according to different factors, including processing fees from payment networks. This chart shows how much several issuers charge for foreign transaction fees (for their cards that have them).

Issuer

Issuer fee

Mastercard/Visa fee

Total

American Express

2.7%

N/A

2.7%

Bank of America

2%

1%

3%

Capital One

None

1%; absorbed by Capital One

0%

Chase

2%

1%

3%

Citi

2%

1%

3%

Discover

None

N/A

0%

Credit cards with no foreign transaction fees (by issuer)

Cards that don’t charge foreign transaction fees include:

American Express

  • American Express® Gold Card
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
  • Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Bank of America

  • Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card (not currently available)
  • Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card (not currently available)
  • Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card (not currently available)

Capital One

  • Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card (not currently available)
  • Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card (not currently available)
  • Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card (not currently available)
  • Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card (not currently available)
  • Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card (not currently available)

Chase

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Citi

  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
  • CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® (not currently available)
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® (not currently available)
  • Costco Anywhere Visa® Card By Citi (not currently available)
  • Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi (not currently available)

Discover

  • Discover it® Miles (not currently available)
  • Discover it® Cash Back (not currently available)

What is the average foreign transaction fee?

Normally, a foreign transaction charge will be around 3%. However, these fees can range anywhere from 1%-3% depending on the issuer and the card. So let’s say you’re shopping online from a seller based overseas and you’ve got $200 worth of merchandise in your cart. When you add that foreign transaction fee, you’ll be paying $6 in fees. While this may not seem like much, If you’re commonly making international purchases or are already planning ahead future trips, these fees can quickly accrue. So, just as a best practice, always be sure to check if your card offers no foreign transaction fees.

How to save money on future international travel

Avoiding foreign transaction fees should be at the top of your list when looking for a credit card to take with you on your future overseas trip. Here’s some advice to help save even more:

  • Use a specialization strategy. If you venture abroad with multiple no-foreign-transaction-fee credit cards, think about using the right card to maximize your rewards. For example: The Capital One Savor (not currently available) has a rewards rate of 4 percent cash back in dining and entertainment. A second, flat-rate card such as the Capital One Quicksilver (not currently available) would earn more than the Savor (1.5 percent cash back vs.1 percent cash back) on other purchases. You could use Savor for dining and entertainment and make Quicksilver your general-purpose card.
  • Know how your rewards programs define “travel” beyond airfare and hotels. Many rewards cards offer bonus points on smaller travel purchases, but issuers have their own definitions of travel. Some issuers put expenses such as rideshares and parking fees in the travel category, while others don’t. Pay attention to the specifics of your rewards program to earn the most points.
  • Book through rewards portals or affiliate sites that add value. If you book a hotel room through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, you may be able to boost your points value by 25%-50% depending on which card you have. With certain cards, American Express offers credits up to $100 at Hotel Collection locations.

Compare different payment options for foreign purchases and travel

No single payment option offers an ideal solution for every possible set of circumstances, especially when you’re traveling abroad. Consider the pros and cons of your various options. Depending on your destination and personal preference, you may find that a combination of payment methods proves most useful.

Credit cards

  • Pro: They’re safer than cash or a debit card. 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.
  • Con: They’re not accepted everywhere, particularly in rural areas.

Debit cards

  • Pro: Convenience is probably their best attribute.
  • Con: Even though they’re safer than cash, they have fewer protections against theft than credit cards — and a worse exchange rate.

Cash

  • Pro: Cash is still king in some settings, including open-air markets where chip readers can be hard to come by.
  • Con: Unlike electronic payment methods, cash is untraceable. If your wallet is stolen, the cash inside is likely gone forever.

Cryptocurrency

  • Pro: It’s very fraud-resistant, since it doesn’t involve giving a merchant access to your full credit line.
  • Con: A number of countries don’t recognize cryptocurrency as a legal medium for transactions. Be sure to do your research ahead of time. Plus, you may be able to use it for foreign online purchases.

Travelers checks

  • Pro: (Yes, they still exist.) They’re secure, replaceable if lost or stolen and accepted at many places worldwide.
  • Con: They may involve fees and commissions. Also, you may take a hit on the exchange rate.

Can you use no foreign transaction fee cards for online and non-travel purchases?

Yes, you can certainly use your no foreign transaction fee credit card for online and non travel purchases. You can use your card for online purchases when buying from an overseas merchant. If the items you’re interested in buying are listed in a foreign currency, that could mean that you’re on an international sellers website, and you may be able to take advantage of your no foreign transaction fee credit card.

However, this can vary by the card issuer and the bank. It’s imperative that you do your research before making any online overseas purchases so you don’t get slapped with an unexpected fee or a declined transaction. You can check the terms and conditions by visiting your card issuer’s website. If you can’t locate the needed information on the website, you can always pick up the phone and call the customer service number on the back of your credit card.

Business credit cards with no foreign transaction fee

Small business owners who don’t want to pay fees on foreign transactions have a number of credit card options to choose from. Top candidates for cash back and travel rewards include:

Business cash back

Business travel

*The Plum Card is a charge card rather than a credit card, meaning you’ll have to pay your balance in full every month without carrying anything over.

Frequently asked questions about no foreign transaction fee cards

Do all credit cards charge a foreign transaction fee?

No, not all cards charge a foreign transaction fee. In fact, there are plenty of travel cards that can add much value to your future trips that don’t charge foreign transaction fees. Even though many credit cards will tack on that extra fee when making purchases internationally, you don’t have to look far to find cards that withhold from these fees. Doing a quick check on the card issuers website under the “terms and conditions” section can help you decipher whether or not you’ll pay that foreign transaction fee.

Do hotel bookings/Airbnb charge foreign transaction fees?

In some cases, hotel room charges are processed by the hotel. This means that if you are thinking about booking an international room in the future, just be aware that you may get charged a foreign transaction fee.

Do foreign transaction fees apply to online purchases?

A foreign transaction fee can apply even if the only traveling you do is through your web browser. The rule of thumb is that if your purchase involves a seller based outside the United States, it affects the cost of processing the transaction. Whether in person or virtual, a transaction is still a transaction. The best way to avoid paying this extra charge on online purchases from sellers based overseas is to use a no-foreign-transaction-fee credit card.

How do you calculate a foreign transaction fee?

The fee applies to the purchase price, so calculating how much it costs you is a simple, two-step math exercise:

  1. Multiply the price of the purchase by the fee percentage
  2. Add the result of step 1 to the purchase price

Here’s an example. Let’s say your nephew’s favorite soccer team is Manchester United F.C., so you buy him a jersey from an online retailer based in England using a credit card that charges a 3-percent foreign transaction fee. If this purchase costs $100, the fee would be $3 and bring your total cost to $103.

  1. $100 x 3 percent = $3
  2. $100 + $3 = $103

How we chose our list of best no foreign transaction fee cards

Bankrate uses a comprehensive system to evaluate credit cards and produce a 5-star score. In the case of no-foreign-transaction-fee cards, we’ve emphasized the criteria most relevant to consumers looking to maximize the value of their international purchases.

Annual fee

Most cards on our list are free of both annual fees and foreign transaction fees. However, some annual-fee cards offer incentives, like a large welcome or introductory offer, that offset the yearly cost of membership. For this category, we evaluated whether the total value justifies the cost of using the card.

Rewards value

We place priority on cards that put money back in your wallet — regardless of whether you’re using it in Tucson or Tuscany. For each card, we’ve evaluated the earnings rate and corresponding redemption value to identify the cards that accomplish more than just offering a line of credit.

Additional perks

Travel perks may not be your main motivation for getting a no foreign transaction fee card, but they often provide additional benefits that increase the card’s total value. Several credit card issuers offer additional features, like travel accident insurance or trip delay insurance, to make their cards more useful to consumers.

More information on overseas travel and credit cards

If you still need to do some research, check out these resources from Bankrate:


Senior Editor Barry Bridges has been writing about credit cards, loans, mortgages and other personal finance products for Bankrate since 2018. His work has also appeared on websites including Nasdaq.com, Zillow.com and The Simple Dollar. He was previously an award-winning newspaper journalist in his native North Carolina. Send your questions about credit cards (and fantasy baseball) to bbridges@bankrate.com.

Have more questions for our credit cards editors? Feel free to send us an email, find us on Facebook, or Tweet us @Bankrate.

* See the online application for details about terms and conditions for these offers. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. After you click on the offer you desire you will be directed to the credit card issuer's web site where you can review the terms and conditions for your selected offer.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, is accurate as of the publish date. All products or services are presented without warranty. Check the bank’s website for the most current information.