The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Monday, June 27, 2022

13 Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards

Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards

credit card advice

Adam West

Written by: Adam West

Adam West

Adam corresponds with finance experts to publish industry news coverage related to helping consumers achieve greater financial literacy and improved credit. He has more than 12 years of storytelling, editing, and design experience in print and online journalism and is most knowledgeable in the areas of credit scores, financial products and services, and the banking industry.

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Edited by: Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian brings more than 30 years of editing and journalism experience. She has written and edited for major news organizations, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the New York Times, and she previously served as an adjunct instructor at the University of Florida. Today, she edits all CardRates content for clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement.

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Advertiser Disclosure

Each year, millions of Americans travel to exotic locations abroad, whether for business or an exciting vacation. But even if it’s thoroughly planned and researched, international travel can be expensive. That’s why savvy travelers do everything they can to cut costs and lower fees when venturing to foreign destinations.

Among the ways to lower your travel expenses is to use a credit card that charges no foreign transaction fees when making purchases or converting to the local currency. With many cards charging as much as a 3% transaction fee on international purchases, you can see how this quickly adds up. Thankfully there are cards made especially for cost-conscious travelers.

Overall | Travel | Cash Back | Points | Business | Student | Visa | Mastercard | Amex | Discover  FAQs

Best “Overall” Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees

For decades, the foreign transaction fees charged by banks and credit card issuers have been seen as just another cost of international travel. Many of us assumed (incorrectly) that they were like foreign exchange fees — in other words, a legitimate expense.

But transaction fees don’t actually represent a cost incurred by banks; they’re simply another source of revenue. In recent years, travel cardholders have begun to realize this, and have increasingly voted with their wallets.

Here are the top five overall cards with no foreign transaction fees.

  • New Offer: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on air travel and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.74% - 24.74% Variable
$550
Good/Excellent
With premium benefits for before, during, and after your trip, this is the card named “Best Premium Travel Card” for 2018 by MONEY Magazine.  The Chase Sapphire Reserve®, which offers up to 3x bonus points, a $300 annual travel credit, and no blackout dates or travel restrictions, is an excellent travel companion.

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • 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.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.74% - 23.74% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

Similar to the Sapphire Reserve®, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers 2x points on travel and restaurant purchases, along with other travel benefits for a smaller annual fee than its Reserve counterpart. It’s a superb card for frequent travelers who want more value from their travel rewards card — along with no foreign transaction fees, of course.

Discover it® Miles Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

  • UNLIMITED BONUS: Only Discover gives you an unlimited match of all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles.  There’s no signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a Miles-for-Miles match.
  • Automatically earn unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar of every purchase - with no annual fee.
  • Redeem Miles to pay any part of your monthly bill, including your minimum payment.
  • Turn Miles into cash in any amount, any time. Or redeem as a statement credit for travel purchases like airfare, hotels, rideshares, gas stations, restaurants and more with no blackout dates. However you redeem, Miles keep the same value. And Miles never expire.
  • New Intro APR: 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases. Then 12.74% to 23.74% Standard Variable Purchase APR will apply.
  • NEW! Discover helps remove your personal information from select people-search websites. Activate by mobile app for free.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 15 months
0% Intro APR for 15 months
12.74% - 23.74% Variable APR
$0
Excellent/Good

This Discover it® Miles was developed specifically for travelers, rewarding miles on all purchases and imposing no airline or hotel restrictions. And if that isn’t enough, this card comes with a nice introductory rate for first-time cardholders.

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Enjoy two complimentary visits per year to Capital One Lounges or to 100+ Plaza Premium Lounges through our Partner Lounge Network
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.24% - 24.24% (Variable)
$95
Excellent, Good

For a great all-around travel card, it’s hard to beat the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. In fact, this card was named the “Best Travel Card of 2018” by CNBC, thanks in large part to its generous one-time bonus if time and purchase requirements are met. It also comes with an impressive signup bonus and a relatively low annual fee.

Best “Travel Rewards” Card with No Foreign Transaction Fee

Frequent travelers will appreciate this top-tier travel rewards card, with its 3x points on all travel and dining worldwide. Plus, cardholders automatically receive up to $300 in annual travel credit every year as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to the card. And with one of the best bonus point reward plans for meeting the minimum spending requirements, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® will quickly have you earning maximum miles.

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • New Offer: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on air travel and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.74% - 24.74% Variable
$550
Good/Excellent

It’s no wonder MONEY® Magazine named the Chase Sapphire Reserve® their “Best Premium Travel Credit Card” for 2018. Cardholders can also take advantage of 50% more in point redemptions through Chase Ultimate Rewards. That means 50,000 miles will get you $750 toward travel expenses. This card does have a $550 annual fee, and is intended for those with good to excellent credit.

Best “Cash Back” Card with No Foreign Transaction Fee

For travelers who don’t mind keeping track of the quarterly bonus categories, the cash back that you get with the Discover it® Cash Back card can be worth the effort.

Discover it® Cash Back Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • NEW! Discover helps remove your personal information from select people-search websites. Activate by mobile app for free.
  • Redeem cash back in any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • NEW Intro APR: Get a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases. Then 12.74% to 23.74% Standard Variable Purchase APR applies, based on credit worthiness.
  • No annual fee.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 15 months
0% Intro APR for 15 months
12.74% - 23.74% Variable APR
$0
Excellent/Good/Average

Every three months the bonus categories rotate, offering bonus cash back at places like gas stations, restaurants, grocery stores, and even Amazon purchases. You’ll also get access to a free FICO credit score and the top-rated customer service from a credit card issuer in America.

Best “Points” Card with No Foreign Transaction Fee

For a flexible travel card that earns 2x points on travel and dining, it’s hard to beat the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Frequent travelers who don’t want to pony up the $550 annual fee for the Sapphire Reserve can get this one for a more modest $95 annual rate. You’ll still have access to any bonus points earned when you make the minimum purchase amount in the first few months, and you’ll get 25% more value when you redeem using Chase Ultimate Rewards.

POINTS & GIFTS RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • 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.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.74% - 23.74% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

In addition to the 2x points earned when using this card for travel and dining, you’ll earn 1 point for all other purchases. Points earned using the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card can transfer to other leading frequent travel programs at a 1:1 value if you choose. This card is intended for consumers with good to excellent credit.

Best “Business” Card with No Foreign Transaction Fee

Business travelers will love the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card from Chase for its 3x points on the first $150,000 in combined business and travel purchases made each year. Points never expire and can be redeemed for travel, cash back, gifts, and more. Also, points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program.

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.6

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • With Fraud Protection your card transactions will be monitored for possible signs of fraudulent activity using real-time fraud monitoring
  • With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information
  • Redeem points for cash back, gift cards, travel and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.74% - 21.74% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card also comes with one of the better introductory period bonus point plans when you meet the minimum spending requirements in the first 3 months. There is a $95 annual fee for this card it is best-suited for business owners with good to excellent credit.

Best “Student” Card with No Foreign Transaction Fee

Students planning a semester abroad would do well to consider taking the Discover it® Student Cash Back along with them. This card offers Discover’s excellent cash back rate in rotating categories each quarter, such as gas, groceries, restaurants, even Amazon purchases when you opt-in each quarter.

Discover it® Student Cash Back Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

STUDENT RATING

★★★★★
4.6

OVERALL RATING

  • No credit score required to apply.
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 into $200. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • NEW! Discover helps remove your personal information from select people-search websites. Activate by mobile app for free.
  • No annual fee and build your credit with responsible use.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 13.74% - 22.74% applies.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 6 months
10.99% Intro APR for 6 months
13.74% - 22.74% Variable APR
$0
Fair/New to Credit

Reward points can be redeemed for cash in any dollar amount and at any time, and they never expire.

Best “Visa” Card with No Foreign Transaction Fee

As the largest merchant payment network, Visa-branded cards are accepted virtually anywhere in the world. And if you want a Visa card that’s a great travel companion, you can’t go wrong with the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card. This card gives you miles on every purchase and charges no annual fee.

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card Review

at Bank Of America'ssecure website

VISA® RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn 25,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening – which can be redeemed for a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases everywhere, every time, and no expiration on points
  • Enjoy no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees while earning points to use for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees
  • Introductory 0% APR offer on purchases, then a variable APR applies
  • Preferred Rewards members earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase. That means you could earn up to 2.62 points for every $1 you spend, everywhere, every time.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% APR for 15 billing cycles
N/A
13.99% - 23.99% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card lets you redeem your points for a statement credit to cover eligible travel and dining purchases, including flights, hotel stays, vacation rentals, airline fees, restaurants, and take-out. An introductory APR may be available and is intended for those with excellent, or at least very good credit scores.

Best “Mastercard” with No Foreign Transaction Fee

The Mastercard logo is one of the most recognized in the world, and Mastercard-branded cards are accepted just about anywhere you travel. That’s one reason the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card makes such a statement.

Another reason is the cash back you get with this card on every purchase you make. Along with no foreign transaction fees, this card also has no annual fee.

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • One-time $200 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
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • 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 and balance transfers for 15 months; 15.24%-25.24% variable APR after that
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
15.24% - 25.24% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

New cardholders earn an introductory APR offer, after which they can expect a regular variable APR that will depend on their creditworthiness. If you don’t qualify for this card, you can try applying for the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, which approves applicants with fair credit.

Best “Amex” Card with No Foreign Transaction Fee

If you’re looking for an American Express card for travel that has all the bells and whistles, then The Platinum Card® may be just right for you. This card comes with a generous signup bonus and all kinds of statement credits and perks, many of which are travel related.

The Platinum Card® Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new card to make $6,000 in purchases in your first 6 months of Card Membership
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel, on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year. Also earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels on AmexTravel.com. Earn 1X points on all other purchases.
  • $200 annual hotel credit, $200 annual airline fee credit, $25 monthly Equinox credit, $15 monthly Uber cash credit, $100 annual Saks Fifth Avenue credit, and more.
  • Platinum Card Members have unlimited complimentary access to all locations of The Global Lounge Collection, including 1,400 airport lounges across 650 cities.
  • Automatic Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status and Hilton Honors Gold Status. Enrollment required.
  • Choose among three card designs
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.24% - 23.24% Pay Over Time
$695
Excellent

American Express is well-regarded for its focus on customer service, particularly for those traveling abroad. You’ll also have access to more than 1,400 airport lounges to help make your travels abroad more comfortable.

Best “Discover” Card with No Foreign Transaction Fee

Travelers who like earning bonus miles on purchases will love the Discover it® Miles card, with its miles awarded for every dollar spent.

Discover it® Miles Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

  • UNLIMITED BONUS: Only Discover gives you an unlimited match of all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles.  There’s no signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a Miles-for-Miles match.
  • Automatically earn unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar of every purchase - with no annual fee.
  • Redeem Miles to pay any part of your monthly bill, including your minimum payment.
  • Turn Miles into cash in any amount, any time. Or redeem as a statement credit for travel purchases like airfare, hotels, rideshares, gas stations, restaurants and more with no blackout dates. However you redeem, Miles keep the same value. And Miles never expire.
  • New Intro APR: 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases. Then 12.74% to 23.74% Standard Variable Purchase APR will apply.
  • NEW! Discover helps remove your personal information from select people-search websites. Activate by mobile app for free.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 15 months
0% Intro APR for 15 months
12.74% - 23.74% Variable APR
$0
Excellent/Good

There are no blackout dates with this card, and miles can be used on any airline or at any hotel. It has an introductory APR that may be available to new cardholders, followed by a regular variable APR, based on your creditworthiness. This card is intended for those with good to excellent credit.

What is a Foreign Transaction Fee?

Paying a foreign transaction fee used to be one of those things we simply accepted without a thought or question. It must have something to do with currency exchange rates, right?

But if we dig a little deeper into just what takes place when making a card purchase in another country, we get a clearer picture of this fee.

When using your credit card abroad, the dollars you spend are converted into the local currency at a rate that’s set by the bank or card issuer. That’s the currency exchange rate. If your card charges a foreign transaction fee, it is in addition to that exchange rate conversion. So just what is this fee, and where does it go?

Photo of a credit card being swiped

A foreign transaction fee is charged by banks in addition to the currency exchange rate.

Depending on the card you use and the network it’s on — Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Discover — you may be charged 1% by the network as a foreign bank processing fee. In addition, your card issuer may also charge up to 2% as their own foreign transaction fee.

Do they have to do anything different in processing your charge? Nope. That’s why some card issuers have decided to do away with the foreign transaction fee entirely, even absorbing the 1% network charge.

Something to keep in mind is that you don’t have to actually travel overseas to have a foreign transaction fee charged to your card. If you make a purchase online that goes through a foreign bank or is denominated in a currency other than U.S. dollars, you’ll likely be charged this fee.

The bottom line is that foreign purchase transaction fees are not a requirement, nor a necessary part of using your card overseas. Choosing one of the cards we’ve recommended can help you to avoid this unnecessary expense.

What is the Average Foreign Transaction Fee at Each Bank?

Not all banks and credit card issuers charge a foreign transaction fee. For those banks that do, or only charge this fee on just some of their cards, we’ve listed below the standard fee schedule that applies. Where applicable, we’ve made a distinction between network fees and card issuer fees.

American Express: Amex charges a 2.7% foreign transaction fee for personal and small business cards, and a 2.5% fee for corporate cards. No network fees apply.

Bank of America: There are a handful of Bank of America cards that don’t charge a foreign transaction fee, but many that do. For those cards, the typical transaction fee amount is 3% — 1% charged by the network, and 2% charged by the bank.

Barclays: Not all Barclays cards charge a fee for foreign transactions, but those that do will cost you 2% from the bank plus 1% from the network, for a total transaction fee of 3%.

Capital One: One of the few card companies that charge no foreign transaction fees on any of its cards. Capital One even absorbs the 1% network fee so its cardholders don’t have to pay even that.

Chase: Many of the cards from Chase charge a foreign transaction fee of 3% total — that’s 1% for the network and 2% for the bank. However, there are a handful of premium Chase cards that charge only the 1% network fee.

Citi: Citi is another bank that charges a 3% foreign transaction fee, with the same split between bank and network. However, Citi has also begun absorbing the fee for its premium cards, and charges no foreign transaction fee for these cards.

Discover: Discover is another card issuer that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, however, acceptance of Discover cards overseas can be spotty, depending on where you travel. You can use this tool to see where Discover is accepted.

HSBC: With the exception of premium cards, HSBC charges the same 3% foreign transaction fee that other issuers do, with the same 1% and 2% split.

Wells Fargo: With the exception of a single premium travel card, Wells Fargo also charges the typical 3% foreign transaction fee as most other card issuers.

While a 3% foreign transaction fee may not seem like a tremendous amount, think of all the purchases you make with your card while traveling. When taken as a whole, the fees imposed can really begin to add up. Frequent overseas travelers would do well to find a card that doesn’t charge any fee — so long as that card meets their other needs as well.

Do I Need to Let My Card Company Know I’m Traveling?

If you’ve traveled internationally in the past few years, chances are you’ve been told to let your card company know of your travel plans in advance. The stated reason for this is to avoid having a card deactivated due to fraud prevention measures.

Security experts will tell you it’s a good idea to notify your credit card company when traveling abroad, but many also say the current fraud detection systems like EMV chip technology are sufficient protection. Active monitoring for credit card fraud by all major card companies has resulted in far fewer incidents of this type of abuse in recent years.

If you do choose to notify your card company of your travel plans, most will let you do so  either online or through a mobile app. And since they make it so easy to do, we say better safe than sorry.

Travel is Expensive Enough — Don’t Pay Extra for It

Avoiding foreign transaction fees can be as easy as choosing the right card, but it can also be a matter of how you spend when you’re traveling. Many experienced travelers choose to pay cash in the local currency, avoiding credit card fees altogether. This can save both fees and time, but it introduces other risks as well.

Ultimately, choosing the right card can help you avoid paying unnecessary foreign transaction fees, while still keeping you safe and protected. By using your card wisely, you can enjoy all of the things that make traveling abroad so appealing — and not pay more than you need to.

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