The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Monday, January 30, 2023

10 Travel Cards With No Foreign Transaction Fees

No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards

credit card advice

Brittney Mayer

Written by: Brittney Mayer

Brittney Mayer

Brittney is a Credit Strategist and Finance Expert who has spent years honing her knowledge of the credit industry both personally and professionally. Brittney applies her more than a decade of research experience to crafting in-depth consumer guides designed to help CardRates readers make better, more informed financial decisions.

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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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Reviewed by: Ashley Dull

Ashley Dull

With more than a decade of experience as a content manager and marketer, Ashley has specialized in finance coverage since 2015. She has worked closely with the world’s largest banks and financial institutions, up-and-coming fintech companies, and press and news outlets to curate comprehensive content and media campaigns. Her credit card commentary is featured on national media outlets that include CNBC, MarketWatch, Investopedia, and Reader's Digest, among others.

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Advertiser Disclosure

Planning a trip to another country can often be an involved process as dealing with passports, new languages, and unfamiliar customs can add layers of complexity to any journey.

And, of course, there is the fact that currencies tend to change at the border, meaning your money will have to change, even if your language doesn’t. In an age where fewer Americans are carrying cash each year, the first thought on many minds is to turn to their trusty credit card while abroad.

But while many foreign businesses, especially in Europe, will accept credit cards from major issuers, many of those issuers charge cardholders for the cost of converting purchases to and from the local currency. These foreign transaction fees can be 3% or more of the purchase price, taking a bite out of your vacation budget. Luckily, tons of great no foreign transaction fee credit cards can be had these days, with many offering other great perks, too.

Let’s take a look at a few of our top choices for these kinds of cards, including cards that offer travel rewards, cash back, no annual, chip-and-pin cards, and business credit cards.

Travel Rewards | Cash Back | No Annual Fee | Chip-and-Pin | Business

“Travel Rewards” Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees

A natural fit for a credit card with no foreign transactions fees, travel rewards offer points or miles for every dollar spent, as well as often giving bonus miles for travel-related purchases. When comparing travel rewards cards, consider the rate at which you will earn rewards, as well as any bonus categories in which you may spend frequently.

Another thing to compare when looking at different travel rewards offers is the signup bonus. An easy way to jump-start your rewards, signup bonuses typically offer a large lump sum of points or miles for completing specific spending requirements in a given time period.

  • 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.
  • 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
20.24% - 27.24% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

TRAVEL RATING

★★★★★
4.8

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
20.24% - 28.24% (Variable)
$95
Excellent, Good

The best travel rewards programs will also offer flexible redemption options, allowing cardholders to redeem their rewards free from blackouts or brand restrictions. And while some travel rewards credit cards only allow points to be redeemed for airline tickets, the points and miles from our top picks can be used for many travel expenses, including flights and hotels.

Screenshot of Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal

Some travel rewards give more value when redeemed through the issuer’s travel portal.

Additionally, points redeemed for travel can often provide a greater per-point value than when they are redeemed for cash back or gift cards. The main catch here is that cardholders are typically required to use the credit card company’s branded travel portal to book their travel, so weigh the extra point value against the difference in price when you redeem.

“Cash Back” Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees

When considering a trip overseas, or just over the border, cost is always of concern, so anywhere savings can be had is worth exploring. That’s where the cash back card comes in handy, acting like a rebate on every purchase that can save you a bundle on your trip — especially when your cash back card also charges no foreign transaction fees.

The main decision you’ll have to make when choosing a cash back card is whether you’d like to earn rewards at a flat rate for every purchase, or if you would benefit more from a category-based program that gives bonus points for specific purchases. You’ll also want to give some consideration to the signup bonuses offered by each card before making your choice.

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn a 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
  • Enjoy up to 6 months of complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024
  • 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
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
19.24% - 29.24% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good
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, and gas stations, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Discover helps remove your personal information from select people-search websites. Activate by mobile app for free.
  • Every $1 you earn in cash back is $1 you can redeem.
  • Get a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases. Then 16.24% to 27.24% 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
16.24% - 27.24% Variable APR
$0
Excellent/Good

Another factor to keep in mind when looking at cash back cards is the process for redemption. Some cash back programs will only redeem your rewards as a statement credit, while others will also send you a check or gift card. You’ll also want to note any minimum redemption requirements; at 1.5% cash back, it can take about $1,600 worth of purchase rewards to reach a $25 minimum redemption amount.

“No Annual Fee” Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees

In a perfect world, every credit card would come without fees — and we’d all have jet-packs. Sadly, we’re still a long way from universal backpack propulsion devices, but we can get pretty close to a fee-free credit card by choosing one with no annual fee and zero foreign transaction fees. It can even help you travel.

In fact, our top picks for no annual fee cards to take abroad come complete with travel rewards programs that can help you save on your airfare or hotels. They can also eliminate the need to pay interest fees on your trip with an introductory 0% APR offer, making these credit cards about as fee-free as you can get.

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn a 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
  • Enjoy up to 6 months of complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024
  • 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
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
19.24% - 29.24% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25X 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
  • 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
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
19.24% - 29.24% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

Furthermore, because there’s no annual fee to weigh down your rewards, the signup and spending rewards can be even more valuable, so compare programs carefully.

“Chip-and-Pin” Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees

Already becoming ubiquitous in the US, the EMV credit card is the latest effort to make credit card transactions more secure and the cards themselves harder to duplicate. The EMV credit card is often called a chip card for the prominent chip — actually an integrated circuit — embedded in it, used to store the card’s account and verification information.

Graphic of Chip-and-Pin Card Use

The chip-and-pin cards standard in many European countries use a four-digit pin rather than a signature.

The EMV cards used in the US are often authorized by the cardholder’s signature, much like the traditional magnetic stripe cards. In many European countries, however, they instead use a chip-and-pin system, which requires a four-digit pin similar to a debit card.

Although most EU merchants can process chip-and-signature cards, travelers may run into some compatibility problems. This is particularly likely when trying to use self-service payment machines, such as ticket kiosks, which use an offline transaction verification processes that US credit cards are not typically configured to use.

To avoid any potential pitfalls — or the need to carry pocketfuls of the local currency — frequent travelers may wish to pick up a chip-and-pin card before their trip. With a good chip-and-pin card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, you’ll be buying like a native in no time.

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card Review

at Bank Of America'ssecure website

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • 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 after 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 travel or dining purchases, such as flights, hotel stays, car and vacation rentals, baggage fees, and also at restaurants including takeout.
  • New longer intro period! 0% Introductory APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 18.24% - 28.24% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers.
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase. That means instead of earning an unlimited 1.5 points for every $1, you could earn 1.87-2.62 points for every $1 you spend on purchases.
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases
0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days
18.24% - 28.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
$0
Excellent/Good

Additional Disclosure: Bank of America is a CardRates advertiser.

AIR MILES RATING

0.0

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 60,000 ThankYou® Points are redeemable for $600 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
20.24% - 28.24% (Variable)
$95
Excellent, Good

Additional Disclosure: Citi is a CardRates advertiser.

As with other types of credit cards, you’ll want to compare rewards and signup bonuses when choosing a chip-and-pin card for your trip. You should also want to consider any annual fees, as these can take a bite out of your bonuses.

“Business” Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees

Although many of our no foreign transaction fee picks are perfect for a fee-free vacation, not all trips are for pleasure. And when you’re traveling for business, cost can be even more important than when you’re on a pleasure jaunt, with every penny coming out of your company’s bottom line. So why waste precious profits on foreign transaction fees?

Our picks for business cards with no foreign transaction fees are the perfect fit for any international executive or continent-hopping consultant, offering your choice of a card with unlimited cash back or one offering blackout-free travel rewards. You’ll also see solid signup bonuses that can really help your business purchases pay off.

New Business Card! Ink Business Premier℠ Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn $1,000 bonus cash back after you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 2.5% total cash back on purchases of $5,000 or more and unlimited 2% cash back on all other business purchases.
  • Travel Benefits: Unlimited 5% total cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, No Foreign Transaction Fees and Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance.
  • Rich Rewards. Limitless Opportunities. With no minimum redemption amount, redeem rewards for cash back, gift cards, travel and more through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • For businesses who prefer to pay their balance in full each month, Ink Business Premier gives access to increased spending power, rich rewards, and premium benefits.
  • Pay off eligible purchases over time with interest up to assigned Flex for Business limit. All other purchases must be paid in full each month.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
Flex for Business Variable APR: 18.49% - 26.49%
$195
Good/Excellent

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.7/5.0
  • Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles – equal to $500 in travel – once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions, and miles won't expire for the life of the account
  • Unlimited 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • Transfer your miles to 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Redeem your miles instantly for any travel-related purchases, from flights and hotels to ride-sharing services
  • Fly through security with one statement credit for either the $85 TSA PreCheck® application fee or the $100 Global Entry application fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
25.24% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Excellent, Good

No matter which card you choose, keep in mind that a business credit card is not intended for purchases you will need to pay off over a long period of time. The interest rates charged by credit cards make it a bad idea to carry a balance for very long.

Save a Little & Travel a Lot with the Right Card

No matter how well you plan and prepare, going on vacation can sometimes leave you feeling, well, as though you need another vacation. This is especially true when traveling abroad, and dealing with all of the paperwork and cultural complications that foreign travel entails. As exhausting as the trip can be, however, the bill you open afterward can be what really takes it out of you.

Fortunately, with the right credit card, you can cushion the blow. Not only can you cut your expenses by 3% or more by choosing a card that charges no foreign transaction fees, but you can boost your value by selecting one with great rewards, no annual fee, or a convenient chip-and-pin configuration. Yes, with the help of a good credit card, you can globe-trot like a pro. And, hopefully, your lasting vacation memories will be of unique landmarks, delicious food, and good times with friends and family, and not the balance on your credit card afterward.

Advertiser Disclosure

CardRates.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation for referrals for many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across CardRates.com (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CardRates.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.