This means you won’t be charged extra on transactions processed outside of the United States, whether it’s a purchase at a physical location in a foreign country, or an online transaction through an internationally-based merchant.
The Mastercard foreign transaction fee is 0% to 3%, depending on which card you have and which bank or credit union issued it. There are plenty of Mastercards with no foreign transaction fee, and that goes for both credit cards and debit cards. But many Mastercards charge up to 3% of each international purchase you make.… read full answer
The Mastercard foreign transaction fee comes in two parts. Mastercard, as the credit card network, always charges a 1% fee. Then, the credit card issuer can choose to add their own fee on top of that, or cover Mastercard’s fee for you. If your card’s foreign fee is higher than 1%, it means the issuer added their own fees. If your Mastercard’s foreign transaction fee is 0%, it’s because the issuer pays the 1% network fee for you.
You certainly don’t want to pay 3% more than you have to when traveling abroad or shopping from foreign merchants while in the U.S. After all, the average foreign transaction fee on a credit card is about 1.5%. And some major credit card issuers have done away with foreign transaction fees altogether.
It’s also worth noting that Mastercard foreign transaction fees and Visa foreign transaction fees are pretty much the same. Some cards charge as much as 3%. Others don’t charge a dime. And like Mastercard, Visa is accepted in 200+ countries and territories.
The best approach is to compare no foreign transaction fee credit cards on both the Visa and Mastercard networks. Check your credit score to see which ones you have best chance of getting approved for. And then find the card with the best collection of rewards, rates and fees for your needs. If you’re approved, you’ll save up to 3% on each foreign transaction. It’s as easy as that.
If you’re planning to travel overseas a lot, I’d definitely recommend getting one of the cards with 0% foreign transaction fee. After all, vacations are expensive enough without adding an extra 3% to the price of everything.
It’s also good to remember that you don’t have to travel to be charged a foreign fee. If you buy something online from a vendor in another country and get it shipped to you, foreign transaction fees apply there, too.
WalletHub Answers is a free service that helps consumers access financial information. Information on WalletHub Answers is provided “as is” and should not be considered financial, legal or investment advice. WalletHub is not a financial advisor, law firm, “lawyer referral service,” or a substitute for a financial advisor, attorney, or law firm. You may want to hire a professional before making any decision. WalletHub does not endorse any particular contributors and cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of any information posted. The helpfulness of a financial advisor's answer is not indicative of future advisor performance.
WalletHub members have a wealth of knowledge to share, and we encourage everyone to do so while respecting our content guidelines. This question was posted by a WalletHub user.
Please keep in mind that editorial and user-generated content on this page is not reviewed or otherwise endorsed by any financial institution. In addition, it is not a financial institution’s responsibility to ensure all posts and questions are answered.
Ad Disclosure: Certain offers that appear on this site originate from paying advertisers, and this will be noted on an offer’s details page using the designation "Sponsored", where applicable. Advertising may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). At WalletHub we try to present a wide array of offers, but our offers do not represent all financial services companies or products.