The Bank of America Premium Rewards foreign transaction fee is $0. The fact that the BofA Premium Rewards Card has no foreign transaction fee means cardholders can make purchases in any of the 200+ countries and territories that accept Visa cards without having to pay an international surcharge. The Premium Rewards card has an annual fee of $95.
Not all Bank of America credit cards have no foreign fee. The cards that do charge have a 3% fee. Being excused from that is a big deal for BofA Premium cardholders who plan on traveling abroad a lot or making purchases from international sellers while in the U.S. A 3% foreign fee would completely wipe out the card’s ongoing rewards: 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining, and 1.5 points per $1 on all other purchases.
Fortunately, that’s not something you have to worry about, and those aren’t the Premium Rewards card’s only perks. New cardholders also earn an initial bonus of 50,000 points (worth about $500) for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.
Those no foreign fee BofA cards clearly are a better choice for international spending than the ones with a 3% surcharge for everything you buy abroad. That’s actually one of the highest foreign fees on the market. So international shoppers need to be careful when picking a Bank of America credit card and perhaps consider cards from other issuers too.
Bank of America foreign transaction fees:
Some Bank of America credit cards have a 3% foreign transaction fee.
Other Bank of America credit cards have no foreign transaction fee.
Foreign transaction fees can apply when you travel abroad or make online purchases from foreign merchants.
At 3%, the Bank of America foreign transaction fee is too steep for anyone planning to make international purchases. But the cards that charge it are meant more for everyday spending than travel. The good news is there are a handful of foreign fee-less alternatives.
Best Bank of America credit cards with no foreign transaction fees:
You can avoid foreign transaction fees by getting a credit card that doesn’t charge them. Considering that about 25% of current credit card offers don’t charge foreign fees, and those cards are available to people of all credit levels, there’s really no reason to pay these fees. The 10 largest credit card companies all offer at least some cards without foreign transaction fees. And some, like Capital One, Discover, USAA, HSBC and PenFed, don’t charge foreign transaction fees on any of their credit cards.… read full answer
Foreign transaction fees tack on as much as 4% extra to purchases made abroad, which can truly dampen a vacation. Foreign transaction fees aren’t charged by the merchant; they’re charged by the credit card company. And the fees are also charged for online purchases processed abroad, even if you’re sitting in front of your computer at home when you make the purchase. If you’re using a rewards card for purchases abroad, a foreign transaction fee will quickly negate the rewards you’re trying to rack up. The fees are declared in all credit card terms, so make sure you look for that language when you’re applying for credit cards.
That said, if you already have a credit card that charges foreign transaction fees, there’s not much you can do to avoid them, save for not using the card abroad. Consider applying for a travel credit card with good ongoing rewards and no foreign transaction fees. There are plenty to choose from.
One last thing to think about regarding foreign transaction fees: Don’t forget to find the right debit card for your travels. Many debit cards also charge foreign transaction fees and international ATM fees. But having a debit card while abroad is important, as it will allow you to get cash when you need it, which is far cheaper (and safer) than converting money at airports or banks. So make sure to bring a Visa or Mastercard debit card with a low international ATM fee and no foreign transaction fees when you head out of the country.
Your credit card does not have foreign transaction fees if it’s issued by Capital One, Discover, HSBC, PenFed or USAA—the 5 major issuers that don’t charge foreign fees on any of their credit cards. On the other hand, your credit card probably does have a foreign transaction fee if it’s from Chase, PNC, or Bank of America, although each has no foreign fee options, too. Similarly, your Barclays credit card might have a foreign transaction fee. And if you have a U.S. Bank credit card without an annual fee, it probably has a foreign transaction fee.… read full answer
However, it’s not a great idea to assume your credit card has or does not have a foreign transaction fee based on the issuer alone. So before you travel to a foreign country with your credit card, make sure you have one that won’t cost you extra every time you use it. The same goes for buying something from an international seller online. The foreign transaction fee that applies to your credit card will generally be listed as a percentage in the “fees” portion of your credit card terms.
Some of the best credit cards without foreign transaction fees are the Capital One Venture Credit Card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card, and the Discover it Miles Credit Card. These 3 travel cards have above-average ongoing rewards, and require at least good credit for approval.
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