The Delta Reserve Credit Card features a 0% foreign transaction fee. That makes it ideal for purchases outside the U.S. and online shopping, through international merchants.
The Delta Reserve Credit Card also has great ongoing rewards: 3 miles per $1 spent on Delta purchases and 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases. Plus, it offers an initial bonus of 50,000 miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, plus up to $100 back in statement credits for purchases at U.S. restaurants made in the first 3 months. So if you’re a frequent Delta flyer with good credit or better (a credit score of 700+), the Delta Reserve Credit Card is an excellent choice.
The Delta Reserve Credit Card does charge a $550 annual fee. If you don’t fly enough to offset this cost, it’s definitely worth checking out the best credit cards for international travel and picking one according to your individual needs.
There are several American Express credit cards that have no foreign transaction fees, including the American Express Platinum card, the American Express® Gold Card, and cards with rewards for Hilton, Marriott and Delta. The Amex cards without international fees have annual fees ranging from $0 to $500+. They also offer valuable travel benefits, such as free checked bags and luxury airport lounge access.… read full answer
The best American Express credit card with 0% foreign transaction fee is the Hilton Honors American Express Card because it’s one of the two general-consumer offer with a $0 annual fee. The Hilton Credit Card also has a nice initial bonus, giving 80,000 points for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months, plus an additional 50,000 points for spending a total of $5,000 in the first 6 months. The ongoing rewards are pretty good, too; cardholders earn 3 - 7 points per $1, depending on the type of purchase.
American Express Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees:
While American Express no-foreign transaction fee credit cards make it cheaper to travel with your Amex card, they’re not accepted everywhere. You should be able to find businesses that accept American Express in places like Canada and Mexico. However, it’ll be harder in smaller countries, especially those that don’t typically do business with the U.S.
The best way to avoid foreign transaction fees is to get a credit card that waives such fees while traveling abroad. About 25% of the available credit card offers on the market don’t charge foreign transaction fees, and those cards are available to people of all credit levels, so there’s really no reason to pay the extra charge when you travel abroad.… read full answer
1. Get a credit card with no foreign transaction fee.
Foreign transaction fees are charged by credit card companies, not merchants, and the surcharge could add as much as 4% to purchases made outside the U.S. These fees also apply to online purchases processed abroad, even if you’re sitting in front of your computer at home when you complete the transaction. If a card charges a foreign transaction fee, it will be listed in the card’s terms and conditions.
The 10 largest credit card companies all offer at least some cards without foreign transaction fees, and some issuers don’t charge these fees on any of their credit cards. Using credit cards with no foreign fees rather than cash also is a convenient, inexpensive way to avoid having to convert physical currency while traveling abroad.
2. Understand that foreign fees can be an issue even when you’re not traveling.
You don’t have to be in another country to get hit with a foreign transaction fee. If you do business online or by phone through a merchant based outside of the U.S., make sure you pay for your purchase with a no foreign fee credit card to sidestep the surcharge. If you use a card with a foreign fee, you’ll be charged this fee on top of your transaction, the same as you would if you had made the purchase at a physical location abroad.
3. Have a no foreign fee debit card handy.
You probably won’t be able to use credit cards for all your international purchases if you travel abroad, so having a debit card will allow you to get cash in the local currency when you need it. Many debit cards also charge foreign transaction fees, so make sure to bring a Visa or Mastercard debit card with no foreign fee when you head out of the country.
4. Avoid converting currency at airport kiosks.
Converting your cash at an airport kiosk outside of the U.S. may be convenient, but that convenience will cost you. Currency conversions at airport-based exchange stations come with extraordinarily high fees and less-than-favorable exchange rates.
Instead, use a no foreign transaction fee credit card for most of your purchases, and a no foreign fee debit card to withdraw physical currency. These options are very convenient, and each allows you to take advantage of low Visa and Mastercard currency conversion rates automatically.
5. Do not accept offers for dynamic currency conversion.
Dynamic currency conversion (DCC) is a practice in which foreign merchants may offer to charge your purchase in U.S. dollars instead of the local currency. You should never accept these offers because if the merchant converts your payment for you, they may set their own high exchange rate to increase their profits.
With that, you know the basics of how to avoid unnecessary costs when spending money internationally. 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 to use instead. There are plenty to choose from.
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