The Discover it® Student chrome foreign transaction fee is 0%. This means you won’t be charged extra anytime you use the Discover it® Student chrome outside of the United States. This applies whether it’s a purchase at a physical location in a foreign country or an online transaction through an internationally-based merchant.
A Discover card is accepted in 200 countries and territories internationally. That includes India, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Puerto Rico, the United Arab Emirates and most other popular destinations for American business and vacation travelers. But just because a Discover card is accepted by at least some merchants in a given country does not mean you should rely on it exclusively. Even Discover classifies its acceptance as low in places like France and Russia. So you may want to bring a Visa or Mastercard along, too. Those two networks are accepted worldwide.… read full answer
Here’s where Discover cards are most & least likely to be accepted internationally:
High Merchant Acceptance: Argentina, Dominican Republic, India, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Puerto Rico, Chile, Spain
Moderate Merchant Acceptance: Brazil, China, Canada, Costa Rica, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom
Low Merchant Acceptance: Australia, Egypt, France, Russia
No Merchant Acceptance: Bolivia, Cuba, Iran, Pakistan, most of Africa and the Middle East
There are more countries in each of these groups. And you can check out Discover’s international acceptance map for a complete breakdown. But this list will give you a good idea of what to expect in the most popular international travel destinations.
If Discover is widely accepted in your international destination of choice, you should definitely consider getting a Discover card to bring with you. Discover credit cards are well-suited to the task in the sense that none of them charge foreign transaction fees. The Discover it® Miles card is an especially good choice, giving you 1.5 miles per $1 spent and doubling the rewards you earn the first year, all with a $0 annual fee.
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.
Foreign transaction fees apply to online purchases when the merchant is based outside the U.S. That goes for both debit cards and credit cards with foreign transaction fees. For example, if you buy something online from a merchant in the U.K. and pay with a card that has a foreign transaction fee, that fee will apply. Foreign transaction fees on credit cards can add as much as 3% onto each international purchase you make. But there’s an easy solution: Just use a credit card with no foreign transaction fee whenever you buy something from a foreign seller.… read full answer
So when in doubt, a no foreign fee card is the way to go. And there are plenty with really good rewards. Plus, credit cards get you great currency conversion rates.
Here’s when foreign transaction fees apply online (and how to avoid them):
The Basics: Foreign transaction fees apply online when a transaction is processed outside the United States. If you see prices listed in non-U.S. currency, there’s a good chance you’ll be charged a foreign transaction fee on your purchase.
Fees on U.S. Websites: If you buy something on Amazon.com from a seller in China, Amazon processes the payment, but a foreign transaction fee may still apply because the merchant is located outside the U.S. Remember, your card issuer is the one charging the fee, not the merchant. Similarly, if you book international travel through a U.S. website, you could still be tagged with a foreign transaction fee if the purchase is processed by a foreign airline, hotel, etc.
Avoid Declined Transactions: Your credit card company could mistake international purchases for fraud and decline them, especially if they don’t match your usual spending habits. You can avoid the inconvenience by notifying your bank or credit union about any international travel or shopping plans you have.
Prepaid Travel Cards: Even a credit card with foreign transaction fees is better for international travel or shopping than a prepaid travel card, such as the Visa TravelMoney Card or the Mastercard Travel Card. Their foreign transaction fees can be up to 5.5%. Plus, they can charge several other fees, such as reload fees, withdrawal fees and monthly maintenance fees.
Another thing to watch for is dynamic currency conversion, which is when an international merchant offers to process your transaction in U.S. dollars. It’s supposed to be for your convenience, and that might be true in some cases. But it’s often a trick that lets a merchant apply an unfair exchange rate to pad its profits a bit, at your expense. So it’s best to decline the overture. Credit cards automatically offer great currency conversion rates, and you can always use your phone (or a basic calculator) to convert prices to dollars if that would make international shopping more comfortable for you.
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