John S Kiernan, Managing Editor
Yes, there can be fees for international credit card use. But they’re avoidable if you make the right moves, starting with picking the right credit card. Foreign transaction fees are the main concern, as many credit cards charge them. But there are plenty of no foreign fee cards for you to consider.
Fees to consider when using your card internationally:
- Foreign transaction fees: Many credit cards come with foreign transaction fees when you buy from internationally-based merchants. These fees are typically 1%-3% of the purchase amount. If you go abroad, you should get a card with no foreign transaction fee.
- International ATM Fees: These will only come into play if you try to perform a cash advance internationally. And there’s no reason to do so if you bring an international debit card on your trip.
- Dynamic Currency Conversion: This isn’t really a fee, but it could cost you money. To avoid it, make sure to turn down any merchant’s offer to convert prices into U.S. dollars. They may be doing it just as an excuse to charge a high exchange rate.
In addition, if you decide to convert hard currency at a local bank or airport kiosk, you’re going to lose a lot to fees and high exchange rates. So, try to use plastic as much as possible when traveling abroad. In particular, Visa or Mastercard credit cards with no foreign transaction fees can save you more than 9% on currency exchange.
Notable No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards
When you travel abroad, you should also consider cards that offer rental car insurance or general travel insurance. That way, you can be covered in case of any incidents that might occur while you’re travelling.
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