The PenFed foreign transaction fee is $0. All PenFed credit card offers have come with no foreign transaction fee since 2011. That goes for debit cards too. So you’ll never have to pay extra just because your purchase is processed beyond U.S. borders.
That puts PenFed in a very small group of issuers that never charge foreign transaction fees. The others are Discover, Capital One and USAA. But there are still a few things to watch out for when using your PenFed card abroad.
PenFed Foreign Transaction Fees and Travel:
The PenFed foreign transaction fee is $0 – for all credit cards and debit cards issued by the Pentagon Federal Credit Union.
Foreign fees on cards from other banks and credit unions apply to purchases from internationally based merchants, both in person and online.
To get a PenFed credit card, you must have served in the U.S. military or as government employee, or be a family member of someone who has. You can also become eligible by making the one-time $17 donation needed to join an advocacy group like the National Military Family Association.
All new PenFed credit cards come with EMV chips, which make them more secure and more compatible with foreign payment terminals. Most PenFed cards are also on the Visa network, so they’ll be accepted almost everywhere worldwide. There are some PenFed Amex cards, too, and you might have a bit of trouble with those.
It’s crucial to bring a no foreign transaction fee card with you when you go abroad, as those fees can really add up. But you should also make sure to say no to Dynamic Currency Conversion. That’s when the merchant asks you to pay in U.S. dollars instead of the local currency. You don’t want that because the merchant will probably rip you off with a bad exchange rate.
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