Using a no foreign transaction credit card on the Visa or MasterCard network is the cheapest, most convenient way to convert currency.
In fact, such a card will save you up to 11% compared to exchanging hard currency at a local bank or airport kiosk, according to WalletHub’s latest Currency Exchange Study. And you don’t have to do anything special to benefit. Credit cards automatically convert the cost of an international purchase to U.S. dollars.
Credit cards provide other benefits to international travelers, too. For example, all credit cards have $0 fraud liability guarantees. That means you won’t have to pay for any unauthorized purchases. In contrast, if a pickpocket takes cash from you, that money is gone. Most credit cards also offer both travel insurance and rental car insurance, while 50% of cards provide financial assistance for international-travel emergencies.
So you might want to double-check that you have a credit card with no foreign transaction fee before your next international trip or purchase. The vast majority of credit cards still charge foreign transaction fees, according to WalletHub data. The average foreign fee is 1.97%.
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