International travel is costly enough without having to pay extra just for swiping, dipping or tapping your credit card beyond U.S. borders. But foreign transaction fees are lurking, even domestically. Any purchase made through an international merchant and processed abroad is subject to a foreign fee.
To get a better understanding of what consumers know about foreign fees, how they influence our card choices and more, WalletHub conducted a nationally representative online survey. We asked people about everything from their international travel and spending habits to their biggest worries when using a credit card internationally. You can find the complete results in the following infographic.
- Roughly 7 in 10 people don't realize foreign fees can apply without foreign travel.
- 41% of people don’t know if their credit card has a foreign transaction fee. This is most common among people over the age of 45.
- 53% of people say they would never get a credit card that charges a foreign transaction fee.
- The majority of people (79%) don't know that using a credit card gets them the best exchange rate when traveling abroad.
- Card loss/theft (35%) is what people worry about the most when using their credit cards internationally, followed by currency exchange rates (28%) and credit card foreign transaction fees (23%), leaving overspending (13%) at the bottom of the list.
- 62% of people say foreign transaction fees are unfair. Women (71%) are more likely to feel this way than men (52%).
- More than 7 in 10 people think foreign transaction fees should be cheaper in countries allied with the U.S.
Full Details Overall
|Does your credit card have a foreign transaction fee?|
|When can a credit card company charge a foreign transaction fee? (select all that apply)|
|When you buy something while traveling outside the U.S.||74%|
|When you’re in the U.S. but make a purchase that is processed abroad||33%|
|When you buy something in person in the U.S. from a store whose parent company is based abroad||15%|
|None of the above||10%|
|What do you worry about most when using your credit card internationally?|
|Currency exchange rate||28%|
|Credit Card foreign transaction fees||23%|
|Which would you rather pay on a credit card?|
|Foreign transaction fee||53%|
|Would you ever get a credit card that charges a foreign transaction fee?|
|On your next international trip, what method of payment do you plan to use?|
|Credit cards with foreign transaction fees can charge you extra every time you make a purchase from a foreign merchant. Is that fair?|
|When applying for a new credit card, how much do you care about your new card’s foreign transaction fee?|
|Not at all||21%|
|How do you get the best exchange rate when traveling abroad?|
|Convert money at a bank before leaving||39%|
|Convert money when you arrive in a foreign country||24%|
|Use a credit card||21%|
|Convert money at the airport||16%|
|Should credit cards charge lower foreign transaction fees for purchases in countries that are allies of the US?|
Note: Percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.