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 whether they worry more about Chinese tariffs on steel or foreign transaction fees on credit cards. You can find the complete results in the following infographic.
- Why do you think 8 in 10 people don’t realize that credit card companies can charge foreign transaction fees when a cardholder is in the U.S. (purchases through merchants based abroad)? Are credit card companies at fault for this misconception?
- What advice do you have for the 50% of people who don’t know if their credit card has a foreign transaction fee?
- Why do credit card companies continue to charge foreign transaction fees, despite 81% of people saying they’re unfair and 60% saying they'll never get a credit card with a foreign fee again?
- What advice would you give to the 6 in 10 people who say they'll never get a credit card with a foreign fee again?
- Does it surprise you that 7 in 10 people think foreign fees should be cheaper in countries allied with the U.S.?
Ask the Experts
Full Details Overall
|What’s more important to have on a trip abroad?|
|A working smartphone||51%|
|A credit card||49%|
|Does your credit card have a foreign transaction fee?|
|Correct answer selection - When can a credit card company charge a foreign transaction fee?|
|What do you worry about most when using your credit card internationally?|
|Foreign transaction fees||14%|
|Which would you rather pay?|
|Foreign transaction fee||54%|
|Would you ever get a credit card that charges a foreign transaction fee?|
|What kind of traveler are you?|
|On your next international trip, what method of payment do you plan to use?|
|Do you think that it’s fair banks can charge you a 3% fee every time you swipe your credit card when traveling abroad?|
|When you swipe your credit card to make a purchase in a foreign country, you may be asked to choose between using the local currency or U.S. dollars for the transaction. Which should you choose?|
|How do you get the best exchange rate when traveling abroad?|
|Convert money at a bank before leaving||37%|
|Convert money when you arrive in a foreign country||28%|
|Use a credit card||25%|
|Convert money at the airport||10%|
|Which foreign countries do you NOT want to visit right now?|
|Should credit cards charge lower foreign transaction fees for purchases in countries that are allies of the US?|
|Which is the best credit card network for international travel?|
|Will you inform your credit card company before taking your next international trip?|
|Have you had any car accidents or traffic violations (tickets) in the last 5 years?|
|No accidents or violations||58%|
|I don't drive||6%|
|Had both accidents & violations||5%|
Note: Percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.