We focused on credit cards with rewards because leisure travel should be affordable without debt. And if you don’t carry a balance from month to month, interest rates aren’t a concern. Plus, the right rewards card can save you an extra 2%+ on all international purchases, on top of the 6%+ that you’ll save simply by using a no foreign fee credit card on the Visa or Mastercard network.
This approach helped us home in on the top offers in the most popular usage categories.
2018's Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards:
|Best For...||No Foreign Fee Card||Foreign Transaction Fee||Annual Fee|
|Initial Bonus||Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||$0||$0 Intro for the First Year, $95 after|
|Cash Back||Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card||None||None|
|Travel||Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card||None||$0 for 1st yr, $95 after|
|Students||Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for Students||None||None|
|Limited Credit||Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card||None||$39|
|Bad Credit||Capital One® Secured Mastercard®||None||None|
|Business||Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card||$0||$95|
|Airport Lounges||Chase Sapphire Reserve℠||None||$450|
|Hotel Rewards||Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express||None||None 1st yr, $95 after|
|0% APR & Rewards||Discover it® - Cashback Match™||None||None|
There are plenty more credit cards with no foreign transaction fee worth considering, too. And you’re likely to see even more hit the market in the years to come. The average foreign transaction fee on a credit card fell more than 36% from the beginning of 2011 to the end of 2017, while the number of issuers not charging such a fee on a single card tripled.
Plus, every one of the 12 largest credit card issuers offers at least one no foreign transaction fee credit card, as you can see in the table below.
Credit Card Companies’ Foreign Transaction Fees
|Credit Card Company||Foreign Transaction Fee||Network(s) Used|
|American Express||$0 or 2.7%||American Express|
|Bank of America||$0, 1% or 3%||Mastercard and Visa|
|Barclays||None (3% for some co-branded cards)||Mastercard and Visa|
|Capital One||None||Mastercard, Visa and store-only cards|
|Chase||$0 or 3%||Visa|
|Citibank||$0 or 3%||Mastercard, Visa and store-only cards|
|PNC||$0 or 3%||Visa|
|Synchrony Bank||$0 or 3%||Mastercard, Visa and store-only cards|
|USAA||None||American Express and Visa|
|U.S. Bancorp||$0 or 3%||American Express, Mastercard and Visa|
|Wells Fargo||$0 or 3%||American Express, Mastercard, Visa and store-only cards|
At the end of the day, there are many reasons to get a credit card with no foreign fees before traveling abroad or making purchases through an internationally based merchant. Here are some of the most important:
5 Reasons To Get One of 2018's Best Credit Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fee
- Most credit cards charge foreign fees. More than 70% of cards have foreign fees, according to our database. So if you don’t seek out a no foreign fee card, chances are you won’t get one. And no one wants to pay an extra 2% or 3% if they don’t have to.
- Foreign fees erode rewards. The average foreign fee is just over 2% of the amount you spend, according to our latest Credit Card Landscape Report, but many cards charge 3%. The average cash back credit card, on the other hand, gives you just over 1% back.
- Credit cards have the best exchange rates. Any Visa or Mastercard credit card will help you save time and money – up to 11% – relative to converting hard currency at a local bank or an airport kiosk. But a foreign fee would limit your savings.
- Pickpockets won’t be as scary. If someone robs you of cash while you’re in a foreign country, there’s not much you can do about it. That money is gone. But if someone steals your credit card, you can request an overnight replacement, and you won’t be held liable for any unauthorized charges.
- You won’t have to sacrifice. Getting a credit card with no foreign transaction fee does not mean giving up hopes of earning rewards or avoiding interest. Many of the market’s best credit cards do not charge foreign fees, so you can still find a great deal for your particular needs.