There is no USAA credit card foreign transaction fee. In the past, some USAA credit cards charged a 1% foreign transaction fee on some of its cards, but USAA made all of its cards no foreign fee in 2016. That means you’ll never pay extra for purchases processed by a foreign-based merchant.
USAA credit cards are designed for U.S. military personnel and their spouses and adult children. The decision to discontinue foreign transaction fees was made to reduce the costs for servicemembers making purchases abroad.
Here is some additional information on USAA credit card foreign transaction fees:
- No USAA credit cards have foreign transaction fees.
- Some USAA credit cards used to charge a 1% foreign fee. It was removed from USAA Visa card offers first, then Mastercard and Amex offers.
- A foreign transaction fee is a surcharge credit card companies add to purchases processed outside of the United States. You don’t have to be in another country to be charged the fee. It also applies to online purchases processed through an international merchant.
- USAA, as a credit card issuer, has discretion over foreign transaction fees. Credit card networks (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express) do not. They negotiate where in the world their cards will be accepted and handle currency conversion.
Military servicemembers and their families stationed abroad are the biggest beneficiaries of no foreign transaction fees on USAA credit cards. Even at the previous 1% rate, all those additional fees tacked on to everyday purchases begin to add up over time.But USAA isn’t the only credit card company to not charge foreign transaction fees on any cards – they’re joined by Discover and Capital One.
Two good USAA credit cards for international travel are the Rewards American Express and the Cashback Rewards Plus American Express. With the Rewards American Express, earn 2,500 points after your first purchase. You’ll also get 3 points per $1 on dining and 2 per $1 on gas and groceries. Along with a $150 bonus for spending $500 in the first 90 days, the Cashback Rewards Plus gives you 5% cash back on your first $3,000 in gas and military base purchases per year and 2% back up to $3,000 at supermarkets each year.