If you are concerned with foreign transaction fees, then Capital One is one of only two sources that can lower foreign transaction fees.
International fees are added by multiple sources, not just your financial institution, for purchases made overseas. Your bank will probably add 1-3 percent as a "foreign currency-conversion fee." This means they offer the service of converting the local currency cost of an international purchase into the U.S. dollar amount that shows up on your credit card bill. This is in addition to your credit card fee. Likewise a merchant might typically add another 3-6 percent to convert the charge into U.S. dollars. The combination of charges depends on the varying rates from the card you use, the bank that issues the card, and the merchant's policies.
Be aware, however, that none of the nation's credit unions charge the aforementioned fees, nor do most small community banks. But even with surcharges thrown in, paying by credit card is still considered less costly than converting cash overseas. Banks or foreign currency exchange dealers swap your dollars at less-favorable "consumer" rates of exchange--and they charge fees of their own.
Not only do Capital One and most credit unions currently not charge the additional foreign exchange fee, they also do not pass along the 1 percent currency conversion charge. But whichever source you select, read the fine print about foreign transactions before you sign the application.
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