PenFed Eliminates Foreign Transaction Fee from Co-Branded American Express Card

A Virginia-based credit union catering to military staffers and their families unveiled a new credit card benefit that can shave hundreds of dollars from an overseas excursion. Officials at Pentagon Federal Credit Union announced this month that the PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express Card will no longer charge foreign transaction fees.

Credit card issuers rarely waive foreign transaction fees, since travelers enjoy few cheaper currency conversion alternatives. PenFed's announcement makes it one of the most prominent credit card issuers to eliminate such fees for some of its members. PenFed's co-branded card also beats American Express' typical 2.7% fee on its own cards.

Credit unions, like PenFed, have pursued credit card accounts more aggressively during the backlash against major, "bailed out" banks. Although members of the military and their families automatically qualify for membership in PenFed, most Americans can make themselves eligible to join by registering with the non-profit National Military Family Association. PenFed's other banking and borrowing programs frequently rank high on experts' lists of best values for consumers.