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Does the Sapphire Card from Chase waive foreign exchange fees?

By , CardRatings contributor
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Excellent question. The answer depends partly on whether you're willing to pay an annual fee.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, like many credit cards for excellent credit, has dropped foreign transaction fees and added a handful of perks that appeal to frequent travelers. Currently Chase is offering a set of benefits to new Preferred customers that included:

  • 40,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months- that's $500 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 2X points per dollar spent on travel and dining at restaurants and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases

However, those rewards and rebates come at a price: a $95 annual fee and a relatively high annual percentage rate compared to many lenders' no-frills cards. Although there is an introductory annual fee of $0 the first year, after that an annual fee of $95.

Justifying that fee isn't hard, though. Just spend about $3,200 outside the United States every year and you'll have saved the typical 3 percent currency conversion charges that come with most preferred credit cards. Pay down your balance each month, and you'll avoid the interest charges that can sap your earnings.

If you're unable to qualify for a Chase Sapphire Preferred card and you still want to save on foreign transaction fees, consider any Capital One credit card. Their unusual structure as a bank in both the US and the UK means they're not allowed to charge any foreign transaction fees, even on their credit cards for limited/no history credit.

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