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 mean you can earn:

  • 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide.

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 a $0 intro for the first year, after that the annual fee jumps to $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 the best no foreign transaction fee 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 no foreign transaction fee credit card offers. 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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