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 after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months- that's $500 toward travel rewards
- 2 points per dollar spent on travel and dining at restaurants and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
- Get 20 percent off airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises when you redeem through Ultimate RewardsSM
That set of offers results in a potential rebate of $500 toward airline and hotel rewards in the first year, plus the opportunity to earn dividends on the first anniversary of holding the card. You can receive a 7 percent Annual Points Dividend on all new points earned on purchases including on points already redeemed. 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.
When applying for a new Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card, remember that JPMorgan Chase may opt to approve you for the standard version of its Sapphire card if you don't have an excellent credit score. If that happens, you'll have to pay extra for overseas charges, but you'll still enjoy perks like dedicated customer service agents and an Ultimate Rewards point for every dollar you spend on the card, with no annual fee.
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 credit.