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Best no foreign transaction fee credit cards of October 2019

Last Updated, October 17, 2019

Our credit card articles, reviews and ratings maintain strict editorial integrity; however we may be compensated when you click on or are approved for offers (terms apply) from our partners. How we make money.

Best no-foreign-transaction-fee credit cards of 2019Consider this: If your card charges a 3% foreign transaction fee and you spend $2,000 on your card while you're enjoying your trip, you'll end up paying another $60 in fees. It's not a ton of money in the grand scheme, but still, why pay it if you don't have to? According to the National Travel and Tourism Office, more than 93 million Americans traveled abroad in 2018 (the last full year for which data is currently available). We don't have statistics for how many of those people were traveling WITHOUT a no foreign transaction fee credit card, and who were therefore paying fees on every foreign purchase made on their trip, but we think it's say to say that most of those people would have preferred to have kept that extra money to themselves. Traveling with the right credit card  can help you do just that.

With the right no foreign transaction fee credit card from our partners, you could potentially save yourself hundreds of dollars next time you travel abroad. Set yourself up for this success by browsing (and using) our top picks for the best credit cards with no foreign transaction fees.

BEST NO FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE CREDIT CARDS

NO ANNUAL FEE CARDS | CASH BACK REWARDS | FOR TRAVEL | FOR STUDENTS | FOR FAIR OR LIMITED CREDIT | NO FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE CREDIT CARDS FOR BUSINESSES

BEST NO FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE CREDIT CARDS WITH NO ANNUAL FEE

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Why We Like It: Thanks to no rotating categories or spending caps, the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card makes earning cash back simple. With unlimited 1.5% cash back earned on every dollar this card rewards you for every purchase you make, no matter the amount, no matter the category. In addition to no foreign transaction fees, this card also boasts no annual fees, so it's a great everyday card to hold.

The Bonus: Earn a one time $150 cash bonus once you spend $500 with the card within your first three months of opening an account. Also enjoy an introductory 0% purchase and balance transfer APR for 15 months – a 15.74% - 25.74% (Variable) APR will apply after the first 15 months.

The Rewards: Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase made. Read our full review of the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card.

Annual Fee: $0

Credit Needed: Excellent, Good

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card

Why We Like It: With this card, it pays to be a loyal customer. And, since there is no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees, all the rewards you earn can go directly toward your next great trip.

The Bonus: Earn 25,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days – that can be a $250 statement credit toward your travel purchases.

The Rewards: Earn 1.5 points for every $1 you spend. Plus, enjoy 0% introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases. After the intro APR ends, 16.74% - 24.74% Variable APR on purchases will apply. Read our full Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card review.

Annual Fee: $0

Credit Needed: Excellent/Good

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card

Why We Like It: This is a no-annual-fee card that offers top-of-the-line rewards on your travel purchases to the tune of three points per $1 spent. That's on top of the other categories in which you can quickly rack up rewards

The Bonus: Rake in 30,000 bonus points after your spend $3,000 in the first three months. Additionally, you won't pay interest on purchases or balance transfers for an introductory 12 months, making this a great option for taking it on an overseas trip or spending a few extra months paying off a vacation splurge. After the intro period the APR becomes 15.74%-27.74% Variable.

The Rewards: Earn three points per $1 spent on travel, which includes flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals. You'll also earn three points per $1 spent at gas stations and on rideshares and transit purchases, as well as on popular streaming services. Furthermore, feel free to dine out or order in while on vacation as you'll earn three points per $1 on those purchases, too. All your other purchases earn one point per $1. Read our full Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card review.

Annual Fee: $0

Credit Needed: Excellent, Good


BEST NO FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE CREDIT CARDS WITH CASH BACK REWARDS

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Why We Like It: The Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a top choice for foodies. It offers a cash back reward on dining and entertainment that is unmatched by other cards. It also comes with a host of benefits that include complimentary concierge service, travel accident insurance and extended warranty protection on purchases. Rewards don't expire, and the annual fee is waived for the first year.

The Bonus: Earn a $300 cash bonus when you spend $3,000 within three months of opening an account.

The Rewards: Earn an unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment purchases. Plus, you get 2% cash back at the grocery store and 1% back on all other purchases.

Annual Fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that

Credit Needed: Excellent, Good

Discover it® Cash Back

Why We Like It:  Not only is this a no annual/no foreign transaction fee, cash-back credit card, it's a cash-back credit card with an excellent new cardholder intro offer. New Discover it® Cash Back cardholders can look forward to an automatic dollar for dollar match on all the cash back earned at the end of the first year of card membership. That means the 5% that can be earned at different places each quarter (up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate) is essentially worth 10% during the first year, and the 1% earned on all other purchases is equivalent to 2%. This is a hard offer to beat.

The Bonus: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.

The Rewards: Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.

Annual Fee: $0

Credit Needed: Excellent, Good

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Why We Like It: In addition to no foreign transaction fees, the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card also has no annual fees, and because it earns an unlimited, flat-rate 1.5% cash back on every purchase made, we think this is a stellar card for any low-maintenance credit card user to hold. It also has a 15 month 0% introductory APR period for purchases and balance transfers (then 15.74% - 25.74% (Variable) APR will apply), making it an excellent option for anyone looking for some extra time to pay off an outstanding balance or large purchase.

The Bonus: Earn a one time $150 cash bonus once you spend $500 with the card within your first three months of opening an account. Also enjoy an introductory 0% purchase and balance transfer APR for 15 months – a 15.74% - 25.74% (Variable) APR will apply after the first 15 months.

The Rewards: Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase made. Read our full review of the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card.

Annual Fee: $0

Credit Needed: Excellent, Good


BEST NO FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE CREDIT CARDS FOR TRAVEL

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Why We Like It: We love a card with an easy rewards structure when it comes to both earning those rewards and redeeming them. The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card checks both those boxes. You can fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime and not have to worry about blackout dates. Plus, you can transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs. It also offers you a Global Entry or TSA Pre✔® application fee reimbursement, a perk that's rare among cards with this low of an annual fee.

The Bonus: Enjoy a 50,000-mile bonus (worth $500 in travel) after you spend $3,000 in the first three months.

The Rewards: Earn two miles per $1 spent on all your purchases. Plus, you'll earn 10 miles per $1 spent when you use your card to book stays via Hotels.com/Venture. That's in addition to the Hotels.com rewards program through which you earn a free night for every 10 nights you stay through the site.

Redeem your rewards for statement credit to cover a variety travel purchases including those with airlines, hotels, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies and more. There are no blackout dates or value conversion formulas to worry about. Your miles are always worth $.01 each when you redeem them for statement credit to cover travel purchases. For example, a $500 travel purchase would require 50,000 miles to cover the full cost. Read our full Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card review.

Annual Fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that

Credit Needed: Excellent, Good

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Why We Like It: Sure, it's nice to avoid foreign transaction fees, but wouldn't it be nice if your card also rewarded you for traveling and – since you know you want to – sampling the local cuisine while you're there.

The Bonus: Rake in 60,000 bonus Chase Ultimate Rewards® points (worth $750 in travel) after you spend $4,000 in the first three months.

The Rewards: Earn two points per $1 spent on travel and dining out as well as one point per $1 on all your other purchases. And, by the way, your points are worth 25% more if you redeem them for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Read our full Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card review.

Annual Fee: $95

Credit Needed: Excellent, Good

Discover it® Miles

Why We Like It: Discover cards are kind of known for the fact that they don't charge annual or foreign transaction fees, as well as their coveted matching offer for new cardholders. This card includes all of that, plus unlimited 1.5x miles for every dollar spent on all purchases. Discover cards might not be as widely accepted abroad, however, they're more commonly accepted now than ever, making this card a great option for travel near and far.

The Bonus: Discover will match ALL the miles you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles. That's $700 towards travel! The more you earn, the more you get.

The Rewards: Earn unlimited 1.5x miles for every dollar spent on all purchases, with no annual fee. Read our full Discover it® Miles review.

Annual Fee: $0

Credit Needed: Excellent, Good

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Why We Like It: If you're someone who enjoys the finer things when you travel, you'll appreciate this luxury card that not only allows you to avoid paying foreign transaction fees but also ensures you're being well rewarded all along your jet-setting ways. You'll also enjoy saving some money with a $300 statement credit reimbursement each cardholder anniversary year to cover travel costs. And, this card was named "Best Premium Travel Credit Card" for 2018 by MONEY® Magazine.

The Bonus: Enjoy 50,000 bonus Chase Ultimate Rewards® points (worth $750 in travel) after you spend $4,000 in the first three months. Your points are worth 50% more if you redeem them for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards®, hence 50,000 points is worth $750. Those points could be worth even more, however, if you choose to transfer them 1:1 to one of multiple airline loyalty programs.

The Rewards: Earn three points per $1 spent on dining out and on travel that isn't eligible for the annual $300 travel statement credit reimbursement, and one point per $1 on all your other purchases. Remember, too, that they're worth 50% more, if you redeem for travel through Ultimate Rewards®. Read our full Chase Sapphire Reserve® review.

Annual Fee: $450

Credit Needed: Excellent

Citi Premier Card

(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)

Why We Like It: A modest annual fee, solid signup bonus, easy rewards earning and, of course, no foreign transaction fees.

The Bonus: Rake in 60,000 ThankYou® points (worth $750 in airfare when redeemed through the ThankYou® Travel Center) after you spend $4,000 in the first three months of account opening. Alternatively, the bonus is worth $600 if redeemed for gift cards through ThankYou.com.

The Rewards: Earn three points on travel purchases, including at gas stations; two points on dining out and entertainment; and one point on all your other purchases. Read our full review of the Citi Premier Card.

Annual Fee: $95. Citi is a CardRatings advertiser

Credit Needed: Excellent

American Express® Gold Card

Why We Like It: Once again, this is a card with a higher-than-typical annual fee, but it offers plenty of solid perks and rewards to justify it, plus that whole, "no foreign transaction fees" part. American Express is a CardRatings advertiser.

The Bonus: Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first three months of card membership.

The Rewards: Earn four Membership Rewards® points per $1 spent at restaurants worldwide as well as four points per $1 at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in supermarket purchases, then one point). Earn three Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com. You can also earn up to $10 total in statement credits monthly, that's up to $120 each year, when you pay with your card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Boxed, Ruth's Chris Steak House and participating Shake Shack locations (enrollment required). Lastly, you can save with up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year to cover incidental fees with one pre-selected qualifying airline. Read our full review of the American Express® Gold Card.

Annual Fee: $250

Credit Needed: Good, Excellent

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Why We Like It: As a premier luxury card, this card comes loaded with benefits. It offers airport lounge access, a travel concierge service, elite status with partnering hotel brands Marriott and Hilton, up to $200 a year in statement credits to cover incidental airline charges, like baggage fees and in-flight refreshments, charged on the card with a pre-selected airline, and more. All that comes at a cost in the form of a higher annual fee but for the frequent traveler, the benefits might be worth the price.

The Bonus: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $5,000 within the first three months of opening your account.

The Rewards: Earn five points per $1 spent on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel as well as five points per $1 spent on prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com. All other eligible purchases earn one point per $1 spent. Read our full The Platinum Card® from American Express review.

Annual Fee: $550

Credit Needed: Good, Excellent

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)

Why We Like It: A reasonable annual fee, easy rewards earning and redemption, a solid bonus AND 5% of your miles back to use on a future redemption each time you redeem.

The Bonus: Earn 70,000 bonus miles – worth $700 in travel – after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.

The Rewards: Earn two miles per $1 spent on all your purchases – no categories or limits to keep track of. When you redeem your rewards, you'll receive 5% of them back to use on a future redemption. Read our full Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® review.

Annual Fee: $89 (waived first year). See Rates and Fees

Credit Needed: Good/Excellent


BEST NO FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE CREDIT CARDS FOR STUDENTS

Discover it® Student chrome

Why We Like It: No foreign transaction fee credit cards for students make good sense as it's common for students to spend a semester or more studying abroad. It's important for students to have a card to use while doing so, that won't rack up a lot of extra fees. Being a student is expensive enough— and living abroad especially so. Even if not studying abroad, trips abroad can add up, and every penny saved counts. That's why we like the Discover it® Student chrome card. Not only is it a no foreign transaction fee card, but it's also a no annual fee card, and one with good rewards to boot.

The Bonus: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up, and no limit to how much is matched. Plus, new cardholders can enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases for six months, then the standard purchase APR of 14.74% - 23.74% Variable.

The Rewards: Earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically. Good students are also sure to appreciate Good Grades Rewards: $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years. Learn more in our full Discover it® Student chrome review.

Annual Fee: $0

Credit Needed: Fair, New to Credit

Discover it® Student Cash Back

Why We Like It:  Another solid Discover option, this card also has no annual fees and an end of the year match, but it earns rewards a bit differently than the Chrome card. Instead of consistent categories that earn bonus rewards, the Discover it® Student Cash Back earns 5% cash back at different places each quarter, like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus, unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

The Bonus: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up, and no limit to how much is matched. Additionally, new cardholders can enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases for six months, then the standard purchase APR of 14.74% - 23.74% Variable.

The Rewards: Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically. There's also the Good Grades Reward, which provides a $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years. Learn more in our full Discover it® Student Cash Back review.

Annual Fee: $0

Credit Needed: Fair, New to Credit

Deserve Edu

Why We Like It:  Not only does this card not require a credit history, it also doesn’t require a social security number from international applicants, making it a solid choice for international students studying in America. Instead, Deserve looks at your full financial picture considering a number of factors, like how you manage your money, if you pay your bills on time, etc., to predict your future credit potential. This makes it a great card for U.S. applicants looking for a good no foreign transaction fee credit card to use while studying or traveling abroad, as well as for international applicants who need a card to use while traveling home and elsewhere.

The Bonus: Amazon Prime Student Membership (get reimbursed for subscription fees up to a lifetime total of $59), plus complimentary cellphone insurance up to $600.

The Rewards: Earn 1% unlimited cash back on all purchases, and credit limits up to $5,000. Also includes Mastercard Platinum Benefits like car rental collision damage waiver, roadside assistance, travel assistance services, price protection, extended warranty and ID theft protection. Learn more in our full Deserve Edu review.

Annual Fee: $0

Credit Needed: No Credit History


BEST NO FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE CREDIT CARDS FOR FAIR OR LIMITED CREDIT

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Why We Like It: This is a no annual fee card designed for people working on their credit score— but people with lower credit scores travel abroad too! For these people, it's good to have options that will help to save money on fees...

The Rewards/Bonus: There's no true rewards/bonus offered with this card, however, cardholders can get access to a higher credit line after making the first five monthly payments on time, with no additional deposit needed. Unlike a prepaid card, the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® builds credit when used responsibly, with regular reporting to the three major credit bureaus. Learn more in our full Capital One® Secured Mastercard® review.

Annual Fee: $0

Credit Needed: Limited, Bad

Petal Cash Back Visa® Card

Why We Like It: This card is ideal for those who have solid money management skills but no credit history. Applicants without a credit score can link to their bank account to prove their creditworthiness. For those approved, credit limits start at $500 and run to as much as $10,000. The card not only provides access to credit for those with no score, but it offers up to 1.5% cash back as well.

The Bonus: No fees whatsoever. No late fee, international fee, annual fee, or any-other-kind-of-fee.

The Rewards: Up to 1.5% cash back after making 12 on-time monthly payments; 1% cash back on purchases right away. Learn more in our full Petal Cash Back Visa® Card review.

Annual Fee: None

Credit Needed: Excellent, Good, LimitedHistory, NoHistory, Limited, NoCredit


BEST NO FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE CREDIT CARDS FOR BUSINESSES

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Why We Like It: This card is a top choice for small business owners. It has a modest annual fee, a stellar sign-up bonus and a unique cell phone insurance benefit that covers both yours and your employees' devices. You can also request free cards for your employees and set individual limits on each one to make it convenient to control and track business spending.

The Bonus: Earn an impressive 80,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account. Those points are worth $1,000 in travel rewards through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® program.

The Rewards: Earn three points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent each account anniversary year on travel, shipping, social media and search engine advertising and internet, cable and phone services. You'll get an unlimited one point per $1 spent on all other purchases. Points never expire, and they are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel. Learn more in our full Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card review.

Annual Fee: $95

Credit Needed: Excellent, Good

Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

Why We Like It: Part of why we like this card is its simplicity. It focuses on the benefits small business owners need - such as free employee cards, year-end summaries and easy accounting - without all the extras that can inflate the annual fee on other cards.

The Bonus: Spend $4,500 in purchases in the first three months of opening an account and earn 50,000 bonus miles worth $500 in travel.

The Rewards: Earn an unlimited two points per $1 spent on all purchases. 

Annual Fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that

Credit Needed: Excellent, Good

American Express® Business Gold Card

Why We Like It: The American Express® Business Gold Card grabbed our attention with its flexible rewards categories and payment options. Its annual fee is a little higher than other cards on this list, but its generous rewards program helps to make up for the difference.

The Bonus: Earn up to $500 in statement credits when you purchase qualifying services with FedEx using your new card within the first three months of card membership (offer ends Nov. 6, 2019).

The Rewards: Earn four points per $1 spent, up to $150,000 each calendar year, for two select categories in which your business spends the most. Eligible categories include airfare purchased directly from airlines, U.S. grocery store purchases and U.S. gas station purchases among others. All other purchases earn an unlimited one point per $1 spent. Read our full American Express® Business Gold Card review.

Annual Fee: $295

Credit Needed: Good, Excellent

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express

Why We Like It: This card carries a hefty annual fee, but it can be worth it if you are a frequent business traveler. The Business Platinum Card comes with a lucrative rewards program, airport lounge access, elite status with hotel brands Marriott and Hilton and business platinum travel service. You'll also get a $200 airline fee credit each year and a year of Platinum Global Access from WeWork.

The Bonus: Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $10,000 within the first three months of opening your account. Earn an additional 50,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $15,000 more during that same time period.

The Rewards: Earn five points per $1 spent on flights and prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com. You can earn 50% more points on purchases of $5,000 or more. When points are redeemed for eligible airfare, you'll get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 points per calendar year. Read our full The Business Platinum® Card from American Express review.

Annual Fee: $595

Credit Needed: Good, Excellent


CHOOSING THE BEST CREDIT CARDS FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

Having the right credit card in your pocket can make traveling overseas all the more enjoyable. Not only does it minimize the need to exchange currency, but many cards also come with extra perks like trip interruption insurance and baggage insurance.

If you plan to travel outside the country, selecting a card that doesn't charge foreign transaction fees is essential. Otherwise, you could easily add 3% or more to the cost of your trip in fees alone.

Beyond that, choosing the best credit cards for international travel comes down to the following factors:

  • Credit score: You'll need to find a card that matches your credit profile. We've included credit guidelines for all the cards listed above.
  • Destination: Make sure your card will be accepted in the locations you plan to visit. Visa and Mastercard are often more widely accepted than Discover and American Express.
  • Features: Depending on the credit card, you may get access to airport lounges, car rental insurance, trip interruption insurance or baggage insurance among other benefits. Look for a card that has the features you're most likely to use.
  • Rewards: If a card offers rewards, be sure they are applicable to your travel plans. Consider signing up for a card that earns points that can be used across multiple airline and hotel brands.
  • Fees: Finally, don't overlook fees. While a card may not have foreign transaction fees, it may charge an annual fee, cash advance fees and balance transfer fees among others.

While almost every new credit card issued today comes with chip technology, not all are Chip and PIN cards. A PIN is often necessary to complete transactions in many countries so be sure your new card is PIN enabled for overseas travel.


BENEFITS OF NO FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE CREDIT CARDS

There are many reasons to use one of the credit cards listed above on your next vacation or business trip. The benefits of the best no foreign transaction fee credit cards include excellent rewards, wide acceptance overseas and plenty of customer support no matter where you travel. There's also the added security of using a card instead of cash while traveling. Think about it; if you lose cash, or if it's stolen while you're traveling, you're out of luck. If you lose your credit card, or if it's stolen, your situation won't be quite as dire. You might be without your card for a bit, but at least you aren't out that money.

What's more, many of these cards have additional features, like travel insurance, as mentioned above. Look for a rewards card with great benefits and you could save money now while racking up points for your next getaway.


HOW TO USE A NO FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE CREDIT CARD

Even if you pick one of these "no-FTF" credit cards for your next international adventure, you could still get socked by fees from local banks or retailers. Here's how to keep your trip surcharge-free:

  • Merchants don't always welcome every American credit card equally. It used to be that American credit cards lacked some of the safety features required to use a card overseas (this is pre-chip-and-PIN technology becoming more common in the U.S.); these days, American credit cards generally have the technology needed to travel abroad. The only real thing you'll likely need to consider is whether your issuer is widely accepted. As we already mentioned, Visa and Mastercard have the highest acceptance rates around the world, BUT, Discover and American Express have been busy expanding their networks in the past few years as well, so don't be so quick to rule these issuers out. With that said though, some stores might request or require that you use a card that transacts on their preferred network, so it might be safe to carry a back up card from a different issuer just in case.
  • Watch for "dynamic currency conversion" offers. Point-of-sale systems in tourist havens often use an unfavorable exchange rate while tacking on processing fees. Ask to do business in local currency and let your bank save you money.
  • Keep your receipts. You never know if you're going to need them for clearing customs or discussing a charge with your credit card company after you get home. It's always better to be safe than sorry.
  • Use ATM cash advances for emergencies only. Even credit cards with no foreign transaction fees can charge hefty cash advance processing fees. Plus, you'll usually have to pay a surcharge to a local ATM operator that can run as high as $20 in tourist districts. Instead, drop cash into an online checking account with a no-fee debit card. Even if there is a fee to withdraw money using your debit card, you'll likely still save money this way. Especially because many U.S. banks have partner banks abroad who reduce or waive the fee for partner users.
  • Finally, protect yourself against pickpockets by writing down your credit card companies' emergency phone numbers and key account details before you leave. Keep a copy separate from your wallet or valuables. If your card gets lost or stolen, your bank's emergency assistance team can help replace your card or provide an emergency cash advance much more quickly than if they have to look up and verify your account information.

To see the rates and fees for the American Express card mentioned in this post, please visit the following links: American Express® Gold Card: See Rates and Fees; The Platinum Card® from American Express: See Rates and Fees; American Express® Business Gold CardSee Rates and Fees; The Business Platinum® Card from American Express: See Rates and Fees

 

Disclaimer: The information in this article is believed to be accurate as of the date it was written. Please keep in mind that credit card offers change frequently. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information in this article. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. See the online credit card application for full terms and conditions on offers and rewards. Please verify all terms and conditions of any credit card prior to applying.

This content is not provided by any company mentioned in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any such company. CardRatings.com does not review every company or every offer available on the market.

Comments
2 Comments

  1. Curtis Arnold
    July 20, 2015 - 7:32 pm
    Mark- the card companies generally get preferred exchange rates due to their size. So, you can get you cake and eat it too in some cases!

    Curtis Arnold
      Reply »  
  2. Mark Jeffrey
    March 31, 2015 - 3:52 pm
    I am going to Mexico. The present exchange rate is 15.30 per 1 USD. I am thinking of getting one of these cards. Is there a way to find out what the credit card company will charge the card holder for the daily exchange rate? In other words, I can't believe I can use their card, not pay any FTF and still be billed at the 15.30 peso rate.

    Perhaps this is a free lunch!

    Regards,

    Mark
      Reply »