4 Best Credit Cards with No Transaction Fees When Traveling Abroad

4 Best Credit Cards with No Transaction Fees When Traveling Abroad

After 17 hours of research evaluating 55 products, we picked Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card as our top choice.

Quick List: 4 Best

The top four picks on our list
Best for Flexible Redemption
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • It offers a large signup bonus compared with similar cards
  • You'll get a rewards boost if you use your points to book travel through Chase
  • Redeem points for airlines and hotels, without being tied to any specific companies
Best for Travel Rewards
Capital One Venture Rewards Card
  • A simple, no-fuss earning structure and redemption process
  • Flexible rewards: miles don't expire and there are no blackout dates
  • Nerdwallet lauds the card's “Stress-free 2% travel rewards”
Best No Annual Fee
BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card
  • If you’re already planning to spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of using this card, you’ll earn 20,000 bonus points, equivalent to $200 of travel credit
  • No foreign transaction fee, no annual fees, and 12 months of 0% APR
  • If you're a Bank of America customer your points are worth even more; regardless, the flat 1.5% cashback rate makes it easy to earn rewards
Best for Flat-Rate Cash Back
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card
  • Unlimited flat 1.5% cash back rate on all purchases
  • Easily obtainable bonus of $150 when you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months of account opening
  • Value Penguin calls it one of the best cashback cards for low spenders

International traveler? You’ll want a no foreign transaction fee credit card to complement your lifestyle.

Otherwise, you’ll get hung up on having to calculate the exchange rate of each purchase on top of this extra fee to access your money abroad.

It adds up, especially if you’re a frequent traveler with exotic tastes.

It's better to choose one of the best credit cards with no foreign transaction fees currently available.

Foreign transaction fees are one of the most unnecessary expenses you can possibly incur. Note that these aren't foreign conversion charges.

Rather, these are surcharges that appear on your bill when you make a purchase that passes through a foreign bank or is in a currency other than the U.S. dollar (USD).

Here’s where it gets worse:

Online shopper? Some companies even charge you when purchasing something online that does not have a US-based website!

In general, most US credit cards charge a foreign transaction fee around 3%, which is composed of 2 parts:

  1. The fee charged by the credit card network (Visa, Mastercard, etc). This is usually around 1%.
  2. The fee charged by the bank/card issuer (Chase, Citibank, etc). Some issuers add 2-3%. Some, like Capital One, don't add anything at all and just absorbs the network’s fee.

NerdWallet provides this more detailed breakdown of general foreign transaction fees, by credit card provider:

  • American Express: 2.7%
  • Bank of America: 3%
  • Barclaycard: 3%
  • Capital One: 0%
  • Chase: 3%
  • Citi: 3%
  • Discover: 0%
  • US Bank: 3% (2% for transactions abroad in U.S. dollars)
  • Wells Fargo: 3%

Here’s the bottom line:

All of the no foreign transaction fee credit card options on this list provide additional perks, besides just saving the annoying foreign transaction fee.

Whether you’re looking for the “budget” option, heavy travel option, or most secure option, we’ve got the best credit cards with no foreign transaction fees for your individual needs.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated February 24, 2018 but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.

Editorial staff

Last updated: February 24, 2018