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Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards

No one likes to pay an annual fee, but when it comes to credit cards the features sometimes make it worth considering. It usually comes down to how you plan to use the card and whether super-luxury perks are important to you. Before you pay that fee, though, remember that there are some stellar no-annual-fee options out there with plenty of features, perks and rewards-earning opportunities.

Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards List

Rooms To Go Credit Card

The Rooms to Go credit card is not actually a conventional credit card, but is instead an in-store charge card that offers customers an option to finance their purchases at Rooms To Go.

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day and pay no annual fee
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card – 21 Month Intro Offer on BT and Purchases

  • Get 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 21 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% - 23.99% based upon your creditworthiness
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer
  • Citi® Price Rewind searches for lower prices online for 60 days for your registered purchases: you can get back up to $500 per item and $2,500 a year

Chase Freedom Unlimited® Credit Card

  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase – it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.99-24.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum

Rewards Credit Cards

MLB™ BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Mastercard®

  • $150 cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • All 30 team cards are available, customized with your favorite team's colors and logo

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Use your QuicksilverOne card and get 50% back as a statement credit on your monthly Spotify Premium subscription, now through April 2018

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $400 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card

  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire
  • 20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days — that can be a $200 statement credit toward travel purchases

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

  • Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
  • 6,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary

What is a no foreign transaction fee?

Foreign transaction fees are charges – usually around 3 percent of the total amount – that many credit card issuers and payment networks place on purchases made in a foreign currency or on purchases that involve a foreign bank.

Usually, foreign transaction fees are a percentage of the amount of each foreign currency purchase, with no minimum or maximum. The card issuing bank may choose to pass that fee along to consumers; most do, and some tack on their own fees.

Banks can add foreign transaction fees onto any credit card charge that’s processed outside of the United States. These aren’t foreign exchange fees, so you can find these charges on your credit card statement even when you make overseas purchases in US dollars. In fact, you don’t even have to leave the country to get hit with foreign transaction fees; if you so much as place an online order from a foreign company, including something as innocuous as booking an airline ticket from a carrier that doesn’t have a US-based website — you could find yourself with an additional 3 percent fee rolled into the total cost of your transaction.

The bottom line is that, like baggage and passports, foreign transaction fees have been a standard part of international travel for years. Banks can get away with these fees… so they do, both ways: Our international counterparts are also being charged these fees on their foreign credit cards whenever they make purchases from US companies and on American soil.

Fortunately, the average consumer has gotten more and more savvy to these hidden costs, and credit card companies are dropping their fees in response.

If you’d like to avoid paying these unnecessary fees on any potential foreign transactions you make (including buying a postcard stamp in Canada) – you’ll want to consider a no foreign transaction fee card similar to the ones we introduce below. Here are the ins and outs of this fee, and advice on avoiding extra charges when traveling abroad.

How do international credit cards work?

For the most part, international credit cards function much in the same way that regular credit cards work. The main difference is usually in the types of rewards you can earn and, of course, the fact that you don’t usually have to deal with foreign transaction fees. It might be easier to redeem your rewards for free travel with an international credit card over a regular one. Some international credit cards might feature rewards that apply to restaurants abroad.

Features of no foreign transaction fee credit cards

While all perks are an added bonus, the most important features to consider when comparing no foreign transaction fee credit cards are:

APR

Paying astronomical interest will offset any savings you make. Look for lower APRs or cards with good introductory offers. Or better yet, pay your balance off in full each month to avoid interest charges all together.

Travel rewards package

Since foreign transaction fees are generally charged when abroad, you want good travel benefits as well as the fee waiver. Travel benefits include auto insurance, baggage, insurance, trip delay or cancellation insurance, and emergency assistance.

Annual fees

A card that doesn’t charge an annual fee or charges a low one earns more rewards because it is more beneficial for most people.

Selection criteria: what makes a great no foreign transaction fee credit card?

Besides having no foreign transaction fee, of course, here are some features to look for.

1. Fits your needs: Maybe you just need a card for spending outside the U.S., which is fine. Or perhaps you want a card to use for your everyday shopping as well.

2. A useful rewards program: It’s great to earn a bit of cash back or some points for the types of purchases you make the most.

3. Shopping and travel benefits: The best credit cards have luxurious travel perks, but most cards still come with some kind of cost-saving protections.

4. A reasonable annual fee: The card you want might have an annual fee. Make sure the rewards and benefits are valuable enough to make that fee worth it.

5. Good customer support: You hope to never use it, but a solid customer support team behind your card can save you from a headache or two. That’s especially true if you’re traveling outside the U.S. and run into some issues using your card.

Is a no foreign transaction fee credit card right for you?

A no foreign transaction fee credit card holds a lot of value for anyone who travels or shops abroad frequently.

With these cards, you may get a lot of benefits like cash rewards and 0 percent APR on new purchases. There are other cards that are more specialized for poor credit, low interest, or cash rewards, but these no foreign transaction fee credit cards bundle all of these benefits into one card, making them a lucrative deal for anyone looking to save.

Not sure you want a no foreign transaction fee credit card? Finding the right credit card for you is much simpler if you know your credit score, and can narrow your search to only the cards you know you’ll get approved for. We’ve made it easy for you. If you don’t already know your score, use our quick and free Credit Score Estimator tool-–then find the perfect card for you!

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