The 7 Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards

The 7 Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards

10
In the interest of full disclosure, OMAAT earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. These are the best publicly available offers (terms apply) that we have found for each product or service. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, hotel chain, or product manufacturer/service provider, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Please check out our advertiser policy for further details about our partners, and thanks for your support!

When it comes to deciding which card to use for your spending, there are all kinds of things to consider. Maybe you want the best card for everyday spending, maybe you want the best card for a specific bonus category (dining, groceries, gas, etc.), maybe you want the best card with no annual fee, or maybe you want the best card with a reasonable annual fee.

With so many people planning to travel abroad this summer, in this post I wanted to take a look at the best cards with no foreign transaction fees, as this can make a huge difference in terms of how you’ll be rewarded for your spending abroad.

What makes a good no foreign transaction fee credit card?

If you’re traveling abroad, you absolutely should get a card with no foreign transaction fees. Don’t worry, this leaves you with lots of options, as there’s everything from no annual fee to uber-premium cards that don’t have foreign transaction fees.

Foreign transaction fees on some cards are roughly 3% of the purchase price, which can quickly negate any rewards you earn. Getting a card with 0% foreign transaction fees can obviously make a significant difference.

What should you be looking for in a card with no foreign transaction fees?

  • Find a card that has bonus categories that match your spending profile abroad; many of us largely spend money in the dining and travel category when abroad, so being able to earn bonus rewards in those categories is awesome
  • Find a card that has good global acceptance; in general you’ll find that Mastercard and Visa have the best acceptance abroad
  • Find a card with an annual fee that you’re willing to pay; don’t worry, there are even several options without annual fees
  • Find a card that offers travel perks that could be valuable when traveling abroad, like a Priority Pass membership, travel protection, etc.
It pays to have a card with no foreign transaction fees

The best no foreign transaction fee personal credit cards

Let me share what I consider to be the best personal credit cards with no foreign transaction fees, ranked from highest annual fee to lowest annual fee. These hopefully cover a bit of everything, depending on what categories you spend the most in, and how you’re looking to be rewarded.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

The $550 annual fee Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card (review) is the gold standard when it comes to no foreign transaction fee cards, as the card offers 3x Ultimate Rewards points on dining and travel, which I value at a 5.1% return. For many travelers, this covers a vast majority of expenses abroad, as the travel category includes everything from hotels, to rental cars, to flights, to train tickets, to taxis.

While the card might seem like it has a high annual fee, it’s pretty easy to justify thanks to the $300 annual travel credit, Priority Pass membership, great travel protection, and more.

Earn 3x points on train tickets

Capital One Venture X Card

The $395 annual fee Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card (review) is the best card for non-bonused spending abroad, as the card offers 2x Venture miles per dollar spent, which I value at a 3.4% return. So while there aren’t any exciting bonus categories here, just earning that return on all spending is tough to beat.

The card’s annual fee is also easy to justify, thanks to the $300 annual travel credit10,000 anniversary bonus miles, Priority Pass membership, and more.

Note that if you’re looking for a lower annual fee option that also offers 2x Venture miles, consider the $95 annual fee Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (review).

Earn 2x miles on all purchases

Citi Premier Card

The $95 annual fee Citi Premier® Card (review) has some incredible bonus categories for travel, as the card offers 3x ThankYou points on dining, gas stations, groceries, airfare, and hotels. I value ThankYou points at 1.7 cents each, so to me that’s a 5.1% return on that spending. There aren’t many cards offering bonus points on groceries and gas outside the United States, so that’s a pretty remarkable aspect of the card.

Earn 3x points on gas purchases

Capital One SavorOne Card

The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card (review) is the best no annual fee card for dining abroad, as the card offers unlimited 3% back on dining, grocery stores, and entertainment. Finding a no annual fee card with no foreign transaction fees is rare to begin with, let alone to earn such bonus rewards on categories like dining.

Earn 3% cash back on dining

The best no foreign transaction fee business credit cards

As you can see, there are quite a few great personal credit cards with no foreign transaction fees, but what about business cards? Fortunately there are also some solid options, so below are my top picks, ranked from highest annual fee to lowest annual fee.

Capital One Spark Cash Plus Card

The $150 annual fee Capital One Spark Cash Plus (review) offers unlimited 2% cash back with no foreign transaction fees, making it the best straight cash back card for spending abroad. The card even offers further spending thresholds for big spenders, and rewards can potentially be converted into Capital One miles, to get even more value.

I know many businesses may make large purchases with suppliers abroad, so this is an unbeatable card in that regard.

Earn unlimited 2% cash back

Chase Ink Business Preferred Card

The $95 annual fee Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card (review) is the all-around best business credit card, and it’s also rewarding for international spending. The card offers 3x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable, phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines. This applies for the first $150,000 in combined purchases per cardmember year. I value 3x points at a 5.1% return.

Earning that rate of return all with great travel protection is tough to beat.

Earn 3x points on travel purchases

Capital One Spark Cash Select Card

The Capital One Spark Cash Select (review) has no annual fee and offers a flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases, all with no foreign transaction fees. While a 1.5% rate of return might not sound that great, it’s pretty good for a card with no foreign transaction fees. Furthermore, in conjunction with select other cards, rewards can be converted into Capital One miles.

Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back

Bottom line

If you travel internationally with any frequency, getting a card with no foreign transaction fees is a must, as it can save you around 3% on transactions. Don’t just settle for any card with no foreign transaction fees, though — get a card that has a rewards structure that matches your spending profile. From premium cards to no annual fee cards, there really are lots of excellent options.

What’s your go-to card for purchases abroad?

Conversations (10)
The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. XPL Diamond

    My credit union's credit card has no foreign transaction fees, no annual fee, and an across-the-board 2% cash back on all spending across the board. Check out your local credit union.

  2. Will Guest

    One thing I want to mention that Ben and a lot of people overlooked that is "Curved + Mastercards"

    With Curve, I can turn Citi Custom Cashes, Chase Freedom Flex into a no-FTF 3x~5x categories cards.

  3. Sam Guest

    And of course the Alliant Credit Union Visa card which has no forex and no annual fee and pays 2.5% cash back on $10,000 per month of spend.

    But they do not pay card sales people so they are rarely mentioned in posts like this one.

  4. Ramy Guest

    How come Citi prestige is not on the list?

  5. Takhliq Khan Guest

    Been in Turkiye since last week and using Citi Premier at restaurants and supermarkets. Would have wanted to use Amex Gold but most establishments would not accept Amex.

  6. Never In Doubt Guest

    Amex is almost never a problem on *travel* spend. Airlines take it, trains take it, almost every hotel takes it.

    Only problems are with restaurants & non bonused spend.

    For which there’s:

    BofA Premium Rewards Visa. If you’ve got $100,000 at BofA or Merrill, it’s 2.65% on non bonused spend.

    On the no annual fee side, Apple Card is 2% on NFC purchases (which are primary outside the US).

    1. Eskimo Guest

      I guess your Amex "travel" spend isn't when you are "travelling" internationally.

      Same goes with Apple Pay, much harder to find merchants accepting it abroad. (And still mind boggling that the physical Apple card itself doesn't support NFC.

      When travelling stick with VISA or MasterCard. And, a lesser publicized information in the blogosphere, Discover card in mainland China. (also no fx fees) But I guess blogs never went beyond tourist areas of Beijing or Shanghai.

      ...

      I guess your Amex "travel" spend isn't when you are "travelling" internationally.

      Same goes with Apple Pay, much harder to find merchants accepting it abroad. (And still mind boggling that the physical Apple card itself doesn't support NFC.

      When travelling stick with VISA or MasterCard. And, a lesser publicized information in the blogosphere, Discover card in mainland China. (also no fx fees) But I guess blogs never went beyond tourist areas of Beijing or Shanghai.

      What's in your wallet?

    2. Never In Doubt Guest

      Not sure whether you’re trolling, or just stupid.

      Apple Card is a Mastercard, and Apple Pay works on any NFC terminal that a tap to pay credit card works on. Outside the US, that’s almost everywhere.

      Foreign airlines all take AMEX. Most foreign hotels do too. Rental cars all take it.

      Troll harder next time.

  7. eponymous coward Guest

    “What’s your go-to card for purchases abroad?”

    Combination of AMEX Platinum (5x airlines), Green (3x travel, most hotels take it and I stay at a fair number of non chain hotels, trains usually do, some dining), Capital One SavorOne (3x dining, entertainment after transfer to VentureX, museums code as entertainment), Bilt (3x dining, easier to get the 5 transactions a month) Capital One VentureX (2x everything else). Plus the occasional AMEX cobrand card (I have...

    “What’s your go-to card for purchases abroad?”

    Combination of AMEX Platinum (5x airlines), Green (3x travel, most hotels take it and I stay at a fair number of non chain hotels, trains usually do, some dining), Capital One SavorOne (3x dining, entertainment after transfer to VentureX, museums code as entertainment), Bilt (3x dining, easier to get the 5 transactions a month) Capital One VentureX (2x everything else). Plus the occasional AMEX cobrand card (I have a Marriott redemption planned where I will realize 1.5 cpp, so in effect my Bonvoy Brilliant is a 7.5x card on Marriott spend, AMEX Hilton Aspire is 7x).

    Getting 3x on tickets when you like concerts and museums is pretty handy, IMO, this is a secret superpower for the SavorOne.

  8. Creditcrunch Diamond

    I’ve been using the Curve Metal card for the last few years and very pleased with its functionality and perks. I understand it’s about to launch in the US on a beta basis so worth monitoring its progress and eventual review.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Sam Guest

And of course the Alliant Credit Union Visa card which has no forex and no annual fee and pays 2.5% cash back on $10,000 per month of spend. But they do not pay card sales people so they are rarely mentioned in posts like this one.

1
XPL Diamond

My credit union's credit card has no foreign transaction fees, no annual fee, and an across-the-board 2% cash back on all spending across the board. Check out your local credit union.

0
Will Guest

One thing I want to mention that Ben and a lot of people overlooked that is "Curved + Mastercards" With Curve, I can turn Citi Custom Cashes, Chase Freedom Flex into a no-FTF 3x~5x categories cards.

0
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
4,788,713 Miles Traveled

27,627,500 Words Written

32,315 Posts Published

Keep Exploring OMAAT