The best no foreign transaction fee credit cards of June 2020

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When you travel internationally there’s plenty to think about, such as finding the next Wi-Fi spot, translating that super-confusing sign or searching for the local delicacy. The last thing you need is an unpleasant surprise when you get your credit card bill and find you’ve been charged foreign transaction fees.

Luckily, there are plenty of fantastic credit cards that let you make overseas purchases for no additional fee. If you’re a big spender, you could save hundreds of dollars on one trip abroad.

Let’s look at some of the best no-foreign-transaction-fee credit cards to help you decide which is best for your wallet.

Best no foreign transaction fee credit cards

Card nameAnnual feeIntro bonus offerBest perk
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
$9580,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (worth $800 in cash back or $1000 in travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account openingFantastic travel insurance
Chase Sapphire Reserve®$55050,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (worth $500 in cash back or $750 in travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening$300 annual travel credit
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
$95100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (worth $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards® ) after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first three months from account openingUp to $600 in cell phone insurance for you and any employees listed on your monthly bill after paying a $100 deductible
The Platinum Card® from American Express$550 (See rates and fees)60,000 American Express Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. Terms apply.The most comprehensive lounge access of any card on the market
American Express® Gold Card$250 (see rates and fees)60,000 Amex Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first six months of account opening. Terms apply.Up to $120 in dining credits each calendar year. Terms apply.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

$95Up to 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.
No blackout dates when booking travel
Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card$030,000 Marriott points after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first three months of account openingIf your baggage is delayed 6+ hours you can be reimbursed up to $100 per day (for five days) for essentials like toiletries and clothing
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card$7540,000 Alaska Airlines miles, a $100 statement credit and an Alaska Airlines companion fare from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) after you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of account openingAlaska Airlines companion fare
Shopping in Tokyo? Use one of the best no-foreign-transaction-fee credit cards to avoid spending more than you have to. (Photo by Jasmin Baron)

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Best beginner travel credit card

Our favorite first credit card for beginners, the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Chase points value depends on how you redeem them, but this bonus is worth $600 in cash back or $1,000 in travel (1.25 cents per point) when you redeem your points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. But the best way to use Chase points is with Chase airline and hotel transfer partners. You can potentially receive a much greater value when you transfer Ultimate Rewards points to these partners.

Many of us on the Million Mile Secrets team use the Chase Sapphire Preferred almost exclusively when dining out overseas. Because it’s a Visa card, it’s accepted more frequently. Choose this card if you’re new to the hobby, or if you spend lots on travel and dining abroad. And read our full Chase Sapphire Preferred review.

This card also comes with:

  • 2 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on travel and dining worldwide
  • 1 Chase Ultimate Rewards point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • Primary car rental insurance – Covers damage due to theft or collision to your rental car, when you pay for the rental with your card
  • Trip delay reimbursement – Get up to $500 back per ticket when your trip is delayed more than 12 hours

The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a $95 annual fee.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Best all-around travel credit card for benefits and rewards

With the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you’ll earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of opening your account.

That bonus alone is worth $500 in cash back or $750 in travel (1.5 cents per point) when you redeem your points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. And you can potentially get much more value from Ultimate Rewards points when you transfer them to Chase partners like United Airlines, Hyatt or Singapore Airlines.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is the premier card for people who travel a lot, so it’s no surprise that it doesn’t add foreign transaction fees.

This card actually increases the Chase points value of other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards, too. If you have other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards, you can combine all your points to the Chase Sapphire Reserve so they’re all worth 1.5 cents per point towards travel.

Choose this card if you travel frequently and spend a lot on travel and dining abroad. And read our Chase Sapphire Reserve review for everything you need to know about the card.

The card also comes with:

The $550 annual fee isn’t waived the first year, but the annual travel credit and airport lounge access can more than offset the annual fee.

Chase Ink Business Preferred

Best small-business travel credit card

With the Chase Ink Business Preferred, you’ll earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 in the first 3 months of account opening.. Again, Chase points value varies, but the bonus is worth $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.

And, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, you can potentially get much more value from this card by transferring Ultimate Rewards points to Chase airline and hotel partners.

If you’re a small business owner who travels a lot or makes a lot of purchases from foreign countries, consider the Chase Ink Business Preferred. It’s currently got the highest welcome bonus of any Chase Ultimate Rewards points-earning card.

Choose this card if you own a small business and spend a lot of money on travel and other 3x categories like shipping or online advertising. Read our Chase Ink Business Preferred review for all the details.

You’ll earn 3 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on the first $150,000 you spend per account anniversary year (combined) in the following categories:

  • Travel
  • Shipping purchases
  • Internet, cable and phone services
  • Advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines

You’ll also get:

The card has a $95 annual fee, which is not waived the first year. A number of us on the team have the Chase Ink Business Preferred and keep it for the excellent earning and benefits like cellphone insurance.

American Express Platinum

Best for earning points on paid airfare

With the Amex Platinum, you’ll earn 60,000 American Express Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account. Amex points value can vary greatly, but often the best way to use Amex points is by redeeming them through Amex transfer partners like Singapore Airlines, Delta, and Virgin Atlantic.

With no foreign transaction fees (See Rates & Fees) and a ton of outstanding travel perks, the Amex Platinum makes our list for its top earning on airfare (even international airlines) and airport lounge access. If you can make the most of the annual airline fee and Uber credits and will spend a lot of time in airport lounges, you can more than offset the annual fee.

Choose this card if you spend a lot on paid airfare and enjoy airport lounges. And read our full Amex Platinum review for all the details.

You’ll also get:

The card comes with a $550 annual fee (See Rates & Fees).

Amex Gold Card

Best credit card for dining

The American Express® Gold Card comes with 60,000 Amex Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first six months of account opening. We generally find Amex points value to be 2 cents each. That makes this bonus worth $1,200 on average. It depends on how you use your Amex points, but you’ll get the most value by redeeming them with Amex transfer partners. 60,000 points is more than enough for a one-way business class flight between Chicago and Madrid when you transfer them to Iberia. This seat costs at least $1,700 otherwise.

If you use the card’s up to $120 dining credit and up to $100 airline incidental credit each year, you’re effectively paying only $30 of the $250 annual fee. You’ll receive $10 per month in dining credit at participating merchants:

  • GrubHub
  • Seamless
  • The Cheesecake Factory
  • Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
  • Participating Shake Shack locations

As you can see, GrubHub and Seamless make it easy to use. Read our full Amex Gold Card review for all the details of this and other valuable card perks.

This card earns:

  • 4 points per dollar at restaurants
  • 4 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year; then 1 point )
  • 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com
  • Up to $100 airline fee credit per year for incidental fees at one selected airline
  • Up to $120 in dining credits each year
  • Terms apply

$250 (see rates and fees)

Capital One Venture Card

Best for simple travel rewards

The Capital One Venture welcome bonus is up to 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. Because you can redeem your Venture miles at a flat rate of 1 cent per mile toward travel, the welcome bonus is worth up to $1,000.

To redeem your Capital One miles for travel, use your Capital One Venture card to pay for your travel purchase. Once it’s posted to your account, you can “erase” the cost with miles. However, you must redeem the miles within 90 days of your purchase.

Many of us like Capital One miles because you can redeem them for a wide variety of travel costs, including Airbnb stays, Uber rides, and flights or hotels with no blackout dates. Plus, there’s no minimum redemption increment when redeeming miles, unless you’re using miles to partially pay for a travel purchase. In that case, the minimum is 2,500 Venture miles ($25).

Choose this card if you prefer rewards that are straightforward to earn and redeem. And read our full Capital One Venture review.

If you don’t want to fuss with bonus categories or award charts, the Capital One Venture is an excellent choice. With no foreign transaction fees and a straightforward rewards earning and redemption structure, this card is a top pick for folks who like simplicity.

You’ll earn 2 Capital One miles per dollar on all purchases. The card also comes with a TSA PreCheck/Global Entry credit (up to $100).

You can even transfer Capital One miles to airline partners, including Singapore Airlines and Air Canada Aeroplan.

$95

Prefer Airbnbs or staying off the beaten path? The Capital One Venture makes redeeming rewards easy. (Photo by Jasmin Baron)

Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card

Best no-annual-fee Marriott hotel credit card

The Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card earns 30,000 Marriott points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. The best way to use Marriott points is often by redeeming them for hotel stays. However, you can also receive outsized Marriott points value when you transfer Marriott points to airlines.

Keep in mind, there are other Marriott credit cards, like the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card, which earn more Marriott points per dollar, but you’ll pay an annual fee. Read our full Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card for more tips.

This card also earns:

  • 3 Marriott points per dollar spent at participating Marriott hotels
  • 2 Marriott points per dollar spent on travel
  • 1 Marriott points per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • 15 elite night credits each calendar year

This card has no annual fee.

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

Best for Alaska flyers and partner awards

Bonus

With the Alaska Airlines credit card, you can earn 40,000 Alaska Airlines miles, a $100 statement credit and an Alaska Airlines companion fare after you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.

Insider secret

With this companion fare, a friend can fly with you for just $99 plus taxes and fees (from $22). This can save you hundreds of dollars on airfare.

Benefits

The companion fare is the card’s best perk, but it comes with other benefits too. Including a free checked bag for you and up to six passengers on your reservation – a savings of $30 per person in baggage fees each way (a great perk if you don’t have Alaska Airlines elite status).

The card also earns:

  • 3 miles per $1 on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases
  • 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases

Annual fee

$75

Cards with no foreign transaction fees can still get dinged

Even if you’re using a card with no foreign transaction fees, you can still end up on the hook for extra charges if you pay in the wrong currency. Overseas, especially throughout Europe or in popular tourist areas, a merchant will sometimes use a credit card machine that recognizes you’re using a U.S. credit card. It’ll offer you the choice to pay in local currency or U.S. dollars.

Always pay in the local currency. In these cases, the credit card processor is adding their own currency conversion fees (sometimes 3% or more) when you select payment in U.S. dollars. Even if you use a credit card with no foreign transaction fees, you will still be overpaying and essentially incur a fee.

Note: You’ll get charged hefty cash advance fees and processing fees (up to ~$20) if you use your card at international ATMs to withdraw cash. Avoid doing that at all costs unless it’s an emergency.

Bottom line

The best no foreign transaction fee credit cards are:

These aren’t the only no foreign transaction fee cards out there, but based on their bonuses and benefits, we find they are the best credit cards for international travel. Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments.

For the latest tips and tricks on traveling big without spending a fortune, please subscribe to the Million Mile Secrets email newsletter.

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Gold Card, please click here.

Featured image courtesy of Martin Helgemeir / Shutterstock

Meghan Hunter is a contributor to Million Mile Secrets, she covers topics on points and miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels, and general travel.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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