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Do You Have One of the Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards in Your Wallet?

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Do You Have One of the Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards in Your Wallet?

Jasmin BaronDo You Have One of the Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards in Your Wallet?Million Mile Secrets Team

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INSIDER SECRET: When you’re traveling overseas, if you’re given the option to pay in US dollars, do NOT do it! Always pay in the local currency, otherwise you’ll get stung with additional processing fees.

Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards

 Card Name Bonus
Best Card for BeginnersChase Sapphire Preferred® Card
60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (worth $600 in cash back or $750 in travel) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening
Best Card for Small Business Owners


Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (worth $800 in cash back or $1,000 in travel) after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening
Best Card for High Rewards on Travel and DiningChase Sapphire Reserve®50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (worth $500 in cash back or $750 in travel) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening
Best Card for Earning on Paid Airfare and Lounge AccessThe Platinum Card® from American Express (See Rates & Fees)60,000 American Express Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening
Best Card for Folks Who Want a Simple Rewards ProgramCapital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card



50,000 Venture miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening
Best No Annual Fee Card for Travel and Gas Station PurchasesWells Fargo Propel American Express® Card30,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening
Best No Annual Fee Card for HotelsMarriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card50,000 Marriott points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening

When you travel internationally there’s plenty to navigate, such as finding the next Wi-Fi spot, getting that super-confusing sign translated or searching for the next local delicacy. So 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 to choose from that let you make overseas purchases for no additional fee. If you’re a big spender, you could save hundreds of dollars on an trip abroad.

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

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/Million Mile Secrets)

You can use these cards abroad exactly like you would use them at home, with no additional fees!

The Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards 2019

1. Chase Sapphire Preferred

Apply Here: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Read our review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred

Our favorite first credit card for beginners, the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

You’ll also get:

  • 2x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on travel and dining worldwide
  • 1x 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.

Use your Chase Sapphire Preferred for car rentals and get covered for that fender bender. (Photo by Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock)

This welcome bonus is worth $600 in cash back or $750 in travel (1.25 cents per point) when you redeem your points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.  And you can potentially get much more value when you transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Chase airline and hotel transfer 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, spend lots on travel and dining abroad, or prefer a waived annual fee in the first year.

2. Chase Ink Business Preferred

Apply Here: Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Read our review of the Chase Ink Business Preferred 

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.

With the Chase Ink Business Preferred, you’ll earn 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. That’s worth $800 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.

You’ll earn 3x 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
Does your small business spend a lot with overseas suppliers or have you traveling frequently? The Ink Business Preferred is a great pick. (Photo by SeaRick1/Shutterstock)

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, including Jason, Meghan and I, have the Chase Ink Business Preferred and keep it for the excellent earning and benefits like cell phone insurance.

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.

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.

3. Chase Sapphire Reserve

Apply Here: Chase Sapphire Reserve

Read our review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve  

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.

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.

Plus, you’ll get:

The $450 annual fee is NOT waived the first year, but the annual travel credit and airport lounge access can more than offset the annual fee.

Use your Chase Sapphire Reserve Card to earn 3x points on your fish and chips in Ireland – without paying extra fees. (Photo by Jasmin Baron/Million Mile Secrets)

The welcome 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.

Plus, 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.

4. American Express Platinum

Apply Here: The Platinum Card from American Express

Read our Amex Platinum review  

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.

With the Amex Platinum, you’ll earn 60,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account.  You’ll also get:

Enjoy fancy food and drinks, like this meal at Dallas-Fort Worth airport, with American Express Centurion Lounge access from the Amex Platinum Card. (Photo by Jasmin Baron/Million Mile Secrets)

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.

Keep in mind, this is a charge card, so you must pay your balance off in full every month.

Choose this card: If you spend a lot on paid airfare and enjoy airport lounges.

5. Capital One Venture Card

Apply Here: Capital One Venture

Read our review of the Capital One Venture  

 

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.

The Capital One Venture welcome bonus is 50,000 Venture miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of opening your account. Because you can redeem your Venture miles at a flat rate of 1 cent per mile toward travel, the welcome bonus is worth $500. The $95 annual fee is waived the first year.

You’ll earn 2x Venture miles per dollar on all purchases. The one exception is that you can earn 10 Venture miles per dollar spent on hotels.com when booked and paid through this Hotels.com link (through January 31, 2020).

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

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

Many of us like Capital One Venture 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.

To redeem your Venture 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.

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, but still want a travel card.

6. Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

Apply Here: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

Read our review of the Wells Fargo Propel

Spend a lot on travel and fuel? The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card could be a great pick for you, and it comes with a 30,000 point (worth $300 in cash back, travel, gift cards, or other rewards) welcome bonus after spending $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card opening.

You’ll also get:

  • 3 points per dollar spent on travel purchases (flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals)
  • 3 points per dollar spent on eating out and ordering in
  • 3 points per dollar spent on gas stations, rideshares and transit
  • 3 points per dollar spent on eligible streaming services, like Apple Music, Hulu and Netflix
  • 1 point per dollar for all other purchases
  • Cell phone insurance (up to $600 per claim with a $25 deductible)
  • NO foreign transaction fees
  • NO annual fee

This is a great card to use for travel and gas station purchases while you’re overseas. Plus, you won’t have to worry about paying an annual fee.

Use your Wells Fargo Propel overseas when you buy gas to earn bonus points and avoid foreign transaction fees. (Photo by aabejon/iStock by Getty Images)

Your points are worth 1 cent apiece when you redeem them for rewards like cash back, travel or gift cards. And if you have the Wells Fargo Visa® Signature® Card, you can redeem your points for 1.5 cents each toward airfare through the Wells Fargo portal. This means you’ll effectively get 4.5% back toward airfare for purchases like travel, dining and at gas stations (3x points X 1.5 cents each).

Choose this card: If you want a card with no annual fee, prefer cash back and spend a lot on travel and gas stations.

The information related to the Wells Fargo Visa Signature Card has been collected by Million Mile Secrets and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.

7. Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card

Apply Here: Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card

Read our review of the Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card

If you like earning Marriott points and prefer a card with no annual fee, the new Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card is an excellent choice.

You’ll earn 50,000 Marriott points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. And you’ll also get:

  • 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
  • No annual fee

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.

5 Honorable Mentions for Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Cards

There are many more cards with no foreign transaction fees that didn’t make our favorites list. But here are a few more interesting options to consider:

Reminder: Always Pay in Local Currency!

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 US credit card. It’ll offer you the choice to pay in local currency or US 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 US dollars. So even if you use a credit card with no foreign transaction fees, you will still be overpaying and essentially incur a foreign transaction fee from the merchant.

Don’t pay for those Parisian macarons in US dollars! You’ll get charged extra in foreign currency fees. (Photo by Jasmin Baron/Million Mile Secrets)

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 at all costs unless it’s an emergency.

Bottom Line

Savvy travelers know to carry a no foreign transaction fee credit card when they’re abroad. You’ll save a ton of money during your travels and avoid unexpected charges when your credit card bill comes due.

Always remember to pay in the local currency, even if you’re given the option to pay in US dollars. You’ll save on additional merchant currency conversion fees by doing so.

Here are our best credit cards with no foreign transaction fees:

These aren’t the only no foreign transaction fee cards out there. 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 daily email newsletter.

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

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel

More Info

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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Citi Costco card removed the foreign transaction fee earlier this year. It will earn you 4% on gas, 3% on travel, dining, 2% costco, no annual fee if you pay Costco membership.

Luckily, it seems that most miles and points cards have for competitive reasons needed to get rid of that scammy “just because we can get away with it” fee. A decade ago there were only a select few cards I could carry when traveling abroad. Now there are only a few that I have to sock drawer when I’m taking a trip. The dynamic currency conversion trick is the one we need to watch out for now, and it’s good you mentioned that.

The top table’s right column is almost completely cut off, per my Android phone. Lots of good info in the article!

Author

Hi again Karey – can you please take a peek with your phone and see if the table in this post looks better? You should be able to scroll the table sideways now. Just want to make sure before we make changes across the site. 🙂

Thanks again for the heads-up!

I can scoot it back & forth, it’s no longer locked in place. And quite readable at that. Good job!

Author

Hi Karey – I’ll send this to our tech support and see if we can figure out what’s going on. Thanks for the info!