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Best credit cards of 2019 with no foreign transaction fees

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Best credit cards of 2019 with no foreign transaction fees

Jasmin BaronBest credit cards of 2019 with no foreign transaction feesMillion Mile Secrets Team

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Best no-foreign-transaction-fee credit cards

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.

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

 Card name Intro bonus offerBest perkAnnual fee
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 openingFantastic travel insurance$95
Best small business credit card for free travelInk 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 openingUp to $600 in cell phone insurance for you and any employees listed on your monthly bill after paying a $100 deductible$95
Best all-around travel credit card benefits and rewardsChase 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$300 annual travel credit (your first $300 in travel is free each cardmember year)$450
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 openingThe most comprehensive lounge access of any card on the market$550 (See Rates & Fees)
Best credit card for simple, easy-to-redeem travel rewardsCapital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card



50,000 Venture miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening
10X miles on hotels when booked and paid through hotels.com/venture through January 2020$95 (waived the first year)
Best no annual fee credit card for gas station and travel purchasesWells Fargo Propel American Express® card30,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account openingWhen you pay your monthly cell phone bill with the Wells Fargo Propel American Express card, you’ll get secondary cell phone protection to cover repairs or replacements. After paying a $25 deductible, you get a maximum of $600 per claim and $1,200 per 12-month period.$0
Best no annual fee Marriott hotel credit cardMarriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card30,000 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$0

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Read our review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred

Bonus: 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. That 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.

Benefits: 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

Annual fee: The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a $95 annual fee.

Insider secrets: 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.

Further reading:

Chase Ink Business Preferred

Read our review of the Chase Ink Business Preferred 

Bonus: 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.

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.

Benefits: 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
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:

Annual fee: 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.

Insider secrets: 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.

Further reading:

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Read our review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve  

Bonus: 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.

Benefits: The card also comes with:

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.)

Annual fee: The $450 annual fee isn’t waived the first year, but the annual travel credit and airport lounge access can more than offset the annual fee.

Insider secrets: 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 makes other Chase Ultimate Rewards points-earning cards more valuable 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.

Further Reading:

American Express Platinum

Read our Amex Platinum review

Bonus: 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.

Benefits: 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.)

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

Insider secrets: 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.

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.

Further Reading:

Capital One Venture Card

Read our review of the Capital One Venture

Bonus: 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.

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.

Benefits: You’ll earn 2 Capital One miles per dollar on all purchases. The one exception is that you can earn 10 Capital One miles per dollar spent on hotels.com when booked and paid through this Hotels.com link (through Jan. 31, 2020). The card even comes with a TSA PreCheck/Global Entry credit.

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.)

Annual fee: The $95 annual fee is waived the first year.

Insider secrets: 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.

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.

Further Reading:

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card

Read our review of the Wells Fargo Propel

Bonus: 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 welcome bonus (worth $300 in cash back, travel, gift cards, or other rewards) after spending $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card opening.

Benefits: 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, ride-shares 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
  • Cellphone insurance (up to $600 per claim with a $25 deductible)
  • No foreign transaction fees

This is a great card to use for travel and gas station purchases while you’re overseas.

Annual fee: The card has no annual fee.

Insider secrets: 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 and the Wells Fargo Propel American Express 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.

Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card

Read our review of the Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card

Bonus: The new Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card is an excellent choice as it earns 30,000 Marriott points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

Benefits: 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

Annual fee: No annual fee.

Insider secrets: 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.

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 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.

Don’t pay for those Parisian macarons in U.S. 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 doing that at all costs unless it’s an emergency.

Best credit cards for international travel

Finding a credit card with no foreign transaction fees is just the beginning. The best credit cards for international travel have lots of other perks that’ll make your travels much easier.

Of the cards mentioned above, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is far and away the most popular. That’s because it’s got perks like primary rental car insurance, which can save you from requiring the in-house insurance from your rental agency (which can easily cost $15+ per day). Plus, you’ll get top-notch baggage delay insurance, which will reimburse you $100 per day (for up to five days) when your luggage is delayed by at least six hours.

I use both of these perks frequently, and I’ve received hundreds and hundreds in reimbursements for travel misfortunes.

The other MMS reader favorite is the Capital One Venture, which comes with a TSA PreCheck/Global Entry credit. With TSA PreCheck, you won’t have to take off your shoes, belt or light jacket at airport security. You can even keep your laptop in your bag. And with Global Entry, you can fly through U.S. immigration when returning home.

There’s also the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card. Its rewards structure is similar to the Capital One Venture, but with no annual fee. The trade-off is that it has a smaller welcome bonus and lower earning rate. Here’s our review of the Capital One VentureOne card.

Which no-foreign-transaction-fee credit cards are the best?

Savvy travelers know to carry a credit card with no foreign transaction fees 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 U.S. 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!