Top 10 No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards

April 20, 2015, Written By John H. Oldshue

If you are going to travel overseas, you may be researching credit cards with travel rewards. But one thing many credit card shoppers overlook is the foreign transaction fee.

Numerous credit cards issued in the United States charge certain fees for completing purchases overseas. This can be anywhere from a 1% to 3% fee. But there are some credit cards that do not charge a foreign transaction fee. For people who regularly travel for business and leisure outside of the United States, a credit card without a foreign transaction fee is very attractive. Foreign transaction fees are only a small percentage of each transaction, but they can certainly add up over time.

The good news is that no foreign transaction fee credit cards are definitely available for consumers. But the bad news is they can be hard to get if you do not have excellent credit. Credit card companies associate overseas travel with good credit, and are only willing to provide cards with no foreign transaction fees to consumers with top-of-the-line credit histories.

Here are some of the best credit cards with no foreign transaction fee:

Discover it Miles

The Discover it Miles card has the best rewards program during the first year of card ownership of any card currently on the market. The card pays 1.5 miles for every dollar you spend, and then the issuer doubles the miles you earn during the first year. So you are actually earning three miles for every dollar spent during year one. An additional bonus is that Discover gives you an automatic statement credit for up to $30 for your annual in-flight Wi-Fi fees. The card comes with a 0% APR offer on all purchases during the first 12 months. The ongoing APR is anywhere from 10.99% and 22.99%, depending on your credit worthiness. In addition to having no foreign transaction fee, the Discover it Miles card has no annual fee and gives all cardholders a free FICO score every month. The overseas traveler should note that this card is not EMV compatible.

Capital One VentureOne

capital-one-venture-one-cardThe Capital One VentureOne card has a combination of good travel rewards and low fees. It has an introductory APR of 0% for the first 12 months (until April 2016) on purchases, and then a low 11.9% to 21.9% APR after that. You receive 1.25 miles for every $1 spent on the card, which can be redeemed for travel expenses. In addition, you’ll receive 20,000 bonus miles (equivalent to $200) by spending $1,000 on your card during the first three months of card ownership. These miles can be used on any airline or hotel, and have no blackout dates. The card has no annual fee and is EMV compatible. If you make a lot of purchases on your credit card, you may want to consider the Capital One Venture card. This does have an annual fee of $59 after the first year, but pays two miles for every dollar you spend. In addition, it has an upfront bonus of 40,000 miles once you spend $3,000 during the first three months.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Anyone who is approved for a Chase Sapphire Preferred card will enjoy a very attractive introductory offer: cardholders earn 40,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. You can also earn an additional 5,000 bonus points after the first authorized user to your account makes a purchase within those first three months of the account opening. The rewards program is lucrative: you receive two points for every dining and travel purchase, and one point for all other purchases. The card’s ongoing APR is higher than some cards on this list, starting at 15.99%, and the card does not have an introductory APR offer. The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year. The card is EMV compatible.

Capital One Quicksilver

quicksilverThe Capital One Quicksilver card is has one of the easiest and best cash back offers. Cardholders earn 1.5% back on every purchase with no limit and no rotating categories. You will also receive a $100 bonus after spending $500 on the card during the first three months of ownership. There is no annual fee on this card. There is a 0% APR on both purchases and balance transfers for nine months (until January 2016) and then an ongoing APR between 12.9% and 22.9%. Capital One has started to introduce EMV-compatible Quicksilver cards to new customers.

Barclaycard Ring

Barclaycard®-Ring-MasterCard®2The Barclaycard Ring card has one of the lowest APRs of any credit card on the market: 8%. So if you have excellent credit and plan on carrying a balance, this is one card to strongly consider. In addition to having no foreign transaction fee, the card does not have an annual fee or a balance transfer fee. It has a unique rewards program where cardholders share the estimated profits based on the community’s financial performance; then you can choose to keep your share of the profits or donate to charity. The Ring card does not have an introductory APR, and is not EMV compatible

The Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card

The Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card was created for consumers who spend a significant amount of time traveling and staying at Marriott hotels. For consumers who do, you’ll find the 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 to be a great reward. Cardholders will also earn five points for every $1 spent at 3,800 Marriott locations; and two points for every $1 spent on airline purchases directly with airlines, at car rental agencies and at restaurants. There is no annual fee for the first year of card ownership, but then it is $85. The APR is variable, and starts at 15.99%. This card is EMV compatible.

United MileagePlus Explorer Card

The United MileagePlus Explorer Card is a very strong travel card, and you’ll also need an excellent credit history to be approved. If you use the credit card and spend $1,000 within the first three months of card ownership, you’ll get 30,000 bonus miles. You’ll also get priority boarding with the United Club, as well as having your first bag checked for free. The card has an APR of 15.99% with no introductory offer. The card has an annual fee of $95 which is waived for the first year, and the card is not EMV compatible.

British Airways Visa Signature® Card

The British Airways Visa Signature Card provides travelers with 50,000 bonus Avios after spending $2,000 within the first three months of card ownership. For every $1 spent on British Airways, cardholders will receive 2.5 Avios; 1.25 Avios for every $1 spent on other purchases. This card comes with an annual fee of $95, which is waived during the first year. The card’s APR is 15.99% with no introductory offer. The card is EMV compatible.

Gold Delta SkyMiles from American Express

The Gold Delta SkyMiles card has some attractive benefits for a Delta flyer. You can check your first bag free on every Delta flight, which is a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four. Cardholders receive two miles for every dollar spent on Delta, and one mile for all other purchases. As an introductory offer, you’ll receive 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on the card within the first three months. In addition, you will earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with the card within these first three months. The card has an APR ranging from 15.24% to 19.24% and does not have an introductory APR offer. The card has an annual fee of $95 which is waived during the first year. The card is EMV compatible.

IHG Rewards Club Select

The IHG Rewards Club Select card is relatively unknown, but one with some very impressive rewards. Cardholders receive five points for every dollar charged at one of the 4,700 IHG hotels; two points for every dollar spent on purchases made at gas stations, restaurants and grocery stores; and one point for every $1 of other purchases. The introductory bonus is substantial: 70,000 points once you spent $1,000 during the first three months of card membership. All points are redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn. The card has a 15.99% APR with no introductory offer. There is a $49 annual fee that is waived for the first year. The card is not EMV compatible.

Traveling overseas is something that can be extremely rewarding. But what’s even better is saving your hard-earned cash when you are on your trip. In order to make sure that you are getting the best deal, you should shop around to find the best credit card for you.

All of the credit cards on this list have no foreign transaction fees, but you will find that there are other features too—such as low interest rates or no annual fee. Those that travel overseas will definitely see the benefits of these credit cards, and saving money by not having to pay foreign transaction fees is definitely a boon. For those looking to travel on a regular basis, it is a no brainer to choose one of these credit cards.

Which card you ultimately choose is up to your personal preference, but having a variety of choices is never a bad thing.



The information contained within this article was accurate as of April 20, 2015. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.