Apply now
On Bank of America's secure site
Rewards rate
  • 1.5X Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire.
Intro offer
25,000 points 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
15.49% - 25.49% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best for cash back on international purchases

Apply now
On Capital One's secure site
Rewards rate
  • 5% Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • 1.5% Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
Intro offer
$200 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
16.49% - 26.49% (Variable)
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best for foreign travel beginners

Apply now
On Capital One's secure site
Rewards rate
  • 5X Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • 1.25X Earn unlimited 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day.
Intro offer
20,000 miles 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
16.49% - 26.49% (Variable)
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best for redemption flexibility

Apply now
On Chase's secure site
Rewards rate
  • 5x 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 3x 3x on dining.
  • 2x 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
Intro offer
60,000 points 
Annual fee
$95
Regular APR
17.49% - 24.49% Variable
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best for customer service

Apply now
On Discover's secure site
Rewards rate
  • 5% Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
  • 1% Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
Intro offer
Cashback Match™ 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
13.49% - 24.49% Variable
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)
Apply now
On Capital One's secure site
Rewards rate
  • 5X Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • 2X Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day.
Intro offer
75,000 miles 
Annual fee
$95
Regular APR
17.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best student cash back card

Apply now
On Discover's secure site
Rewards rate
  • 5% Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
  • 1% Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
Intro offer
Cashback Match™ 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
14.49% - 23.49% Variable
Recommended credit
No Credit History 

Best for international dining

Apply now
On American Express's secure site
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
See if you're pre‐approved for this card with CardMatch™
Rewards rate
  • 4X Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • 4X Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • 3X Earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
Intro offer
60,000 points 
Annual fee
$250
Regular APR
18.24%-25.24% Variable
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

BEST FOR PREMIUM TRAVEL BENEFITS

Apply now
On Capital One's secure site
Rewards rate
  • 10X Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • 5X 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
  • 2X Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
Intro offer
75,000 miles 
Annual fee
$395
Regular APR
18.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
Recommended credit
Excellent (740 - 850)

Best for first-year miles bonus

Apply now
On Discover's secure site
Rewards rate
  • 1.5X Automatically earn unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar of every purchase - with no annual fee.
Intro offer
Discover Match® 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
13.49% - 24.49% Variable
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best for luxury card perks

Apply now
On Chase's secure site
Rewards rate
  • 10x Earn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 5x Earn 5x total points on air travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 3x Earn 3x points on other travel and dining.
  • 1x Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
Intro offer
60,000 points 
Annual fee
$550
Regular APR
18.49% - 25.49% Variable
Recommended credit
Excellent (740 - 850)

The information about the Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi, Costco Anywhere Visa® Card By Citi, Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®, CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®, Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®, Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students, and Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.

Compare Bankrate’s top no-foreign-transaction-fee credit cards

Card name Annual fee Best for Bankrate review score
Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card $0 No annual fee 3.8 / 5
(Read full card review)
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card $0 Cash back on international purchases 3.8 / 5
(Read full card review)
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card $0 Foreign travel beginners 3.8 / 5
(Read full card review)
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card $95 Redemption flexibility 4.6 / 5
(Read full card review)
Discover it Cash Back $0 Customer service 4.5 / 5
(Read full card review)
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card $95 Travel rewards 4.1 / 5
(Read full card review)
Discover it Student Cash Back $0 Student cash back card 4.1 / 5
(Read full card review)
American Express Gold Card $250 International dining 4.8 / 5
(Read full card review)
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card $395 Premium travel benefits 4.4 / 5
(Read full card review)
Discover it Miles $0 First-year miles bonus 3.6 / 5
(Read full card review)
Chase Sapphire Reserve $550 Luxury perks 4.4 / 5
(Read full card review)

A closer look at the top no-foreign-transaction fee credit cards

Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card: Best for no annual fee

  • What we love about the Bank of America Travel Rewards card: If you book travel through Bank of America Travel Center, you can earn an additional 1.5 points per dollar for a total of 3 points per dollar spent on airfare, hotels and rental cars. Plus, purchases at campgrounds, zoos, art galleries, aquariums and more can be redeemed for travel statement credits.
  • Who this card is good for: This card offers solid travel rewards and nonrestrictive redemption options for travelers looking for flexibility.
  • Alternatives: This credit card lacks premium perks like airport lounge access that many luxury travelers are looking for, so a traveler searching for premium rewards and perks might find a card like The Platinum Card® from American Express to be a better fit.

Read our Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card review.
Jump back to offer details.

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best for cash back on international purchases

  • What we love about the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card: You can automatically redeem your cash back, making this one of the most streamlined rewards experiences out there.
  • Who this card is good for: Simplicity lovers and credit card beginners, as this card provides a simple solid rewards structure for no annual fee.
  • Alternatives: If you’re looking to maximize cash back earnings in multiple categories or have a higher rewards rate, we would suggest the Discover it Cash Back card.

Read our Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card review.
Jump back to offer details.

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card: Best for foreign travel beginners

  • What we love about the Capital One VentureOne Rewards card: Capital One lets you redeem miles as statement credits to cover travel purchases made in the previous 90 days. This gives you extra flexibility to hunt for deals on third-party sites or book travel before you’ve earned all the miles you’d need to book through the portal.
  • Who this card is good for: Someone who only travels occasionally and wants to earn miles on everyday purchases, as cardholders will earn a respectable 1.25X miles on all purchases.
  • Alternatives: While this is a great card for someone who doesn’t want to worry about offsetting the cost of an annual fee, travel rewards maximizers who travel often are likely better off with a more premium card such as the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® card.

Read our Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card review.
Jump back to offer details.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: Best for redemption flexibility

  • What we love about the Chase Sapphire Preferred card: The Chase Sapphire Preferred’s sign-up bonus is a steal, competing with bonuses offered by luxury cards with much higher annual fees. You can also enjoy elite ongoing value at a budget price with its robust travel protections and 25 percent redemption boost toward Ultimate Rewards travel.
  • Who this card is good for: Occasional travelers seeking flexibility, as points transfer at a 1:1 ratio when booking hotels and airlines with Chase’s extensive list of travel partners.
  • Alternatives: Travelers looking for luxury perks such as airport lounge access or free first checked bags may prefer the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card or the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card.

Read our Chase Sapphire Preferred Card review.
Jump back to offer details.

Discover it Cash Back: Best for rotating cash back categories

  • What we love about the Discover it Cash Back card: This card’s terrific category variety, rock-bottom rates and fees, first-year Cashback Match™and bonus category calendar announced for the full year give it an exclusive edge.
  • Who this card is good for: People who enjoy bonus category variety to cover popular seasonal expenses or already have a card that rewards staple categories year round like purchases on groceries.
  • Alternatives: The Discover it rewards program requires that cardholders activate a bonus category each quarter, track their spending and potentially change how they spend to maximize rewards, so the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card may be more suitable if you’re looking for a more low-maintenance rewards strategy.

Read our Discover it Cash Back review.
Jump back to offer details.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Best for travel rewards

  • What we love about the Capital One Venture Rewards card: You can earn unlimited 2X miles on all purchases, which can be very lucrative even without a jet-setting lifestyle since your everyday purchases rack up as many bonus miles as your travel purchases.
  • Who this card is good for: Occasional travelers in search of flexible rewards (you’ll rack up unlimited 2X miles toward your next trip on all eligible purchases, plus 5X miles on hotels and rental cars through Capital One Travel for the road).
  • Alternatives: If you exclusively fly one airline or stay at one hotel chain, you’re probably better off with a co-branded card — and if you’re fee-averse, consider this card’s low-cost alternative, the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Card.

Read our Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card review.
Jump back to offer details.

Discover it Student Cash Back: Best student cash back card

  • What we love about the Discover it Student Cash Back card: The Cashback Match is an unlimited dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year. Unlike a sign-up bonus, there’s no spending minimum, so there’s less pressure to overspend.
  • Who this card is good for: Students with a limited credit history ready to dive into the world of credit card rewards. Along with a generous cash back program, this card boasts Discover’s acclaimed customer service and minimal fees, making it an ideal starter pick for credit newbies.
  • Alternatives: If you don’t want to activate the card’s rotating bonus categories each quarter, the Discover it® Student chrome, which has a more simplified rewards program, is a better alternative.

Read our Discover it Student Cash Back review.
Jump back to offer details.

American Express Gold Card: Best for international dining

  • What we love about the American Express Gold card: Although a few cards reward dining both at home and in restaurants, this card’s generous annual foodie-related credits are harder to come by.
  • Who this card is good for: Foodies who want to earn travel rewards on their meals at home and abroad (you’ll earn boosted points on dining at restaurants, Uber Eats and at U.S. supermarkets).
  • Alternatives: For travelers seeking premium travel perks like airport lounge access, you’d be better off with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, as it comes with some of the highest rewards for travel and dining compared to other luxury travel cards.

Read our American Express Gold Card review.
Jump back to offer details.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card: Best for premium travel benefits

  • What we love about the Capital One Venture X Rewards card: It strikes a unique balance between premium and mid-tier travel card features. You’ll still get plenty of top-of-the-line travel benefits without having to pay extra for niche perks that you may not use in the long term.
  • Who this card is good for: Frequent travelers who want to cash in on essential travel benefits but don’t need elite cards’ bloated features and over $500 in annual fees.
  • Alternatives: If you’re looking for travel that rewards your particular travel habits, there are cards with more brand-specific perks on things like booking with certain airlines or hotels, such as the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card.

Read our full Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card review.
Jump back to offer details.

Discover it Miles: Best for first-year miles bonus

  • What we love about the Discover it Miles card: Discover will automatically match all miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year, which could prove even more valuable than a traditional sign-up bonus. It’s also one of the few travel cards that lets you redeem miles for cash back without sacrificing rewards value.
  • Who this card is good for: Occasional travelers looking for a simple rewards program and flexible redemption options.
  • Alternatives: If you’re looking for travel perks or the ability to transfer miles to airline or hotel loyalty programs, cards like the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card or the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card may be better suited for your needs.

Read our Discover it Miles review.
Jump back to offer details.

Chase Sapphire Reserve: Best for luxury card perks

  • What we love about the Chase Sapphire Reserve card: The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with a $300 annual travel credit, which is much more flexible than many of the credits you’ll find on competing cards. Your points are also worth 50 percent more when you redeem for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal.
  • Who this card is good for: Frequent travelers looking to capitalize on travel and dining purchases.
  • Alternatives: If you only travel occasionally, aren’t comfortable with a hefty annual fee or you’re not sure you’d get $550 of value out of this card each year, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a better choice.

Read our Chase Sapphire Reserve review.
Jump back to offer details.


What are foreign transaction fees?

When you use a credit card overseas to buy something in the local currency, your credit card issuer has to convert the money you’ve spent into U.S. dollars to properly bill you. It may seem like any other transaction from your perspective, but the credit card issuer pays various costs associated with currency conversion, transferring money through a foreign bank and more.

Many issuers offset these costs by charging a foreign transaction fee for overseas purchases.

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Bankrate insight
It’s a common misconception that paying in U.S. cash is a way to get out of paying a foreign transaction fee. It isn’t, and paying in U.S. dollars will actually cost you more most of the time because the price will include a currency conversion fee.

Why do banks charge a foreign transaction fee?

Overseas transactions are a bit more complex than standard transactions as they require banks to convert the money spent into U.S dollars. Foreign transaction fees are essentially a charge for this service. The total fee that you pay often involves adding the charge from the issuing bank and the processing fee from the payment network (like Visa or Mastercard). However, Capital One and Discover do not charge foreign transaction fees on any of their credit cards.

Foreign transaction fees are becoming less common, particularly among premium or travel credit cards, due to automation improvements in the global banking system. However, many cards still impose the charge.

When can foreign transaction fees be applied?

It can be hard to avoid foreign transaction fees when making purchases abroad. Unless you pay with a credit card that waive this fee, you’ll likely be charged a foreign transaction fee for:

  • Hotel bookings: While it largely depends on the location of the hotel and the specific travel provider, you may be charged a foreign transaction fee when you book a stay in another country.
  • Online purchases: If you purchase something from a seller based outside the U.S. and your transaction is processed abroad, you may be charged a foreign transaction fee even if you’re shopping from the comfort of home.
  • Debit card, charge card or gift card purchases: Unfortunately, you can’t escape foreign transaction fees just by using a different type of card. Credit cards, debit cards, charge cards and even prepaid gift cards commonly charge foreign transaction fees.

How much are foreign transaction fees?

Depending on the issuer and card, a foreign transaction fee will typically range from 1 percent to 3 percent. Here’s what that might look like:

Foreign purchase in dollars +3% foreign transaction fee +5% foreign transaction fee
$50 $50.50 $51.50
$100 $101 $103
$500 $505 $515

On its own, one or two foreign transaction fees may seem reasonable, but the more you spend, the more those fees start to add up. To make matters worse, you may also have to deal with other common credit card fees that can erode your purchasing power. When traveling overseas or shopping with international vendors, watch out for other common fees, including cash advance fees, ATM fees and conversion fees.

How to calculate a foreign transaction fee?

If you’re curious to know how much you’ll pay for a foreign transaction fee, multiply the price of the purchase by the fee percentage. Then add the result to the purchase price.

For example, let’s say your nephew’s favorite soccer team is Manchester United F.C., so you buy him a jersey from an online retailer based in England using a credit card that charges a 3 percent foreign transaction fee. If this purchase costs $100, the fee would be $3 and bring your total cost to $103 ($100 x 3 percent = $3, $100 + $3 = $103).

Who should get a no-foreign-transaction fee credit card?

One less fee to worry about is always a nice thing, but do you really need to prioritize no foreign transaction fees when looking for a credit card? For some people, this feature can save hundreds of dollars.

How to choose the best card with no foreign transaction fees

As you search for a card to use for your upcoming international trip, it’s important to fully understand foreign transaction fees, how they work and how you can avoid them. Here are a few things to think about when searching for a card with no foreign transaction fee:

  1. What base rewards come with the card? If you want to get rewarded for how you spend in addition to skipping out on foreign transaction fees, look for cards that offer bonus rewards in categories that match your spending habits. In addition to travel cards offering points or miles, some of the best no-foreign-transaction-fee cards that offer cash back rewards on popular spending categories.
  2. What other travel-related perks are available? If you are trying to choose a travel credit card, make sure you compare the full suite of benefits each one is offering. In addition to base rewards and no foreign transaction fees, top-tier travel credit cards commonly offer trip cancellation insurance, supplemental auto insurance, free checked bags, free amenities, like Wi-Fi or complimentary breakfast, airport lounge access and other notable travel benefits and coverages.
  3. Is there an annual fee? Annual fees are common among mid-tier and premium travel credit cards, which frequently skip foreign transaction fees. When considering cards with an annual fee, it’s important to weigh whether that fee can be offset or recouped with reward earnings, added benefits and perks, or if you can just generally shoulder the added cost. Luckily, there are many cards on the market that have no annual fee and no foreign transaction fee. Keep in mind that you may find some cards charging an annual fee are worth it due to the high-end rewards they offer. Be sure to evaluate your own spending habits and budget needs when considering a card with an annual fee.
  4. What other fees should I know about? Some cards that skip foreign transaction fees also offer other consumer-friendly terms. Others tout no foreign transaction fees as one of many travel perks. In either case, it’s important to know what fees you might incur (and how much you’ll be charged) while comparing options. Common credit card fees include annual fees, late fees (usually around up to $40 for each missed payment), balance transfer fees (usually 3 percent to 5 percent of the amount you’re transferring), cash advance fees and returned payment fees.
  5. What is the card’s APR? The annual percentage rate (APR) or interest rate on a card is a key facet to consider when picking a card with no foreign transaction fee. Some rewards credit cards have APRs that are usually on the higher end of average, which can mean a lot when it comes to carrying a balance on the card and what purchases you make abroad. Be sure to know what you’ll be charged if you can’t pay your bills off in full each month.

Credit Card Spender Type Tool</a> where you can get personalized credit card recommendations based on your credit score, spending habits and daily needs."}" data-sheets-userformat="{"2":1071681,"3":{"1":0},"9":0,"12":0,"14":{"1":2,"2":0},"15":"Arial","17":1,"23":1}" data-sheets-textstyleruns="{"1":0}{"1":99,"2":{"2":{"1":2,"2":0},"9":1}}{"1":163}" data-sheets-hyperlinkruns="{"1":99,"2":"https://www.bankrate.com/finance/credit-cards/spender-type-tool/"}{"1":163}">Still unsure if a no foreign transaction fee credit card is right for you? Check out our Credit Card Spender Type Tool, where you can get personalized credit card recommendations based on your credit score, spending habits and daily needs.

Foreign transaction fees and credit card issuers

Foreign transaction fees by credit card issuers vary wildly. Issuers like Amex and Discover have their own payment networks while other issuers, like Capital One or Chase, use Visa’s or Mastercard’s networks. Also, it’s not unusual for an issuer to charge a foreign transaction fee with some cards but not with others.

Here’s a quick look at how the fee structure breaks down among several major credit card issuers:

How to use a credit card internationally

Money talks, but your money needs a translator when it goes overseas. Here are the important actions to take before traveling abroad with your credit card:

Contact your credit card issuer before you go

Purchases made on your credit card far from home could get flagged as suspicious. Notifying your card issuer that you’re traveling internationally will help avoid any inconveniences like frozen accounts due to suspected fraud.

Use a widely accepted credit card

Visa and Mastercard are the most widely accepted credit cards worldwide. That means if a retailer accepts credit cards, you can typically rest assured that you’re covered if you carry one of those two cards.

Discover and American Express have similar acceptance rates to Visa and Mastercard in the U.S., but still lag behind in other countries. So if your go-to credit card is a Discover or Amex card, it’s a good idea to have a Visa or Mastercard as backup.

Take your chip and PIN credit card

Chip and PIN cards require users to enter a four-digit code after they insert their card into a card reader. These cards are more effective at cutting down on fraudulent charges than older cards that use a magnetic stripe along the back..

Chip and PIN cards were first introduced in Europe, and many other regions of the world have since embraced the technology. However, most credit cards in the U.S. still use chip and signature technology: Instead of entering a pin, you’re sometimes required to provide a signature.

If you have a chip and signature card, you’ll be able to make most purchases when traveling abroad, but may run into problems at vending machines as well as self-service kiosks and gas stations. When that happens, you may need to use cash. If you’re unsure whether you have a chip and PIN card, check with your credit card issuer.

Bring cash as backup

It’s a good idea to have some cash on hand in case of an emergency. It may even be helpful to get it ahead of time at your bank or credit union since those locations may also be the best place to exchange your currency at the best rates before traveling abroad.

Just make sure to only bring enough cash to use as a backup payment option. While convenient, cash is easy to misplace, and there’s little you can do to replace it if it’s lost or stolen. On the other hand, if your credit card is lost or stolen, the maximum amount of fraudulent purchases you can be liable for is $50, thanks to the Fair Credit Billing Act. Have your card issuer’s customer service number ready so you can report your card as lost or stolen quickly if you notice that it’s missing.

How to save on credit card fees when traveling abroad

When using your credit card internationally, follow these tips to ensure you’re spending your money wisely and not racking up unnecessary fees.

  • Use a no-foreign-transaction-fee credit card. Make sure you have at least one credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. This is one of the easiest ways to avoid adding up to 3 percent of the purchase price to your total cost each time you use your card.
  • Avoid cash advance fees. Withdrawing cash from an ATM with your credit card could cost you up to 5% of the amount withdrawn with each transaction. On top of that, you’ll also be on the hook for interest charges that are typically higher than the normal interest charges you pay for carrying a balance. Try to avoid having to take out a cash advance by keeping some cash or a debit card on hand for emergencies.
  • Avoid dynamic currency conversion. Overseas merchants may offer to convert your credit card transaction to your local currency using dynamic currency conversion. Dynamic currency conversion almost always costs the consumer more than what the credit card issuer charges. On top of that, you’ll likely still be charged a foreign exchange fee because a foreign bank will process the transaction. Paying in the local currency will usually be the less expensive option.
  • Exchange currency before you travel. It’s a good idea to have some local currency on hand in case you’re shopping somewhere that doesn’t accept credit cards. Before you travel, stop by your local bank and ask to exchange your dollars for your destination’s currency. Your bank will likely charge lower exchange fees than you’ll find at the airport (or none at all).
  • Check if you’re eligible for VAT refunds. VAT or value-added tax is a flat tax levied on purchases. The full amount of the tax is owed to the government by a consumer at the time of purchase. Some destinations offer visitors a refund on value-added tax on goods or merchandise. Details will vary by country, but typically you’ll need to ask the merchant to help you fill out a tax form and then show that form to customs upon your departure.
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The more you know…
Due to impacts of the pandemic, many cardholders requested a fee waiver for items such as annual fees or late payment fees. Of those who asked for a waiver, 82% got some form of relief, according to Bankrate’s study.

How we chose our list of best no foreign transaction fee cards

Bankrate uses a comprehensive system to evaluate credit cards and produce a 5-star score. In the case of no-foreign-transaction-fee cards, we’ve emphasized the criteria most relevant to consumers looking to maximize the value of their international purchases.

Annual fee

Most cards on our list are free of both annual fees and foreign transaction fees. However, some annual-fee cards offer incentives, like a large welcome or introductory offer, that offset the yearly cost of membership. For this category, we evaluated whether the total value justifies the cost of using the card.

Rewards value

We place priority on cards that put money back in your wallet — regardless of whether you're using it in Tucson or Tuscany. For each card, we've evaluated the earnings rate and corresponding redemption value to identify the cards that accomplish more than just offering a line of credit.

Additional perks

Travel perks may not be your main motivation for getting a no foreign transaction fee card, but they often provide additional benefits that increase the card’s total value. Several credit card issuers offer additional features, like travel accident insurance or trip delay insurance, to make their cards more useful to consumers.

More information on credit cards for overseas travel

If you still need to do some research, check out these resources from Bankrate:


Have more questions for our credit cards editors? Feel free to send us an email, find us on Facebook, or Tweet us @Bankrate.

Frequently asked questions about no foreign transaction fee credit cards

about the author
Mariah Ackary is a personal finance editor who joined the Bankrate team in 2019, excited by the opportunity to help people make good financial decisions. Send your questions to mackary@bankrate.com
about the editor
Former Senior Editor Barry Bridges has been writing about credit cards, personal loans, mortgages and other personal finance products since 2017. Before joining Bankrate, he was an award-winning newspaper journalist in his native North Carolina.

* See the online application for details about terms and conditions for these offers. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. After you click on the offer you desire you will be directed to the credit card issuer's web site where you can review the terms and conditions for your selected offer.