Updated on Aug 9, 2019

Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards

Choose a card with $0 foreign transaction fees to save on your next trip abroad.
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The best international credit cards can help you save while traveling out of the country by offering 0% foreign transaction fees. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, it’s a good idea to get an international credit card with no foreign transaction fees. Our review of the year’s best international credit cards showcases a variety of cards with plenty of perks to appreciate. Have a look at what our top picks have to offer and apply online in minutes for the international credit card that’s right for you.

Best Credit Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fee of 2019

  • Best international card with first year rewards matching – Discover it® Cash Back
  • Best no annual fee international credit card – Discover it® Miles

The Simple Dollar's top picks for the best no foreign transaction fee credit cards

Best for first year rewards matching

Discover it® Cash Back

Rewards summary 5% cash back at different places each quarter; 1% on all other purchases.
Foreign transaction fees $0

Current Offer First-year Cashback Match™
Annual Fee $0
Featured perk Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
Highlights Provided by Discover Show Highlights
Card Highlights Provided by Discover:
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee.
  • Issuer: Discover
  • Rewards Details: 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate. 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Balance Transfer Fee: 3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*
  • Cash Advance APR: 27.24% Variable
  • Introductory APR: 0%
  • Introductory APR Period: 14 months
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: 0%
  • Introductory Balance Transfer Period: 14 months
  • Ongoing APR: 14.24% - 25.24% Variable

Our two cents

Who should get it

For anyone looking for a fast way to earn some rewards, the Discover it® Cash Back has you covered. With this card, you can earn 5% cash back on purchases in rotating quarterly categories (up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate). And, true to its name, the Discover it® Cash Back card features a first-year, dollar-for-dollar match of all the rewards you’ve earned.

How to use it
  • Maximize your rewards during your first year. Discover’s Cashback Match™ program gives members a dollar-for-dollar match of all the rewards they’ve earned after one year of membership.
  • Use this card for everything. From groceries, to movies, to travel, you’ll receive 1% unlimited cash back automatically on all other purchases.
  • Take your time. Rewards never expire.
Consider this

There’s nothing more flexible than cash, but members only earn 1% back on the majority of their purchases. So if you spend $100, you’ll earn $1 back.

Why you'll love it

The Discover it® Cash Back card is not strictly a travel rewards card but, if you love to travel, then there’s plenty to love about this card. Beyond the $0 foreign transaction fees, this card makes it easier to save up for your next trip with its signature Cashback Match™ feature. Not to mention the 5% cash back on purchases in rotating categories (up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate).

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Best no annual fee international card

Discover it® Miles

Rewards summary 1.5X Miles on every purchase
Foreign transaction fees $0

Current Offer First-year mile-for-mile match
Annual Fee $0
Featured perk Redeem miles as a travel statement credit for airline tickets, hotel rooms, online travel sites, and more.
Highlights Provided by Discover Show Highlights
Card Highlights Provided by Discover:
  • UNLIMITED BONUS: Discover will match ALL the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles. That’s $700 towards travel! The more you earn, the more you get.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5x Miles for every dollar spent on all purchases all with no annual fee.
  • No Blackout Dates. Simply pay for travel purchases like airlines, hotels, rental cars, and more with your Discover it® Miles card.
  • Miles Pay You Back. Easily redeem Miles as a statement credit for travel purchases. Or get cash.
  • Freeze your account in seconds with an on/off switch either on the mobile app or website to prevent new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • Issuer: Discover
  • Rewards Details: 1.5 Miles per dollar on all purchases. .
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Balance Transfer Fee: 3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*
  • Cash Advance APR: 27.24% Variable
  • Introductory APR: 0%
  • Introductory APR Period: 14 months
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: 10.99%
  • Introductory Balance Transfer Period: 14 months
  • Ongoing APR: 14.24% - 25.24% Variable

Our two cents

Who should get it

If you’re looking to bank travel rewards with no annual fee, then the Discover it® Miles card should be your top pick. Members earn 1.5x Miles per dollar on every purchase, with no annual fee to reduce the rewards they earn. You’ll be able to earn miles simply by buying coffee in the morning. Or shopping. Or traveling. And Discover will double all the miles earned at the end of your first year of membership!

How to use it
  • Each purchase earns 1.5X miles per dollar spent, and there’s no limit. So if you’re trying to save money on expensive airfare, use the card for everyday expenses. They’ll add up.
  • Everybody’s got a dream vacation, and with the Discover it® Miles card, you can actually make it happen. Discover will automatically match all miles earned at the end of your first year, seriously reducing transportation costs.
  • Don’t worry about when or where you want to travel. Rewards come without blackout dates. You’ll be able to fly any airline, to any location. That’s because rewards are redeemable for a travel statement credit, so you can book however you’d like.
Consider this

The Discover it® Miles card is a miles-based card which can be a little limiting compared to other cards on the market. While you can redeem these miles for travel tickets, lodging, and more, you cannot transfer these miles toward frequent flyer programs. If that’s not something you’re interested in, then you’ll still find plenty to appreciate about this user-friendly card.

Why you'll love it

If you love the ease and flexibility, then the Discover it® Miles might just be the perfect travel companion. You’ll be able to fly by the seat of your pants and pay as you go without sacrificing your independence. Furthermore, you can redeem your rewards for statement credit towards travel purchases. Not to mention the first year, mile for mile match to make earning free travel even easier.

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Here are the best no foreign transaction fee credit cards for 2019:

Best for... Credit Card
First Year Rewards Matching Discover it® Cash Back Apply Now
No Annual Fee International Card Discover it® Miles Apply Now

Are credit cards international?

While most credit cards can be used internationally, not all of them are created equal. Your goal should be find the right international credit card for you that does not charge a foreign transaction fee. While a 1% to 3% foreign transaction fee may not seem like a lot, it can start to add up. If two people spent $2,500 on transportation, hotel, and dining while abroad, they’d be looking at $25 to $75 just in fees.

Is an international credit card safer than cash?

Overall, there are many reasons that international credit cards are safer than cash. Quite a few, including the ones we reviewed, are chip-enabled, which helps to prevent fraudulent purchases. Another thing that makes international credit cards safer is that they can be easily canceled and replaced if the card is lost or stolen. You can’t really do that if a wad of bills goes missing. Other examples that prove international credit cards can be safer include the following:
  • Many other countries outside of the U.S. now employ more stringent authentication on purchases made with credit cards.
  • It’s much easier to monitor your transaction activity on a credit card account versus trying to keep track of all of those receipts.
  • Swiping your credit card on a purchase is less conspicuous (and more convenient) than fumbling in your pocket for the local currency.
Additionally, some international credit cards might even offer travel insurance and lost luggage reimbursement. Contact your credit card provider to learn more about these and other safeguards.

What is a foreign transaction fee?

A foreign transaction fee is a fee charged by your credit card issuer to use your card outside of the United States or with non-U.S. retailers (sometimes even online). As mentioned above, this fee is a percentage (usually 1% to 3%) of the total transaction cost.

Which credit card is best for international travel?

The best international credit card is the one that fits your travel needs, but ideally it would have no foreign transaction fees, a low annual fee, and the opportunity to earn substantial rewards toward your travel.

How to find your ideal travel credit card

After reviewing the best international credit cards on our list, you may find that one stands out to you based on your travel goals. For instance, if your goal is to earn as many points as possible, you may consider the Discover it® Cash Back for the opportunity to earn matching rewards at the end of the first year. Or, if the hotel accommodations are important when you travel, you may consider the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express (currently unavailable).

Can I use international credit cards on the IRCTC?

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) recently permitted the use of international credit and debit cards for booking e-tickets. This means that travelers using international and/or debit cards issued outside the country can book train trips via the IRCTC’s ticketing sites.

Which U.S. stores accept international credit cards?

In most cases, you should not have any trouble using any of these international credit cards at U.S. stores. However, you should always check before you try to make a purchase. You can determine if your card will be accepted by U.S. merchants by consulting with the card website. Some stores in cities (like New York City) that take in a lot of international traffic will often display the logo of credit card providers they recognize.

How do international credit cards work?

For the most part, international credit cards function much in the same way that regular credit cards work. The main difference is usually in the types of rewards you can earn and, of course, the fact that you don’t usually have to deal with foreign transaction fees. It might be easier to redeem your rewards for free travel with an international credit card over a regular one. Some international credit cards might feature rewards that apply to restaurants abroad.

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