Updated on Oct 6, 2020

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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Credit cards with no foreign transaction fees allow you to spend abroad and shop from international retailers without having to worry about extra charges. The best credit cards with no foreign transaction fees can also provide nifty rewards, like cash back or travel perks. Here are our best picks for no foreign transaction credit cards for 2020.

Summary

The Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards of 2020

The Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card LEARN MORE
    Best for travel and dining Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
    Learn More on bankrate.com's secure website
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express APPLY NOW
    Partner Offer
    Best for premium travel perks The Platinum Card® from American Express
    Apply Now on American Express's secure website
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve® LEARN MORE
    Best for international travelers Chase Sapphire Reserve®
    Learn More on creditcards.com's secure website

Using a credit card with no foreign transaction fees can save you time and money. With online sales exploding, no foreign transaction fee credit cards are ideal to use when shopping from international retailers.

According to a November 2019 report from U.S. Census Bureau News, ecommerce sales have been steadily rising since 2010, with the total for the third quarter of 2019 alone reaching $154.5 billion. Online shopping can result in foreign transaction fees when you’re buying from international retailers or retailers that route payments through foreign banks.

If you travel often or are planning to live abroad for a certain amount of time, consider these no foreign transaction fee credit cards to save money and be rewarded.

Learn More on bankrate.com's secure website

Best for travel and dining

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Rewards summary 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Foreign transaction fees Not Applicable

Current Offer 80,000 bonus points
Annual Fee $95
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
  • Issuer: Chase
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Balance Transfer Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Cash Advance APR: 24.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: $0
  • Introductory APR: N/A
  • Introductory APR Period: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer Period: N/A
  • Ongoing APR: 15.99% - 22.99% Variable
  • Penalty APR: None

Our two cents

Who should get it

If you are a frequent traveler and dine out often, you can earn 2x points on travel and dining restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, plus 1x point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Get 25% more value when you redeem points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal for travel purchases. The annual fee of $95 can quickly be recovered when you use the card for travel rewards.

How to use it
The best way to optimize the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is to use it primarily for travel and dining out. Earned points can be used to book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. If you’re in a specific frequent flyer or hotel program, you can transfer earned points at a 1:1 ratio, as long as it’s one of Chase’s travel partners.
Consider this

  • No intro APR on purchases
  • Annual fee: $95
  • No premium travel perks

Why you'll love it

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has an attractive bonus offer of 80,000 bonus points after cardholders spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months after the account has opened. That’s equivalent to around $1000 for travel expenses when the points are redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

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Pro tip: Use the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card for all travel bookings to ensure you get the trip protection features.

Partner Offer Apply Now on American Express's secure website

Best for premium travel perks

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Rewards summary 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights
Foreign transaction fees None (See Rates & Fees)

Current Offer 60,000 Membership Rewards® points
Annual Fee $550 (See Rates & Fees)
Highlights Provided by American Express Show Highlights
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more when you select one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
  • Issuer: American Express
  • Annual Fee: $550 (See Rates & Fees)
  • Balance Transfer Fee: N/A*
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.24% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None
  • Introductory APR: See Rates & Fees
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: N/A*
  • Ongoing APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Penalty APR: See Rates & Fees

Our two cents

Who should get it

Frequent travelers who want luxurious perks might like the The Platinum Card® from American Express. There are plenty of rewards points options, like 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year, 5x points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com and 1x points for each dollar of eligible purchases.

How to use it
The Platinum Card® from American Express cardholders also get up to a $100 hotel credit on qualifying charges. Additionally, cardholders can enjoy VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only. Cardholders earn 60,000 Membership Rewards Points after using the card to make $5,000 in purchases in the first three months.
Consider this

  • $550 (See Rates & Fees) annual fee
  • The 25.24% Variable APR for cash advances is higher than other travel cards.
  • This card is a charge card, not a credit card, which means you’ll need to pay off the charges in full each billing period to avoid the cash advance interest fees.

Why you'll love it

The Platinum Card® from American Express is a travel rewards card aimed at those who take multiple trips each year, use Uber for transportation while traveling and prefer airport lounges over hanging out with the general population while waiting for their flight. Not only do you get 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year, but you’ll also get up to a $200 annual airline fee credit per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.

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Pro tip: Book at Hilton and Marriott hotels if you have the The Platinum Card® from American Express to get cardholder advantages, including room upgrades, access to the spa, food and beverage credits.

Learn More on creditcards.com's secure website

Best for international travelers

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Rewards summary 3X points on travel
Foreign transaction fees Not Applicable

Current Offer 50,000 bonus points
Annual Fee $550
  • Spend $4,000 on purchases in your first three months to earn 50,000 bonus points. That’s $750 in travel!
  • Annual travel credit of $300 given as statement credit.
  • Get 50% more in redemption value when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards. You can redeem for airfare, hotels, cruises and car rentals.
  • Earn 3x points on travel after earning your $300 travel credit. Earn 3X on dining and 1x points on all other purchases.
  • Issuer: Chase
  • Annual Fee: $550
  • Balance Transfer Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 24.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: $0
  • Introductory APR: N/A
  • Introductory APR Period: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer Period: N/A
  • Ongoing APR: 16.99% - 23.99% Variable
  • Penalty APR: None

Our two cents

Who should get it

Planning on traveling a lot this year? Transform frequent flights into rewards with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. For those who love to travel or are required to do so for work, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card has benefits that could far outweigh the $550 annual fee.

How to use it
Not only does the Chase Sapphire Reserve® offer a huge sign up bonus, but you earn 3x points per dollar spent on travel (immediately after earning your $300 travel credit) and dining and 1x point per dollar on all other purchases. With the ability to rack up points at a fast pace, you have the potential to earn considerably more free travel and hotel stays. If you have other Chase cards in your wallet, your earnings opportunities increase substantially.
Consider this

  • High annual fee: $550
  • Above-average APR
  • No intro APR on purchases

Why you'll love it

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® should be a strong contender for those who travel, dine out and use credit cards frequently. The travel rewards program is one of the best available today. You’ll get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. If you use the sign-up bonus on travel with Chase, it’s worth $750.

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Pro tip: With the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card, you’ll have access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after enrolling in Priority Pass Select and up to $100 application credit to get Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.

Best no foreign transaction fee credit cards for 2020: summed up

Best for... Credit Card
Travel And Dining Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Learn More
Premium Travel Perks
The Platinum Card® from American Express Partner Offer
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Apply Now
International Travelers Chase Sapphire Reserve® Learn More

Compare the best rewards credit cards

Credit Card Travel Rewards Rate Annual Fee Welcome Bonus
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card — Best for general travel and dining Earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. $95 Get 80,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from the account opening
The Platinum Card® from American Express — Best for premium travel perks Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year. Terms Apply. $550 (See Rates & Fees) Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards Points after spending $5,000 in transactions in the first three months from the account opening. Terms Apply.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® — Best for international travelers Earn 3x points on travel and dining. $550 Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from the account opening.
Discover it® Miles — Best for international travelers Earn 1.5 miles for every dollar spent on all purchases. See Terms Get all miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year matched automatically.
Discover it® Cash Back — Best for rotating bonus categories Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically. See Terms Get all cash back earned at the end of your first year matched automatically.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card — Best for travel rewards Unlimited 2x miles per dollar on every purchase. $95 Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months

Discover it® Cash Back

How to use it: With the Discover it® Cash Back, you can earn up to 5% cash back each quarter at various places including grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

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. This card makes it easier to save up for your next trip with its signature cash back feature, where all your cash back is matched at the end of your first year.

Things to consider:  

  • You’ll have to remember to activate the cash back every quarter.
  • If you travel often, you might get more cash value in travel rewards with a different card.
  • This card has no travel-specific perks, like hotel deals or airport lounge access, which some other travel cards do.

Discover it® Miles

How to use it: 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. Earn unlimited 1.5x miles for every dollar spent for all transactions. You can redeem miles as a statement credit for travel or get cash for your miles, which is a good option for times when you’re not traveling as often.

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.

Things to consider:  

  • If you want a card that has a higher cash back rewards structure, there are better options out there.
  • Other travel cards may offer perks like hotel upgrades, accident insurance and rental vehicle waivers. This card doesn’t.

Pro tip: To maximize the miles match, you’ll want to use the Discover it® Miles card for as many purchases as possible in your first year having it.

FAQs

If you’re considering a credit card with no foreign transaction fee, you’ll want to analyze your whole financial picture. Depending on how often you travel abroad, you’ll want to compare cards to make sure you’re getting the most value. Here are some frequently asked questions about no foreign transaction fee cards to consider.

What is a foreign transaction fee?

A foreign transaction fee is a fee charged by a credit card issuer when a purchase is made in a foreign country or the purchase is routed through a foreign bank. Foreign transaction fees are usually a percentage of each purchase. A foreign transaction fee typically costs around 3% per purchase, but some can be set as low as 1%, depending on the card issuer.

Which credit cards are the best for international travel?

The best card for international travel will depend on how often you fly abroad and the rewards you want. You’ll want to compare how much international travel you plan to do and how many miles you’ll be booking to what rewards you can score. If you’re only taking one international trip a year, for example, you may want to consider a different card.

When choosing a credit card with no foreign transaction fee, you’ll want to consider the annual fee, APR rate, bonus offer and rewards. Your choice will be influenced by your lifestyle. If you want a card with no foreign transaction fees because your favorite online retailers are outside the U.S., a cash back card may provide you with better rewards. But if you’re a business owner, a business credit card with no foreign transaction fee may benefit you greatly.

Is a credit card with no foreign transaction fee worth it?

A credit card with no foreign transaction fee is worth it, especially if you plan on living or traveling abroad for an extended period of time. Using a credit card for travel can save you in foreign currency conversion fees, too. When you need to change your cash for a new currency, you’ll most likely be charged a fee. Using a credit card with no foreign transaction fee for purchases can help you avoid unnecessary costs.

Is it better to use cash or a credit card abroad?

It makes sense to use your card instead of cash in cases where credit cards are accepted. The first reason is that you’ll avoid currency conversion fees. Secondly, your purchases can earn you rewards like cash back or miles.

Carrying cash in a foreign country can also be risky as you could lose it or have it stolen. If you lose your credit card, you can immediately call the issuer to freeze or cancel the card.

In terms of card issuers that are accepted abroad, Visa and Mastercard are the most widely accepted card networks on a global scale, according to an October 2019 report by Nilson. You can get Visa and Mastercard credit cards from Capital One and Visa cards from Chase.

Fewer international merchants will accept Discover and American Express, though these types of cards are increasing in merchant acceptance around the world. You may want to carry a backup Visa or Mastercard credit card when traveling as a precaution.

Do travel credit cards have foreign transaction fees?

Most travel credit cards don’t have foreign transaction fees because they’re designed for globe trotters. However, always read up on your card’s rates and fees. A credit card you assume is a “travel credit card” may actually have a foreign transaction fee that could charge you every time you make a purchase outside the U.S.

Foreign transaction fees by card issuer

Here’s a breakdown of foreign transaction fees by the card issuer:

  • Capital One: Capital One U.S.-issued credit cards don’t have international transaction fees.
  • Chase: Chase charges a 3% foreign transaction fee on purchases on certain credit cards.
  • American Express: American Express charges a 2.7% foreign transaction fee on some personal and small business cards and a 2.5% foreign transaction fee for some corporate cards.
For rates and fees of the The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here

Please Note: Information about the Discover it® Cash Back and Discover it® Miles have been collected independently by TheSimpleDollar.com. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

Editorial Note: Compensation does not influence our recommendations. However, we may earn a commission on sales from the companies featured in this post. To view a list of partners, click here. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by our advertisers. Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate info, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult our advertiser's page for terms & conditions.