Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards

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.

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.

In this article

    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.

    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.


    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

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

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