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International Travel Credit Cards With No FTF

International Travel Credit Cards With No FTF
International Travel Credit Cards With No FTF

International Travel Credit Cards With No FTF

When traveling and making purchases abroad, the last thing you want is extra foreign transaction fees added to your charges. The right international travel credit card won’t ding you with extra fees on top of the usual exchange rates.

In this guide, we’ll highlight the top credit cards for international travel that don’t charge annoying foreign transaction fees. We’ll compare rewards earnings, benefits, and other key factors to consider with fee-free cards.

What is a Foreign Transaction Fee?

This extra fee is charged by banks and credit card networks on purchases made:

  • Outside your home country
  • With a foreign merchant
  • In a foreign currency then converted into USD

Typical foreign transaction fees are around 3% of the total charge amount. So a $100 meal abroad would incur a $3 foreign transaction fee.

Below we’ll explore fee-free card options so 100% of your spending goes toward rewards.

Cards With No Foreign Transaction Fees

Here are leading credit cards that avoid dinging you with foreign transaction fees on international purchases:

Chase Sapphire Preferred

  • $0 foreign transaction fees
  • 3X points on dining, select streaming services, and online grocery
  • 5X points on all other travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 60,000 point signup bonus

Capital One Venture Rewards

  • $0 foreign transaction fees
  • 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked via Capital One Travel
  • 2X miles on all other purchases
  • 75,000 mile signup bonus

Bank of America Travel Rewards

  • $0 foreign transaction fees
  • 1.5X points on all purchases
  • 25,000 point signup bonus after $1,000 spent in 90 days
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Wells Fargo Propel Card

  • $0 foreign transaction fees
  • 3X points on dining, gas, transit, flights, hotels, and popular streaming services
  • 30,000 point signup bonus after spending $3,000 in 3 months

Citi Premier Card

  • $0 foreign transaction fees
  • 3X points on travel, gas stations, restaurants, supermarkets, and entertainment
  • 80,000 point signup bonus after spending $4,000 in 3 months

Anytime you travel overseas, using a card with no foreign transaction fees prevents unnecessary costs.

Other International Travel Card Considerations

Beyond just the foreign transaction fees, a few other factors are important for travel cards used frequently abroad:

Chip and PIN Capability – Many foreign countries require chip-and-PIN cards instead of just chip-and-signature. Find a card issuer that provides true PIN capability.

Currency Exchange Rates – Visa and Mastercard offer better exchange rates than Amex in most countries. Comparison shop rates if big purchases.

ATM Withdrawal Fees – Some cards charge another 3-5% on top of foreign transaction fees for overseas ATM withdrawals.

Acceptance Rate – Ensure your card network brand (Visa, Mastercard, etc) is widely accepted in your destinations.

Contactless Payments – Cards that support tap-and-go contactless payments like Apple Pay help when merchants have issues with chip cards.

Travel Benefits and Protections – Perks like rental car insurance, lost luggage coverage, and emergency assistance provide peace of mind.

Also be sure to notify your issuer when traveling internationally to prevent fraud holds.

Maximizing Rewards from International Spend

Follow these tips to maximize your rewards on spending abroad with a fee-free card:

  • Use bonus category cards that align with your biggest travel expenses – lodging, dining, tours, etc.
  • Pay for big one-time costs like a vacation package to earn a large point haul.
  • Research local rewards opportunities in your destination like special merchant deals.
  • Use contactless payments like Apple Pay and Google Pay for easy transactions.
  • Carry both a credit card and debit card – debit can be better for some situations like train ticket kiosks.
  • Avoid unnecessary ATM fees by withdrawing larger amounts less frequently.
  • Earn bonus rewards by referring friends before big trips using your referral link.
  • Transfer points to airline and hotel partners to redeem efficiently.
  • Check your points and redemption values frequently – programs often run transfer bonuses.
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Top Cards for International Travelers

Based on benefits beyond just fee-free foreign transactions, here are our picks for best international travel credit cards:

Chase Sapphire Reserve – Strong rewards on dining and travel, plus airport lounge access and travel protections

Capital One Venture X – Generous welcome offer, lounge access, and easy redemptions as statement credits

Citi Premier Card – Broad 3x bonus categories and ability to transfer points to 16 airline partners

Penfed Pathfinder Rewards – Great for travelers who frequent Europe and need chip and PIN capability

Bank of America Premium Rewards – Contactless payments, strong travel benefits, and high redemption value

Wells Fargo Propel – No annual fee, wide 3x points categories, and strong mobile wallet support

Any of these cards can save you significant money on international trip costs when used strategically.

Who Should Consider a Credit Card with No Foreign Transaction Fees?

These types of credit cards provide the best value for frequent international travelers who:

  • Take multiple international trips per year
  • Make big purchases abroad – hotels, tours, packages, etc
  • Spend money across multiple countries each trip
  • Have different currency needs like dollars, euros, pesos, etc
  • Pay multiple foreign transaction fees currently
  • Want Chip + PIN capability for some destinations
  • Need strong fraud monitoring when traveling abroad

Even occasional international travelers can benefit from cards with no foreign transaction fees to avoid unnecessary markups on purchases.

Final Thoughts on International Travel Cards

The right credit card can save you big on your trips abroad. Just be sure to compare rewards earnings, protections, chip and PIN support, and acceptance based on your destinations.

See also  Top Airline Miles Credit Cards Compared

Having a card with no foreign transaction fees prevents unnecessary costs eating into your travel budget. But also look beyond just the fee itself when picking the best card for international excursions.

Safe travels! The world is full of wonders waiting to be explored with the convenience of fee-free spending anywhere your journeys take you.

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