These offers are no longer available on our site: Chase Sapphire Reserve®, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Hear from our editors: Best no-foreign-transaction-fee credit cards of May 2023
Updated April 28, 2023
This date may not reflect recent changes in individual terms.
Editorial Note: Intuit Credit Karma receives compensation from third-party advertisers, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions. Our third-party advertisers don’t review, approve or endorse our editorial content. It’s accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted.
Written by: Gaby Lapera
Traveling to a foreign country can be expensive, but it can cost even more if you have to pay foreign transaction fees on your credit card. Thankfully, a number of credit cards have no foreign transaction fees.
The best no-foreign-transaction-fee credit cards can help you cover costs, not just avoid fees. Here’s our take on the best cards in this space to help you find the right one for your situation.
- Best for frequent international travel: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Best for occasional international travel: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Best for travel lounge access: Platinum Card® from American Express
- Best for international hotel stays: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
- Best for simple redemptions: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
- Best for restaurants: American Express® Gold Card
- Best for business travel: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
- Best for cash back: Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card
- Best for students: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for Students
- Best for fair credit: Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
Best for frequent international travel: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Here’s why: The Chase Sapphire Reserve® has plenty of perks and powerful rewards, but you’ll have to travel a lot to justify the annual fee.
Read reviews of the Chase Sapphire Reserve® to learn more about what this card offers.
Best for occasional international travel: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Here’s why: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has strong rewards with a variety of transfer partners. Plus, if you don’t travel frequently the annual fee is much more reasonable compared to the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.
Check out reviews of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card for a more detailed look.
Best for travel lounge access: Platinum Card® from American Express
Here’s why: If lounges are a must for you while traveling, then this card offers broad lounge access options. It also has some other excellent perks for both travel and home life. What’s the catch? A huge annual fee.
Read reviews of the Platinum Card® from American Express.
Best for international hotel stays: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
Here’s why: For Marriott loyalists, this card offers automatic Silver Elite status in a loyalty program with a ton of international options. The annual fee is reasonable for a card of this caliber.
Check reviews of the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card to decide if this card is a good fit for you.
Best for simple redemptions: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Here’s why: Capital One has set up a straightforward rewards program for purchases and redemptions, all for a fair annual fee of $95.
Read reviews of the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card for more information.
Best for restaurants: American Express® Gold Card
Here’s why: This card has great rewards on dining, groceries and travel, but the high annual fee means that you’ll likely want to cash in all the credits to make sure you get your money’s worth.
Want to know more? Check out reviews of the American Express® Gold Card.
Best for business travel: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Here’s why: If your business requires frequent travel, this card will give you a ton of bang for your buck. It’s got a solid rewards rate, with a reasonable annual fee.
To learn more, read reviews of the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.
Best for cash back: Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Here’s why: Sometimes it’s just not worth the hassle of figuring out redemption options and making sure you earn enough to offset an annual fee. If you’re looking for a no-annual-fee cash back card with strong rewards in dining, entertainment and groceries, then the Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a good option.
See reviews of the Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card for more information.
Best for students: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for Students
Here’s why: Decent travel rewards plus no foreign transaction fee plus no annual fee equals an excellent card for students studying abroad.
Learn more in reviews of the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for Students.
Best for fair credit: Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
Here’s why: This flat-rate cash back card designed for people with fair credit makes for a no-muss, no-fuss option, as long as you don’t mind a $39 annual fee.
More can be found in reviews of the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card.
How we picked these cards
We picked the rewards credit cards on this list because they can help travelers not just avoid paying foreign transaction fees, but also get the best value and experience from card rewards and benefits. We looked at specific travel considerations like lounge access, airline and hotel status, the value of rewards miles or points, and how easy it is to redeem your points for travel rewards.
The cost of maintaining these cards was also a key focus area. We looked at annual fees and compared them with the potential value you can get in return.
We understand that our picks might not meet the unique needs of every traveler. But these cards feature enough benefits to offer something valuable to many who travel and make purchases in foreign countries.
FAQs about no-foreign-transaction-fee credit cards
The easiest way to avoid paying foreign transaction fees while abroad is by having a credit card without foreign transaction fees, like the ones in this article. Your other option is to convert your native currency into foreign currency. You might be charged a conversion fee, but that’s not the same as a foreign transaction fee.
Many banks offer credit cards with no foreign transaction fees, including Bank of America, Capital One, Discover, and Chase. Your best bet is to look for cards marketed as travel credit cards and to carefully read the terms and conditions.
If your credit card does have a foreign transaction fee, you can find out how much it is by looking at your terms and conditions. Foreign transaction fees typically range from 1% to 5% of a purchase. So imagine you’re buying something that costs $100 and your foreign transaction fee is 5%. The cost of the fee is $5, bringing your total to $105.
There are quite a few credit cards without foreign transaction fees that have attractive travel rewards and perks. Which one works best for you? It depends on your lifestyle, spending habits, and travel needs.
How to make the most of no-foreign-transaction-fee credit cards
If you’re interested in a rewards credit card with no foreign transaction fees, you might just be interested in avoiding extra fees when you’re making a purchase from or in a foreign country. But if you’re looking to make the most of one of these cards, it’s a good idea to consider what other benefits you’ll get when you travel internationally, not just what you’ll save from not paying fees.
Before digging into each card’s specifics, you should make sure that your choice matches up with your spending and travel habits. Some rewards cards feature high annual fees and benefits that only make sense for frequent travelers, like those who regularly leave town on business. If you’re someone who only heads abroad for the occasional vacation, these options probably aren’t for you.
At the same time, you might not want to change up your preferences just because you got a new travel card. Do you have a favorite airline or hotel? If you do, make sure your new credit card supports those preferences before signing up.
Your card also might provide travel insurance that could help protect you when you’re on a trip. Travel insurance can help you navigate problems or hassles you might encounter during your time away, such as lost luggage.
Last, don’t miss out on your card’s welcome bonus if the spending requirement already makes sense for you — but skip it if you’d have to purchase more than you normally would to try to get the welcome bonus. These offers can sometimes be worth enough to redeem for several plane tickets or multiple hotel nights. You may even be able to use the value of the rewards to cover years of annual fees. Given the potential benefit, it would be a shame to let those bonus points go to waste.