Are the No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards Worth it?

Are the No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards Worth it?

The No Foreign Transaction Fee credit card is the perfect option for for someone who is traveling overseas. Traveling overseas can be costly, but it becomes even more so if you use a credit card that levies international transaction fees.

These costs, which can be 3% or more of each purchase, can quickly pile up, especially when paying for large-ticket products like hotel rooms or rental cars.

Fortunately, there are credit cards designed specifically for travelers that do not charge international transaction fees and have widespread acceptance abroad.

And everybody who travels internationally, even if only infrequently, can benefit from these cards.

CNBC Select chose our finest credit cards with no international transaction fees and divided them into several categories to help you choose the best option for you. (For more details on how we select the greatest cards with no restrictions, see our process.)

Are the No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards Worth it?

There isn’t much in the points and miles market on which everyone can agree, whether it’s the greatest credit cards, airlines, or airports. 

We can all agree that superfluous expenses are the worst. Although there are numerous cards with no foreign transaction fees, we’ve compiled a list of our favorites for frequent travelers. 

To assist you, our partners have provided the finest credit cards with no international transaction fees.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Anyone looking for a card that is as rewarding on the road as it is at home may consider the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, which earns at least 2X miles on all transactions made globally.

The Capital One Venture card comes with various features that can make the $95 annual fee worthwhile, including two airport lounge visits per year and a $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck (every four years). 

The miles earned by this card are also quite handy and adaptable.

Pros and Cons


  • Capital One Travel offers 5 miles for every dollar spent on hotel and rental car reservations.
  • Every four years, you can get a $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.


  • There is an annual charge of $95
  • No introductory APR

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a travel credit card with a slew of unexpected benefits. It also generates Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which are among the greatest travel incentives available.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card comes with a $50 yearly Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, which more than balances the $95 annual fee.

It also includes primary rental car insurance, which is generally an expensive add-on, as well as other useful benefits such as trip delay protection, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, and more.

Pros and Cons


  • When redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, points are worth 25% more. Transfer points to top frequent travel programs at a 1:1 ratio, including IHG® Rewards Club, Marriott BonvoyTM, and World of Hyatt®.
  • Among the travel safeguards are: Collision damage waivers for car rentals, luggage delay insurance, and trip delay compensation
  • There is no cost for purchases made outside of the United States.


  • Annual cost of $95
  • No introductory 0% APR

Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card

The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card is suitable for those who would rather receive cash back than pay an annual fee.

The Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Card has a straightforward appeal. It offers a fantastic 2.5% cash back on your first $10,000 in qualifying eligible purchases (1.5% on purchases above $10,000).

And, because there is no annual charge, you can retain this card for a long time without worrying about your overall worth being reduced.

Pros and cons


  • 2.5% cash back on all purchases (maximum cash back payout of $250 per billing cycle)
  • The first year’s annual charge is waived.
  • Simple cash-back program with no activation or spending limits
  • There is no cost for purchases made outside of the United States.


  • After the first year, there is a $99 yearly cost.
  • There is no welcome bonus.
  • There are no special financing offers.

Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card

Foodies, sports lovers, movie buffs, and thrill seekers will all appreciate the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card, which offers unlimited 4% cash back on eating, entertainment, and streaming transactions.

The Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card* provides extremely competitive rewards rates for a variety of popular spending categories.

To earn enough rewards to cover the card’s $95 annual fee, you only need to spend $2,375 in a combination of its 4% cash-back categories in a year. Furthermore, the card provides money-saving perks with Uber.

Pros and Cons


  • 4% cash back on all entertainment purchases
  • The ability to redeem rewards in any quantity, as opposed to certain other cards that have a $25 minimum.
  • There is no cost for purchases made outside of the United States.


  • Annual cost of $95
  • There are no 0% introductory financing options for purchases or balance transfers.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card is intended for regular travelers who wish to optimize their earnings while enjoying luxurious benefits.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve has a higher annual cost, but it also comes with more benefits, such as a $300 yearly travel credit, airport lounge access, top-tier travel and purchase insurance, and a fee credit of up to $100 for Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS.

Furthermore, when redeemed through the Chase travel site, your points are worth 50% more with the Sapphire Reserve.

Pros and Cons


  • Annual travel credit of $300 for purchases of travel Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit of up to $100 per four years
  • The Priority PassTM Access to 1,000+ VIP lounges in over 500 cities globally.
  • When redeemed for travel with Chase Ultimate Rewards®, points are worth 50% more. Special advantages at The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection
  • A free year of Lyft Pink membership


  • The annual cost is high, but it can be mitigated by taking advantage of all of the card’s benefits.
  • There is no introductory APR.


If you’re traveling abroad, make sure you have a credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees; otherwise, you’ll be paying an extra 3% or so on every single purchase you make—and who wouldn’t rather save that money for the next trip?

Frequently Asked Questions

What credit cards do not have foreign transaction fees?

Credit cards from Bank of America® Travel Rewards, Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, Discover it® Cash Back, and Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card.

Do all credit cards have foreign fees?

Not all credit cards charge a foreign transaction fee, but many do. 

Which credit card is best for foreign countries?

Chase Sapphire Reserve®, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, The Platinum Card® from American Express, etc.

How do I avoid foreign transaction fees?

You can avoid any transaction costs by paying with cash while traveling abroad. 

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