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If you're headed abroad, you want to make sure you have at least one credit card in your wallet that doesn't charge foreign transaction fees. That's because those fees typically add 3% to each purchase you make when buying something outside the U.S.
It's an unnecessary charge that you needn't pay when you're traveling because there are plenty of great credit cards on the market that don't assess foreign transaction fees. In fact, both Capital One and Discover are two major card issuers that don't charge foreign transaction fees on any of their cards.
We've highlighted five cards that all fit the bill: They don't charge foreign transaction fees, but they also boast other solid travel perks that will make your trip better. So take a look at these offerings and figure out which card suits your needs best. Then, bon voyage!
If you want a simple travel rewards card that charges no annual fee, this is an excellent option. You'll earn 1.25 miles per $1 spent on all travel purchases, and 10 miles per $1 spent on hotels booked through hotels.com/venture until January 2020. You're also eligible to earn a sign-up bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening.
That's worth $200 in travel. To redeem miles, you simply pay for travel purchases with the card, then use your miles to get statement credits against those purchases. This card charges no foreign transaction fees, and you can also transfer your miles to more than 12 leading travel loyalty programs.
This is one of the strongest premium travel rewards cards around: You earn 2 points per $1 spent on travel and dining worldwide, and 1 point per $1 spent on everything else. You'll also earn an impressive 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. Redeeming travel rewards is easy: There are no blackout dates or restrictions, and you get a 25% bonus when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®—making those 60,000 bonus points worth $750 in travel.
You can also take advantage of transferring points on a 1-to-1 basis to several leading hotel and airline loyalty programs. The card comes with a $95 annual fee, but you also get access to excellent travel insurance benefits, including trip cancellation insurance, baggage delay insurance, trip delay and baggage delay reimbursement, auto rental collision damage waiver and more.
If you want a basic cash back card that you can also take abroad with you, this card is a good option. You earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases and have the opportunity of earning a $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. There's no annual fee.
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
This offer is longer available through Experian.
If you want to earn easy-to-use flat-rate travel rewards without being tied to a specific airline or travel program, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® is a smart option. You'll earn an unlimited 2 miles per $1 spent on every purchase, plus the chance to earn 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of opening the account.
Booking travel is easy: You simply pay for your airline tickets or hotel reservations with the card, then redeem your miles for travel statement credits. You also get 5% back to use toward your next redemption every time you redeem. The annual fee is $89, waived the first year.
If you have fair credit and need to take a card abroad, this is one you should check out. You'll earn 1.5% back on all purchases, a great rewards option which is rare for cards available to users with fair credit. You will pay a $39 annual fee, but that's pretty modest and could make the convenience of taking it abroad worth it.
Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer or other company, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. All information, including rates and fees, are accurate as of the date of publication.
This article was originally published on April 27, 2019, and has been updated.