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The 10 Best Travel Credit Card No Annual Fee

It’s expensive to travel across borders, but it’s much worse if you got a credit card that assesses foreign transaction fees. It’s annoying to look at your credit card bill after coming back from vacation and find all of your charges increased by 3%. This fee can be costly especially when you are paying for major expenditures like automobile rentals or hotel rooms.

Fortunately, there are several credit cards that do not charge foreign transaction fees for international travel. Anyone who decides to go abroad even if it is only once a year should have in their wallet one of these cards. It’s no longer unusual for travel reward cards to not impose foreign transaction fees, as seen in select’s list of the finest travel credit cards.

How do Foreign Transaction Fees work

When you make a purchase abroad using a credit card that normally charges a foreign transaction fee, you’ll be charged an extra charge, as a proportion of the amount of your purchase. The fee ranges from 3% to 5%, depending on the amount of your purchase and when you pay.

The foreign transaction fee is sometimes divided into two components: a charge levied by the payment network (such as Mastercard or Visa) and a charge levied by your credit card firm.

How We Choose The Best Credit Cards Without Foreign Transaction Fee

  • Rewards: Avoiding foreign transaction fees can benefit a wide range of people, from small corporate owners to travelers. We matched our credit cards to existing rewards rates in areas we were already spending, such as business points and airline miles.
  • Travel perks: You might want to avoid paying foreign transaction fees if you got international travel plan. Among our topmost credit cards with no foreign transaction fees, some of the travel benefits you’ll discover include PreCheck TSA credits, airports lounge access, checked bags that are free, and rental vehicle insurance.
  • Sign-up bonus: Many of the top credit cards with no foreign transaction fees offer attractive welcome offers or sign-up bonuses. We compared point-based incentives, cash-back rewards, and airline mile bonuses to make sure you are receiving the most bang for your buck.

Who Is The Ideal Candidate For A No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Card

  • Regular international travelers: In case you travel frequently, having a credit card with no foreign transaction fees can save you a lot of money.
  • Online international shoppers: You don’t need to go overseas in order to incur foreign transaction fees. A foreign transaction fee may be charged when you make an online purchase from a merchant in a different country. For someone who frequently shops on the internet at foreign websites, these costs might be devastating, especially when you consider all of the import fees.

Factors To Consider When Choosing The Credit Card With No Foreign Transaction Fee

  • Make certain that your credit card is suitable for your lifestyle: You should first assess whether a new credit card is affordable, if your usual purchases are compensated, and whether any additional benefits are appropriate for you.
  • Examine any additional costs: Even if you are saving money on overseas purchases, an unendurable yearly fee or severe penalty costs might be a reason to seek alternatives for certain cardholders. A few credit cards with no foreign transaction fees charge large annual fees, which are something to consider if you aren’t a frequent or luxury traveler.
  • Check if the card is accepted: If you consider to apply for a card to use while traveling, check to see whether it’s accepted in the countries you want to visit. There are many alternatives that are readily accepted, but it’s crucial to verify if you’re interested in places like Asia, Africa, and less-traveled areas of the globe.
  • Check rewards that are personalized to your preferences: With so many cards that don’t charge a foreign transaction fee, you will want to consider what kind of rewards they provide. Where you usually spend most of your money is where you need to be rewarded, therefore, look for a card that covers the subjects that take up the majority of your budget. You should also check if the card allows for rewards on foreign transactions.
  • Any additional benefits should be noted: Many choices, however, provide cardholders advantages that make traveling a little easier as a result of the fact that they are no-fee cards. Some credit cards provide extra services. These include trip cancellation/interruption insurance, early boarding, free checked luggage, and other add-ons that are popular with these cards.

Do You Need A Chip-And-PIN Card For Foreign Transactions

Although a chip-and-PIN card is recommended for international travelers, it is not always required. Magnetic stripe technology was used to swipe U.S. issued cards until a few years ago. Our credit cards now include an EMV chip, similar to Europe.

The situation is different when you insert the chip, depending on your location. While most businesses in the United States request a signature, European merchants may require a four-digit PIN.

This PIN adds an extra layer of protection and may be needed at certain international vendors, such as European train stalls. However, the issue was more severe in the beginning. Most merchants can now avoid the pin part of the transaction if they don’t have one today.

The 10 Best Travel Credit Card With No Annual Fee or No Foreign Transaction Fee

Best Travel Credit Card No Annual Fee No Foreign Transaction Fee

Below is the top best travel credit card with no foreign transaction fee:

1. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

  • Why is this the finest all-around value travel credit card: The Chase Sapphire Preferred is another good choice for new travelers since it allows you to earn valuable and transferable Chase Ultimate Reward points with popular bonus categories and a low yearly charge.
  • Sign-up bonus for new members: After spending $4,000 on the purchases made in the initial 3 months from account opening, you earn a 100,000-point welcome bonus. TPG considers this perk worth $2,000.
  • Rewards rate: 5x overall points for all travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points for dining, 3x overall points for streaming services, and 3x points for online grocery purchase.
  • Travel benefits: If you use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book travel through the Chase portal, you’ll receive a 25% bonus that makes each point worth 1.25 cents. Sapphire Preferred usually comes with a comprehensive range of travel protections such as baggage delay protection, trip delay protection, rental car protection, and trip cancellation protection.
  • Annual fee: Approximately $95
  • Reason why it is worth: You will earn a decent return in addition to your generous sign-up bonus, and you get some of the best travel protections available. A discounted fare is valid for Lyft users, too, thanks to the 5x on Lyft promotion. DoorDash customers can get at least a 1-year DashPass membership, which gives free of charge delivery on $12 or more purchases.
You receive a $200 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first three months.
Cashback rewards can earn you a guaranteed 1.5% return on your entire purchase, with no spending limit.
There is no minimum amount you must invest to earn rewards.
There’s a foreign transaction fee of 3%.
Cash advance fees range from $10 to 5 percent.
A fee of $5 or 5% of the amount transferred applies.

2. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

  • Reason why it is the finest standalone travel credit card: Capital One Venture offers you twice as much back in rewards on every purchase. It’s easy to accrue rewards without having to deal with numerous bonus types or spending constraints. With a low annual fee, numerous flexible redemption possibilities, and an easy-to-understand APR, this card is ideal for those seeking to keep just a single credit card in their wallet for all purchases.
  • Sign-up bonus for new members: After spending $3,000 on the purchases within the first 3 months of establishing your account, you’ll receive 60,000 bonus miles. This offer may be worth as much as $1,020 because Capital One miles is valued at 1.7 cents.
  • Rewards rate: You’ll earn 2 miles for every dollar you spend.
  • Travel benefits: For TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, you may get up to $100 in application-fee credit every four years, which is a nice bonus for a mid-range card that charges just $95 per year.
  • Annual fee: Approximately $95
  • Reason why it is worth: You can use the Capital One Venture Card to exchange your miles for a set amount or distribute them to 16 different airline and 3 hotel transfer partners.
The card provides flexible rewards. It has a solid sign-up reward of 60,000 miles.
You’ll get 2x cash back on every purchase.
It’s possible to use your bonus points in a variety of ways such as hotel or airline purchases.
The majority of partnerships have unfavorable conversion rates, with ratios below 1:1.
Major U.S. airlines are not included by Capital One airline partners.

3. The Platinum Card from American Express

  • Reason why it is the finest travel card for a welcome offer: With TPG valuations, the Amex Platinum’s introductory offer is presently worth $2,000, but that’s just the start. New cardholders can now earn 10x on entitled purchases at restaurants all over the world and in the United States.
  • Welcome offer: After spending $6,000 on purchases within the first six months of card membership, you’ll earn 100,000 bonus points (worth $200 at redemption).
  • Rewards rate: You will earn 5x on airfare that is directly purchased through the Amex Travel or with the airlines and prepaid hotels that are booked through Amex Travel. 
  • Travel benefits: With a slew of annual statement credits that will still make the yearly fee worth it, the Amex Platinum is still the best of premium travel perks.
  • Annual fee: Approximately $695
  • Reason why it is worth: The Amex Platinum is not only one of the most valuable travel cards because of its $100,000 welcome offer. Apart from the $1,400 plus in credits every year and several lounge access choices, the Amex Platinum is a great premium card travel with outstanding redemptions.
This card’s current welcome offer is very attractive.
This card comes with a slew of perks, including Hilton and Marriott elite status, access to Centurion Lounges, and more.
The Platinum card from American Express offers premium concierge services.
The $695 annual charge is worth it if you make full use of the card’s perks.
Outside the current welcome bonus, you’ll only get bonus points on particular hotel and airfare purchases, so it is not a good card for other spending purposes.
When compared to other premium cards’ broader travel credits, the annual airline fee credit might be difficult to use.

4. The Business Platinum Card from American Express

  • Reason why it is the best business travel card: You’ll receive a 10% return on select company travel spending, as well as a fantastic selection of perks that may help you rise your business travels to a higher level.
  • Welcome bonus: After spending $15,000 on qualifying purchases on the Business Platinum Card within the initial 3 months of card membership, you’ll get 100,000 Membership Rewards points.
  • Rewards rate: 1x on all other purchases; 1.5 points for each dollar spent on purchases; 5 points for each dollar spent on flights.
  • Travel benefits: Some of the benefits incurred with Amex Business Platinum include up to $200 in yearly airline fare credit exemptions and priority access to airport lounges.
  • Annual fee: Approximately $595
  • Reason why it is worth: Amex Business Platinum offers the most travel and business benefits of any American Express card. Cardholders also receive up to $200 in statement credits each year for expenses charged to their account, subject to a maximum credit limit.
Has great bonus categories.
Has the best travel protection.
An annual fee is charged.
The rewards are complicated.
Requires excellent or good credit.

5. American Express Gold Card

  • Why it is the best for dining at the restaurants: Amex Gold card from American Express earns 4x on dining at the restaurants and has no foreign transaction fees, resulting in an 8% return on purchases. While other cards temporarily offer greater return rates on food, American Express Gold Card is the finest option for long-term expenditures. This makes it one of the top dining cards and rewards cards.
  • Welcome offer: After spending $4,000 on the purchases during the first 6 months of account opening, you will earn 60,000 points of Membership Rewards.
  • Rewards rate: 3x on airline tickets directly booked with airlines; 4x for eating out at supermarkets and restaurants in the United States.
  • Benefits: You will earn up to $120 dining credits per year as soon as you pay using Amex Gold card.
  • Annual fee: Approximately $250
  • Reason why it is worth: The American Express Gold is a strong performer in the categories of groceries and dining. You’re receiving a fantastic return on your purchases, as well as several extras like the dining credit.
A 60,000-point welcome bonus is offered when you spend $4,000 in the first 6 months.
You’re eligible for 3x points on flights directly booked with Amex Travel or the airline.
You’re eligible for 4x points on dining at United States supermarkets and restaurants.
There are few protections and travel perks.
Some people may have difficulty utilizing Uber or food credits.
For persons who live outside the United States, it isn’t nearly as efficient.
Bonus categories that are weak in terms of travel and regular spending.

6. Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card

  • Reason why it is the best airline rewards credit card: Delta’s collection of cobranded airline cards is hard to beat. Delta SkyMiles Platinum is a fantastic card for people looking to earn the airline’s Medallion status while making purchases across a wide range of categories.
  • Welcome offer: After spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of the card membership, you’ll earn a bonus mile of 90,000.
  • Rewards rate: 3x on qualified Delta purchases; 2x for eating out at supermarkets and restaurants in the United States.
  • Travel benefits: After spending $25,000 in qualified purchases and $50,000 in purchases during a single calendar year, you’ll earn 10,000 10,000 MQMs (Medallion Qualification Miles).
  • Annual fee: Approximately $250
  • Reason why it is worth: Delta SkyMiles Platinum Amex comes with extra bonus categories and a slew of traveling perks. This Delta Mastercard is ideal for frequent travelers who want to get a head start on earning the Medallion status with Delta.
The credit card may earn you unlimited miles that never expire.
A welcome bonus that is simple to earn.
There is no annual fee.
There is no foreign transaction fee.
The APR is higher.
Airline perks such as priority boarding or free checked luggage are not provided.
There is no introductory APR offer.

7. Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

  • Reason why it is the top mid-tier travel credit card: There exists over 7,000 Marriott hotels across the world and there are some fantastic benefits for casual travelers.
  • Sign-up bonus: After spending $3,000 on purchases made in the first 3 months from the account opening you earn three-night credits that are free of charge.
  • Rewards rate: For every $1 spent in more than 7,000 Marriott Bonvoy hotels you earn 17 Bonvoy points.
  • Travel benefits: You’ll earn Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status if you spend $35,000 or more.
  • Annual fee: Approximately $95
  • Reason why it is worth: Comes with a free night certificate which can be worth far more than the cost of the membership. 
There is no foreign transaction fee.
There is no annual fee.
You may earn 15 Elite Night credits every year plus Silver Elite status.
There are a few restrictions on the bonuses you can earn
There is no introductory APR offer.
Balance transfers are imposed a 5% fee.
The purchase APR might be as high as 25%.

8. Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card

  • Reason why it is the best for Alaska Airline miles: These Airline miles are the most valuable currently because of a range of its airline partners.
  • Current bonus: To be eligible, you must make purchases that are worth $2,000 or even more during the 1st 90 days of establishing your account.
  • Rewards rate: You earn three times on qualified Alaska Airlines purchases, but just one time on everything else.
  • Travel benefits: You will receive a checked bag that is free on Alaska flights as well as 6 guests on the reservation.
  • Annual fee: Approximately $75
  • Reason why it is worth: American Airlines initiative will assist Alaska Airlines in expanding the Mileage Plan program, as it expands its presence across the world.
There is no foreign transaction fee.
Free checked luggage is available.
There are a number of discounts offered.
An annual fee of $75 is charged.
There is no fantastic common rewards rate.

9. Capital One VentureOne Card

  • Reason why it is the best card for no yearly fee: This card usually has low rewards rate as well as fewer perks. Some other perks not usually available with a no-annual-fee card may be obtained by using the miles earned on the card.
  • Current bonus: After spending $500 in the first 3 months, you receive a 20,000 bonus.
  • Rewards rate: The card offers a rare 1.75% currency-to-equity bonus for all purchases, which translates to a respectable 1.75 percent return on investment.
  • Travel benefits: Travel accident coverage, reimbursement on lost luggage, and a warranty.
  • Reason why it is worth: It is a big benefit to use this card since there are no-annual-fee cards that allow you to transfer miles and points directly to travel partners.
There is no foreign transaction fee.
There is no annual charge with this card.
There is no penalty APR for purchases or balance transfers.
The flat rewards rate is somewhat modest.
The sign-up bonus isn’t good.
There is no introductory APR offer for balance transfers.

10. Hilton Honors American Express Aspire

  • Reason why it is best for premium hotel credit card: It is among the world’s top hotel chains and also provides a wide range of benefits for hotel guests.
  • Welcome bonus: After spending $4,000 in appropriate purchases, you earn a bonus of 150,000 for the first 3 months.
  • Rewards rate: Earn 7x on United States restaurants and eligible car rentals; 3x on other appropriate purchases; 14x on appropriate Hilton purchases.
  • Travel benefits: 2 free weekend nights, statement credits of up to $250, and annual airline credits of up to $250.
  • Reason why it is worth: It gives you a fantastic value for points and a variety of perks. On spending at Hilton-branded hotels in the United States, you’ll get a 14x bonus category.
Earning rates at the top of the table.
The Silver status automatically includes free late checkout.
There is no foreign transaction fee.
There are no blackout dates.
Redemption value is of low point.
The Silver status has fewer benefits.
Transfer rates to airline partners are too low.

Best No Annual Fee Travel Credit Card Comparison Table

CardGreat forSign up bonus/Welcome offerEarning rateAnnual feeCredit score
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit CardEarning miles60,000 milesEarn unrestricted 2X miles every day after every purchase$95Excellent
The Platinum Card from American ExpressNew Platinum exclusive offers100,000 pointsEarn 10x points after eligible card purchase Earn 5X points as Membership Rewards $695Good
The Business Platinum Card from American ExpressBusiness travel100,000 pointsEarn 5X points as Membership Rewards on flights $595Excellent
American Express Gold CardDining at the restaurants60,000 pointsEarn 4X points as Membership Rewards at RestaurantsEarn 4X points as Membership Rewards at U.S. supermarkets$250Good
Hotels.com Rewards Visa Credit CardBooking inexpensive hotels across several brandsReceive 2 Reward Nights that are $250 worthCollect one stamp for each night you spend at any eligible property that is booked on Hotels.com No Annual FeeGood 
Chase Sapphire ReserveTravel credits60,000 pointsEarn 10X points on car rentals and hotels after purchase of travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards®Earn 5X points on air travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® $550Excellent
Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express CardAirline rewards90,000 milesEarn 3X Miles through purchases done directly with hotels as well as Delta purchases Earn 2X Miles at U.S. supermarkets and restaurants worldwide $250Good
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit CardMidrange hotel cards3 Nights that are free of chargeEarn 17X Bonvoy points for each $1 spent at hotels found to participate in Marriott Bonvoy™ $95Good
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit cardAlaska Airline miles50,000 milesEarn unrestricted 3 miles for each $1 spent qualified Alaska Airlines purchase unrestricted 1 mile for each $1 spent on other purchases$75Excellent 
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit CardNo annual fees20,000 milesEarn unrestricted 1.25X miles on each purchase made every day$0Good

Is There A Fee For Making An Online Foreign Transaction

A foreign transaction fee may be imposed when you initiate a purchase from any vendor that is located outside your country, in addition to the purchases applications you made while traveling in a foreign country.

If you are buying from a firm or travel service based outside the United States, your best option is to pay with a credit card that does not charge any foreign transaction fees.

What is The APR of The Card

When choosing a card with no foreign transaction fee, one of the most crucial elements to consider is the annual percentage rate (APR) or the interest rate. APRs on rewards credit cards are often higher than average, which may be significant when it comes to carrying a balance and making purchases abroad.

Therefore, understand what you will be charged in case you cannot clear your bills in full every month.

Facts And Tips On How To Use A Credit Card Abroad

  • Before you depart, contact your bank: If a bank suspects fraud, it may immediately freeze an account if it discovers unusual activity for instance, a transaction being done thousands of miles from cardholder’s address. You can notify your bank using your mobile app, or you may just call.
  • Check whether the payment network is available in your area: Some credit card networks are not accepted in certain areas. Mastercard and Visa payment networks are typically your safest options, but they aren’t accepted in many Asian parts. Even between adjacent countries, acceptance varies considerably. It’s better to check with your credit card provider about network coverage. You may take credit cards from a minimum of two separate networks and you’ll always need to have cash on hand when traveling.
  • Take with you your chip and PIN credit card: Chip and PIN cards first appeared in Europe, followed by many other countries across the world. Some countries still use magnetic stripe “swipe” cards but this usually slow down purchase and cause confusion. In case you lack a chip and PIN card or a contactless payment card, call your credit card provider to exchange your magnetic stripe card.
  • Credit is the most secure payment option: The Act of Fair Credit Billing states that if your credit card is stolen or lost, you will be responsible for up to $50 in fraudulent purchases. Depending on the time it takes you to disclose the fraud, you may be responsible for up to $500 or more in unauthorized purchases with debit cards. Cash is simple to lose and there is little you can do for a replacement if it is stolen or lost.
  • If you pay with U.S. dollars, you may end up spending more: Most merchants may inquire whether you’d want to pay in United States dollars rather than the local currency. Dynamic currency conversion is usually required in this option. You must pay a currency conversion up-front fees and banks might impose foreign transaction fees in case the purchase is completed with a bank in another country. Avoid the fees and hassles by using a no-foreign-transaction-fee credit card to pay in local currency.

How To Reduce Your International Travel Costs In The Future

When it comes to picking a credit card that will work both at home and abroad, avoiding the foreign transaction costs should be your first priority. Here are some tips to help you save international travel costs:

  • Use a specialty strategy: If you travel abroad with several no-foreign-transaction-fee credit cards, consider using the proper card to get the most out of your points.
  • Determine what constitutes “travel” in your rewards programs: Bonus points mostly on smaller journey expenses are available with a number of rewards cards, however cardholders have their own ideas about what constitutes travel. Some organizations classify parking and rideshare costs under travel, whereas others do not. To earn the most points, pay attention to your rewards program’s specifics.
  • Book using affiliate sites or reward platforms that provide a benefit: Depending on the type of card you have you might be able to improve the value of points by 25% to 50% especially if you book with the Chase Ultimate Rewards platform. Certain cards such as the American Express provide credits of up to $100 in Hotel Collection facilities.
  • Research your bank’s network of overseas ATMs ahead of time to avoid ATM costs.
  • What type of useful travel perks does your credit card provide, such as automobile insurance, TSA PreCheck credit, or luggage insurance. If you have one, make sure you are taking advantage of the card’s built-in perks to save money.

Other Credit Card Fees To Know About

Some credit cards that do not charge foreign transaction fees also provide several customer-friendly conditions. Other travel advantages include no foreign transaction fees. It is crucial to understand what costs you may be charged (and how much they’ll be) while comparing alternatives.

Some of the credit card fees include returned payment charges, balance transfer costs (mostly 3% to 5% of the transferred amount), cash advance costs, late fees ($40 per missed payment), and annual fees.

Bottom Line

The best travel credit cards can assist you in achieving your vacation objectives. They might save you hundreds of dollars on hotel and airfare charges. There is a travel credit card for everyone, from novices who want to save money on their first major international journey to road warriors wanting to improve their travel experiences.

Choose a card that will help you get the most out of your money. It all boils down to picking a card that can assist you in getting the most bang for your buck. Adding these types of cards to your wallet now might save you money on future purchases by allowing you to earn rewards faster.

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