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Lowest Foreign Transaction Fee

In a couple months, my wife and I will be taking an extended vacation to Europe. It’ll be a fantastic trip, one we’ve been looking forward to for months, and with the dollar strengthening and the economy across the world weak, we figured we could take advantage of lower prices to get some traveling done.

As I did a few years ago when we went to China, I wanted to confirm that my Capital One card still had the lowest foreign transaction fees. Fortunately, USA Today [3] did all the leg work for me and has an updated list of foreign transaction fees by bank (Discover is excluded because it’s not accepted internationally, but they charge 0% as well):

  1. American Express: 2.7%
  2. Bank of America: 3%
  3. Barclaycard/Juniper: 2-3%
  4. Capital One: 0%
  5. Citibank/Diners: 3%
  6. Diners Club: 3%
  7. HSBC: 3% (most)
  8. JP Morgan Chase: 3% (most)
  9. US Bank: 3%
  10. USAA: 1%
  11. Wells Fargo: 3%

Here’s the same list, reordered based on percentage charged:

  1. Capital One: 0%
  2. USAA: 1%
  3. American Express: 2.7%
  4. Barclaycard/Juniper: 2-3%
  5. Bank of America: 3%
  6. Citibank/Diners: 3%
  7. Diners Club: 3%
  8. HSBC: 3% (most)
  9. JP Morgan Chase: 3% (most)
  10. US Bank: 3%
  11. Wells Fargo: 3%

Looks like Capital One retains the crown for the best international credit card [4]. Finding a card with no foreign transaction fee [5] is crucial to saving big bucks when traveling. Which reminds me, I should probably make some small charges to it so it doesn’t get closed on me!