Foreign Transaction

Credit card issuers charge a foreign transaction fee either when foreign currency must be processed or when dealing with a foreign bank. Borrowers are charged a percentage of this amount, usually around 3 percent, as listed on statements.

Fees for Foreign Purchases

An occasional foreign transaction here and there may not add up to much. But for European travelers constantly shopping from various countries, foreign transaction fees can potentially create enormous debt. On the other hand, some credit card issuers such as Discover and Capital One does not charge any foreign transaction fees. At least over half of card issuers do have additional fees for foreign purchases, but a growing number are reducing or dropping these fees.

You can find out if your credit card charges these extra fees by checking the section on your terms and conditions agreement about “fees.” These fees affect Americans when they swipe their cards outside the United States, and even sometimes within the country. When the transaction, for example, is routed through a non-U.S. bank these fees may appear.

If you want to avoid these fees, it’s a good idea to check a website’s about or contact section to find out where the company is based. This information may also be mentioned in the terms section. It’s possible to completely overlook these fees when paying in U.S. dollars. For this reason, it’s helpful to check your bank statement before sending a payment and to ask a merchant at the point-of-purchase about foreign charges.

Avoiding Other Hidden Charges

American travelers must be aware that when exchanging U.S. dollars for local cash in other countries they are creating the same effect as swiping a card outside the states.
Card issuers use their own currency conversion rates, so it’s smart to check with them during the planning stages of your trip. One of the often overlooked advantages of using a credit card abroad is that you get a better exchange rate than by going through a bank or airport kiosk.

The best way to avoid extra fees is to make sure the card issuer doesn’t charge them in the first place. Then try to use local currency as much as possible, such as when you purchase souvenirs. When you pay in U.S. dollars the merchant chooses the exchange rate, a process known as “dynamic currency conversion.” But when you pay in local currency with your credit card you may get a better exchange rate.

For the places that don’t accept credit cards you may want to bring a limited amount of local currency converted by your U.S. bank prior to leaving America. That’s another reason why it’s a good idea to financially plan your trip beforehand. Allotting a certain about of resources to local cash further helps speed up transactions.

An essential tip to remember is that your credit card should be chip-enabled, which makes it to be more universal. During your research to get the best deal, look for better scenarios when you discover fees will exceed one percent of purchasing costs. Another idea to consider is to let credit card companies know about where you plan to visit in other countries so that they don’t suspect credit card theft.


Always check your credit card statements to see if you are paying extra hidden fees. Over time these fees can amount to unwanted loss. Such problems can be prevented by consistently staying on top of your bills and knowing what you’re paying for.

Studying financial statements can help you avoid vendors who aren’t forthcoming about all the fees involved during transactions. Ultimately, the best deal is getting a credit card that does not come attached with hidden fees. Keep researching credit cards until you find the deal that fits your international needs.not charge any foreign transaction fees.

At least over half of card issuers do have additional fees for foreign purchases, but a growing number are reducing or dropping these fees.

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