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Another Foreign Transaction Fee Bites the Dust

Another Foreign Transaction Fee Bites the Dust

Late last year, I wrote approvingly that foreign transaction fees for credit card charges were becoming an endangered species.

American Express had just announced that it would discontinue the fees for its Platinum and Centurion cards.

At the time, Capital One cards were already free of foreign fees, as were the Chase-issued cards linked to the programs of United (Club Visa only), Continental (Presidential Plus card only), British Airways, InterContinental, and Hyatt, and the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

Citibank subsequently eliminated the fees for users of its ThankYou Premier and Prestige cards (annual fee: $125 and $500, respectively).

And now, Chase has added the Marriott Rewards Premier Visa card to its portfolio of rewards cards with no foreign transaction fee.

That makes Chase the industry leader not just in travel rewards credit cards, but also in cards with no foreign transaction fees. More importantly, the new move further solidifies the trend away from such fees, putting pressure on other card issuers to do the same.

A Good Time to Go Free-Free

If you travel overseas and are in the market for a credit card that allows you to charge purchases with no niggling surcharge, there’s never been a better time to sign up for a fee-free card. Bonuses for new travel rewards cardholders are high generally, and especially high in a couple of cases.

The 50,000-mile bonus for new British Airways cards remains in effect. And there’s currently an uncommonly lucrative promotion for new Capital One Venture card sign-ups: up to 110,000 points for those who can show they’ve earned at least 100,000 miles in one of many airline programs.

Reader Reality Check

How much of a concern are foreign transaction fees to you?

Do you feel that foreign transaction fees are fair and reasonable?

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  • Carey

    I’ve always thought my Marriott Rewards Premier Visa card was a great card. This only makes it clearer. Thanks to Marriott and Chase!

  • Michael H.

    I pretty much live overseas, now in a country (Indonesia) that allows credit card use in many places, thus very important. The CapitalOne card has no fee and you get 1% back in cash/credit. That seems to be of more value than these cards that give you back miles – as the rules and availability varies. After calculating the pain of redeeming, what is the worth of 100 miles? $1.00? Or less?

  • AMEX employee

    American Express, too, has waived these foreign transaction fees as of 04 April 2011 for Platinum / Centurion cardmembers.