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Delta American Express Cards Waive Foreign Transaction Fees Starting Today – What Other Cards Don’t Charge Forex Fees?

by on May 1, 2014 · 7 comments

in American Express, Credit Cards

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Update: The offer mentioned below for the Capital One Venture Card has expired. View the current offer here

Back in February, American Express announced that the Delta co-branded cards, including the Delta Gold, Platinum and Reserve cards, would start waiving foreign transaction fees as of May 1, 2014, and that day has finally arrived.

Make sure your cards waive foreign transaction fees.

Make sure your cards waive foreign transaction fees.

These fees are one of my major travel pet peeves – adding 2-3% to your purchases while traveling abroad can wipe out much of the value of any points you’d earn on such purchases, making these cards a break-even value proposition at best when traveling. That’s why it’s always a major factor in any decision I make about whether to apply for a credit card or not – and even more importantly, whether to carry a card with me while traveling abroad.

Be sure to read your credit card's terms and conditions for the disclosure of foreign exchange fees.

Be sure to read your credit card’s terms and conditions for the disclosure of foreign exchange fees.

You should always double check whether the credit card you are applying for has 0% in foreign transaction fees. Do this by clicking the Terms & Conditions link before you submit your application. Foreign transaction fees will be listed under the transaction fees table (usually the last fee listed).

The good news for intrepid travelers is that more and more card issuers are waiving these fees on their travel cards – including the Delta co-branded American Express cards now and the United Explorer card from Chase, which also recently started waiving these fees, so it’s easier than ever to find a great card that won’t penalize you for using it abroad. I have tried to compile a comprehensive list of the cards that currently waive these fees, but if you have a favorite card that I’ve left out, please feel free to comment.

Note: Capital One and Discover both offer 0% foreign transaction fees across their product lines.

Amex's Delta cards will no longer levy foreign transaction fees starting May 1.

Amex’s Delta cards will no longer levy foreign transaction fees starting May 1.

American Express

  • 50,000 points when you spend $3,000 in 3 months for the American Express Mercedes-Benz Platinum. $475 annual fee.
  • 40,000 points when you spend $3,000 in 3 months for the American Express Platinum. $450 annual fee.
  • 40,000 points when you spend $5,000 in 3 months for the American Express Business Platinum. $450 annual fee.

Starting May 1, 2014:

Barclaycard

  • 40,000 miles when you spend $3,000 in 90 days for the Arrival Plus World MasterCard, $89 annual fee waived the first year.
  • 20,000 miles when you spend $3,000 in 90 days for the Arrival, no annual fee.
  • 35,000 miles with first purchase Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard, $89 annual fee.
  • 35,000 miles when you spend $1,000 in 90 days for the Hawaiian Airlines Business Mastercard, $89 annual fee.
  • Up to 50,000 miles after first purchase or balance transfer and spending $5,000 in 90 days for the Lufthansa Miles & More Mastercard, $79 annual fee.

Capital One (All cards, but listed are the key travel related rewards cards)

  • 20,000 points when you spend $2,000 in 3 months for Capital One Venture card. $59 annual fee, waived for the first year.
  • 20,000 points when you spend $2,000 in 3 months for the Capital One Venture One card. No annual fee.
  • Capital One Spark for Business. No annual fee.

Chase

  • 50,000 points when you spend $5,000 in 3 months for the Chase Ink Plus. $95 annual fee, waived for the first year.
  • 50,000 points when you spend $5,000 in 3 months for the Chase Ink Bold. $95 annual fee, waived for the first year.
  • 50,000 Avios when you spend $2,000 in 3 months for the Chase British Airways Visa. $95 annual fee.
  • 40,000 points when you spend $3,000 in 3 months for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. $95 annual fee, waived the first year.
  • 50,000 miles when you spend $2,000 in 3 months for the Southwest Premier Visa, $99 annual fee.
  • $100 statement credit with first purchase for the Chase United Club Card. $395 annual fee.
  • 50,000 miles when you spend $2,000 in 3 months for the United MileagePlus Explorer Visa, $95 annual fee waived the first year.
  • 2 Free nights after you spend $1,000 in 3 months +1 free night each anniversary for the Chase Hyatt Visa. $75 annual fee.
  • 2 Free nights after you spend $1,000 in 3 months with the Chase Fairmont Visa. $95 annual fee, waived the first year.
  • 80,000 points after you spend $1,000 in 3 months for the Chase IHG Rewards Mastercard. $49 annual fee, waived for the first year.
  • 50,000 points after you spend $1,000 in 3 months for the Chase Marriott Premier Visa. $85 annual fee, waived for the first year.
  • 70,000 points after you spend $2,000 in 3 months for the Chase Ritz-Carlton Visa. $395 annual fee.

Citibank

  • 100,000 miles after you spend $10,000 in 3 months for the Citi Executive AAdvantage, $450 annual fee.
  • 2 weekend night certificates after you spend $2,500 in the first 4 months with the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve. $95 annual fee.
  • 50,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months for the Citi Thank You Premier. $125, waived for the first year.
  • 30,000 points after spending $2,000 in 3 months for the Citi Prestige. $450 annual fee.

Discover

  • Earn 5% cash back at Home Improvement Stores, Furniture Stores and Bed Bath & Beyond® on up to $1,500 in purchases from April through June 2014 on the Discover It card.

Other

  • 20,000 points when you spend $2,500 in the first 3 months for the PenFed Travel card. No annual fee.
  • 5% Cash Back on the PenFed Gas Card. No annual fee.
  • 10,000 points after making $500 in purchases in the first 3 months for the Bank of America Privileges card. $75 annual fee, waived for the first year.
  • 10,000 points after making $500 in purchases in the first 90 days for the Bank of America Travel Rewards. No annual fee.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Alan

    How many of these cards that you mention are chip and PIN cards?

  • Tony

    How about the SPG card, Amex needs to wake up and doing something.. Doesn’t do people much good if they travel international and can’t use the SPG at SPG hotels…

  • Brian C. Lee

    They would do something, if they thought it was costing them money. And there’s nothing to stop people from using the card at foreign SPG hotels, they just have to be willing to pay the FTF. In AmEx’s judgment (presumably they have better information on how people use their products than we do), enough people are willing to do that for the FTF to make financial sense for them.

  • Brian C. Lee

    I think the only one is the HA card from Barclays, but that card defaults to Chip & Sig first, and will only go to Chip & PIN if you’re at an unattended terminal/kiosk.

  • John

    As for Amex…its a bit “who cares.” I love them in the US and have both the Delta and Starwood cards and love Amex’s service. But ….My last 4 trips overseas (Nicaragua, Portugal, Ireland, Morocco) I have rarely found any business that accepts american express anymore, other than US owned hotels (e.g. Starwood linked). Hard to find a restaurant or shop that accepts it. I guess if one travels and sticks to the tourist-only spots (ugh) it might mean something but otherwise… only my Visa and MC cards can be useful overseas.

  • matthewsf

    I have the same problem with the Amex HH surpass card re. still being charged the FTF. But also, I have the Chase United Select card ($95 fee) for my Mileage Plus account. I am frustrated that there are so many other Chase cards from various hotel and airline programs, including the MP Explorer, with an annual fee of $95 or less that DO waive the FTF. Since it’s the issuing bank that charges and retains the FTF and not the partner, why won’t they extend this benefit across more cards? Have folks had any positive feedback or success complaining to their respective card companies re. this? This has caused me to reduce my overall spending overseas especially with my VISA.

  • Brian C. Lee

    “why won’t they extend this benefit across more cards?”

    They probably want you to apply for one of their cards that does waive the FTF, so they can get another annual fee (and more transaction fees) out of you. Chase isn’t a charity.

    Also, since the UA Select card is no longer available to new applicants, I wouldn’t expect Chase to add anything new to it. What would their incentive be for that? They can’t get any more business from that card then they’ve already got.

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