This is, of course, very exciting to frequent international travelers who are used to paying up to 3% for foreign purchases and international transactions. Of course, before we start praising Chase’s move too much, a number of other cards have beaten them to the punch in offering no foreign transaction fees.
While this change has yet to be reflected in the terms and conditions of these cards, Chase spokeswoman Laura Rossi announced in an email,
“The elimination of foreign transaction fees is ideal for cardmembers as it delivers direct savings. Travelers typically pay an additional 3 percent in foreign transaction fees on purchases made abroad using a credit card.”
The Continental Presidential Plus card offers some pretty sweet rewards for frequent travelers: lounge access, checked-bag fee waivers (a reward worth hundreds of dollars a year to frequent travelers), priority check-in and screening (never underestimate the thrill of cutting the security line) and protection against trip delays, medical emergencies and other adverse events.
The United Mileage Plus isn’t quite as giving with the travel perks, but offers a ton of bonuses for sign-ups, including 25,000 miles and a $50 statement credit after your first purchase, plus another 5,000 miles for adding another user to your account.
Other cards with no such fees
Chase also recently decided to offer no foreign transaction fees on its Hyatt, Priority Club and British Airways cards. The last two took effect, respectively, in June and November of 2010. Could this be a Chase trend towards no foreign exchange fees on travel cards?
Still, other options abound. Most credit unions offer no fee except the 1% that Visa charges them, and a couple have no transaction fee at all. Choosing the best travel rewards card depends heavily on your spending habits: are you a domestic or international traveler? Do you prefer miles, car rentals or hotel stays? How’s your credit score looking? Because travel rewards cards are often geared towards a specific set of benefits, it pays to shop around.