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Don’t Pay Foreign Transaction Fees, Do This Instead!

With all the transaction fees and currency exchange charges, traveling abroad can be expensive. But, what if we told you there was a way to avoid them?

Here are a few simple ways to prevent racking up international transaction fees on your next trip overseas.

Use Credit Cards Without Foreign Transaction Fees

If you are tired of paying foreign transaction fees, there are credit cards that do not charge you when you make overseas purchases. Several of the major credit card companies have options that don’t charge fees, including Chase, Discover, and Capital One.

Credit cards that don’t charge foreign transaction fees can also save you money when you aren’t traveling. If you happen to make an online purchase from a company that operates in a different country, this could also cause you to rack up foreign transaction fees that you can avoid – more info here.

Use Bank Accounts Without Foreign Transaction Fees

If you don’t have the credit history to open a credit card, there are also bank accounts that do not charge fees for international transactions.

Capital One and Discover are two major banks with checking accounts and debit cards that do not charge foreign transaction fees. 

Pro Tip: Both Capital One and Discover have both credit cards and bank accounts without foreign transaction fees. If you think these solutions fit your needs, then you may want to start with these two big-name financial companies.

Currency Exchange

Another way to avoid foreign transaction fees is to cut out your card altogether. You can exchange currency before you even leave the United States.

To make sure you have enough money to spend, you should create a budget that will allow you to take the right amount of cash.

In some cases, your bank or credit union might sell you foreign currency without any additional fees involved. This is one of the best ways to exchange currency, but it is not the only way. You can also exchange currency at the airport, but you might have to pay fees.

Also, if you do decide to wait until you get to the airport, make sure you choose a reputable exchange. Some third-party exchanges have been known to circulate fraudulent bills.

Find a Foreign Banking Partner for Your Home Bank

If you don’t feel comfortable carrying around cash in a foreign country, you are not alone. You can ask your bank if they have a partnership with a partner bank in the country you are visiting.

You will have limited services available from the partner bank, but you will likely get reduced fees.

Final Words… Avoid ATMs

ATMs are convenient but the fees will drain your budget because you often get charged once from the ATM and then another fee gets tacked on from your home bank. If you absolutely must go to the ATM, withdraw as much as you can safely.

ATM fees can add up quickly, so it is best to avoid them. If you are planning on using any cash abroad, you should make sure to get it before you leave the United States.

Image by Arnel Hasanovic

Post Author: Lillia Hall

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Welcome to Foreigner’s Finances, your guide for new money decisions at home and traveling abroad!

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May 2024