Travel advice

The best annual fee-free credit cards for travelers

TripExpert brings you 7 credit cards that don’t charge annual or foreign transaction fees.

by Maria Milkova

Planning an overseas trip? To make the most of your money while you’re on the road, you’ll want ensure your card doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee, as most conventional credit cards tend to charge 1-3% for every purchase you make outside of the U.S.

Though there are an increasing number credit cards that don’t charge foreign transaction fees, many of them come with an annual fee. The following seven credit cards don’t charge annual fees or foreign transaction fees. Many also come with great cash-back and/or mileage benefits.

In our next post in this series, we will cover the best overall credit cards for frequent travelers, including those with annual fees. 

Capital One VentureOne
Easy travel redemption and wide global acceptance

This no-fee credit card lets you earn 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase — and miles are unlimited and never expire. Another bonus: you can apply easy-to-redeem rewards to offset air travel, hotel, rental car, and other travel-related expenses.

Discover it® Miles Card
Unlimited rewards on every purchase

The Discover it® Miles Card charges neither foreign transaction fees nor annual fees, and you earn unlimited miles that never expire. The biggest benefit: You get 1.5 miles per dollar on every purchase. Other perks: Redeem your rewards for cash or travel credit in any amount, any time.

Discover it® Card
Cash-back advantages

If cash-back rewards are your priority over earning miles, this no-fee card is a good choice. Earn 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter like gas stations, restaurants, Amazon.com, wholesale clubs and more — and 1% cash back or more on all other purchases.

Barclaycard Ring™ MasterCard®
Crowd-sourced and community-powered

This is the no-fee card to pick if having your say on your credit card policies is important to you. Not only can you share suggestions for improvement and vote on potential product changes, but you also share in the card issuer’s estimated profits through their Giveback program.

BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card
All the benefits of a travel card without the price tag

With this card, earn 1.5 points for every dollar you spend and get an additional 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when you have an active Bank of America checking or savings account. If you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days, you’ll earn 20,000 online bonus points, which you can also use as a $200 credit toward travel-related purchases.

JetBlue Card
High rewards and broad acceptance worldwide

Choose this no annual/no foreign transaction fee card if you’re a frequent JetBlue traveler: you’ll earn 3 points per $1 on JetBlue purchases, 2 points per $1 at restaurants and grocery stores, and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases. There are no blackout dates for award travel, and you also get 50% off in-flight purchases, including cocktails, food and movies. Points never expire, and you can share them with family members to offset their travel costs.

Quicksilver® from Capital One
Excellent cash-back benefits

With Quicksilver®, you'll be earning 1.5% cash back on every purchase — with no rotating purchase categories — and you will also receive a one-time $100 cash bonus if you spend $500 within three months of approval. Cash back rewards never expire. Other pluses: There’s no minimum redemption amount, no limit to the amount you can earn, and no annual or foreign transaction fees.

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