0% Foreign Fees Credit Cards

Pauline Hatch     

Choosing a card with no foreign fees allows you to save on currency conversion costs when you shop or travel overseas. Also called international transaction fees, foreign fees or foreign currency conversion fees, the costs can range between 2 to 3% of the transaction amount. So, these foreign fees can really stack up, unless you choose a card that waives fees on overseas spending.

For example, if you went on holiday overseas and used your card to spend $5,000 on accommodation, car hire and everyday living, you would pay $150 in foreign fees if your card had a 3% foreign currency conversion fee. That’s $150 in someone else’s pocket, not in yours. Save cash by checking the range of top cards with no foreign fees using our visual comparison tools to compare important features like interest and annual fees. On desktop, you'll see circles under each of these features; on mobile you'll see a bar. The more filled-in these are, the stronger the features . This can help you to choose a card that not only saves you on foreign fees, but also suits your budget and your spending style.
read moreclose

Average card rating for this category
26 reviews for 4 cards listed
CreditCard.com.au as seen on
  • 7News
  • 9News
  • Studio 10
  • The Sydney Morning Herald
  • News.com.au

Bendigo Ready Credit Card

2 reviews
$0 saved over 99 months

Westpac Lite Mastercard®

6 reviews
$0 saved over months

Bankwest Breeze Platinum Credit Card

6 reviews
$0 saved over 12 months

Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard

12 reviews
$0 saved over 28 months

Going overseas? Shopping online in other currencies?

Aussies fork out over $1 million a day on foreign transaction fees using their credit cards. Choosing a card that waives the fees on overseas spending can help you save more and budget better on your trips.

Australians spend $2 billion on foreign transaction fees every year. By choosing a 0% foreign fees credit card, you can avoid adding to that total as you pay less in fees – and keep more in your pocket. A great option for keen travellers and avid online shoppers, this type of card lets you pay no foreign currency fees on transactions made overseas, or online with international retailers.

What is a 0% Foreign Fees Credit Card?

Unlike the majority of other credit cards, a 0% foreign fees credit card does not charge a foreign currency conversion fee for transactions made in a foreign currency.

You will find most credit cards charge a fee between 2-4% of each foreign currency transaction, which can get pretty expensive if you like shopping online with overseas merchants, or you enjoy exploring other countries with your credit card in hand.

Making shopping overseas somewhat more affordable, a 0% foreign fees credit card waives the fee associated with foreign currency conversion, which can make them very appealing indeed.

Ready to compare the options? Check out the great range of 0% foreign fees credit cards on CreditCard.com.au today and start saving on your overseas transactions.

When choosing a credit card, you need to weigh up what is most important to you, to then find the card that matches your needs. In terms of foreign fees, you may find this is an important factor if you regularly travel overseas, or if you shop online at overseas merchants. Why? When you use your card to pay in a foreign currency, you card provider charges you a fee.

Say your foreign transaction fee is 3%. If you spent $5,000 when travelling overseas, you would pay $150 in fees. Similarly, if you shopped online at international retailers, a total spend per year of $4,000 would mean paying $120 in fees.

When applying for a 0% foreign fees credit card, you obviously need to consider the type of card you need, and everything it has to offer. You may choose a 0% foreign fees credit card that is a no annual fee credit card, a low rate credit card, a rewards credit card or a prestige card, like a gold or platinum option.

0% foreign fees credit cards come in all shapes and sizes, charging varying rates of interest and fees. Some will be packed with features, rewards and introductory offers, while others will be basic. Just as you would do when comparing any other credit card, make sure you choose a 0% foreign fees credit card that gives you everything you need at the lowest possible price.

Wondering whether a 0% foreign fees credit card is right for you? Here are a few other options you may want to consider:

Debit Card: Your everyday debit card may be used overseas as long as it is a Mastercard or Visa. Be aware that fees and charges may apply, and your debit card may not offer the range of travel-related extras and support that a 0% foreign fees credit card might.

Pre-Paid Travel Money Card: With a pre-paid travel money card, you can load a number of foreign currencies onto the card, which can then be used overseas. Be aware that some fees and charges may apply, so read the small print before you go.

Foreign Cash: If you choose to take foreign currency overseas, and that money is lost or stolen, you may only be able to claim it back if you have travel insurance. You may also find that certain fees are applied when exchanging currency, and exchanging money can be more expensive in certain places, such as at the airport.

Paying no foreign fees can certainly help you save money. But, chances are, you’re looking for more from your credit card than just that one feature. No matter how you plan to use your card, take time to look for 0% foreign fees cards that offer other features that provide value to you.

Concierge Service: Think of your card concierge as your personal assistant. This personal assistant could help you arrange your flights, book your hotel, or even reserve a table at a restaurant when you arrive. Whether you’re looking for theatre recommendations or a special gift for a loved one, your concierge could have it covered.

Travel Insurance: Saving you time and money, credit card travel insurance can be a very handy extra indeed. Instead of searching for standalone insurance every time you travel, you could enjoy cover when you pay for your trip with your credit card. TIP: Always read the PDS to make sure you understand how to activate your cover, and what limits and exclusions apply.

Lounge Access: Another awesome extra for the frequent traveller, this provides access to all the comforts of an airport lounge to make long and short haul travel so much more enjoyable. Depending on the card, you may benefit from a certain number of single entry passes per year, or unlimited use as you travel.

By comparing the options here on CreditCard.com.au, you can find 0% foreign fees credit cards to suit almost every need – which includes earning rewards. Want to earn rewards while paying nothing in foreign fees? Simply check out the options.

  • Everyday Rewards: With these rewards programs, you can earn points on everyday spending, which can then be redeemed within the program. Rewards could include gift cards or merchandise, travel or money back when shopping at partner retailers.
  • Frequent Flyer Rewards: These rewards programs are focused on travel. You can earn points on both travel and everyday spending, to then redeem those points on flights, accommodation, merchandise and more.
  • Cashback Rewards: Offering a somewhat simpler system, these rewards programs offer cashback as a percentage of your card spending. You are then free to spend that cashback as you like.

One of the most appealing aspects of choosing a rewards card with 0% foreign fees is that you don’t lose out on points earned on overseas spending. Why? Let’s look at an example.

Your card charges 4% on foreign transactions. You earn 1 point per $1 spent overseas and at home. You spend $10,000 overseas and $10,000 at home. To cover the spending you earn overseas, you pay $400 in foreign transaction fees. So, although you earn 10,000 points within each category of spending, your overseas points offer less in value.

When you use an Australian credit card to make a transaction in a foreign currency, the credit card provider has to convert the total amount of that transaction into Australian Dollars (AUD). However, the conversion process varies according to the credit card provider.

Mastercard and American Express convert the foreign currency amount into United States Dollars (USD), to then convert it into AUD. These conversions will both be transferred according to the daily exchange rate.

Visa, on the other hand, converts the foreign currency amount directly to AUD at the daily exchange rate, as long as the initial transaction was made in USD, Canadian Dollars, New Zealand Dollars, Singapore Dollars, Pounds Sterling, Euros or Japanese Yen.

For all transactions made in other foreign currencies, Visa converts the foreign currency amount to USD, to then convert it to AUD.

As you can imagine, if the Australian Dollar is not faring favourably against the United States Dollar, this process of converting foreign currency transactions through USD would end up costing the cardholder more than it should.

If you want to compare daily exchange rates on your current credit card, you can use the Mastercard or Visa foreign currency exchange calculator. American Express, unfortunately doesn’t provide one for its customers to use.

Choosing a 0% foreign fees credit card can certainly save you money on foreign currency conversion. However, there are other fees and charges you should be aware of:

  • Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee: If you withdraw cash at an ATM overseas, you may be charged an overseas ATM withdrawal fee of either $3 or so, or 2-4% of the total transaction. If you plan on using your card to withdraw money overseas frequently, choosing a card that doesn't charge for international ATM withdrawals could be a good idea.
  • Overseas Cash Advance Fee: When withdrawing money from an ATM on a credit card overseas – even one that doesn’t charge overseas ATM fees – you may still be expected to pay an overseas cash advance fee. This transaction will attract interest at the cash advance rate, which is typically higher than the purchase rate.
  • Annual Fee: Just like any other credit card, a 0% foreign fees credit card may charge an annual fee. Weigh up the cost of the annual fee against the features you get in return to work out whether the card offers good value.
  • Purchase Rates: Again, just like any other credit card, a 0% foreign fees credit card charges interest on purchases made when the balance is not cleared month-to-month. If you want to save on interest while travelling, consider applying for a card with a 0% purchase offer.

Taking all that into account, be sure to look at any other travel-related extras your 0% foreign fees credit card has to offer. Complimentary travel insurance, frequent flyer rewards and airport lounge access can make fees and charges you have to pay on the card more worthwhile.

The amount you could potentially save on a 0% foreign fees credit card will depend on the amount you spend on the card, and the fees you would have paid on a standard credit card.

If you spent $3,000 on a credit card that charged a foreign currency conversion fee of 3%, you would pay an extra $90 compared to using a 0% foreign fees credit card.

If you spent $10,000 on a credit card that charged a foreign currency conversion fee of 4%, you would pay an extra $400 compared to using a 0% foreign fees credit card.

And that’s before any other fees such as overseas ATM withdrawal fees or overseas cash advance fees are taken into account.

Still weighing up whether a 0% foreign fees credit card is right for you? Here are some of the pros and cons to take into consideration.

Pros

  • Save money on foreign currency conversion fees.
  • Plenty of cards to choose from.
  • Other travel-related benefits on offer.
  • Can be more secure than other options, such as cash.

Cons

  • There may still be other fees to be aware of.
  • 0% foreign fees credit cards may charge higher annual fees and interest.
Pauline Hatch

Pauline Hatch is a personal finance expert at Creditcard.com.au with 8 years of finance writing under her belt. She loves turning complex money concepts into simple, practical actions so you can win financially. You can ask Pauline any questions by submitting a comment below and get a personal reply.

Recently Asked Questions

Something you need to know? Ask our credit card expert a question.

Ask a Question

You will be emailed a response in typically 1 business day. By submitting this question you agreee to our privacy policy.

Ask Pauline a Question

Hi, I’m a personal finance expert who loves to help you out! I’ll answer your question within a business day. Pinky swear.

We ask for your email so we can respond to you directly. We won’t share your personal data. For more information, see our privacy policy.

33 questions (showing the latest 10 Q&As)

peter riordan

peter riordan

9 November 2023
We are travelling to NZ and have a pre paid currency card which works ok but when it comes to car hire etc it is not. Is there a credit card that is simular that I can get?
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    15 November 2023
    Hi Peter, some good cards for overseas travel are Latitude 28 Degrees Platinum and Bankwest Breeze Platinum. You can also look at Wise, which is more like a money transfer card (so you’re spending your own money, not putting it on credit). I hope that gives you some ideas! Enjoy your trip!
Phillip Edward Mills

Phillip Edward Mills

13 August 2023
Im travelling overseas to Mongolia and then the USA and I'm looking for the lowest transaction cost eg best exchange rate and no international transaction fees credit card or can be a Visa debit card. Im not interested in any other perks as I have these covered.
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    14 August 2023
    Hi Phillip! You have a few options. The Latitude 28 Degrees Mastercard is a popular travel credit card because it has no foreign fees on purchases and no annual fee and extras you won't get elsewhere like Flight Delay Pass, which lets you use airport lounges if your flight is late. Or, you could look at a travel money card like Wise, with great exchange rates or a debit card like the HSBC Everyday Global account which earns up to $50 back each month. Happy travels Phillip!
Geoff

Geoff

16 April 2023
Heading overseas for 5 weeks in June. Have the Latitude Mastercard but now concerned about security of this so looking for something similar. Also what is the best prepaid card to use for a person not fully competent in money and banking.
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    17 April 2023
    Hi there, if you’re heading overseas, you’re probably looking for cards with no foreign transaction fees, which you can compare here, but keep in mind you will incur any fees, charges and interest costs associated with a cash advance. Another option if you’re looking for a simple prepaid option is the Wise travel money card, which acts like a debit card (no credit or interest rates involved and no monthly fees). It can be preloaded with over 50 currencies at one of the best exchange rates on the market, and you won’t pay any international transaction fees when you use the card in the local currency. Hope that helps! Happy travels.
Jill Polley

Jill Polley

8 April 2023
Hi. Which credit card do you recommend for Overseas Travel, with no foreign currency conversion fees + Qantas frequent flyer points?
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    12 April 2023
    Hi Jill! At the moment I can only see that the CommBank Ultimate Awards card has Qantas points and no foreign fees. The Coles Rewards Mastercard also has no foreign fee but earns Flybuys points. Otherwise, there aren’t too many combinations of points plus no international transaction fees right now. Another option is a money transfer card like Wise, which doesn’t earn rewards but does have very low exchange rates, no foreign fees and no monthly or annual fees. It’s not a credit card but it does help you save if you’re spending overseas. If you’re specifically after points, you can look at rewards cards and Qantas-points cards, but you’ll likely have to pay the international transaction fees. I hope that gives you some ideas!
Wayne ODonnell

Wayne ODonnell

29 March 2023
Pauline I am going overseas for 2 years and will travel frequently. Travel will be long haul flights. What is the best credit card to reduce international transaction fees and collect loyalty points. Thanks Wayne
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    30 March 2023
    Hi Wayne, there are actually only a few rewards credit cards that also offer 0% foreign fees and offer loyalty points. Some cards like the Bankwest Qantas World and Bankwest Qantas Platinum credit cards both award frequent flyer points and waive international transaction fees. If you’re a flybuys fan, the Coles Rewards Mastercard has no foreign transaction fees, so see if these options could work for you. Once you’re decided, you can use the provider's website to get started with your application online. Hope this helps. Safe travels!
Rosanne Lewis

Rosanne Lewis

28 March 2023
Cancel my credit subscription Stop taking money out from.my account
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    29 March 2023
    Hi Rosanne, you’ve actually reached Australia’s top credit card comparison site, Creditcard.com.au. Please reach out directly to the business or to your credit card issuer to ensure that your request is handled properly.
anita

anita

6 March 2023
hi I'm going O/S and want to know which is the best credit card that has no International transaction fees (is 0% foreign fees) mean the same thing. And how long does it take to receive a credit card so I can start to book my trip
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    7 March 2023
    Hi Anita, the best card for travelling will always come down to how you plan to use it. You’ll need to decide whether you want a no-frills card that just waives the currency conversion fee or one that comes with extra perks like lounge access or even complimentary travel insurance. The timeline for credit card applications can vary but usually, it takes 5-10 business days to get approved and up to 14 days for the card to arrive in the mail. It’s best to contact the credit card provider for specific information about their processing time. Hope you have a great time overseas!
Corrin

Corrin

23 February 2023
Hello, Is there a $0 foreign transaction credit card that does not need a phone number verification when used overseas. Thank you.
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    24 February 2023
    Hi Corrin, it’s a great question especially when each provider is different when setting up security protocols whether it be SMS or via their own app. Commbank for example will send you a “netcode” to the app and others like 28 Degrees will use an SMS. If your current provider has an app it might be worth chatting to them to see what the security options are. Happy travels!
Abhy

Abhy

21 February 2023
Hi, I am travelling overseas and need suggestions for a credit card with good exchange rates and no international transaction fees. In the past I have found that some cards charge no fees but charge indirectly by giving pathetic exchange rates. I plan to spend about 10 k during my trip. I currently have nab signature rewards card and Citi debit card. I believe Citi has recently started charging international transactions fees after their merger with nab in Australia. Hence, I am looking for a new credit card. Appreciate your help. Thanks
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    21 February 2023
    Hi Abhy! Congrats on your upcoming travel! When you spend overseas on your credit card, you’ll pay the currency conversion fee that’s set out by Visa and Mastercard, and an international transaction fee set by the credit card (usually between 2 and 4%). A $0 foreign fee will help keep costs down, but yes, you’ll be charged the conversion at the current exchange rate. One other option is a travel money card like Wise, which is a multicurrency account with no monthly fees and allows you to preload the card with different currencies at the mid-market exchange rate (that’s the one available to Google and Rueters etc, without surcharges from third parties). It can be a cheaper opton for spending overseas. I hope that helps Abhy!
Leigh

Leigh

29 January 2023
Hi, we are planning on travelling to the U.S. later this year. Is there a travel/credit card that we can load USD onto earlier to lock in the exchange rates then, as opposed to when we travel?
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    30 January 2023
    Hi Leigh, credit cards will use the daily exchange rate at the time of purchase when handling overseas transactions. There are some debit cards like the HSBC Everyday Global Account that allows you to hold multiple currencies on the card which you can switch between while using the app. If you want to earn Qantas points, there is also the Qantas Travel Money Card product as well Hope this has helped and you have a great time in the states! 🗽
Paul

Paul

29 December 2022
My wife and I travel overseas 2 x every year. We are Australians living in Australia. We however have an UK Based international Bank that looks after some of our cash accounts. One of our accounts is Pounds and the other account with the same bank is some USA dollars. The funds/cash balance is in US dollars. They the bank, NO longer provide a credit card and are wanting customers to use a phone app that can allow multiple currencies. We are not comfortable using a phone app for banking or phone oversaes. As i assume the phone would need to be raoming using data every day. This adds up. My question is. We would like to know if we can get an Australian bank that would allow us to have an account in USA dollars that we can transfer to them, that also offer a plastic credit card not phone app, that we can use tyhe USA Dollars, when on holidays in USA to spend some of the US dollars thus having no currency conversion?
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    3 January 2023
    Hi Paul, a credit card like this doesn’t exist to our knowledge, but HSBC do have a debit card that sounds very similar. It’s the HSBC Everyday Global Account and it allows you to store different currencies in your account, and comes with a card you can tap and insert too. You can read more and open an account with the link on our sister site.
Kenny

Kenny

26 October 2022
Hi, I havent had any credit card in Australia before, but I love to apply. I have my small business for over 2 years and my yearly income/profit is over 100k. Which credit card is the best that offers 0% foreign transaction fee and travel rewards / cashback? I will do so many online transaction for my business or purchasing online for travel purpose. I dont mind interest rate or annual fee since I am planning to keep my card in positive. I’m thinking to just apply personal credit card, not business card since I might use it for personal and business purpose. Thank you
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    27 October 2022
    Hi there Kenny, what you’ve described there is technically three different types of credit cards. Business credit cards are primarily used for your business as they come with add-ons that integrate into your accounting systems. This makes BAS time a bit more easier for reporting. However, you could start comparing no foreign transaction fee credit cards and compare some of the best credit cards for travel perks. You can then dive into our reviews of the card to read more about the features, fees and benefits to help you make a decision. There’s some links included that will help!
Phil

Phil

12 April 2022
Hi Roland I'm wondering if any of these cards will accept deposits from an external account in a foreign currency?
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    13 April 2022
    Hi Phil, interesting question. If you’re looking to load up a card in Australia with foreign currency, you could consider comparing the HSBC Everyday Global account. It allows you to hold up to 10 foreign currencies in one wallet. Hope this has helped.
Help us improve

By submitting this feedback you agree to our privacy policy.

My credit card is not listed

By submitting this form you agree to our privacy policy.