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Credit cards with no international fees
Smart Money

Credit cards with no international fees

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You don’t need to be travelling to be hit with currency conversion fees. While credit cards are invaluable when you’re overseas, they can also help when you buy stuff online from foreign retailers such as ASOS or Amazon. Credit card providers can charge a variety of fees on international transactions. As a one-off those fees may not seem too bad, but they will add up over time.

This is called a foreign transaction fee or a currency conversion fee, and it can be charged when you pay for something overseas – whether online or in person. It is usually charged as a percentage of the transaction, typically around 2-3%.

If you withdraw money from an overseas ATM, you may also have to have to pay a withdrawal fee – to the ATM operator and to your credit card provider.

Note: If you want to earn points on your travel spending, check out our monthly update of the Best Frequent Flyer cards, and our list of all Frequent Flyer cards here.

A solution: ‘No foreign transaction fee’ credit cards

If you want to save money on currency conversion or foreign transaction fees, there are certain cards that allow you to do this. Often, premium credit cards can charge low or no foreign transaction fees.

Other credit card providers offer cards that are marketed specifically to frequent online overseas shoppers. Alternatively, you could consider applying for a prepaid travel card (see more about those below).

Our top ‘no foreign transaction fee’ credit cards

Card Description
humm90 Mastercard 
Designed for shoppers, humm90 Mastercard provides a massive 110-days interest free period on purchases with long-term interest-free plans of up to 60 months for a range of retail partners. Plus, pay no transaction fees on foreign purchases made overseas or online.

Go to offer

ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures Card 
Save on card costs with no international transaction fees on purchases overseas, including online from international websites. Plus, waived cash advance fee when used at overseas branches and ATMs. Currently offers 40,000 bonus Reward Points, minimum spend required.

Go to offer

NAB StraightUp 
Pay no interest or late payment fees – just a simple monthly fee, which is reversed if you don’t carry a balance for an entire statement period. The card comes with no foreign currency fees on international purchases, online or overseas.

Go to offer

ING Orange One Low Rate Credit Card 
Pay no ING International Transaction Fees for eligible customers when you shop overseas or online. Packed with money saving features which include no annual fee, low interest rates on purchases and cash advances, and friendly rates on instalment plans to pay off your purchases over time.
Coles Rewards Mastercard 
This card waived its international transaction fee on retail purchases except cash advance in foreign currency or cash advance made overseas. Currently offering cashbacks; 0% p.a. on both purchases and balance transfers in the first year; and 30,000 bonus Flybuys when reaching minimum spend requirement.
Westpac Lite Credit Card 
As light and as friendly as it is, this card offers everything low and easy to your pockets with its low purchase rate of 9.90% p.a., up to 45 days interest-free, plus $0 foreign transaction fees when you shop overseas or online.
Latitude 28 Degrees 
Pay no annual fee ever. Save more when shopping overseas or online with the $0 international transaction or currency conversion fees.

BankWest also waive international fees on their Bankwest More Platinum credit card. We’ve picked the two above however, as they have more overall benefits, as well as the waived foreign transaction fees.

Credit Card International Transaction Fees by Issuer

Issuer International Transaction Charge Foreign ATM Withdrawal fee?
American Express 3% TBC
ANZ 3% $4
Bank of Melbourne 3% $2.50
Bank of Queensland 3.4% $4
Bank SA 3% $2.50
Bank Australia 2% $3.50
Bankwest 2.95% $4
Bendigo 2% $15
Citi 3.3% $5
Coles 2.5% $4
CBA 3% $4 or 1.75% (whichever is greater)
CUA 3.4% $5
Diners Club 3%
Heritage 2.5% $5
IMB 3.3% $5
Jetstar 3%
Latitude Financial 3% $4
Macquarie 3%
ME Bank 2.5%
NAB 3% $4
St George 3% $5
Suncorp 3.4% $5
Virgin 3.3% $5
Westpac 3% $2.50 except Global Alliance ATMs
Woolworths 3% $2.50

Different types of cards for travellers

Credit cards marketed to frequent travellers will often have low or non-existent foreign currency charges. In particular, a number of Gold and Platinum cards offer this feature (for example the BankWest Platinum range).

These cards will still have administrative costs, however, and they will tend to have either higher annual fees (though the BankWest Zero Platinum card has none) or higher interest rates, so work out whether this is actually going to save money on a card-by-card basis.

A Platinum card can be an option if you would use features such as frequent flyer points, travel insurance, extended warranty or purchase protection (if buying within Australia), so just because the card charges an annual fee doesn’t mean it is automatically more expensive if you would use those extras.

Consider travel insurance costs

If you think you need to purchase standalone travel insurance, you should weigh up the costs associated with taking it out, against the costs and benefits that come with the credit card you are considering – and you might be pleasantly surprised by what you discover.

We’ve made this job really easy with our free travel insurance comparison, showing you key features for major credit cards and credit card providers.

Credit cards can be an economical way of obtaining travel insurance, and it’s often activated automatically so long as you buy your tickets or certain travel expenses on the credit card. There are a few tips to remember though:

  • Purchase the tickets with the card, or the insurance may not be activated.
  • Don’t expect to be covered automatically for pre-existing conditions. If you have asthma, diabetes or some other condition check whether you need separate or additional cover and pay any applicable surcharge to ensure you are properly covered.
  • Always, always keep the credit card statement showing the purchase of your flights and/or accommodation to hand, some credit cards require a copy of this before paying out on a claim.
  • If you insist on separate travel insurance, take the advice of trusted websites such as Smart Traveller and shop around for the best deal – making sure you are covered for everything you want to be. Also make sure you understand any exclusions, such as adventure sports or Acts of God in any policy before you sign.

Read more about credit card travel insurance here.

Use prepaid travel cards wisely

Foreign currency prepaid credit cards are pre-loaded with foreign currencies up to a certain value. These cards can allow you to lock in an exchange rate, and can often offer reasonable exchange rates, however, see below for a word of caution about that.

Qantas Cash and Virgin’s Global Wallet are both examples of prepaid travel cards. With each option, you can pre-load foreign currencies on to the card, allowing you to lock in an exchange rate on each pre-loaded amount. You can then use the card to make overseas and domestic purchases. This can save you a huge amount in foreign conversion fees often charged by standard credit cards.

Qantas Cash and Global Wallet also allow you to earn rewards points on their respective loyalty programs, and can allow for faster check-in and boarding. To find out more about Qantas Cash and Global Wallet, what each one offers, and how they stack up against each other, read our post here.

If you are choosing a prepaid travel card, be aware of the small print and any fees that may be applicable. It’s worth bearing in mind that you may have to pay ATM fees to withdraw money at ATMs both in Australia and overseas.

Fees to be aware of:

  • Application fee: There is no fee to apply for a Qantas Cash card or Global Wallet.
  • Top up/Reload fee: No top up fee on Qantas Cash or Global Wallet.
  • Monthly service fee: No monthly service fee on Qantas Cash or Global Wallet.
  • Inactivity fee: While Qantas Cash does not charge an inactivity fee, Global Wallet charges a $1 inactivity fee if the card remains inactive for 12 months or more.
  • Currency conversion fee: If you use Qantas Cash or Global Wallet to pay for something in a currency that is not loaded on your wallet, you will pay a 3% currency conversion fee.

Use prepaid as a backup, and watch the exchange rate

If you do go with a prepaid option, make sure you understand its fees and its terms and conditions, and we would still recommend having at least one back-up card for the time you’re away. This can ensure you’ll always have access to cash should anything happen.

A recent analysis also found a massive $193 difference in cost between providers based on different exchange rates they used. That means whether you get the card at Australia Post, ANZ, NAB or elsewhere, the currency exchange rate will be different and will vary depending on where you’re going and which currencies you’re loading.

So, does it sound like you should be exploring your options when it comes to overseas cash access? You’d definitely be right, and you’ve found the perfect place to start here, by comparing the transaction fees that major card providers offer. Once you’ve had a look at the fees your bank charges, you can decide whether you should apply to another bank for a card with no foreign transaction fees.

Far from just believing that your current bank will look after you while you’re overseas, if you explore your options you might discover that another provider offers a better solution for you while you’re overseas.

For standard credit cards, the foreign currency transaction fees are usually calculated as a percentage of the purchase amount (because that is the amount exchanged in foreign currency on each transaction). The table above lists the current fees charged by major credit card providers for overseas transactions.

We’ve found that the only way to avoid annoying foreign transaction fee is:

  • To use cash in the local currency (but be aware of ATM withdrawal fees),
  • To use one of the selected cards above that doesn’t charge a transaction fee,
  • To use local debit or credit card (but this may only be an option if you have been living overseas for quite some time already).
Founder - Roland B Bleyer

Roland Bleyer

Founder of Roland has extensive knowledge about credit cards in Australia. Known as a credit card expert, he has been featured on tv and in various publications. Some popular offers on our site right now include the ANZ Low Rate. This special offer has no annual fee first year, a low purchase rate and long 0% balance transfer. Have a look also at the huge 0% for 30 months balance transfer from Citi with no balance transfer fees.

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8 comments (showing the latest 10 Q&As)



3 September 2021
To help answer mclensi's question, there is a card with no international fees for business. It is the Commonwealth Bank Neo Business interest-free card. It has a weird fee structure but if you want a card that has no international fees which is becoming more and more important these days, then that one is the one. Am also looking into the one you suggested Roland to work out which one would be better for me.
    Roland B Bleyer - Founder


    3 September 2021
    Hi Tamara, thanks so much for your message. Such a great point you make and yes, the CommBank Neo could be a handy card to have in your pocket if you want to avoid those pesky foreign transaction fees.


6 March 2021
Good evening, I will be living overseas for the most part of the next four years but will be paid in Australia. Is there a credit card with Qantas points that you would recommend? I spend on average AUD 4-5k per month on the card.
    Roland B Bleyer - Founder


    8 March 2021
    Hi Eric, if you're going to be doing most of your spending overseas it's a great idea to look for a card with 0% foreign transaction fees. The CommBank Ultimate Awards Card features 0% foreign fees and earns Awards Points that can be transferred to Qantas directly for a yearly fee of $30 and at a rate of 2.5 to 1. You'll earn 3 Awards points / $1 spent overseas (up to $10,000) and will pay no monthly fee when you spend at least $2,500 per statement period. You can also look at the Bankwest Qantas World Credit Card that charges no foreign fees, earns 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent (on the first $5,000/month then 0.5 / $1 thereafter) and complimentary overseas travel insurance for a $270 annual fee. Macquarie Bank also offers Qantas-earning credit cards with no foreign transaction fees, but they are unavailable for application for the time being. One major thing to keep in mind is the residency requirement and ensuring that you meet it. If you are not a resident of Australia for legal purposes, you may not be eligible for an Australian credit card. If, however, you're still a legal resident for tax purposes and can provide all the necessary documents, you may proceed.


4 March 2021
Do you have a guide like this for business credit cards? can you recommend any business cards with low to no international purchase transaction costs?
Fazal Hameed

Fazal Hameed

13 February 2021
Hi If you spend $2000 on NAB StraightUp card pay whole back whole amount at the end of month how much will be my monthly fee
    Roland B Bleyer - Founder


    15 February 2021
    Hi Fazal, If you apply for a $2,000 credit limit and make a purchase, you'll be charged the monthly fee of $15. Even when you pay back the full amount at the end of the month, you're still charged the monthly fee.

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