Compare credit cards with 0% foreign fees and save money when you shop overseas.
Use this guide to compare cards that don't charge foreign currency conversion fees. We also go through different travel money expenses and how you can minimise them so that you get the most out of your money when you're overseas or shopping online.
$0 annual fee
Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply
Latitude Financial Services Credit Card Offer
Enjoy up to 55 days interest-free on purchases, no annual fee and no international transaction fees.
- $0 p.a. annual fee.
- 21.99% p.a. on purchases
- Cash advance rate of 21.99% p.a.
- Up to 55 days interest free
Compare No Foreign Currency Exchange Fee Credit Cards
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How to compare 0% foreign fee credit cards
A bunch of credit cards offer 0% foreign transaction fees, so what else should you compare when considering a credit card to use overseas?
- Overseas ATM withdrawal fees. Getting cash out of an ATM overseas can also attract a fee worth at least $3 or between 2-4% of the total transaction. Choosing a card which doesn't charge for international ATM withdrawals can allow you to avoid this charge.
- Cash advance fees. Even if you get a credit card that offers $0 ATM fees overseas, using it to withdraw cash can attract a cash advance fee that's typically between 2-4% of the transaction. You'll also be charged interest at the cash advance interest rate, which is higher than the purchase rate on most credit cards.
- Annual fees. Some credit cards with 0% foreign fees may also come with $0 annual fee, but others may come with yearly fees of tens or hundreds of dollars. If it does have an annual fee, make sure that the perks you'll get from the card outweigh this cost.
- Purchase rates. If you're using your card to make overseas purchases but won't be paying back your balance in full each month, you'll need to consider the purchase interest rate.
- Other travel benefits. Some cards offer additional travel benefits, such as complimentary travel insurance, airport lounge access or bonus frequent flyer points for your spending. Make sure you meet any requirements listed to take advantage of these perks, otherwise they won't add to the value of the card.
How much can I save with a 0% foreign fee card?
To give you an idea of the potential savings a credit card with 0% foreign fees offers, let's say you spend $5,000 while you're travelling overseas. If you had a card that charged a 2-3% fee on each foreign transaction, you'd pay around $100-$150 more for your spending. A card with 0% foreign transaction fees would add $0 to your account balance. As well as saving you money on your spending, this would also cut down on interest charges and could help you pay off your balance faster.
How does foreign currency conversion work?
When you make a purchase or transaction in a foreign currency using an Australian credit card, the total amount needs to be converted into Australian Dollars. The conversion process varies based on factors including the card provider and whether it's an American Express, Mastercard or Visa product. Currency conversion exchange rates are updated on a daily basis and apply even if you have a card that charges $0 foreign fees. Please note that most banks use an exchange rate that's less competitive than the standard rate.
How will an exchange rate appear on my credit card statement?
Say you were on a trip to New York and used your Australian credit card to pay for a pair of shoes worth US$100. If the exchange rate between US dollars and Australian dollars was US$0.74 per AUD$1, then this transaction would be converted to AUD$135.14. So, instead of your credit card statement showing a transaction of US$100, it would show one of AUD$135.14.
What exchange rate will I receive?
Depending on the card you're using, you will receive the exchange rate set by Mastercard, Visa or American Express. The following diagram explains how Australian credit cards convert currency with American Express, Mastercard or Visa:
- Mastercard and American Express. All transactions made in a currency other than United States Dollars (USD) will be converted to USD before it is converted to AUD.
- Visa. Transactions made in the following currencies will be converted directly to Australian Dollars (AUD):
- United States Dollars (USD)
- Canadian Dollars
- New Zealand Dollars
- Singapore Dollars
- Pounds Sterling
- Japanese Yen
For transactions made in any other foreign currencies, Visa will convert the currency to USD before it is converted to AUD. As a result, if the Australian Dollar is not favourable against the United States Dollar, using a Visa credit card for any of the listed currencies could be the most cost-effective option.
What is Dynamic Currency Conversion?
When you shop overseas with an Australian-issued card, you may be asked if you'd like to spend in the local currency or Australian dollars. This refers to Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) and opting to pay with Australian dollars will collect a DCC fee that's usually between 3% to 10% of the transaction amount. If you're spending with a card with 0% on foreign transaction fees, you should always opt to pay in the local currency rather than Australian dollars. Want to know more about DCC? You can see finder's guide to Dynamic Currency Conversion for more information.
What other travel money options are available?
It's often useful to have several ways to access money when you're overseas. As well as a credit card, you may want to consider some of these other travel money products:
- Foreign cash. Having cash on hand when you're travelling overseas can come in handy if you're spending somewhere that doesn't accept card (such as transport tickets, taxis or at markets). Using cash is also another easy way to avoid foreign transaction fees. You can check out finder's guide to buying foreign currency to get started.
- Debit card. Your everyday Mastercard or Visa debit card can also be used overseas, wherever these brands are accepted. Just keep in mind that currency conversion fees may also apply for a debit card and be aware of the potential complications if your account's security is compromised while you're away. You can also compare debit cards with low foreign transaction fees on finder.
- Prepaid travel money cards. You can also use a prepaid travel card load and spend funds in multiple supported currencies. When you move currency from Australian dollars to a supported foreign currency, it's also locked in at the current exchange rate (which could help you avoid fluctuating rates and manage your budget better while you're travelling). When you spend in a supported foreign currency, you can avoid currency conversion fees with these cards.
If you're a frequent traveller or regularly shop online with international retailers, a credit card that has 0% foreign transaction fees could help you keep your costs to a minimum. Just remember to compare a range of options and look at the other features available so that you can find a credit card that really suits your needs.
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