I have a trip to Spain coming up with my kid, my first time out of North America. I figured out my main credit card and my backup card both have foreign transaction fees (3%). What’s the best card without one? I think CH has often mentioned a Capitol One card. I was also hearing that the Costco Visa doesn’t have one.
(Also gotta figure out the cell phone issue (we have T-Mobile) and the electricity converter.)
The two we have are Discover (the IT I think) and Costco Visa (which is from Citi). I think that there may be a fee for a foreign cash advance. Any Visa is widely accepted, but foreign retailers who accept Discover are a much smaller number.
This is one of many pages I found:
We got the Chase Sapphire as a travel card about a year ago and it is really nice. A lot of built in perks for travelers like trip cancellation insurance, lost luggage coverage, primary auto coverage for rental cars, and of course no foreign transaction fee.
The cell phone issue should be easy. We have T-Mobile and had no problems getting coverage in France, England, Greece and Italy. I just checked Spain and lots of coverage:
So, with the cell phone plan, do you switch plans or add something temporarily? If you don’t plan to travel internationally often?
Do you currently have a Magenta level plan? If so, you don’t have to do anything but turn on roaming once you get where you are going. You may also have to cycle your phone to get it to connect to the local towers. The first time you do this, it may take awhile to connect so don’t panic.
If your phone has Wifi Calling then you can call the US over Wifi for free. Please note that Wifi calls originate in the US, so you cannot use that feature to call Spain because its an international call, even while you are in Spain.
Making local calls (in foreign countries) is still a challenge. Many of the businesses will have a WhatsApp number that is basically voice-over-data and costs nothing. If you have to do a lot of local calling when you are there, there are a couple options: One is to get a local service provider SIM card when you land and the other is to add international calling to one of your T-Mobile lines ($10 for a month) and cancel when you get home.
The first time we traveled internationally with T-Mobile, we went to the nearby store and they walked us through all of the scenarios. It was well worth the 20 minutes we spent. The whole reason we have T-Mobile is because we travel internationally multiple times per year.
Most american express have no fees, most higher end cards have no foreign transacruon fees. My favorite card is the chase sapphire reserve, but it does cone with a hefty fee.
I cant speak to other carriers but i get full use of my verizon plan for $10 per day in over 100 countries. Some might think thats pricey, im okay woth it.
Only the Gold and Platinum cards have no foreign transaction fees, but do have $250 and $695 annual fees. I have the Blue Cash Everyday Amex and they happily charged us foreign transaction fees when used outside the US.