No Annual Fee Credit Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees

Information verified correct on July 1st, 2016

If you enjoy online shopping on international websites or if you’re going overseas, save money and pay no foreign transaction fees with these credit cards.

But if you’re a regular credit card comparer, you may have noticed that these type of credit cards usually come with an annual fee, which could have made the money you saved from foreign transactions redundant. The good news is, we’ve found some credit cards that don’t charge an annual fee as well as a no foreign transaction fee so you can shop happier overseas.

Comparison of no annual fee credit cards with no foreign transaction fees

Rates last updated July 1st, 2016
Purchase rate (p.a.) Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (MC) Annual fee
Bankwest Zero Platinum MasterCard
Complimentary travel insurance, 24/7 Concierge service. Plus no foreign transaction fees for online and overseas purchases.
17.99% p.a. $0 0% of transaction value $0 p.a. Go to site More info

What is a no annual fee credit card with no foreign transaction fee?

This is a credit card that doesn’t charge the yearly service fee as well as the fee for making international purchases. You’ll also notice that when you use your credit card for international purchases, there is an extra fee called a foreign transaction fee. This covers the cost of your bank converting the money into a foreign currency. Fees usually vary according to the type of card you have, but they are generally around 2% – 3% of the transaction amount.

How does a no annual fee credit card with no foreign transaction fee work?

It works in the same way as a regular credit card, except you don’t have to be worried about being charged extra for making international purchases or using your credit card overseas (except for cash advances and ATM withdrawals). You also don’t have an annual fee to worry about either.

Case study – fees vs benefits

Credit cards with an annual fee usually have more benefits as an extra benefit to the cardholder. In this case study, you can see that while the Commonwealth Bank Gold Awards MasterCard has an annual fee, it is the only one linked to a rewards system. In terms of credit card features such as balance transfers, security and interest free days, all three cards share them. An extra bonus with the Bankwest Zero Platinum MasterCard is complimentary travel insurance, which is an incredibly competitive offer considering most card on the market have an annual fee for this.

Bankwest Zero Platinum MasterCard

28 Degrees MasterCard

Commonwealth Bank Gold Awards MasterCard

Annual fee

$0

$0

$119

Foreign transaction fee

0%

0%

3%

Benefits

An introductory offer on balance transfers, complimentary travel insurance & 24/7 and concierge service.

An introductory offer on balance transfers, 55 days interest free on purchases, fraud protection and a 24/7 online service. Plus new customers can save from two cash advance fees waived for a limited time.

An introductory offer on balance transfers, 55 days interest free on purchases, complimentary services and linked to an awards system.

Compare more travel credit cards

How to compare no annual fee credit cards with no foreign transaction fee

  • Complimentary insurances. If you’re a regular traveller, then you may want to consider a credit card that has complimentary travel insurance. This includes medical and hospital cover, loss/damage/theft, delayed baggage, as well as car hire insurance excess. Otherwise, there are other insurance covers like purchase security cover, purchase extended warranty, purchase price guarantee as well as complimentary concierge.
  • Interest rates. Having a credit card with a low interest rate should be the ultimate goal for any credit card holder as the benefits are long lasting and immediate. However, it should not be subject to time constraints or special conditions, like those of balance transfers and promotional rates as it could hide the true interest rate.
  • Balance transfers. This is a credit card that lets you transfer your existing credit card balance onto a new one and repay it at a much lower rate, sometimes at even 0% p.a interest. Be mindful that when the balance transfer offer expires, the remaining balance will generally revert to the standard purchase rate of the credit card, but in some cases it could be the cash advance rate.
  • Security. Again, if you’re a regular traveller or you purchase items from a lot of international websites, then credit card security is essential. In the case that your card gets stolen or lost while overseas, you need to be able to have access to a replacement card or notify your credit card provider to stop fraudulent transactions. Likewise, if someone obtained your credit card details online, then it could be prone to fraud activity.
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Pros and cons

Pros

  • No fees. These cards don’t charge an annual fee or foreign transaction fees, which means that you could potentially save up to hundred of dollars.
  • Internationally friendly. Most of these credit cards are designed for online shoppers and those who travel frequently, so if you fit into that category these credit cards may be able to save you a lot of money.
Cons

  • No rewards program. To make up for the annual fee, these credit cards are not linked to a reward program. So while you make big purchases or fly on airlines, you can’t offset part of the cost with the rewards or miles.

Case study – rewards value vs fees

It’s important to consider the rewards value of the points you’re getting with your credit card. While it is linked to a rewards system, you need to consider whether earning points is worth the fees. For example, the Bankwest Zero Platinum doesn’t charge anything for foreign purchases, while the Commonwealth Bank Gold Awards card charges a 3% foreign transaction fee. Looking at the case study below, you can see that an annual spend of $1,000 online only earns $5.10 in rewards value, compared to the $30 you’ve paid in foreign transaction fees.

Bankwest Zero Platinum MasterCard

Commonwealth Bank Gold Awards MasterCard

Amount spent

$1,000

$1,000

Annual fee

$0

$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($119 p.a. thereafter)

Foreign transaction fee

$0

$30

Reward points (value)

0 ($0)

1,000 ($5.10)

Balance

0

- $168.90

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Things to avoid with no annual fee credit cards with no foreign transaction fees

  • Overspending. Just because you don’t have to pay an annual fee or a foreign transaction fee doesn’t mean you overspend. It’s much better to align your spending habits with the perks of the credit card, like only using the credit card when shopping online and a low interest credit card for regular purchases.

Frequently asked questions about no annual fee credit cards with no foreign transaction fees

What is the *best credit card for travel?

The *best card for travel will come down to your needs. To make a full comparison please see our travel money page.

Where can I find credit cards with no foreign transaction fees?

If rewards really aren’t your thing, and you just want to save on foreign transaction fees, please see this page for a comparison of no foreign transaction fee credit cards.

Where can I find credit cards with no annual fee?

If you have decided that you aren’t worried about foreign transaction fees or rewards and don’t want to pay an annual fee, please see our extensive guide to no annual fee credit cards.

Where can I find out more about exchange rates?

To find out more about exchange rates and bank fees, please see this page about the basics of foreign exchange rates and foreign currency.

As with any credit card, there’s a lot more to consider than just the fees. If you only use your credit card for a small amount of purchases then foreign transaction fees won’t be as relevant to you. You may want to consider having more than one credit card, with one as a fee-free options and the other as rewards credit card.

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12 Responses to No Annual Fee Credit Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees

  1. Default Gravatar
    Gary | November 11, 2015

    I am moving to Cambodia from Australia. I belong to ANZ but they charge the cash conversion rate but not the withdrawal fee. Is there a card that I can get that abolishes both conversion and withdrawal fees there. This NOT for purchases, simply ATM withdrawals only. I intend to transfer money from my bank to it on a monthly basis.
    Thanks Gary

    • Staff
      Jonathan | November 11, 2015

      Hi Gary, thanks for your inquiry!

      Please see this page for credit cards with no overseas ATM withdrawal fees.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  2. Default Gravatar
    Gary | October 5, 2015

    Hi

    We have a trip to Thailand organised and I am considering the 28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard as there are no currency conversion or transaction fees. Are the currency conversion rates offered at the time you make a purchase likely to be similar between all banks? Is this card recognised and accepted widely in thailand?

    Also this card does not have complimentary travel insurance but we currently have a Platinum Awards Mastercard and Amex with Commonwealth, so I am thinking of using this for the travel insurance. Just confirming my thinking is along the correct lines. Thanks Gary L

    • Staff
      Sally | October 6, 2015

      Hi Gary,

      Thanks for your questions.

      That is correct, the 28 Degrees Platinum MasterCard doesn’t charge currency conversion or international transaction fees.

      According to the 28 Degrees website, ‘The foreign exchange rate is calculated by MasterCard International on a daily basis according to daily foreign exchange fluctuations. The conversion will consist of two calculations if the transaction is made in foreign currency – it will first be converted to US dollars and then converted to Australian dollars for listing on your transactions.’

      MasterCard is widely accepted internationally, so you shouldn’t have any trouble accessing your funds in Thailand wherever MasterCard is accepted.

      That’s correct, the 28 Degrees Platinum MasterCard doesn’t offer complimentary insurance. If you already have another card that comes with complimentary insurance (and you meet the eligibility requirements), this could be an option for you. To decide which insurance cover is best for you, read the terms and conditions to understand what you’ll be covered under and the eligibility requirements you’ll need to meet.

      Please see our Thailand Travel Money Guide for further information.

      I hope this has helped.

      Thanks,

      Sally

  3. Default Gravatar
    chan | January 23, 2015

    If I have money in credit in my credit card and withdrawal the money in an ATM overseas, will I still be charged interest?

    • Staff
      Jonathan | January 23, 2015

      Hi Chan,

      Thanks for your inquiry!

      Depending on the credit issuer overseas ATM withdrawals can attract fees such as currency conversion fees and international ATM cash advance fees, with certain cards including interest free periods on purchases which can be taken advantage of to pay less interest.

      Was there a specific credit card issuer you were inquiring about that I can help you with?

      I hope this has helped,

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  4. Default Gravatar
    Mindy | July 1, 2014

    Can you tell me which is the best Business Credit Card, preferably with no Annual Fee and no Foreign Transaction Fees?

    • Staff
      Shirley | July 1, 2014

      Hi Mindy,

      Thanks for your question.

      Please compare business credit cards on this page. While some may no annual fee, its a lot harder to track down one that doesn’t charge currency conversion fees.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

  5. Default Gravatar
    Mellingtons | June 5, 2014

    Hi
    I was wondering what would be the best way to use my money overseas. My partner and I are getting married in Ireland later this year so we will need to bring money to pay for the wedding.

    Since we will be bring more than the average holiday money I was looking for some advice with the best options.

    1. Exchange the currency into cash
    2. Transfer into an Irish bank account
    3. Get 3 or 4 currency card
    4. Use a credit card and cash

    Thanks for your help

    Mellingtons

  6. Default Gravatar
    Stev | March 1, 2014

    With the change of the 28 degree cash advance fee; any other suggestions for a fee free credit card with no cash advance fee for a credit card with positive credit ?

Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated July 1st, 2016
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
American Express Essential Credit Card
Receive a $50 credit on eligible spend and get Smartphone screen insurance combined with a no annual fee for life card.
14.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months $0 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Receive a full annual fee refund and save $149 if you meet the $6,000 spend requirement. Enjoy a balance transfer offer and platinum card benefits such as complimentary insurances and concierge services.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months $149 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
The NAB Low Interest Visa Card offers 0% p.a. purchase and balance transfer offers for 15 months. Also comes with a low annual fee.
0% p.a. for 15 months (reverts to 13.99% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 15 months with a one off 2% balance transfer fee $59 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
Receive 40,000 bonus Qantas Points on eligible spend within 3 months. A balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 6 months with access to premium benefits and complimentary insurance.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 6 months $199 p.a. Go to site More info

* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards CreditCardFinder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

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