What is a Foreign Transaction Fee and How Can You Avoid It?

外国交易费用使每个旅行者所面对的费用微不足道,大多数信用卡用户对此表示质疑。它们是飞行常客的祸根,如果管理不当,可能会导致严重的指控。但是这些费用是多少?为什么存在?平均费用是多少?如何避免这些费用?

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What is a Foreign Transaction Fee?

A foreign transaction fee is a surcharge levied every time you make a payment in a foreign currency or transfer money through a foreign bank. These fees are charged by credit card networks and issuers, often totaling around 3%.

例如,假设您在英国度假,那里的所有交易都在英镑中进行。您外出用餐并使用信用卡支付了150英镑的账单。您的信用卡发卡行首先将这笔款项转换为美元,然后收取国外交易费,然后网络(Visa,MasterCard,American Express)将执行同样的操作。

If we assume that £150 equates to exactly $200, this will show on your credit card statement first followed by a separate foreign transaction fee of $6.

When Will You Pay Foreign Transaction Fees?

如果您要将钱从美国银行帐户转移到另一种币种的国际帐户,则很有可能会受到国外交易费的打击,并可能要收取额外的转账费。通常,每次您使用外币付款时都会收取这些费用。

Many years ago, foreign transaction fees were limited to purchases made in other currencies, but they are now charged for online purchases as well. If the site you’re using is based in another country, there’s a good chance you’ll face these charges.

事先并不总是很容易知道是否要收取这些费用。许多国外站点使用的软件会自动检测您的位置并在您访问后立即更改货币。对您来说,似乎所有事物都以美元列出,但实际上您可能是以外币付款。

Other Issues that American Travelers Face 

尝试在国外使用美国奖励信用卡时,并不是唯一会遇到国外交易费用的问题。如果我们回到上一个在英国度假的示例,您可能会发现该餐厅根本不接受您的信用卡。

与美国一样,在英国,Visa和万事达卡是两个最常见的信用卡网络,可以在任何可以使用信用卡或借记卡的地方接受。但是,尽管Discover是美国第三大常见网络,但在英国几乎不存在。 

Discover has claimed that the card has “moderate” acceptance in the UK, but this is a generous description and unless you’re shopping in locations that tailor for many tourists and American tourists in particular, it likely won’t be accepted.

There are similar issues with American Express, albeit to a lesser extent. AMEX is the third most common provider in the UK, but finding a retailer that actually accepts this card is very hit and miss.

Do Foreign Transaction Fees Count Towards Credit Card Rewards?

国外交易费用以及所有其他银行和信用卡费用不计入您的奖励总额,但初始费用会计算在内。如果我们回到前面的$ 200餐馆付款示例,则您将获得$ 200的奖励积分,但不能赚取$ 6的额外费用。

How to Avoid Foreign Transaction Fees

避免国外交易费用的最简单方法是使用不收取费用的信用卡。一些高级卡和奖励卡会吸收这些交易产生的费用,这意味着您可以在旅行时随身携带信用卡,而不必担心额外的费用。

这很关键,因为简单地将美元转换为目标货币并不是避免收取国外交易费用的最佳方法。货币转换需要自付费用,在度假时随身携带大量现金也很冒险。 

Credit Cards Without Foreign Transaction Fees

所有信用卡优惠都必须明确说明许多基本功能,包括利率,奖励计划和年费。但是,您可能需要进行一些挖掘以了解国外交易费用。这些费用可以在信用卡的条款和条件中找到,这些条款和条件应在提供商的网站上完整列出。

To get you started, here are a few credit cards that don’t charge foreign transaction fees:

  1. Bank of America Travel Rewards Card: A high-reward and low-fee credit card backed by the Bank of America.
  2. Capital One: All Capital One cards are free of foreign transaction fees, including their reward cards, such as the Venture card.
  3. Chase Sapphire Preferred: A premium rewards card aimed at big spenders. There is an annual fee, but not foreign transaction fees.
  4. Citi Prestige: One of several Citi cards that don’t charge foreign transaction fees, and the best one in terms of rewards. 
  5. Discover It: A solid all-round credit card with no foreign transaction fees. However, as noted above, the Discover network is rare outside of the United States.
  6. Wells Fargo Propel World: An American Express credit card with good rewards and low fees, including no foreign transaction fees.

Summary: One of Many Fees

国外交易费用只是您每月可能要支付的许多费用中的一部分。信用卡采用奖励和罚款制度;当您进行符合条件的购买时,您会得到奖励;当您使用外币和赌场付款时,以及使用卡提取现金时,都会受到惩罚。

这些费用中有许多是固定的,占您总支出的百分比,但是有些费用也会收取利息,即使您每月清算余额也要支付利息。为避免受到这些费用的打击,请注意条款和条件,并寻找不会因您的日常工作而受到惩罚的卡。