By ANN CARRNS
If you’re planning a trip outside of the United States this summer, you might want to think hard about what credit card you bring along. The list of cards that have eliminated foreign transaction fees, which tack up to 3 percent onto your purchases, is growing, and using the right card can save you money on your vacation.
The latest entry to the field is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. The card carries no foreign transaction fees and is offering a bonus of 50,000 rewards points if you spend $3,000 in the first three months. The card has a $95 annual fee, but it’s waived for the first year.
The Sapphire card joins Chase’s existing offerings that don’t charge the annoying fees, including its British Airways Visa Signature Card, the Hyatt Card and the Priority Club Select Visa Card.
Capital One offers several cards with no foreign exchange fees and no annual fee as well; card comparison site Cardhub.com has a list.
Citigroup has eliminated the charges on its ThankYou Premier and ThankYou Prestige cards. And American Express doesn’t charge the fees on its Platinum and Centurion cards.
An analysis by Cardhub showed that using credit cards with no currency conversion fees save consumers an average of 7.9 percent when compared to exchange rates offered at banks and 14.7 percent when compared to airport exchange services. Even if you are stuck with a card that charges the fee, you’ll still come out ahead using plastic, the survey found: You’ll save 4.9 percent on average and 11.7 percent, compared to banks and airport currency exchange services, respectively.