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No foreign fee credit cards


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Just got an email from Brim that they optimize the value and they going to start charging 1.5% 

 

There are two changes that will optimize the value you are currently receiving:

1. Your foreign exchange fee will be only 1.5%, while most other cards charge 2.5%, allowing you to continue to save on your cross-border shopping.

🤣

I know people have posted other cards that have no foreign fees but I tried to search but couldn’t  find any post 🤔

 

Could you please post which card you are using 😁

 

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I have a Home Trust Visa card. I also have an EQ Card from EQ bank, which works as a prepaid Mastercard that doesn’t charge fees. The Visa has no perks; the EQ Card pays me 0.5% on all purchases using the card. It also pays the same interest on the money that you have on the card as on their regular daily account, currently 2.5% plus a bonus bringing it up to 4% for 12 months if you have auto deposits totalling $500 or more per month. 

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Scotiabank has at least one Visa card Infinite Travel or such) that has no Foreign Currency (FC) transaction fee.It has additional value such as some insurance component, points (though I've not figured out how to use them but recently changed to apparently make them more useable),  and a generous compared to many airport lounge inclusion. It has a $130 or 140? annual fee but a 2nd card is n/c. Fee waived if $6k minimum maintained in (very high fee but waived) chequeing account.

 

I also have a Hometrust visa that I got because it was a no FCT fee and n/c for the card and 1% in points. They still promote that card as no FCT fee but they no longer give points on foreign transactions so really is costing 1%. Still good as it is no fee for the card but I don't like that description of no FCT. Lower initial limits and really annoying multiple and badly / wrongly worded alerts when it is used outside of Canada but I've gotten used to it.

 

I don't know if they still offer it but Roger used to have a sort of FCT free card. You were charged a fee but they rewarded points of equal value to "rebate". But the reward points could only be used for crediting Rogers account such as phone or internet. As I will not use such Rogers services I passed on that but it might still be available and work for you.

 

Note when searching for a FCT fee free card I never found the FCT fee listed under fees. Even a search would have no result. You'll see it after selecting to apply. A Terms box will be displayed and the FCT fee I've found is listed there.

 

 

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Yes, as @gnome12 mentioned the EQ Bank debit card is a good choice for ATM transactions too. I really like the high rate interest is the same as in the regular account (and credited monthly to the regular account not to the debit card account).

 

I have never used it outside of Canada so can't say if any issues (Hometrust Visa) was a real hassle twice when using it in Buenos Aires with security approval required but sent to a different (but related) device than where they sent the security alerts - so appeared just as a warning but was actually being denied after the fact)

 

I tested the EQ debit card once locally, was charged an ATM fee by the bank 's ATM but EQ credited it to my card account so it worked great.

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23 minutes ago, YoHoHo said:

 

I tested the EQ debit card once locally, was charged an ATM fee by the bank 's ATM but EQ credited it to my card account so it worked great.

The EQ card is not actually a debit card. It is not accepted in places that don’t accept credit cards. It is a (prepaid) Mastercard. I remember trying to use it to buy foreign currency, and they wouldn’t take it. Then I realized that all I needed to do was to walk a bit through the mall to take out cash from an ATM to buy the foreign currency. I don’t use a lot of cash, but I do like to have some local currency with me. 
 

The ATM fees are only rebated in Canada. If you use it outside the country you will pay any ATM fees charged by the foreign bank. 
 

I use the card all the time now when I travel. I had no problems using it in Germany and France as well as the US. The 0.5% cash back isn’t a lot, but there are no foreign currency fees. 

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26 minutes ago, gnome12 said:

The EQ card is not actually a debit card. It is not accepted in places that don’t accept credit cards. It is a (prepaid) Mastercard. I remember trying to use it to buy foreign currency, and they wouldn’t take it. Then I realized that all I needed to do was to walk a bit through the mall to take out cash from an ATM to buy the foreign currency. I don’t use a lot of cash, but I do like to have some local currency with me. 
 

The ATM fees are only rebated in Canada. If you use it outside the country you will pay any ATM fees charged by the foreign bank. 
 

I use the card all the time now when I travel. I had no problems using it in Germany and France as well as the US. The 0.5% cash back isn’t a lot, but there are no foreign currency fees. 

Thanks for the clarification. The effect of its use was to withdraw cash from an ATM and the funds were debited from the EQ Card account so hence the thought of a debit card. 

 

Yes, I only used it once and in Canada to see how that "no fee" use worked. I am fine paying (reasonable ) fee for the foreign ATM service. It is so very convenient. And would not have bothered with the EQ Card had my previously go-to TD Bank not raised the fee from the original 0 to 3.5% even with high monthly account fees and not the most favourable exchange rate to buy cash at a branch.

 

When only infrequently travelling there was not so much a difference to worry about (other than being annoyed) but travelling a lot more now it does add up especially with a credit card and paying for the bulk of an entire trip in foreign currency.

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 We use the scotiabank passport infinite visa. I love it. We used to have an RBC Usbank visa but traded that one in for this one since we can use it world wide. 

Like previously said it also has insurance benefits and includes 6 lounge passes per year which we love using. Not all airports have a lounge available but we've generally been able to find one. For the most part, its the plaza premium network. 

 

The point system is through scene+. It works out to 1PT=$0.01 if redeeming for travel or groceries. The redemption valhe isnt that great if redeeming for straight statement credit.  We primarily shop at Sobeys which is on the Scene program so lots of opportunites for bonus pts. 

We usually redeem for travel. Can be done right on the app and shows up as a credit within a couple days of requesting. 

Im very happy with this card. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Our main CC is with CIBC Visa Infinite Privilege with a 2.5% FE cost 

so we get the lounges , when you can find them 😁

it is more expensive, but $200 towards travel, and you get 10 days of travel insurance once you over 65 

just wish it had 0% foreign fees 

 

Edited by Ex-Airbalancer
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5 hours ago, Ex-Airbalancer said:

I know people have posted other cards that have no foreign fees but I tried to search but couldn’t  find any post 🤔

While you'll get a few suggestions here and anecdotal information, if you Google your title for this thread you'll get a lot more information covering all Canadian cards with no fx fee. It's a constantly changing landscape, and worth your while to do the research.

 

FWIW, my two cards currently are the Mastercards from EQ and Wealthsimple.

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We maximize points on cards rather than look for things like no foreign transaction fees.

 

We will move cards annually after all the points bonuses are paid to get the new promotional points.

 

We so rarely buy anything when we are away that the points are worth more to us than the foreign transaction fee.

 

Perhaps one night hotel before a cruise, or a meal or two, but the total charged value is so low that we are talking a few dollars at most in fees.

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1 hour ago, CDNPolar said:

We maximize points on cards rather than look for things like no foreign transaction fees.

 

We will move cards annually after all the points bonuses are paid to get the new promotional points.

 

We so rarely buy anything when we are away that the points are worth more to us than the foreign transaction fee.

 

Perhaps one night hotel before a cruise, or a meal or two, but the total charged value is so low that we are talking a few dollars at most in fees.

We were just talking about last night 

on $1000 , you are talking about $25 

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1 minute ago, Ex-Airbalancer said:

We were just talking about last night 

on $1000 , you are talking about $25 

 

Yeah...  not a lot in the grand scheme of things, especially if you are getting points.

 

We now have 4 TD Aeroplan cards all with bonus points in the first year and will be replacing two of these in June to get the latest annual bonus points awards.  We get far more firepower out of the points and free airfare than the cost of foreign transaction fees.

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We also use the Scotia Bank Passport. We enjoy it, We had been Scene members before moving to the card, but I find the points easy to build up, no FX fees, we use a US-based TA that charges in USD, and when we travel internationally we use it for every purchase. We also use the lounge perks, the 6 passes a year are great! We are in Newfoundland, so nothing here except for MPL, but we normally have to spend 4-7hrs in Pearson or when I travel to Montreal for work, and both those locations have lounges. 

 

Because of our normal long waits in airports, I was looking for something with a good lounge access package, without the $600/yr for an Amex. The bonus of no FX was fantastic...plus the 2nd card for my partner at no additional charge! great option. I wish they offered a refund/rebate for NEXUS membership, but for the sake of the $50 every 5 years. I'm more than happy with the card. (We also have Canadia cards we use for normal points accumulation through the year, in places that don't provided bonus scene points or are charging in Canadian.) 

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On 3/17/2024 at 4:19 PM, Ex-Airbalancer said:

Could you please post which card you are using 😁

 

Rogers Bank Mastercard, for USD purchases.  Technically, not fee free as it charges a 2.5% currency exchange fee on USD transactions,  but then it gives the cardholder a 3% rebate.  

 

For all other foreign currencies, this card charges a 2.5% forex fee but doesn't give a 3% rebate.

 

No annual fee for the card. 

 

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We had a Scotiabank Passport a few years ago, but we couldn't justify the annual fee for the amount we travel.

 

Started to travel again, we looked to pre-paid cards for extra security. WealthSimple and Wise offer physical cards with no FX fees, like the EQ card already mentioned.

 

We've had issues signing up for Wise, so I hesitate to suggest it. WealthSimple has been good so far. Easy to load, and 1% cash back on spending on top of no FX fees.

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We had the Scotia Passport visa, which doesn't charge the 2.5% FX fee.  It also comes with 6 lounge passes, but the time when they switched from Scotia's points to Scene they messed up and did not transfer about 35,000 points over.  After so many phone calls and them admitting they messed up and would get the points to us, they never did.  We didn't keep that card.

 

We then had the HSBC WE MC which does not charge FX, then upgraded to the HSBC metal WE MC which came with lounge accesses.  Now RBC is taking over, RBC issued Avion visa cards as replacement, which supposedly doesn't charge FX fee -- we'll find out for sure after April 1 when we can start using the new cards.

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On 3/18/2024 at 7:03 AM, CDNPolar said:

We now have 4 TD Aeroplan cards all with bonus points in the first year and will be replacing two of these in June to get the latest annual bonus points awards

I believe Aeroplan has changed their policy and now limits the number of times people can receive bonus points for new Aeroplan cards....

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7 hours ago, Shadow9612 said:

I believe Aeroplan has changed their policy and now limits the number of times people can receive bonus points for new Aeroplan cards....

 

According to our bank no, that is not the case.  All they care about is that we spend the required amount of the card to get the points.

 

I will look into this however because our bank has been wrong before.

 

If you can direct us to where this policy is, it would be appreciated.

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1 hour ago, CDNPolar said:

 

According to our bank no, that is not the case.  All they care about is that we spend the required amount of the card to get the points.

 

I will look into this however because our bank has been wrong before.

 

If you can direct us to where this policy is, it would be appreciated.

There was a travel blog summary article I saw (prince of travel) - am I allowed to post that link here ?

 

You can also read details on Aeroplan website.  Section 10 deals with new card bonuses:

 

Aeroplan Terms and Conditions

 

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1 hour ago, Shadow9612 said:

There was a travel blog summary article I saw (prince of travel) - am I allowed to post that link here ?

 

You can also read details on Aeroplan website.  Section 10 deals with new card bonuses:

 

Aeroplan Terms and Conditions

 

 

Thanks.  Have read through this now.  Had not seen these terms before.

 

Again, our bank issuing the card says there is no challenge in having multiple cards linked to the same Aeroplan account.  I have called into the credit card as well and they claim to be good with what we are doing.

 

Yes - you can post a blog post here as far as I am aware.

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3 minutes ago, CDNPolar said:

Again, our bank issuing the card says there is no challenge in having multiple cards linked to the same Aeroplan account.  I have called into the credit card as well and they claim to be good with what we are doing.

Hi, I don't think there is a problem having multiple cards linked to the same Aeroplan account.... So yes, people can gain Aeroplan points by spending on multiple affiliated credit cards.  

 

I thought you were originally referring to the "welcome bonuses" given (eg, 10,000 or 20,000 Aeroplan points) for new credit card sign ups.  That is where people might need to be careful.  

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On 3/27/2024 at 10:40 PM, Middleager said:

.  Now RBC is taking over, RBC issued Avion visa cards as replacement, which supposedly doesn't charge FX fee -- we'll find out for sure after April 1 when we can start using the new cards.

We have the RBC Avion Visa Infinite and they charge 2.5%  The RBC Visa Signature Black Plus from their US Bank arm does not charge the additional fee.

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8 hours ago, Keata said:

We have the RBC Avion Visa Infinite and they charge 2.5%  The RBC Visa Signature Black Plus from their US Bank arm does not charge the additional fee.

You're talking about the existing RBC Avion visa, not the ones issued from the RBC takeover of HSBC, different RBC Avion visa.

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  • 3 weeks later...
1 hour ago, Water_Baby_ said:

I use an American Express when we're outside of Canada and pay no foreign exchange fees. 

American Express charges the merchant more when you use the card so you less place taking the card 

In Europe you do not see many places accepting the card 

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