Paris, ATMs and No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards

paris atm no foreign transaction fee credit card

This summer we went to Paris and took a couple of friends. It had been a few years since our last visit, so I did some research on our ATM and credit cards before we left. Things had changed – almost everything had a 3% foreign transaction fee.

First off, I’ve always used my ATM card in the past. There were never any fees, and ATM machines were everywhere. This year, I found out that the rules had changed. All 3 of my ATM cards now charged

  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • ATM withdrawal fee

So, I did some searching to find an ATM card that didn’t charge so much in fees. I found and opened a free, high interest checking account at Charles Schwab. After opening it, I found out that they charged a 1% foreign transaction fee, but they rebated all ATM fees anywhere in the world. I went ahead and kept it since I needed a good ATM card I could use in the States after I closed my way-too-expensive other checking account.

Once I’d figured out my ATM card situation, I called on my credit cards. I found out that they also charged a 3% fee which was up from 1% a few years earlier. Since I was going to use my credit card to pay for the apartment we were renting, I really didn’t want to pay the fee there either.

So, I went to work searching for another card. I found only a few cards without the foreign transaction fee. All of the cards were from either CapitalOne or Citibank. Citibank also had rewards on the card (and no annual fee) so they won. After I got the card, Citibank started charging an annual fee.

So, I looked around for a better deal, and I found one – the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. It gives you:

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