Best no foreign transaction fee credit cards

No foreign transaction fee credit cards exist and they can save you a lot of money if you love shopping from overseas online stores or travel frequently.

By   |   Verified by David Boyd   |   Updated 8 Feb 2024

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Comparing no foreign transaction fee credit cards

American Express Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card

On website

FeaturedApply by 28 February 2024

American Express Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

57,200 points

Highlights

  • Enjoy a welcome offer of your choice and travel rewards worth over S$1,200: Earn up to 68,000 HighFlyer points or a Samsonite luggage, a complimentary Accor Plus membership worth S$418 offering a free night’s stay every year, and up to 20,000 HighFlyer points worth S$190 when you spend with the Singapore Airlines Group. Terms and Conditions apply.
  • Earn up to 8.5 HighFlyer points per S$1 spent on eligible Singapore Airlines Group flights.
  • Earn 1.8 HighFlyer points per S$1 spent on all other eligible spend.

Pros

  • Earn generous welcome offers.
  • Enjoy Priority Pass membership with two complimentary visits per year for you and a guest.
  • Fast-track to KrisFlyer Elite Gold status with S$15,000 spent with the Singapore Airlines Group within the first 12 months.
  • Offers 51 interest-free days.
  • Flexible payment with Pay Small.

Cons

  • The annual fee of S$301.79 p.a (inclusive of 8% GST).
HSBC Advance Credit Card

On website

HSBC Advance Credit Card

Cashback

3.50% on any spend

Cashback cap

$70.00 on any spend

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

Get a S$150 cashback or a Samsonite ZELTUS 69cm Spinner Exp with built-in scale when you apply now. Terms and Conditions Apply.

Highlights

  • Get up to 3.5% Base Cashback on local and overseas spend (Terms and Conditions apply).
  • Get an additional 1% Bonus Cashback with HSBC Everyday+ Rewards Programme.
  • 1-year annual credit card fee waiver.

Pros

  • Earn up to 3.5% cashback when you meet the criteria.
  • No minimum spend is required.
  • Split your purchases into installments at 0% interest over 3 to 24 months.
  • Comes with complimentary travel insurance.
  • Enjoy shopping, dining, and travel deals.

Cons

  • The annual fee reverts to S$194.40 p.a. after the initial year (waived if you spend S$12,500 per year).
  • The ongoing interest rate of 26.90% p.a.
HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card

On website

HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card

Cashback

Up to 5.00% on dining spend

Cashback cap

$1000.00 on dining spend

Minimum spend

S$600.00 per month, every quarter

Sign up bonus

Get a S$150 cashback or a Samsonite ZELTUS 69cm Spinner Exp with built-in scale when you apply now. Terms and Conditions Apply.

Highlights

  • 5% cash rebate on dining, groceries and fuel.
  • 1 reward point per dollar spent.
  • 2-year annual credit card fee waiver.

Pros

  • Earn up to 5% cashback.
  • Additional 17% instant discount when you fuel up at Caltex or Shell.
  • No annual fee for the first 2 years.
  • Enjoy Visa Platinum credit card privileges.

Cons

  • Cashback is capped at $1,000 per year.
HSBC Revolution Credit Card

On website

HSBC Revolution Credit Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

Get a S$150 cashback or a Samsonite ZELTUS 69cm Spinner Exp with built-in scale when you apply now. Terms and Conditions Apply.

Highlights

  • Up to 10X Reward points on online purchases and contactless payments (equivalent to 4 miles per S$1 spend).
  • 1X Reward point per S$1 spend on other purchases.
  • No minimum spend is required.
  • $0 annual credit card fee.

Pros

  • Earn 10x rewards points on online and contactless spending.
  • Get an additional 1% Bonus Cashback with HSBC Everyday Global Account
  • S$0 p.a. annual fee.
  • Includes travel insurance coverage against flight inconvenience and personal accidents.
  • Get instant discounts of up to 14% off at Shell stations and 16% off petrol at Caltex stations.

Cons

  • There is a 10,000 monthly cap on rewards points earned (online and contactless spending only).
American Express Platinum Charge Card

Apply by 28 February 2024

American Express Platinum Charge Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

Receive up to 135,000 Membership Rewards points. Terms and Conditions apply.

Highlights

  • Receive up to 135,000 Membership Rewards points. Get a welcome offer of 87,500 Membership Rewards points with a minimum spending of S$6,000 within the first 2 months of Card approval, receive 40,000 Membership Rewards points upon Annual Fee payment, and 7,500 Membership Rewards points based on the S$6,000 spent. Terms and Conditions apply.
  • Receive up to S$2,247 credits in a calendar year to spend across a selection of travel and premium lifestyle brands.
  • Enjoy unlimited complimentary access to over 1,400 airport lounges around the world.

Pros

  • Receive up to 135,000 Membership Reward points when you meet the criteria.
  • Get complimentary upgrades for global hotels and lifestyle loyalty programs
  • Receive complimentary upgrades to Hotel Loyalty Programmes.
  • Earn 5 Amex Points for every S$1.60 spent with Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, and Scoot.
  • Earn 2 Amex points for every S$1.60 spent on another qualified spending.

Cons

  • The annual fee is S$1,728 p.a. (inclusive of 8% GST)
American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

Receive up to 34,000 KrisFlyer miles when you meet the criteria. Terms and Conditions apply.

Highlights

  • Receive up to 34,000 KrisFlyer miles points. Get 5,000 KrisFlyer miles for the very first charge on card, receive a welcome offer of 25,400 KrisFlyer miles points upon annual fee payment and a minimum spend of S$3,000 within the first 3 months of card approval, and 3,600 KrisFlyer miles based on the S$3,000 spent. Terms and Conditions apply.
  • Get a complimentary one-night stay at Hilton Properties in the Asia Pacific and 4 complimentary lounge access passes each year with exclusive Hertz privileges worldwide.
  • Accelerated upgrade to KrisFlyer Elite Gold Membership with a minimum spend of $15,000 on singaporeair.com within the first 12 months of card approval. This comes with an additional 20kg baggage allowance and other priority privileges.

Pros

  • Enjoy an accelerated upgrade to KrisFlyer Elite Gold membership with a minimum spend of $15,000 on SIA within 12 months of getting your card.
  • Enjoy Double KrisFlyer Miles Accrual Voucher (capped at 5,000 bonus KrisFlyer Miles) with min. spend of S$15,000 on Singapore Airlines from 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2024.
  • On top of 1.2 KrisFlyer Miles per 1$ on local spend, you can earn KrisFlyer Miles at accelerated rates when spending overseas, for transactions with Grab, Singapore Airlines, and KrisShop.
  • Includes travel inconvenience and travel accident benefits.
  • Annual supplementary card fee is waived in the first year.

Cons

  • Min annual income of $50,000 for citizens/PRs and $60,000 for foreigners.
  • The annual fee is $340.20 (inclusive of 8% GST)
  • Free travel insurance only when your air ticket is charged to your card.
  • Supplementary cards have a fee of $81 p.a. second year onwards.
  • Late payment fee is $100.

American Express Platinum Credit Card

Apply by 28 February 2024

American Express Platinum Credit Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

Receive S$200 Statement Credits with annual fee payment and when you spend at least S$3,000 within the first 3 months of card approval. Applicable if you are new to American Express.

Highlights

  • Receive S$200 eCapitaVouchers with annual fee payment and when you spend at least S$1,000 within the first 3 months of card approval. Applicable if you are new to American Express.
  • Receive S$100 eCapitaVouchers with annual fee payment and when you spend at least S$1,000 within the first 3 months of card approval. Applicable if you are an existing card member.
  • Enjoy up to 50% savings at select 5-star hotels and restaurants with Love Dining by Platinum.
  • Enjoy Platinum Lifestyle benefits including deals and discounts at spas, golf, and bars, and the membership Rewards Catalogue.

Pros

  • Receive up to S$200 Statement Credits when you meet the criteria.
  • Get up to 50% savings at 5-star hotels, spa vouchers and discounts, and complimentary green fees at premier golf and country clubs in Singapore and overseas with Platinum Lifestyle.
  • The first 2 Supplementary Cards fees are permanently waived.
  • Redeem points at the Membership Rewards Catalogue or pay with points to downsize your card bills.

Cons

  • Minimum income requirement of $80,000 p.a.
  • The annual fee is $324 p.a. (inclusive of 8% GST).
American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card

American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

Get a welcome offer of 5,000 KrisFlyer miles the very first time you charge to your Card. Terms and Conditions apply.

Highlights

  • First-year fee waiver for main cardholder and supplementary card.
  • Welcome offer of 5,000 KrisFlyer miles. Earn up to 3.1 KrisFlyer miles per $1 spent.
  • Get $150 cashback for use on your next purchase on singaporeair.com when you spend $12,000 on eligible purchases with your Card from 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2024.
  • Get 500 Bonus KrisFlyer miles on paying the first telco recurring bill.

Pros

  • First year fee waiver
  • Earn 3.1 miles per $1 spend on Grab rides, up to $200 each month.
  • All other purchases earn you 1.1 miles per $1 spend.
  • All miles are auto-credited to your KrisFlyer account, sparing you the hassle.

Cons

  • Min annual income of $30,000 for citizens/PRs and $45,000 for foreigners.
  • Annual fee waived the 1st year, but $176.55 for principal card and $54 for each supplementary card thereafter.
  • Free travel insurance only when your air ticket is charged to your card.

Citi Rewards Credit Card

Citi Rewards Credit Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

Get 40,000 bonus Citi ThankYou Points when you apply, get approved, and spend S$800 or more in the first 2 months. Terms and Conditions apply.

Highlights

  • Earn 10X Reward on online purchases and shopping purchases.
  • Earn 10X Reward on rides with Grab, Gojek, and more.
  • Earn 10X Reward on online food delivery.
  • Earn 10X Reward on online groceries.

Pros

  • All other purchases still earn you a 1X Reward.
  • The first-year annual fee is waived.
  • Enjoy complimentary travel insurance when you use your card to purchase an airline ticket.
  • Get deals and discounts with Citi World Privileges.

Cons

  • Annual fee is waived for the 1st year, but $194.40 for the principal card and $97.20 for the supplementary card after.
  • There is a 3.25% foreign conversion fee.
  • Sign-up promo is only applicable to new Citi cardholders.
  • A rewards cap applies.
Citi Prestige Credit Card

Citi Prestige Credit Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

Get 177,500 bonus Citi ThankYou Points when you apply, get approved, and spend S$1,000 or more in the first 2 months. Terms and Conditions apply.

Highlights

  • Earn 5 ThankYou points (2 miles) per $1 overseas spend and 3.25 ThankYou points (1.3 miles) per $1 local spend.
  • Get a complimentary 4th-night stay at any hotel or resort.
  • Enjoy six complimentary golf games in Singapore, China, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
  • A concierge team to support your lifestyle at home and abroad

Pros

  • Earn 2 miles per $1 overseas spend and 1.3 miles per $1 local spend, miles won't expire on you.
  • No cap on ThankYou points.
  • Access to over 1,000 airport lounges with Priority Pass membership.
  • Up to $1 million travel insurance coverage is awesome.
  • Travel like a boss! Complimentary one-way Airport Limousine transfers to or from Changi International Airport.
  • Fly and stay with no blackout dates all year round.

Cons

  • The high annual fee of S$540 p.a.
  • A minimum income of S$120,000 a year is required to be eligible for this card.
  • Free travel insurance only when your air ticket is charged to your card.
Citi PremierMiles Card

Citi PremierMiles Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

Get 30,000 bonus Citi ThankYou Points when you apply, get approved, and spend S$800 or more in the first 2 months. Terms and Conditions apply.

Highlights

  • Earn 2 Citi Miles per S$1 on foreign currency spend and 1.2 Citi Miles per S$1 on local spend. Renewal bonus of 10,000 Citi Miles on your card anniversary.
  • Access to over 1,000 airport lounges with Priority Pass membership.
  • Up to $$1 million travel insurance coverage is awesome.

Pros

  • No expiry on miles earned.
  • Redeem miles at over 60 airlines and 8,000 hotels.
  • Convert 1,200 miles to a $10 rebate.
  • Supplementary card is complimentary.

Cons

  • Annual fee of $194.40 p.a. for the principal card.
  • Priority Pass membership is free for the principal cardholder only, expect to apply for it, and is limited to 2 free lounge visits each year.
  • Free travel insurance only when your air ticket is charged to your card.
UOB KrisFlyer Credit Card

UOB KrisFlyer Credit Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

Apply now and get up to 31,000 miles. Terms and Conditions apply.

Highlights

  • Earn 3 KrisFlyer miles per $1 spend on Singapore Airlines, Scoot, KrisShop, and Kris+ purchases.
  • Earn up to 3 KrisFlyer miles per $1 spend on dining, food delivery, online shopping and travel, and transport transactions.
  • Earn 1.2 KrisFlyer miles per $1 spend on all other eligible transactions.

Pros

  • Enjoy a KrisShopper Complimentary Tier Upgrade.
  • S$10 off dining, retail with Kris.
  • Get S$15 off on Grab rides.
  • Includes a number of Travel Privileges like Travel Insurance, a S$20 rebate at KrisShop, Scoot Perks, and more.

Cons

  • The interest rate is at 26.9% p.a.
  • Minimal 1.2 KrisFlyer miles per $1 spend on all other eligible transactions.

What is a credit card foreign transaction fee?

Have you ever bought something while overseas or online, then noticed a separate charge on your credit card statement? That extra charge is the foreign transaction fee.

A foreign transaction fee — typically 2-3% of the amount spent — is charged per transaction made in a foreign currency or with a merchant located outside Singapore. Also known as the foreign currency or forex fee, it covers currency conversion and cross-border processing costs.

Paying in a local currency while overseas

When paying with your credit card while overseas, you may be given the option to pay in SGD. This is called dynamic currency conversion (DCC).

Although this may appear more convenient — and sounds cheaper — it is anything but. Accepting to pay in a local currency while abroad means you'll probably get a poor exchange rate that ends up costing you more.

To get the best exchange rate, reject DCC when offered and pay in the local currency instead.

Potential savings from avoiding foreign transaction fees

In this case study we compare spending the same amount on two cards: one that doesn't charge a fee on foreign currency transactions (Card A) and one that charges 3% (Card B).

Example scenario

Let's assume the following monthly expenses.

  • Domestic spending (e.g. petrol utilities, groceries, etc.) = $1,000
  • Foreign spending (e.g. hotel, airport transfer, shopping, etc.) = $500

Results

  • Card A (no foreign transaction fees). After spending a total of $1,500 for the month in Singapore and overseas, there are no additional costs due to foreign transaction fees.
  • Card B (with a 3% foreign transaction fee). After spending the same amount — $1,500 for the month — charges amounting to $15 would be added to the balance due.

Conclusion

In this example, Card A with no foreign transaction fees saves $15 per month, or $180 per year, compared to Card B with its fairly typical 3% foreign transaction fee.

Savings are likely to be more significant over time for someone who frequently shops online or travels frequently.

Who are no foreign transaction fee credit cards suitable for?

One common misconception is that you need to be overseas for a credit card with no foreign transaction fee to save you money. But with so many international online stores, that simply isn't the case.

  • Frequent travellers. If you often find yourself exploring new countries, these overseas travel-friendly cards can save you a lot on those pesky fees.
  • Online shoppers. If your idea of a perfect evening includes browsing the world's best online shops, a credit card with no foreign transaction fees can help you avoid extra costs.
  • Expats and remote workers. Having a card without foreign transaction fees can quickly make a difference in your financial life.

What to compare for no foreign transaction fee credit cards

When you're looking for your next credit card, keep an eye out for these features:

  • Annual fees. Is the cost of the card worth the savings from no foreign transaction fees? Can you get a free credit card that doesn't charge foreign currency conversion fees?
  • Rewards. Can you earn points or cashback on your purchases? What's the redemption value for these rewards?
  • Travel perks. Are there any additional benefits — like airport lounge access or travel insurance — that would enhance your experience?

How to compare no foreign transaction fee credit cards

  1. Research. Start by compiling a list of cards with no foreign transaction fees. Don't forget to include cards from your current bank and competitors.
  2. Compare. Put together a side-by-side comparison of benefits and features, including annual fees, rewards earn rates, and additional perks.
  3. Check your eligibility. Ensure you meet your top choices' credit score and financial requirements, paying attention to income requirements.
  4. Read the fine print. Look out for any hidden fees or limitations that might affect your decision.
  5. Apply. Once you've found the perfect card, submit your application and await their decision.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • No unnecessary fees. With these cards, you won't be charged for international transactions made while overseas or at home (shopping online).
  • Potential rewards. Many of these cards come with rewards programs and additional travel-related perks.
  • Convenience. You can confidently use your card overseas or online without worrying about fees.

Cons

  • Limited options. Not every card on the market comes without foreign transaction fees.

Alternatives

Various neobanks offer cards with no foreign transaction fees, albeit they are not credit cards. Still, you can compare them against what the banks offer.

  • Prepaid travel money card. Works like a debit card, except you have to fund it with however much currency you want. Use it while abroad or when shopping online from an international store.
  • Multi-currency account. YouTrip and Wise offer cards with fee-free transactions, plus in-app currency exchange and storage.
  • Instarem Amaze. Offers competitive exchange rates, convenient multi-currency spending, and attractive rewards for global travellers.

FAQs

Can I use my no foreign transaction fee credit card everywhere?

A credit card with no foreign transaction fee works like any other credit card and will be accepted by most merchants in Singapore or abroad. That said, there's no guarantee that all merchants will accept every card. Having some local currency on hand is still a good idea, just in case a specific merchant doesn't accept your card.

Do credit cards with no foreign transaction fee have better currency exchange rates?

The foreign transaction fee is not the same as the currency exchange rate. This type of credit card can help you save money by avoiding fees, but their currency exchange rate may not be the best.

Choose to pay in the local currency rather than your home currency when abroad. Choosing to pay in SGD will probably result in a poor exchange rate and the possibility of missing out on rewards.