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March 16, 2018

Which Chase Sapphire Has No Foreign Transaction Fee?

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Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve are great for travel as they both have no foreign transaction fees. But there are some differences you need to know. Read on before you take off.

Chase offers 2 cards in their Sapphire family: the Preferred and Reserve. Neither card has a foreign transaction fee. They offer good rewards, great redemption value, and useful travel benefits. In this article, we'll explain which Chase Sapphire is better for you.

Note: Chase does have a third card in the family - the no-annual-fee Sapphire card. It is no longer available to new applicants, but you can downgrade the Preferred or Reserve to it. However, this card has a 3% foreign transaction fee.

What Is a Foreign Transaction Fee?

Many banks charge a foreign transaction fee (FTF) for purchases made abroad - usually 3% of your purchase. Anytime you use your card abroad, you'll be paying an additional 3%.

This can add up to a lot. If you charge $1,000 on food, shopping, and activities on your trip, that's an extra $30 in fees.

A credit card with no FTF will save you from these unnecessary fees. This is the best option for making purchases abroad.

In comparison, foreign ATMs will incur high ATM fees, while currency exchanges usually have terrible exchange rates.

Sapphire Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fee

Luckily, the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve do not have a FTF. Here are overviews of the Preferred and Reserve cards:

 Chase Sapphire Preferred CardChase Sapphire Reserve
 Apply NowApply Now
 

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

 

Interest Rates and Fees

Purchase APR17.49% to 24.49% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors17.49% to 24.49% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR17.49% to 24.49% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors17.49% to 24.49% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Annual Fee$0 Intro Annual Fee for the First Year, then $95$450 annual fee
 

Benefits and Features

Introductory Bonus Reward PointsIntroductory Bonus Reward Points: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®Introductory Bonus Reward Points: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
Travel RewardsTravel Rewards: 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide.
1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
Travel Rewards: 3X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
Airline RewardsAirline Rewards: 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programsAirline Rewards: 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
Hotel RewardsHotel Rewards: 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programsHotel Rewards: 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
Point RewardsPoint Rewards: 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwidePoint Rewards: 3X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Airline Status Airline Status: $300 Annual Travel Credit (as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card).
Complimentary Priority Pass™ Select membership for access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide. Enrollment required for Priority Pass Select
Dining RewardsDining Rewards: 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwideDining Rewards: 3X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Airline Transfer PartnersAirline Transfer Partners: Airline transfer partners include United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, British Airways, Air France, Korean Air, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Iberia, and Aer Lingus.Airline Transfer Partners: Airline transfer partners include United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, British Airways, Air France, Korean Air, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Iberia, and Aer Lingus.
 Apply NowApply Now

Which One Is Better for You?

If you're more of a casual traveler, start with the Sapphire Preferred. The much smaller annual fee is easier to swallow. The sign-up bonus is very generous for the annual fee.

If you travel often, the Sapphire Reserve will usually come out ahead for you. The 3x on travel and dining will allow you to rack up points faster. And the better value on the Ultimate Rewards travel portal means bigger savings. Frequent travelers will also love the luxury perks, like lounge access through Priority Pass Select.

See our detailed comparison and analysis of the two cards.

Other Chase Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fee

Besides the Sapphire cards, Chase has several other travel cards with no foreign transaction fees. See if one of these may be a better fit for you instead. Here are some of our other favorites:

  • If you fly United: United MileagePlus Explorer offers 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account. You can check your first bag for free when you use your card to purchase your ticket (a savings of up to $100 per roundtrip). You enjoy priority boarding privileges and get 2 United Club one-time passes each year for your anniversary. There are no foreign transaction fees. You earn 2 miles per dollar spent on tickets purchased from United and 1 mile per dollar spent on other purchases. There is a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.

  • If you fly Southwest: Southwest Credit Card offers 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account. Earn 6,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary. You earn 2 points per dollar spent on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards Hotel and Car Rental partner purchases. 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. There is no foreign transaction fee. There is a $99 annual fee.

  • If you stay with Marriott: Marriott Rewards Premier offers 75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account. You enjoy 1 free night stay at a category 1-5 hotel every year after your account anniversary date. You earn 5 points per dollar spent at participating Marriott Rewards and SPG hotels. Earn 2 points per dollar spent on airline tickets purchased directly with airlines, at car rental agencies and restaurants. Earn 1 point per dollar spent everywhere else. There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $85.

Bottom Line

Either Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve card will make an ideal companion for trips abroad. Neither card has that dreaded foreign transaction fee. So you can feel free to pay for hotels, dine, shop, and go on fun tours… all without worrying about extra foreign transaction fees.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Chase. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Chase. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: The information for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card, United MileagePlus Explorer Card, and Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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