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Chip credit card w/ no foreign transaction fee - and no annual fee

Chip credit card w/ no foreign transaction fee - and no annual fee

Dec 29th, 2014, 08:27 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Chip credit card w/ no foreign transaction fee - and no annual fee

Does this even exist? I have Capital One Venture (gold) and was just issued a new card as my old one is expiring in Feb 2015. The new card does not have a chip. I called Capital One and was told they are planning to switch over to chipped cards, but have no timeline for this. Capital One does not charge an annual fee or a foreign transaction fee - making it my first choice for travel.

I also have a Chase card that is chipped and does not charge a foreign transaction fee, However, there is an annual fee of $95, which seems like a lot, as I never carry a balance. I always pay off my cards every month. So - maybe stupid, but I cancelled this card yesterday, rather than pony up the $95 that was due for the upcoming year. The card rewards are with British Airways, and their miles ("aveos") are pretty much unusable. I have about 200,000 points and haven't ever found any flights where I can use them.

I also have a B of A chipped card tied to Alaska Airlines that does charge an annual fee ($95) and also a 3% foreign transaction fee, so I don't use it for travel, but use it for everyday charges in the USA. I get miles on Alaska and have been able to use them easily for travel. But it still rankles to pay the annual fee every year.

So - my question is: Is there any reasonably easily obtained (I don't want to join an obscure credit union somewhere in Podunk-ville) card that is chipped and has no annual fee and doesn't charge a foreign transaction fee? I realize that the US banks are only offering chip-and-signature --- not chip-and-pin --- but that's better than the magnetic strip when traveling in Europe. Our next European trip is in April - hoping to find a good card to use before then.
scdreamer is offline  
Dec 29th, 2014, 08:54 AM
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I don't have one but have heard chip cards are not necessarily a panacea, and some European countries have chip cards that can't even be read in other European countries. I don't know why you think chip and signature is better than chip and pin, it shouldn't make any difference ifyou have to sign. Because the only place you need chip and pin are unmanned machines that I know of.

IN any case, B of A has one that is free, has a chip and doesn't even have a foreign transaction fee so why on earth you are paying for that Alaska Airlines card? I have an airline card that I use because it's a program I like a lot, and it has a $95 fee but those cards are supposed to have zero foreign transaction, mine does (and other airline cards I've seen also). You are being ripped off by that card if it has a foreign transaction fee.

The fee free B of A card is called Travel Rewards. It even gives you points or cash back, also, no fee and zero foreign transaction charges. It chip and signature.
Christina is online now  
Dec 29th, 2014, 09:09 AM
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I think what you are asking is difficult to obtain.

Cards easily obtained are the kind heavily marketed by big financial institutions who remain arrogant even after being bailed out by the Federal government and continue to charge high fees.

No annual/no transaction fee cards are likely to be found at institution who are not doing this as the primary revenue source, such as some brokerage houses and credit unions.

One of my Visa card is from a credit union tied to my work with brick and mortar offices in town and charges neither transaction or annual fees. But alas, because it is a small outfit, it is not yet offering any type of chipped cards. For that I had to tap into one of the "obscure" defense related credit union in "podunk-ville" since it seems in this regards, credit unions serving service people abroad seems to be at the leading edge in terms of providing low cost chip and pin cards.

Whether chip and signature only card is useful or not depends on where you are heading. This May, in Denmark, only places heavily visited by tourists without chip and pin card had machines with magnetic strip capability. Machines at small shops and taxis could only read chipped card. However, they all seemed to have printers and as long as I used some kind of chipped card, either chip-and-pin or chip-and-signature, I was able to use a credit card.

I have used BA travel rewards card, a chip-and-signature card, in Denmark at chip reader only machines with printers. At Paris metro, I used a chip-and-pin card, but surprise, the RATP machine accepted the card but did NOT ask for pin. It approved the transaction with no authorization check. Woah, is it scary or do they do this only for low cost transactions?
greg is offline  
Dec 29th, 2014, 09:14 AM
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Yes, I have one from Barclay.
Dukey1 is offline  
Dec 29th, 2014, 09:47 AM
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Greg, when we used our Dutch CC in the U.S. there were a few times when no signature was required, which was even scarier given how easy it is to skim a magnetic strip.

Unless you travel a lot outside your home country why not choose a card with a foreign transaction fee but no annual charge, or one with an annual charge and no foreign fees if that works out cheaper.

Our Dutch cards, which work throughout Europe, have both an annual fee, and a charge outside the Eurozone. We can live with that.
hetismij2 is offline  
Dec 29th, 2014, 10:50 AM
Join Date: Nov 2013
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I used mu Capital One, non chip, credit card all over Italy earlier this year. No annual fee, no foreign transaction fee's
Did not have any problems, accepted everywhere.
Lovestripletees is offline  
Dec 29th, 2014, 11:27 AM
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HSBC Premier World
Fra_Diavolo is online now  
Dec 29th, 2014, 12:08 PM
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Andrews Federal Credit Union has a Visa card with chip-and-pin plus no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. You have to join the credit union before you can sign up for the credit card. I think you can still become eligible by first joining the non-profit American Consumer Council (used to be free, now $5 a year - but probably, if you join just for the year you won't "lose eligibility" for the credit union after you ACC membership expires; that is, they won't kick you out).


Andrews also has no foreign transaction fees for use of ATMs overseas, if you create a savings account (you don't even need a checking account, though with only a savings account you get only an "ATM card" not a "debit card." I've had no trouble using my plain ATM card in Europe, but you can't make purchases with it.
Andrew is online now  
Dec 29th, 2014, 12:12 PM
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My PenFed is a chipped card with no annual or foreign transaction fees. You can do the enrollment over the phone, They give you plenty of options to become eligible... Donated blood? You just need to deposit a minimum of $5 into your new credit union account by giving them the routing info over the phone.
joannyc is online now  
Mar 11th, 2015, 02:49 PM
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Just wanting to thank Christina for the info - I got the B of A Travel card - and am switching my auto-payments from the B of A AlaskaAir card, so I can cancel it before the next annual payment is due.

And ... about three weeks after I posted, Capital One sent me a chipped card in the mail ... so now I have two no annual fee, no foreign transaction fee, chipped cards. Ready to head for Europe!
scdreamer is offline  
Mar 11th, 2015, 03:44 PM
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scdreamer, I am sorry to disappoint you, but the B of A Travel card is a chip and signature card. It is usable on machine used with a person when the card machine cannot read magnetic stripe, but still can print out a receipt to sign or at a machine that does not require PIN (this happened to me at a RATP machine in Paris when buying carnet.) However, this will not work for transactions needing a PIN.

Read their FAQ:
the section under "Do I need a PIN to make purchase with my credit card? What is Chip & Signature and Chip & PIN?" ...Bank of America doesn't currently offer consumer credit cards that include PIN authorization for purchases....
...You may request an ATM PIN for cash transactions by calling the number on the back of your card. This PIN is for ATM cash transactions only. This is not the same as Chip & PIN and will not work for purchases....
greg is offline  
Mar 11th, 2015, 03:54 PM
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For those concerned about their credit score, every time you apply for a new credit card and/or cancel an existing account, there's a good chance your score will be dinged at least in the short term. This might not be an issue unless you were hoping to re-fi your house, get or increase a home equity loan or apply for a car loan.
Jean is online now  
Mar 13th, 2015, 02:37 PM
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greg - I realize it's a chip and signature - so is my Capital One - but having been in Europe for a month last summer, I saw how much easier that is to use the chipped card than a magnetic strip card that has to be manually processed each time it is used for a purchase. Yes, I still have to sign.

I don't ever use a credit card for taking cash out, so that's never an issue. I can use my debit card at ATMs ... and my bank reimburses me for all fees charged by other banks.

Jean - that may be true regarding the credit score, but mine is well over 800, and that is after I cancelled my Chase (British Airways)card with an annual fee and received the B 0f A Travel card. Unless your debt-to-credit-limit ratio changes drastically, your credit score will not be adversely affected by switching cards.

I charge pretty much everything, including my recurring monthly utilities, in order to to get the travel rewards. But I pay everything off on time every month, and never carry a balance, and so my credit score hasn't changed.
scdreamer is offline  
Mar 13th, 2015, 02:58 PM
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Yeah, I pay off my cards every month, too. I've still seen my credit score fall a little after getting new cards and canceling other ones. But it's not a big concern to me, as I have no plans to apply for major credit any time soon.

I like having a Chip and PIN Visa card in Europe so I can use the automated machines to buy things and just use a PIN e.g. at train stations.
Andrew is online now  
Mar 13th, 2015, 03:36 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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scdreamer, congrats on the credit score, but 35+% of the U.S. has debt that has gone to collection so it's worth mentioning how opening and cancelling credit cards can have an effect. I realize most of the posters here don't fall into that debt category, but they likely know someone who does. One's debt-to-credit ratio accounts for about 30% of the credit score calculation.

BTW, having no recent credit history (mortgage or equity loan, outstanding CC balance, car loan, student loan, etc.) can also negatively affect your credit score.
Jean is online now  
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