By Carla Fried | American Express Credit Intel Freelance Contributor
7 Min Read | November 30, 2020 in Cards
Many international travel fees and taxes are fixed, but there are also plenty you can steer clear of if you make smart decisions before you go.
The best credit cards for international travel usually don’t charge a transaction fee every time you use them outside the U.S.
To save on international fees, plan to hit foreign ATMs as seldom as possible. Getting foreign currency before you leave the U.S. can help you save money.
The adventure of diving into different cultures makes traveling abroad alluring, but it also comes with unique expenses that can put a dent in your travel budget. Some international travel fees are set in stone – arrival or departure fees in countries that charge them, for example. But there are many international travel fees you can avoid or minimize with a bit of advance planning. For instance, a wise choice of credit card for international travel means you won’t get charged a fee on every transaction you make.
Taking time to get to know the ins and outs of international travel taxes and fees can leave you with more dollars to put toward actually enjoying your adventure abroad.
As anyone who has booked airline travel knows, the base fare is just the beginning. Additional government fees and taxes, along with airline charges not included in the base fare, cost U.S. domestic and international travelers more than $19 billion in 2019, according to one analysis.1 The cost of international travel taxes and fees is typically greater than the add-ons for flights inside the U.S. Many of these international “extras” are non-negotiable, but there are a few ways you may be able to reduce or sidestep them:
There’s no question credit cards are convenient, but convenience can come at a high price when you’re abroad if you don’t bring along the best credit card that suits your international travel needs.
Chances are, you will want to stay connected to stateside family and friends. Unless you have a global cell phone plan, you are going to be charged extra international fees for texts and calls back to the States. Some ways to save:
International travel fees and taxes can add up. The good news is that with some pre-trip planning and a good credit card for international travel, you can eliminate or reduce plenty of these charges.