Credit Cards

List of credit cards for foreign currency transactions

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 23rd, 2018 10:11 pm
Tags:
None
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 9, 2011
1318 posts
777 upvotes
Vancouver

List of credit cards for foreign currency transactions

Here is a list of credit cards that will, at the least, not ding you on purchases made in a foreign currency. Cards marked with a * have no foreign exchange fee beyond what Visa/Mastercard charge. Other cards charge a 2.5% foreign exchange fee, but you earn this back in rewards or cash back.

Mastercard Advantage

Greedyrates.ca reported on the difference between the exchange rates used by Visa and Mastercard. It reported that Mastercard's rates were lower than Visa's 70% of the time. On average, Mastercard offered a 40% better exchange rate, reporting that its markup over the Bank of Canada's mid-day exchange rate was typically 0.49%, while Visa's markup was 0.87%. The Mastercard advantage has NOT been included in the net rewards in my list.

  • Fido Mastercard: Net rewards: 1.5% (cash back statement credit 1x/year, 4% earned on foreign currency - 2.5% forex fee). $0 annual fee.
  • Rogers Mastercard: Net rewards: 1.5% (cash back statement credit 1x/year, 4% earned on foreign currency - 2.5% forex fee). $29 annual fee.
  • *Home Trust Preferred Visa: Net rewards: 1% (cash back statement credit 1x/year, 0% forex fee). $0 annual fee. 10 transaction limit per day. No PIN changes permitted. Unavailable to Quebec residents.
  • *HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard and Jade World Elite Mastercard Net rewards: 1.5% (more if you buy travel stuff, earned in travel points, 0% forex fee). $149/$299 annual fee. Premier requires $100,000 in HSBC deposits/investments or $500,000 HSBC mortgage. Jade requires $1,000,000 in deposits/investments.ion
  • Meridian Credit Union Travel Rewards Visa Infinite: Net rewards: ~0.5% (Earned in travel points, 3 points—not exactly worth 1¢ each—minus 2.5% forex fee.) $99 annual fee. You must be an Ontario resident to get Meridian credit cards.

Cards suitable for buying things only at certain places:

  • †American Express Cobalt (Grocery stores, restaurants, bars ONLY): Net rewards: 2.6% (American Express membership rewards points redeemed for travel stuff, 5% - 2.5% forex fee). $10 monthly fee.
  • †Scotiabank American Express Gold and Platinum (Gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, movies/tickets ONLY): Net rewards: 1.6% (Scotia points redeemed for travel stuff, 4% - 2.6% forex fee). $99 annual fee for Gold, $399 for Platinum.
  • Meridian Credit Union Cash Back Visa Infinite (Gas stations and grocery stores ONLY): Net rewards: 1.6% (4% - 2.5% forex fee). Redeem for statement credit any time in $50 increments. $99 annual fee. You must be an Ontario resident to get Meridian credit cards.
  • Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite (Gas stations and grocery stores ONLY): Net rewards: 1.6% (cash back statement credit 1x/year, 4% - 2.5% forex fee). $99 annual fee.
  • CIBC Dividend Visa Platinum and Visa Infinite (Gas stations and grocery stores ONLY): Net rewards: 1.5% (cash back paid annually as statement credit, 4% - 2.5% forex fee). $99 annual fee for each.
  • Capital One Platinum (Costco) Mastercard (Restaurants ONLY): Net rewards: 0.5% (cash back paid annually as a cheque cashable at Costco, 3% - 2.5% forex fee). $0 annual fee.
  • TD Cash Back Visa Infinite: (Gas stations, grocery stores, recurring bill payments ONLY): Net rewards: 0.5% (redeem for statement credit anytime in $25 increments, 3% - 2.5% forex fee). $120 annual fee.

Prepaid (not credit) cards:

  • *Mogo prepaid Visa: Net rewards: None. 0% forex fee. $0 annual fee. $10 replacement card fee. After you select your PIN, $10 fee to change it. Unavailable to residents of Yukon, NWT, Nunavut, Saskatchewan, Quebec, and Nova Scotia.

Cards grandfathered and/or no longer available:

  • *Chase Amazon Visa: Net rewards: 1% (paid out as statement credit in $20 increments), 0% forex fee. $0 annual fee.
  • *Chase Marriott Rewards Visa: Net rewards: ~1% (more if you buy travel stuff, earned in hotel points, 0% forex fee). $120 annual fee.



† AMERICAN EXPRESS WARNING

If you use your Canadian American Express card (including Scotiabank Amex) to make purchases in a currency other than CAD or USD, your purchases will be converted to USD first, before being converted again to CAD for billing purposes. This dual conversion will result in less net reward than described above.
Last edited by Kiraly on Aug 27th, 2017 12:51 am, edited 59 times in total.
115 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 24, 2017
2264 posts
669 upvotes
Vancouver
Kiraly wrote:
Aug 27th, 2017 11:28 am
Added to no longer available section.

If anyone with knowledge of how Home Trust and Amazon Visa cash back is redeemed, let me know and I will add it to the list.
Amazon Visa
- 2% on amazon.ca
- 1% on other
- Once it reaches a multiple of $20 (min $20), statement credit will be posted on your account on statement date.
😎 Fido $55/6GB Loyalty Pulse Plan: 6GB, Unltd Canadian LD, Unltd Global Texting, 1000 Intl LD Minutes, Data Bytes, Fido Roam, Spotify... 😄
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 24, 2017
2264 posts
669 upvotes
Vancouver
CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite/Platinum (Gas stations and grocery stores ONLY): Net rewards: 1.5% (cash back paid annually as statement credit, 4% - 2.5% forex fee) $99 annual fee.

Why are the other two 1.6%?
😎 Fido $55/6GB Loyalty Pulse Plan: 6GB, Unltd Canadian LD, Unltd Global Texting, 1000 Intl LD Minutes, Data Bytes, Fido Roam, Spotify... 😄
Deal Addict
Nov 24, 2013
4416 posts
1300 upvotes
Kingston, ON
Kiraly wrote:
Aug 27th, 2017 11:28 am
Added to no longer available section.

If anyone with knowledge of how Home Trust and Amazon Visa cash back is redeemed, let me know and I will add it to the list.
Home Trust is statement credit every January statement.

They also have some bonus cash back offers if you log into your account; may be FX-relevant as offers I've seen include Hulu (say you use a US IP Address service and subscribe).
EdisonL299 wrote:
Aug 27th, 2017 12:47 pm
CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite/Platinum (Gas stations and grocery stores ONLY): Net rewards: 1.5% (cash back paid annually as statement credit, 4% - 2.5% forex fee) $99 annual fee.

Why are the other two 1.6%?
Guessing it's due to 4% times the higher purchase price (grossed up by the 2.5% fee), which appropriately nets out to 1.6%. It's the Rogers cards where I've heard (here, not first-hand) they actually work out to net 1.5%. Difference may be due to Rogers' bonus being on 'foreign currency transactions' and they treat it in such a way to net out that way. Others with 4% on Gas/Grocery/Entertainment just give the category bonus based on merchant code and apply FX rate like they would on any other purchase.
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 9, 2011
1318 posts
777 upvotes
Vancouver
Yes, Scotiabank pays out 4% on whatever amount appears on your statement, which would include the 2.5% forex fee. Buy CDN $100 worth of gas in the USA, $102.50 appears on your statement. You earn 4% on $102.50, which is $4.10. You end up paying $98.40, which is a net return of 1.6%.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 24, 2017
2264 posts
669 upvotes
Vancouver
Don't forget CIBC Dividend Visa Platinum...
😎 Fido $55/6GB Loyalty Pulse Plan: 6GB, Unltd Canadian LD, Unltd Global Texting, 1000 Intl LD Minutes, Data Bytes, Fido Roam, Spotify... 😄
Deal Expert
Mar 25, 2005
21049 posts
1947 upvotes
Marriott card is not exactly 1%. Its 1 Marriott pt per $ for regular purchases (worth about $0.008/0.8%), 2pt/$ (1.6%) for restaurants, airlines, car rentals; 5pt/$ (4%) at SPG and Marriott. Also includes an annual night at a cat 5 Marriott ($100-300 value) and 15 nights for Silver Elite.
Sr. Member
Mar 1, 2016
795 posts
251 upvotes
toronto
Kiraly wrote:
Aug 27th, 2017 7:17 pm
I qualified that; "1% (or more if you buy travel stuff)".

but it's not 1%, because the points are worth LESS than that
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 9, 2011
1318 posts
777 upvotes
Vancouver
foreigncontent wrote:
Aug 28th, 2017 7:39 am
but it's not 1%, because the points are worth LESS than that
Ratehub showed how the Marriott points could be worth as little as 0.61¢ and as much as 1.62¢, depending on the type of hotel you redeem them for. Lower end hotels, surprisingly, get you a better return. https://www.ratehub.ca/blog/how-the-mar ... ram-works/

I'm going to keep it at 1% for now, and add a "~" in front.
Jr. Member
Oct 26, 2016
153 posts
108 upvotes
foreigncontent wrote:
Aug 28th, 2017 7:39 am
but it's not 1%, because the points are worth LESS than that
You could also approach though on the assumption that whoever is using it will ultimately convert them to SPG. If you assume an SPG point valued at 3%, and 3:1 conversion from Marriott to SPG, that means you land right on 1% for the Marriott points, which is how a number of people choose to look at it.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Apr 28, 2012
873 posts
250 upvotes
QC
Kiraly wrote:
Aug 28th, 2017 10:34 am
Ratehub showed how the Marriott points could be worth as little as 0.61¢ and as much as 1.62¢, depending on the type of hotel you redeem them for. Lower end hotels, surprisingly, get you a better return. https://www.ratehub.ca/blog/how-the-mar ... ram-works/

I'm going to keep it at 1% for now, and add a "~" in front.
I agree with the opinion to keep it at 1%, for sake of simplicity!
FREE online credit reports
AMEX: The more you use it and request to pay by it, the more merchants will accept it.

Top