Amex Platinum Foreign Transaction Fee

American Express has one of the best lines of credit cards available to all, meeting the different needs of different cardholders. Therefore, the great financial institution has offered its customers one of the best credit cards for the best financial experience. The Platinum Card from American Express is one of the best examples of cards packed with amazing offers and premium benefits.

The American Express Platinum Card has the best rewards best suited for frequent travelers who maximize the card’s benefits. Cardholders will earn Membership Rewards points as they use the card, which can be redeemed for various travel benefits, including room upgrades and other purchases.

The Amex Platinum Card is one of the best premium cards; therefore, it carries a hefty $695 annual fee which seems unachievable for many. However, the benefits make the annual fee worth it since cardholders receive the best overall rewards and offers, including no foreign transaction fees. Thus, cardholders have a 0-foreign transaction fee charged to the card as they transact in worldwide locations accepting the Platinum Card.

Many premium cards in the same category as the Amex Platinum Card will charge up to 3% foreign transaction fees to their cardholders. Therefore, American Express has offered great financial relief to its cardholders, especially when carrying out foreign transactions.

Key Takeaways

·         The Platinum Card from American Express offers one of the best cards with the best benefits and rewards, especially for travel

·         The Platinum Card does not charge any foreign transaction fee to its cardholders who transact internationally using the card

What is a Foreign Transaction Fee?

foreign transaction fee

A foreign transaction fee is an amount the credit card company charges for using their credit card to make transactions outside the US. Normally, many credit card issuers charge a foreign transaction fee of 1% to 5% of the total amount in every transaction. For example, if you make a transaction worth $300 with a 3% foreign transaction fee, the total cost will be $309.

Foreign transaction fees are always applied in every transaction made using the card, regardless of the amount. American Express has cards that carry a foreign transaction fee and those that do not carry any fee, indicated during the card application.

How are Amex Platinum Foreign Transaction Fees Charged?

The Platinum Card from American Express does not carry a foreign transaction fee, saving the cardholder money when traveling abroad. The same benefit also applies to the Business Platinum Card for business owners traveling all over the world. However, some charges may apply when using the Amex Platinum Card, which cardholders must be aware of before using their card internationally.

Cardholders must familiarize themselves with the different rates applied in the country they are visiting or have more payment methods if they need more clarification. Alternatively, the cardholder can always call the number on the back of the card to receive any manner of financial assistance while abroad.

Using a card, especially from a credit card issuer like American Express, may carry a few charges that many overlook. Therefore, before applying for a card from American Express, it is important to know the underlying charges in the fine print. The American Express Platinum Card may carry some charges, depending on the variation of the Platinum Card.

Some charges include ATM charges, and fees may apply when the cardholder transacts using certain ATMs in different countries. Other charges may apply, including the foreign currency exchange fee when a cardholder converts their home currency to local currency.

When are Amex Platinum Foreign Transaction Fees Charged?

Since the Amex Platinum Card carries zero foreign transaction fees, cardholders save more for in-person or online transactions. However, the other necessary fees, such as foreign currency conversion fees, may apply if required. Therefore, it is important to know the fees that can apply to the Amex Platinum Card. Also, the cardholder can avoid some fees, especially when making in-person transactions, such as ATM charges.

What is the Difference between Foreign Currency Conversion Fees and Foreign Transaction Fees?

foreign currency conversion fees

As stated above, a foreign transaction fee is an amount charged to the card by the credit card issuer when using the card abroad. Foreign transaction fees do not apply to the Amex Platinum Card, saving its cardholders plenty of cash while traveling. However, currency conversion rates may apply even when using the Amex Platinum Card while in a foreign country.

American Express allows cardholders to transact their money using US dollars, which cannot apply to other countries. Therefore, the cardholder must convert their home currency to the local currency of the country they visit.

Each country has its conversion rates that convert foreign currency to local currency for ease in day-to-day transactions. Usually, the currency conversion fee is charged by the local merchant or the credit card payment processor, such as American Express. Currency conversion fees will depend on the individual merchant or payment processor, risking the chance of high fees charged to your card. Some retailers will allow the cardholder to pay in dollars and use the dynamic conversion (DCC) conversion system, which may be very expensive.

The currency conversion fees will not appear on your credit statement since the credit card issuer does not apply them.

How to Avoid Extra Charges while Traveling

The American Express Platinum Card carries no added foreign transaction fees, which is a huge advantage over other cards. Therefore, cardholders can save some cash and avoid a huge credit balance, especially when on a tight budget. However, cardholders may incur extra fees, especially when they make foreign transactions.

There are a few ways in which the cardholder can avoid fees as they make transactions abroad, as seen below:

·         Always make transactions and pay in the local currency to avoid excess charges on currency conversion fees, especially through DCC systems.

·         Avoid ATM transactions, especially DCC systems disguised as ATMs that handle foreign currency, including your home currency.

·         Convert currency and carry cash before leaving to avoid extra charges on currency conversion fees.

American Express Cards with Foreign Transaction Fees

American Express has a variety of cards that carry foreign transaction fees, but most of these cards do not have an annual fee. It is important to note that when using the card abroad, the foreign transaction fee and the currency conversion fee charged are separate. Therefore, using a card with foreign transaction fees may be more expensive while traveling abroad.

Usually, American Express charges 2.7% of the total foreign transaction fee, which is relatively cheaper than competing cards. Some of the best examples of American Express cards with a foreign transaction fee and no annual fee include the following:

·         Amex Everyday Card

·         Amex Blue Cash Everyday Card

·         Amex Cash Magnetic Card

American Express Cards with no Foreign Transaction Fees

American Express has a variety of cards that carry no foreign transaction fees, a great advantage for international travelers. However, such cards have huge annual fees, with the Amex Platinum Card carrying the highest $695 annual fee. The cards may carry a foreign currency conversion fee at a rate of 1% since American Express is a payment processor. Other Amex cards with no foreign transaction fees include the following:

·         Amex Gold Card

·         Amex Green Card

·         Amex Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card

·         Amex Hilton Honors Surpass Card

·         Amex Marriott Bonvoy Bevy Card


American Express has provided its cardholders with the best cards to meet their needs. The American Express Platinum Card is a rewards credit card with the best travel rewards, such as airport lounge access. Another great benefit of the Platinum Card includes no foreign transaction fees charged to the card for international transactions.

Thus, cardholders will enjoy spending their money without racking up extra charges, saving them huge amounts as they travel. However, cardholders must be aware of other charges that must be charged under special circumstances, such as currency conversion fees.


Is my Amex free to use abroad?

It depends on the Amex Card you use as you travel abroad since some carry a foreign transaction fee. The Amex Platinum Card does not carry a foreign transaction fee, giving it an advantage over other Amex cards. However, the cardholder must be aware of some extra charges that may apply, including ATM fees and currency conversion fees.

The cardholder can use other money-saving hacks, such as avoiding DCC payment systems, to avoid excess charges on their card.

What are alternative methods for international transactions?

Cardholders, especially those transacting huge amounts of cash internationally, can use alternative methods for international transactions. SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) payments offer secure routing of international payments through corresponding bank networks. Bank forex cards allow cardholders to transfer huge amounts of home currency without applying foreign currency exchange rates.

Cardholders can use payment providers such as Visa, MasterCard, and American Express, which offer the cheapest currency exchange rates. Therefore, cardholders have cheaper means of transacting huge amounts of money internationally without carrying excess charges.

What is the downside of American Express?

American Express has one of the best lines of credit and charge cards available in the market. However, American Express carries one of the highest merchant fees since they charge companies for their processed payments. Amex will charge merchant fees of 1.5% to 3.5% for making transactions, which is too high, especially for small businesses.

Also, only some retailers will accept a card from American Express which causes a hindrance to its customers and cardholders. Some cards, like the Amex Platinum Card, carry a steep annual fee that is unachievable for many due to its unaffordability.

Leave a Comment