You know who else loves International Travel as much as you do? Your credit card issuing bank. Apart from the regular fee they earn from merchants, you are also charged a pretty hefty forex fee, plus GST of course. However, it’s not all bad out there. If you know where to look. There are some credit cards that take a little load off your International Travel expenses.

Psst: Credit card charges are like GST rates. They can change anytime. Verify before you apply.

#1 Too good to be true. But true.

Most Credit Cards charge 3% or more as forex markup fee for International Shopping or usage. However, HDFC has got a few cards that charge just 2%. Two cards that we love are Diners Club Black and Diners Club Premium

Premium is easier to get but if you are eligible for Black, go for it. But it’s not just 2% fee that we love these cards for. Look at these additional benefits.

  1. 1% Cashback on all international transactions via HDFC Global Value Program. i.e. effective forex fee of just 1%.
  2. 10x Reward Points offer. That can add up to as much as 33% discount.
  3. Complimentary Global Lounge Access with free meals and drinks. Unlimited for Black card holders and 6 per year for premium.

See details about the above offers here.

The only reason that you might need to carry other cards in your wallet is the non-acceptability of Diners Club cards at several outlets.

#2 Take Money. Give Points.

There are cards that charge as much as 3.5% forex markup fee, yet they give enough points to make up for the charges. Two such cards are Citibank Prestige and ICICI Jet Airways Sapphiro Amex card.

ICICI Card is cheaper and easier to get and gives a whopping 7 Jet Privilege Miles for every Rs.100 spent on International Shopping. Citibank Prestige on the other hand is available only for high net-worth individuals and offers 8 miles for every Rs.100 spent in foreign currency. It also comes with unlimited usage Priority Pass global membership free for primary AND all add-on card holders. That could save a lot of money while traveling.

#3 Low Fee. Plain and Simple.

Yes Bank has some cards with one of the lowest forex markup fee of just 1.75%. And their rewards program gives an approximate 2% cash back. So if you are looking for a plain and simple card with low fee, Yes Bank First Preferred credit card is probably the best choice. If you open a savings account, you might get this card for Life Time free. This card also comes with Priority Pass that offers 4 free lounge access every year.

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