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When you use your credit card outside of the United States, the majority of credit cards that are issued by banks in the United States will charge you an additional fee. You may be subject to additional fees if you make a purchase from a foreign retailer or if you make purchases while visiting a different country. Foreign transaction fees are applicable to transactions made in other countries. If you are currently located in the United States and use your credit card to place an online order from a business located in, say, London, you run the risk of being charged a fee because the transaction was processed outside of the United States.
There are some card issuers that do not charge any fees for overseas transactions on several of their cards. Even if the card issuer adds the fee to other cards, credit cards that are marketed to frequent travelers often do not charge a fee for transactions made outside of the country.
The average foreign transaction fee is 3% of the sales price. Pay for a $1,000 stay in a hotel on a card that has a foreign transaction fee, for example, and you’ll be charged an additional $30.
Whenever a foreign transaction fee is applied to a purchase, you will not be aware of it until your credit card statement arrives. This is due to the fact that the fee is charged by the credit card provider, not the merchant. If you charge a $1,000 hotel stay in another country, the receipt will just say $1,000 (or the equivalent amount in the local currency). When your statement comes, the charge will add up to $1,030.