Or, consider other cards for 50,000 more miles or points that transfer into United miles with additional flexibility for your everyday spending.
Reward nights start at 10,000 points. Free anniversary night (no points needed) good at any IHG hotel (Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, more).
$1,000 toward travel or transfer to United, Southwest, and more.
Some readers have questioned whether the ‘no foreign transaction fee’ feature of Chase cards like the Sapphire Preferred® Card and Hyatt Visa really saves you money. The theory is that Chase charges a jacked up exchange rate to make up for no longer charging you a 3% fee on each foreign purchase.
Well, we tried it in action in the UK during the Olympics…with a small transaction on each of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (no fee), United Mileage Plus Explorer (charges a fee), and Platinum Card from American Express (no fee) all on the same weekend, when exchange rates don’t fluctuate.
And the result…Chase isn’t charging a less favorable exchange rate to holders of ‘no transaction fee’ cards versus its cards that do carry the fee. However the fee Chase charges overall is oh so slightly less favorable than the one American Express charges, but that’s probably more a function of the Visa network versus the American Express network.
The difference is 0.003 points, which is negligible. In both cases the exchange rate was nearly identical to the prevailing open market rate used by banks to exchange money amongst each other, which is about as good as you can get.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
United Mileage Plus Explorer
Platinum Card from American Express
Our verdict – use credit cards that advertise no foreign transaction fees with confidence. You are saving on the fee, and the exchange rate is still very competitive. You’re also earning rewards that can amount to the equivalent of 1%, 2%, or much more in cash value for travel.
Click here for a list of credit cards that offer no foreign transaction fee.
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Foreign Transaction Fee Waived
Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?
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