Points earning credit cards with no international currency conversion fee's

yojohnny

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I had a recent post about getting a currency conversion fee on one of the cards I am currently churning.

It's not even something (these fee's) I gave thought to as before I started churning 6 months ago, I had always explicitly gotten cards over the last decade+ that don't charge this fee. Pretty much every decent card (I've had) for churning appears to charge the fee though.

But now I am in the position where I have to use an ING debit card that doesn't earn any points to pay for international online purchases to avoid the fee.

I am hoping to get a card that I hold long-term and only use it for international online purchases, with a small limit so it doesn't affect churning too much. It won't be used for travel, just online purchases.

Can anyone suggest a card that:
  • Has no international currency conversion fee and the FX rate is pretty decent
  • Has no yearly fee (or a very low fee)
  • Provides QFF points or at least some other rewards program
  • Ideally isn't a card that will not impact the 12 / 18 month waiting period on any other card I want to churn
I've had a look at some of the credit card comparison sites but found it hard to factor in all of the above
 
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The Comm Bank Ultimate Awards Credit Card meets those criteria so long as you spend a minimum spend each month. There is a $30 annual fee if you want to earn QFF points instead of Comm Bank Awards points.

And the current promotion includes a swag of bonus points (Comm Bank points or QFF points)

 

yojohnny

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The Comm Bank Ultimate Awards Credit Card meets those criteria so long as you spend a minimum spend each month. There is a $30 annual fee if you want to earn QFF points instead of Comm Bank Awards points.

And the current promotion includes a swag of bonus points (Comm Bank points or QFF points)

Cheers.

Unfortauntely I wouldn't make $2500 of international purchases / month; some months in fact it would be $0 and others not much more than a few hundred so that would be fee's of $400+ / year; significantly more than any fee's I'd pay otherwise! :|
 

asterix

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I use the Coles Rewards Mastercard which is $99 per year and earns 2 Flybuys points per $1 which converts to 1VFF, so it is 1VFF per dollar spent. That applies to the first $3000 per month and then it is 1 Flybuys point per $1, so 0.5 VFF for anything above $3000 per month.
 

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Cheers.

Unfortauntely I wouldn't make $2500 of international purchases / month; some months in fact it would be $0 and others not much more than a few hundred so that would be fee's of $400+ / year; significantly more than any fee's I'd pay otherwise! :|
The minimum spend does not need to be all international purchases. All spend counts towards the monthly fee waiver. But the earn rate is not as good as many other cards.

Note that most cards with no annual fee have very poor rewards earning rates. The better the rewards program the higher the annual fee is generally what I find.
 

yojohnny

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The minimum spend does not need to be all international purchases. All spend counts towards the monthly fee waiver. But the earn rate is not as good as many other cards.

Note that most cards with no annual fee have very poor rewards earning rates. The better the rewards program the higher the annual fee is generally what I find.
Thanks. But all other spending goes into churned credit cards so the purpose of this card is just so I don't miss out on international spending. It's not significant typically so if I can't find a good card, so be it.

Regarding no fee cards, that's my general under-standing but I thought I might get lucky and find something out there with at least something.
 

yojohnny

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I use the Coles Rewards Mastercard which is $99 per year and earns 2 Flybuys points per $1 which converts to 1VFF, so it is 1VFF per dollar spent. That applies to the first $3000 per month and then it is 1 Flybuys point per $1, so 0.5 VFF for anything above $3000 per month.
Thanks. It actually looks like the best option for now as the $99 is waived in the first year and there's $100 Coles voucher with $500 spend in the first 2 months. I'll probably cancel it just before the year is up or try and get them to waive the fee.
 

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Regarding no fee cards, that's my general under-standing but I thought I might get lucky and find something out there with at least something.
I understand. I still retain my 28 Degrees MC for international transactions. No points earning, but no annual fee either. I just accept that I won't be earning any points/rewards for the international transactions. I don't make many international transactions, so no really missing out and certainly can't justify paying an annual fee for the small number of points I might earn.
 

Matt_01

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I am pretty sure Bankwest had a mastercard that had zero fees (ongoing) and no international charges I do not think it earns points in any program.
 

yojohnny

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I understand. I still retain my 28 Degrees MC for international transactions. No points earning, but no annual fee either. I just accept that I won't be earning any points/rewards for the international transactions. I don't make many international transactions, so no really missing out and certainly can't justify paying an annual fee for the small number of points I might earn.
I had that for many years but dropped it when I started chruning to increase my chances. Once the Coles is up for renewal, if nothing more interesting is available, I'll pick up the 28 Degree's again with a low limit.
Post automatically merged:

I am pretty sure Bankwest had a mastercard that had zero fees (ongoing) and no international charges I do not think it earns points in any program.
I've had this in the past also, so will consider it alongside the 28 Degree's in the future.
 

albyd

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Have a look at the Macquarie cards. They don’t have conversion fees but they do have annual fees which you’d need to assess if they’re worth it. They have Macquarie rewards and Qantas variants to choose from. They’d be ‘Platinum’ or higher which comes with different points earn potential. YMMV.

Agree with what’s said in the thread - of you want rewards, there will be an annual fee. Good rewards cards will have an annual fee but charge the currency conversion fee. Not yet as competitive as the US where can get pretty good cards with no currency conversion fee and low annual fee. Slowly but surely getting more competitive.
 

yojohnny

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Have a look at the Macquarie cards. They don’t have conversion fees but they do have annual fees which you’d need to assess if they’re worth it. They have Macquarie rewards and Qantas variants to choose from. They’d be ‘Platinum’ or higher which comes with different points earn potential. YMMV.

Agree with what’s said in the thread - of you want rewards, there will be an annual fee. Good rewards cards will have an annual fee but charge the currency conversion fee. Not yet as competitive as the US where can get pretty good cards with no currency conversion fee and low annual fee. Slowly but surely getting more competitive.

They also seem like the best options if I have some larger international purchases in the future; not worth it at at least $99 for a rewards card; perhaps they'll have an offer to waive the fee in the future on one of these cards.
 

Rich

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I understand. I still retain my 28 Degrees MC for international transactions. No points earning, but no annual fee either. I just accept that I won't be earning any points/rewards for the international transactions. I don't make many international transactions, so no really missing out and certainly can't justify paying an annual fee for the small number of points I might earn.
Same, though in my case it is a CitiBank Mastercard debit card. Note it is debit card, which doesn't appear on my credit file.
 

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Same, though in my case it is a CitiBank Mastercard debit card. Note it is debit card, which doesn't appear on my credit file.
A good option if wanting to minimise credit limits. I have a $3K limit on the 28 Degrees card, so its not impacting total credit limit or credit availability for me. But I also have a Citibank Plus account with the debit card that I used to use for overseas ATM cash withdrawals after 28 Degrees card policy changed regarding cash advances. So the combination works for me - one for credit card spend and one for cash transactions. But as we are all aware, the option for overseas cash transactions is a little constrained for most of us at the moment.
 

http_x92

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In terms of QF points earning credit cards with no foreign transactions, I think the Bankwest Qantas credit card range is probably the best bet if you arent spending $2500 per month on the Commbank Ultimate. The Bankwest Qantas World MC has an earn rate of 1 QFF point per dollar up to $5000 in a statement and then 0.5 thereafter, but it will set you back at $270 per year. The Platinum MC has an earn rate of 0.75 QFF point per dollar up to $2500 and then 0.3 thereafter and it will set you back $160 per year.

The Mastercard rate for FX is slightly better than the Visa, which is why I looked at Bankwest. Look out for a big Bankwest bonus points offer out there (this happened in 2019), but I'm not sure if they will do it soon.
 

yojohnny

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In terms of QF points earning credit cards with no foreign transactions, I think the Bankwest Qantas credit card range is probably the best bet if you arent spending $2500 per month on the Commbank Ultimate. The Bankwest Qantas World MC has an earn rate of 1 QFF point per dollar up to $5000 in a statement and then 0.5 thereafter, but it will set you back at $270 per year. The Platinum MC has an earn rate of 0.75 QFF point per dollar up to $2500 and then 0.3 thereafter and it will set you back $160 per year.

The Mastercard rate for FX is slightly better than the Visa, which is why I looked at Bankwest. Look out for a big Bankwest bonus points offer out there (this happened in 2019), but I'm not sure if they will do it soon.
That's helpful; I've had one of these cards in the past; the $160 Platinum also looks like a decent option. For me, at the average 3% forex transaction fee, you'd need to be spending ~$5000 / year overseas to break-even though, not taking into account the value of the points. I guess for anyone who has some big overseas spending on the horizon or regularly, this isn't a bad option.
 
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