Gephardt: You could be paying foreign transaction fees without leaving the US

Jul 15, 2022, 8:10 AM | Updated: 8:16 am

SALT LAKE CITY — When traveling, it can be easy to lose track of the fees: there’s the bags, jet fuel, hotel parking and resort fees, and there are often fees that you tack on simply by swiping your credit card. That last one can be particularly cumbersome when traveling abroad.

Nobody likes fees and we all do what we can to avoid them. But there’s a doozy that hits a lot of people by surprise. Even if you don’t have any plans to travel abroad, that isn’t enough to avoid foreign transaction fees.

“They are pretty common,” Jill Gonzalez with WalletHub told KSL TV. “About a third of all credit cards do have some type of foreign transaction fee.”

WalletHub studied foreign transaction fees — fees that come from your credit card company simply by using it outside of the U.S. According to the data shared with the KSL Investigators, 41% don’t know if their credit card charges a foreign transaction fee.

With the typical fee being 3%, they add up, Gonzalez says.

“Especially if you’re paying for things like travel lodging abroad, that’s going to bring in a lot of money for credit card issuers hundreds of dollars on each day.”

And be warned: you don’t have to be overseas to get hit with a foreign transaction fee.

“You can also be right in the comfort of your own home shopping online,” Gonzalez said. “When a merchant is based abroad or overseas, you might still have that foreign transaction fee, if that is where you’re getting your merchandise from.

According to WalletHub’s data, roughly seven in 10 people don’t realize foreign fees can apply without foreign travel.

You can avoid foreign transaction fees altogether by using a credit card that does not charge them.

KSL 5 TV Live

KSL Investigates

FILE: Jay Schmidt shows the texts between himself and a scammer....

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage

Fraudster impersonates Gov. Cox, asks for gift cards

A fraudster impersonated Gov. Cox, trying to swindle others into buying gift cards.

3 days ago

Car mirror with credit score in it...

Matt Gephardt and Cindy St. Clair, KSL TV

Despite on-time payments, woman’s credit score drops due to company not reporting

A Box Elder County woman bought a car and made payments on time to boost her credit scores. It did the opposite. Matt Gephardt investigates what went wrong.

3 days ago

Medical bill...

Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage

Lehi man says medical clinic refuses to work with his faith-based medical cost sharing plan

Miles is the newest member of the Littledike family. His father, Ryan, says Miles’ arrival in December went almost flawlessly.

5 days ago

Wendie Muhic is the frustrated owner of a 2007 Chevy Tahoe, that dies a lot....

Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage

West Jordan car owner says odometer fraud has left her stuck paying thousands on a lemon she can’t drive

Wendie Muhic is the frustrated owner of a 2007 Chevy Tahoe that dies a lot. Now she is left paying for it.

10 days ago

Woman texting...

Matt Gephardt

How crooks use texts to get your money, identity, or both.

If you used a mobile phone for any length of time, it’s likely you have gotten text messages that seem like an honest mistake that innocuous-looking text might have come from a scammer.

11 days ago


Daniella Rivera and Keira Fairmont

Treat and Release: How Utah weighs the risk of repeat sex offenders

The KSL Investigators examine Utah’s corrections system, responsible for treating and releasing people who commit sex crimes.

11 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Brunette guy in headphones playing games on his desktop computer...

PC Laptops

Looking For a New Computer? Use This Desktop Buying Guide

Choosing a new desktop computer can come with a lot of questions, so we created this desktop buying guide.

Portrait of happy boy playing and splashing water in the swimming pool...

Get Out Pass

Family Fun Activities in Utah You Have to Try This Summer

These family fun activities will entertain you all summer, so if you ever feel stuck in a rut wondering what to do, refer to this guide!

Woman IT specialist in elegant suit working on notebook computer in data center next to server rack...

Les Olson

Your Complete Guide to Outsourcing IT Services

This guide covers everything you need to know about the different benefits of outsourcing IT services to meet your small business needs.

diverse group of friends dance outside under string lights...

Lighting Design

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Outdoor Lighting

Read for the most frequently asked questions about outdoor lighting to help narrow the search for your home.

Stack of old laptops with dark background...

PC Laptops

Old Laptop Upgrades You Need to Try Before Throwing it Away

Get the most out of your investment. Try these old laptop upgrades before throwing it out to keep it running fast and efficient.

Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...

BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.

Gephardt: You could be paying foreign transaction fees without leaving the US