By Ankur Mittal
Updated On September 7, 2022

You might be a frequent international traveler or someone fond of shopping from international websites, in either of the scenarios transactions in foreign currency has to be done, and as you know, almost all credit cards charge a mark-up fee on foreign currency transactions. The general market standard for mark-up fee is 3.5% of the transaction amount. However, some credit cards offer a lower foreign currency mark-up fee so that users are able to transact in a foreign currency without worrying much about any overhead charges. Usually, these cards are either travel credit cards or top-end premium cards. For example, the forex mark-up fee applicable for HDFC Infinia Credit Card is just 2% of the transaction amount (instead of the usual 3.5%). Then there are other credit cards that although charge the same mark-up fee on foreign currency transactions, but compensate for the same by offering a higher reward rate on transactions made in foreign currencies. For example, Citi Prestige Credit Card offers 2x reward rate on international transactions.

Best Credit Cards for International Transactions in India

In this article, we have hand-picked significant credit cards in the Indian Credit Card market which can be used to make transactions in a foreign currency. These cards offer either a considerably lower foreign currency mark-up fee or a better reward rate on foreign currency transactions. As you might guess, most of these credit cards are either super-premium credit cards or premium travel credit cards.

List of Best Credit Cards for International Transactions 2022

If you have ever read your credit card’s most important terms and conditions, you might be aware of the fact that these cards have high fees & charges on international transactions, including forex markup fees, currency conversion charges, etc. All these charges make international transactions very expensive, but some major card issuers also offer credit cards with low forex markup fees or higher reward rates on international purchases and these cards are considered the most suitable ones for transactions in foreign currencies. Continue reading for the complete list of best credit cards for international transactions and their detailed features:

Table of Contents

Features and Benefits of International Credit Cards

Getting an international credit card is a must thing while traveling abroad. Almost all the credit cards available in the Indian market allow international transactions, however, there are some fees & charges associated with them. These cards make your travel much more hassle-free and convenient as follows:

  • You make online as well as PoS international transactions using an international credit card and avoid the hassle of finding a currency conversion center in a foreign country.
  • International credit cards don’t just allow you to make direct purchases, but you can also withdraw cash at international ATMs whenever required, however, there is a high fee associated with this.
  • Though there are high fees and charges on international transactions, some international credit cards offer higher reward rates which would compensate for the fee amount most of the time. ANd these cards are even more beneficial when there is a low forex markup fee and high rewards on international purchases.

Credit Cards with Lower Forex Mark-up Fee

Invite Only
HDFC Infinia Credit Card Metal Edition

Welcome Benefits

Welcome bonus of 12,500 Reward Points and complimentary Club Marriott membership for the first year.

Rewards Rate

5 Reward Points on every retail spend of Rs. 150,  reward rate of up to 3.3%

Joining Fees

Rs. 12,500 + applicable taxes

HDFC Infinia Credit Card is the top-notch credit card by HDFC Bank. Being a premium card, you get a very attractive foreign currency mark-up fee of just 2% (exclusive of GST) with the Infinia card. The foreign currency transaction benefit with HDFC Infinia Credit Card can be summarised as under-

Foreign Currency Markup (exclusive of GST) 2%
Foreign Currency Markup (including GST) 2.36%
Reward Rate on International Spends 3.33%
Net Reward Rate 0.97%

As is clear from the table above, you get a net reward rate of 0.97% on making an international transaction with your HDFC Infinia Credit Card. Apart from a lower foreign currency mark-up, the card also gives you many other international travel benefits including unlimited complimentary international airport lounge access with Priority Pass membership worth USD 99 and multiple travel-related insurance plans including an air accident insurance cover worth Rs. 3 crore.

ICICI Bank Emeralde Credit Card

Welcome Benefits

N/A

Rewards Rate

4 RPs on every Rs. 100 spent on all transactions (except fuel, utilities and insurance categories) and 1 RP on every purchase of Rs. 100 on insurance and utilities.

Joining Fees

Rs. 1,000 + Taxes for monthly plan, Rs. 12,000 + taxes for annual plan

ICICI Emerald Credit Card is the most premium offering by the bank. The unique feature of the card is that it allows you to choose between monthly and annual membership plans. The card earns you reward points as PAYBACK Points. As far as foreign currency spends are concerned, you have to pay 1.5% of the transaction amount as a mark-up (exclusive of GST) on this credit card. The following table illustrates the effective forex mark-up and net reward earned on foreign currency spends with the Emeralde Credit Card.

Foreign Currency Markup (exclusive of GST) 1.5%
Foreign Currency Markup (including GST) 1.77%
Reward Rate on International Spends 1%
Net Reward -0.77%
Axis Bank Magnus Credit Card

Welcome Benefits

Choose any one of these- Tata Cliq voucher or a free domestic flight ticket worth Rs. 10,000.

Rewards Rate

12 Axis EDGE REWARDS Points for every Rs. 200 spent with the card, 5X EDGE REWARDS on travel spends via TRAVEL EDGE.

Joining Fees

Rs. 10,000 + GST

The Magnus Card by Axis Bank is a premium credit card and offers best-in-class benefits on all major categories of spends including travel, shopping and dining. On foreign currency transactions, a mark-up fee of 2% (exclusive of GST) is applicable. The net gain on international spends with the Axis Bank Magnus Credit Card can be calculated as under-

Foreign Currency Markup (exclusive of GST) 2%
Foreign Currency Markup (including GST) 2.36%
Reward Rate on International Spends 1.20%
Net Reward -1.16%

Apart from a lower foreign currency mark-up fee, you get international travel benefits as well including a (limited) complimentary airport lounge access, and travel-related insurance benefits.

HDFC Bank Diners Club Black Credit Card

Welcome Benefits

Complimentary memberships for a year to MMTDOUBLEBLACK, Zomato Gold, Club Marriott, Times Prime, and Amazon Prime.

Rewards Rate

5 Reward Points for every Rs. 150 spent, accelerated Reward Points while spending on SmartBuy

Joining Fees

Rs. 10,000 (plus applicable taxes)

Another high-end credit card after the Infinia Credit Card by HDFC Bank, the Diners Club Black Credit Card comes with a plethora of benefits including a complimentary subscription to some of the renowned services such Amazon Prime and Zomato Gold. For foreign currency transactions, you are charged a mark-up fee of 1.99% (tax not included) of the transaction amount on this credit card. The net benefit on forex transactions with the Diners Club Black Credit Card can be calculated as under-

Foreign Currency Markup (exclusive of GST) 1.99%
Foreign Currency Markup (including GST) 2.36%
Reward Rate on International Spends 3.33%
Net Reward 0.97%

Being a premium credit card, HDFC Diners Club Black Card offers abundant international travel benefits including unlimited complimentary lounge access at international airports across the world, air accident insurance worth Rs. 2 crores, etc.

IDFC FIRST Wealth Credit Card

Welcome Benefits

Gift Vouchers worth Rs. 500 from premium brands and a 5% cashback on the first EMI transaction made within the first 90 days.

Rewards Rate

3 Reward Points on every Rs. 100 spent offline, 6 Reward Points on every Rs. 100 spent online, 10 Reward Points per Rs. 100 on spends above Rs. 30,000.

Joining Fees

Nil

IDFC FIRST Wealth credit card is a super premium credit card that IDFC FIRST Bank offers. Despite its premium features, the Wealth credit card comes with a zero annual membership fee. The card also offers a low interest rate (0.75% – 2.99%) and a very low foreign currency markup fee of just 1.5% (exclusive of GST) of the transacted amount. The forex transaction benefit of the IDFC FIRST Wealth Credit Card can be summarised as under-

Foreign Currency Markup (exclusive of GST) 1.50%
Foreign Currency Markup (including GST) 1.77%
Reward Rate on International Spends 2.50%
Net Reward 0.73%

Apart from a lower forex mark-up fee, you also get international travel benefits including complimentary international airport lounge access, air accident insurance worth Rs. 1 crore, etc. with the IDFC FIRST Wealth Credit Card.

Bank of Baroda Eterna Credit Card

Welcome Benefits

6-month FitPass Pro membership worth Rs. 15,000 and 10,000 bonus reward points.

Rewards Rate

15 reward points / Rs. 100 on online shopping, travel, movie, and dining spends (max cap of 5,000 points at this rate), 3 reward points/ Rs. 100 for spends on all other categories.

Joining Fees

Rs. 2,499 + GST

It is a top-end offering by the Bank of Baroda. You pay a mark-up fee of 2% (GST not included) on the transaction amount for transactions processed in a foreign currency. The forex mark-up fee benefit on the Eterna Credit Card can be summarised as under-

Foreign Currency Markup (exclusive of GST) 2%
Foreign Currency Markup (including GST) 2.36%
Reward Rate on International Spends 3.75%
Net Reward 1.39%

You also get an air accident cover worth Rs. 1 crore with the Eterna Credit Card.

RBL World Safari Credit Card

Welcome Benefits

MakeMyTrip voucher worth Rs. 3,000 as a welcome gift

Rewards Rate

5 travel points on every Rs. 100 spent on travel, 2 travel points on every Rs. 100 spent elsewhere.

Joining Fees

Rs 3,000 plus applicable taxes

A travel credit card by RBL Bank, the World Safari Credit Card offers an attractive feature that is its zero foreign currency mark-up fee. It is the only credit card in India that does not charge any mark-up fee on transactions made in a foreign currency. However, the downside is that you also don’t earn any reward points on international transactions made with the RBL World Safari Credit Card. Therefore, there is no profit/loss (in terms of reward rate) on foreign currency transactions made with the RBL Bank World Safari Credit Card.

Foreign Currency Markup (exclusive of GST) 0%
Foreign Currency Markup (including GST) 0%
Reward Rate on International Spends 0%
Net Reward 0%
SBI Elite Credit card

Welcome Benefits

E-vouchers worth Rs. 5,000 from any one of the brands, including Yatra, Aditya Birla Fashion, Hush Puppies/Bata, Pantaloons, and Shoppers Stop.

Rewards Rate

2 Reward Points on every Rs. 100 you spend on retail purchases, 5X Reward Points on dining spends, departmental stores, and grocery purchases (reward rate of 2.5%)

Joining Fees

Rs. 4,999 (plus taxes)

It is the most premium credit card by SBI Cards catering to the needs of the high net-worth customers of the bank. As foreign currency mark-up, the cardholders will be charged an amount equivalent to 1.99% of the amount transacted. The net benefit on foreign currency transactions made with the SBI ELITE Credit Card is summarised as under-

Foreign Currency Markup (exclusive of GST) 1.99%
Foreign Currency Markup (including GST) 2.36%
Reward Rate on International Spends 0.50%
Net Reward -1.86%

As is clear from the calculation above, if we take under consideration the reward rate of SBI ELITE Credit Card, you effectively pay a mark-up fee of 2.31% (inclusive of GST) of the transacted amount on transactions made in a currency other than INR.

IndusInd Legend Credit Card

Welcome Benefits

Choose one of these: a Luxe gift card, a complimentary stay at Oberoi Chain of Hotels, and gift vouchers from popular brands like Charles Keith, Yatra, Louis Philippe, etc.

Rewards Rate

1 Reward Point per Rs. 100 spends on weekdays and 2 Reward Points for every Rs. 100 you spend on weekends.

Joining Fees

Rs. 9,999 + Applicable Taxes

The Legend Credit Card by IndusInd Bank is a high-end credit card by the IndusInd Bank. The card is quite suitable for shopping and travel spends. As far as foreign currency transactions are concerned, you are charged a mark-up fee of 1.8% (exclusive of taxes) of the transacted amount. You may refer to the table below for net gain/loss that you have incurred on the international transactions (in foreign currency) completed with the IndusInd Bank Legend Credit Card.

Foreign Currency Markup (exclusive of GST) 1.8%
Foreign Currency Markup (including GST) 2.12%
Reward Rate on International Spends 2%
Net Reward -0.12%

As you can see, effectively, you pay 0.12% of the transaction amount as a mark-up fee on foreign currency transactions. You also get complimentary lounge access at international airports across the world and an air travel accident cover worth Rs. 25 lakh with the IndusInd Bank Legend Credit Card.

Yes Bank First Exclusive Credit Card

Welcome Benefits

N/A

Rewards Rate

6 Reward Points for every Rs. 200 spent on Selected category, 12 Reward Points on every Rs. 200 spent on all other transactions and 1000 Reward Points on every YES PayNow registration.

Joining Fees

Rs. 999 + taxes

Yes Bank First Exclusive Credit Card is a premium lifestyle credit card by Yes Bank. The card offers a decent reward rate on all categories of spends and a plethora of additional benefits. For foreign currency transactions, you’re charged 1.75% of the transacted amount (exclusive of GST) as a mark-up fee. The table below summarises the net gain (in terms of reward rate) on foreign currency spends made with the Yes Bank First Exclusive Credit Card.

Foreign Currency Markup (exclusive of GST) 1.75%
Foreign Currency Markup (including GST) 2.06%
Reward Rate on International Spends 1.50%
Net Reward -0.56%

With Yes Bank First Exclusive Credit Card, the cardholders can enjoy unlimited visits to the lounges at the international airports along with Priority Pass Membership and travel insurance benefits like life insurance cover worth Rs. 3 crores in case of life loss while traveling through air and a medical cover worth Rs. 50 lakh applicable in case of emergency overseas hospitalization.

Kotak-Privy-League-Signature-Credit-Card

Welcome Benefits

Rewards Rate

5x Reward Points on select retail shopping and travel spends, 2x Reward Points on all other spends and traveler’s plan.

 

Joining Fees

Rs. 2,500 + GST (for paid variant), Nil for the free variant

Kotak Privy League Signature Card is a premium credit card by Kotak Mahindra Bank which is offered to the customers in the following variants – the free variant and the paid variant and is exclusive for the Privy League customers of the bank. The foreign currency mark-up fee for the free variant is the regular 3.5% (plus GST), while you get a discounted forex mark-up of 2% (plus GST) on the paid variant. You can either choose the travel plan or shopping plan depending upon your spending habits. If you choose the travel plan, you get 5X reward points on international spends, however, on choosing the shopping plan, you’ll get only 2X reward points on international transactions. The effective mark-up fee payable (considering the GST and the reward rate) on the paid variant of the card with the travel plan can be calculated as under-

Foreign Currency Markup (exclusive of GST) 2%
Foreign Currency Markup (including GST) 2.36%
Reward Rate on International Spends 1.25%
Net Reward -1.11%
HDFC Bank Regalia Credit Card

Welcome Benefits

2,500 bonus Reward points

Rewards Rate

4 reward points every time one spends Rs. 150.

Joining Fees

Rs. 2,500 + taxes

HDFC Regalia Credit Card is a lifestyle credit card by HDFC Bank. You’re charged a mark-up fee of 2% (exclusive of GST) of the transaction amount on all foreign currency spends made with HDFC Regalia Credit Card. The net gain on international transactions made with HDFC Regalia Credit Card can be calculated as follows.

Foreign Currency Markup (exclusive of GST) 2%
Foreign Currency Markup (including GST) 2.36%
Reward Rate on International Spends 1.33%
Net Reward -1.03%

Thus, effectively, you pay a mark-up fee of 1.03% of the transacted amount which is in a currency other than Indian Rupee.

IDFC First Select Credit Card

Welcome Benefits

Welcome gifts worth Rs. 500 in the form of vouchers based on spends within 90 days of card issuance and a 5% cashback on EMI transactions within 90 days of card issuance.

Rewards Rate

3 Reward Points on each Rs. 125 spent offline, 6 Reward Points on each Rs. 125 spent online, and 10 Reward Points on every Rs. 125 on spends above Rs. 25,000.

Joining Fees

Nil

Select Credit Card by IDFC FIRST Bank is a mid-level offering by the bank. It is a lifetime free credit card and offers a decent reward rate and other additional benefits. As far as the foreign currency mark-up fee is concerned, you are charged 1.99% of the transaction amount as a mark-up fee on every foreign transaction you make.

The net effective foreign currency mark-up fee of the IDFC FIRST Select credit can be calculated as under-

Foreign Currency Markup (exclusive of GST) 1.99%
Foreign Currency Markup (including GST) 2.36%
Reward Rate on International Spends 2.50%
Net Reward 0.14%

Credit Cards with Higher Reward Rate on International Transactions

American Express Platinum Card

Welcome Benefits

SeleQtions, Taj, and Vivanta Hotels’ vouchers worth Rs. 45,000.

Rewards Rate

1 MR on every Rs. 40, 3X Rewards on all international spends, and 5X Rewards Points on transactions via the AmEx Reward Multiplier portal.

Joining Fees

Rs. 60,000 (plus applicable taxes)

This Card is the most premium offering by American Express. Although you’re charged the regular mark-up fee of 3.5% (GST not included) on the transaction amount, the card earns you accelerated Membership Reward Points on international spends. The foreign currency transaction benefits applicable on the American Express Platinum Credit Card are summarised as under-

Foreign Currency Markup (exclusive of GST) 3.50%
Foreign Currency Markup (including GST) 4.13%
Reward Rate on International Spends 3.75%
Net Reward Rate -0.38%

In addition to a low forex fee, you also get many international travel benefits which also includes an insurance cover worth Rs. 5 crores in case of air accidental death and complimentary access to Priority Pass and Delta lounges.

Citi Prestige Credit Card

Welcome Benefits

2,500 bonus reward points and a benefit worth Rs. 10,000 from ITC hotels or the Taj group.

Rewards Rate

1 Reward Points for every Rs. 100 on domestic spends, 2 Reward Points for every Rs. 100 on international spends.

Joining Fees

Rs. 20,000 (plus applicable taxes)

Citibank Prestige Credit Card is a top-end credit card by the bank. The card offers plenty of rewards including a welcome gift of 2,500 reward points, gift vouchers from Taj/ITC hotels and a reward rate of 2% and 1% on international and domestic spends respectively. Just like the American Express Platinum Card, you have to pay the regular forex mark-up fee of 3.5% (4.13% including GST) of the transaction amount on the Citibank Prestige Card as well. We have included this card in our list of best cards for international spends as this card earns you accelerated (2X) reward points on international transactions.

Foreign Currency Markup (exclusive of GST) 3.5%
Foreign Currency Markup (including GST) 4.13%
Reward Rate on International Spends 4% to 8%
Net Reward -0.13% to 3.87%
Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card

Welcome Benefits

6,000 Rewards redeemable for shopping vouchers or charity spends under the Standard Chartered 360° rewards program.

Rewards Rate

5 Reward Points on every retail purchase of Rs. 150

Joining Fees

Rs. 5,000

A top-notch credit card by the Standard Chartered Bank, the Ultimate Credit Card comes with a welcome benefit of 6,000 reward points and earns you 5 reward points for every Rs. 150 spent. As far as foreign currency transactions are concerned, you pay an effective mark-up fee of 2% (GST not included) of the transaction amount (3.5% charged at the time of transaction, 1.5% cashback within 60 days). The net reward rate on foreign currency spends can be calculated as under-

Foreign Currency Markup (exclusive of GST) 3.5%
Foreign Currency Markup (including GST) 4.13%
Reward Rate on International Spends 3.33% + 1.5%(Cashback on international spends
Net Reward 0.70%

As is clear from the aforementioned data, you get a net reward rate of 0.97% on foreign currency transactions using Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card. Since it is a premium card, you also get international travel benefits like travel insurance benefits including insurance cover worth Rs. 1 crore in case of air accidental death and complimentary lounge access at international airports with Priority Pass membership.

Pros & Cons of Credit Cards for Foreign Currency Transactions

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, those credit cards are best suited for foreign currency transactions that either have a lower mark-up fee for transactions made in a foreign currency or earn Reward Points/cashback at an accelerated on international transactions. While these credit cards do offer the advantage of a better reward rate on foreign currency transactions, they also have certain downsides. We shall now discuss the pros and cons of these foreign currency transactions credit cards (not to be confused with prepaid forex cards).

Pros of Foreign Currency Transaction Credit Card

  • Lower Forex Mark-up Fee: As we have seen most of these credit cards that we have classified as the best options available in the Indian credit card space for someone who makes transactions in foreign currencies quite frequently charge a lower than usual mark-up fee on foreign currency transactions- usually 1.5% to 2% as compared to the standard rate of 3.5%. RBL Bank’s World Safari Credit Card comes with a zero foreign currency mark-up fee. It is perhaps the only credit card currently available in the Indian credit card market that comes with a zero foreign currency mark-up fee.
  • Higher Reward Rate of International Transactions: Some credit cards although charge the same usual mark-up fee of 3.5% on foreign currency transactions, but offer a higher reward rate on international transactions. Some exclusive credit cards for foreign currency transactions such as American Express Platinum Credit Card and Citi Prestige Credit Card fall in this category.
  • Additional Travel Perks: Since the majority of these credit cards are either super premium credit cards or premium travel cards, they offer additional travel benefits and perks like complimentary access to international and domestic lounges, complimentary holiday vouchers, complimentary night stays at hotels and many more.

Cons of Foreign Currency Transaction Credit Cards

  • High Annual Fee: Since most of these credit cards are super-premium credit cards or premium travel cards, they come with a high annual membership fee. For example, HDFC Infinia Credit Card (Metal Edition) charges an annual fee of Rs. 12,500 and the annual fee of the American Express Platinum Credit Card is placed at Rs. 60,000.
  • Acceptability: Since you are supposed to carry these credit cards with you on international trips, it is important to make sure that the payment network (Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, etc.) on which the card is issued, has a wide acceptance. If your credit card is issued on Visa or MasterCard platform, you will most probably not face any issue in terms of acceptance of your card as almost all merchants accept both Visa and MasterCard credit cards. However, if your credit card is issued on any other network- say, American Express or Diners Club, your credit card might not be as widely accepted.
  • TCS Deduction: If you make foreign currency transactions worth more than Rs. 7 lacs in a year, your card issuer mandatorily collects a TCS (Tax Collection at Source) of 7% of the total amount transacted in foreign currency under that Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) as per Section 206C of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

How to Make the Most of Foreign Currency Transaction Credit Cards

While these credit cards with lower forex mark-up fee or higher reward rates on international transactions allow you to make transactions in foreign currency with relatively lower overhead charges, there are certain steps that are advisable to be taken to make sure that you make the most of your credit card on foreign trips or while making transactions in a foreign currency in general-

  • Intimate Your Bank: Card issuers sometimes freeze your credit card if they detect any unusual activity. A big transaction on your credit card all of a sudden from a foreign location might be considered an unusual activity. It is therefore advisable to intimate your bank/card issuer about your foreign trip so that your card is not blocked if you make a large transaction with your card on the trip.
  • Carry Multiple Credit Cards: It is always advisable to carry multiple (at least two) credit cards issued on different payment networks on a foreign trip. This is majorly for two reasons- many merchants do not accept credit cards issued on certain payment networks, and it is very easy to exhaust your credit limit when on a foreign trip as many hotels hold a certain amount on your card to cover incidentals.

Bottom Line:

If you’re someone who frequently travels abroad or you love shopping from foreign websites and enjoy foreign subscription services that charge you in a foreign currency, these credit cards can save you a lot of money. The regular mark-up fee of 3.5% might seem less at first, but on large transactions, this 3.5% might mean a whole lot, and if you’re not able to pay your bills on time, the mark-up fee also incurs the same compounding interest as applicable to the actual spends made on the card. Therefore, while applying for a new credit card, do consider what proportion of total spends on your credit card accounts for foreign currency transactions. If it is a substantial amount, it’s a good idea to consider one of these credit cards that come with a lower foreign currency mark-up fee. For a quick reference, we’ve summarized the foreign currency mark-up, reward rate and net gain on international spends on these credit cards in a tabular form-

Credit Card Foreign Currency Markup (exclusive of GST) Foreign Currency Markup (including GST) Reward Rate on International Spends Net Reward
Credit Cards with Lower Forex Mark-up Fee
HDFC Bank Infinia Credit Card 2% 2.36% 3.33% 0.97%
ICICI Bank Emeralde Credit Card 1.50% 1.77% 1% -0.77%
Axis Bank Magnus Credit Card 2% 2.36% 1.20% -1.16%
HDFC Bank Diners Club Black Credit Card 1.99% 2.36% 3.33% 0.97%
IDFC FIRST Wealth Credit Card 1.50% 1.77% 2.50% 0.73%
Bank of Baroda Eterna Credit Card 2% 2.36% 3.75% 1.39%
RBL World Safari Credit Card 0% 0% 0% 0%
SBI ELITE Credit Card 1.99% 2.36% 0.50% -1.86%
IndusInd Legend Credit Card 1.80% 2.12% 2% -0.12%
Yes Bank First Exclusive Credit Card 1.75% 2.06% 1.50% -0.56%
Kotak Privy League Signature Credit Card 2% 2.36% 1.25% -1.11%
HDFC Bank Regalia Credit Card 2% 2.36% 1.33% -1.03%
IDFC FIRST Select Credit Card 1.99% 2.36% 2.50% 0.14%
Credit Cards with Higher Reward Rate on Foreign Transactions
American Express Platinum Card 3.50% 4.13% 3.75% -0.38%
Citibank Prestige Card 3.50% 4.13% 4% -0.13%
Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card 3.5% 4.13% 3.33% + 1.5% (Cashback on international spends 0.70%

FAQs:

Card issuers charge a mark-up fee on transactions made a foreign currency to process the transaction via a foreign payment gateway and to alleviate varying foreign currency exchange rates (sometimes due to market fluctuations, you may be charged at a different forex rate than the one applicable to your card issuer).

RBL Bank World Safari Credit Card is the only credit card in India that comes with a zero foreign currency mark-up rate. However, you don’t earn any reward points on international transactions on this credit card.

You are charged a mark-up fee of 3.5% (plus GST) on most credit cards on making transactions in a foreign currency.

HDFC Regalia Credit Card, IDFC FIRST Select Credit Card, IndusInd Bank Duo Plus Credit Card and RBL Bank Edition Credit Card are some of the non-premium or mid-level credit cards that come with a lower foreign currency mark-up fee.

Credit Cards do not have a credit limit specific to foreign currency transactions. There is a general credit limit, and both domestic and foreign currency transactions count towards it.

Though credit cards charge a high forex markup fee on international transactions, you can still prefer some of them if you make international transactions very often. Credit cards with low forex markup fees and with high reward rates on international purchases should be used for foreign transactions.

Almost every credit card charges a forex markup fee on international transactions, so no credit card can be considered free for international transactions. However, there are some credit cards that come with lower forex markup fees, such as HDFC Infinia, HDFC Regalia, IndusInd Celesta, and many more.

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