Black Friday is right around the corner and there’ll be numerous bargains south of the border. But those purchases will be less of a deal if you pay an additional foreign currency transaction fee on your credit card. Most credit cards tack on a surcharge of between 2.5% on foreign currency transactions. For example, if you spend $500 in the United States, it’ll be converted to about $655 Canadian. But with a foreign exchange transaction fee, another $16.38 (2.5% of $655) will be added and your total purchase will end up costing $671.38. If you plan on making a trip to the U.S. to do some cross-border shopping or prefer to make your purchases online, here are three credit cards that you can use to avoid paying foreign exchange transaction fees:

Amazon.ca Rewards Visa

The Amazon.ca Rewards Visa card has a number of great features:

  • No foreign currency transaction fees
  • No annual fee
  • $20 Amazon.ca gift certificate instantly loaded into your Amazon.ca account upon approval
  • Earn 2% cash back per $1 spent at Amazon.ca and 1% cash back per $1 spent everywhere else

Of the three cards, this is the only one without an annual fee. Each time you earn 2,000 points, you’ll automatically receive cash back as a $20 credit on your statement.

Marriott Rewards Premier Visa

The Marriott Rewards Premier Visa has the following features:

  • No foreign currency transaction fees
  • $120 annual fee (waived for the first year)
  • 30,000 bonus points after your first purchase
  • 1 free night stay at a category 1-4 hotel upon approval
  • Anniversary free night stay at a category 1-5 hotel every year
  • 5 points for each $1 spent at more than 3,500 Marriott locations
  • 2 points for each $1 spent on tickets purchased directly from airlines, and at car rental agencies and restaurants
  • 1 point per $1 spent everywhere else

The signup bonuses make this card very appealing. The bonus points plus the free night stay could give you up to five free nights at a category 1 hotel. And the anniversary free night stay could essentially cancel out the cost of the annual fee.

Rogers Platinum MasterCard

The features on the Rogers Platinum MasterCard are:

  • No foreign currency transaction fees
  • $29 annual fee (waived the first year)
  • 1.75% cash back on all purchases
  • 10,000 Rogers Platinum Rewards welcome points (a $35 value)

This card is more useful if you’re a Rogers customer. Your cash back rewards can be redeemed towards products purchased from The Shopping Channel or Rogers and Fido stores as well as for your services from Rogers, Fido, or chatr. If your monthly Rogers bill is set up as a pre-authorized payment, you’ll never have to pay the annual fee after the first year.

All of these cards are a good choice if you plan on making a lot of purchases in foreign currencies but the Amazon.ca Rewards Visa is the only one without an annual fee.

If these cards don’t offer the rewards you’re looking for, check out RateHub’s credit card rewards comparison tool.

RateHub.ca is a website that compares mortgage rates, credit cards and deposit rates with the goal to empower Canadians to search smarter and save money.

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