What Are Foreign Transaction Fees — and How Can I Avoid Them?

We help you understand what they are, how much you may have to pay, and how you can avoid these inconvenient fees.

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Your bags are packed, your passport is in hand, and you’re ready to travel abroad. But are you ready for all the foreign transaction fees you may have to pay during your trip? What are they, how much will you have to pay, and how do you avoid transaction fees? Let us walk you through it.

What is a foreign transaction fee?

Foreign transaction fees are added charges you may incur when you use a debit or credit card internationally. Whether you’re purchasing a croissant at a Parisian cafe or getting a souvenir for mom, banks will often charge you for transactions made abroad.

Does N26 charge foreign transaction fees?

Nope. With N26, you’ll pay no foreign transaction fees when you shop using your debit card internationally — or any other hidden fees, including insufficient funds fees or maintenance charges.(new tab)

Does N26 charge for international ATM withdrawals?

N26 works with the Allpoint network to provide fee-free ATM withdrawals at over 55,000 locations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia, and the U.K. Keep in mind that N26 does charge $2 plus 2% of withdrawal amount after conversion to U.S. dollars for out-of-network international ATM withdrawals. Fees from the ATM owner may also apply.

What does “no foreign transaction fees” mean?

If a debit card specifies “no foreign transaction fees,” this means that you won’t pay any additional fees when you use your card to pay in foreign countries.

How much are foreign transaction fees?

Foreign transaction fees vary from bank to bank, but one thing is certain — they can really add up. Debit card users are usually charged an additional 1-3% for purchases they make overseas. ATM withdrawals incur a flat fee (normally up to $5 for each visit), a percentage of the total amount withdrawn (with a set minimum), or both. And don’t forget about the additional mark-ups for the digital exchange of foreign currency. Learn more about the types of foreign transaction fees you might encounter on your next vacation.(new tab)

How can I avoid foreign transaction fees?

Planning ahead when you travel abroad is perhaps the best way to avoid annoying foreign transaction fees, helping you save more money for those bucket-list experiences. Here are a few things you can do:

Find a debit card with no foreign transaction fees, like the N26 debit card(new tab). With N26, there are no extra fees when you pay with your debit card abroad.

Exchange your money before you travel. Should you need cash, look up conversion rates and trade dollars for your destination’s local currency ahead of your trip.

Do research on foreign transaction fees. Empower yourself and keep track of your spending by learning which types of fees will come up when you make a purchase internationally. That way, you won’t return home to a nasty surprise in your bank account.


Foreign transaction fees are just one type of hidden bank fee to watch out for. Open an N26 account(new tab) today to enjoy banking that’s transparent, with no hidden fees and instant notifications on all account activity to give you added peace of mind.

The N26 account is offered by Axos Bank®, Member FDIC. N26 Inc. is a service provider of Axos Bank. All deposit accounts of the same ownership and/or vesting held at Axos Bank are combined and insured under the same FDIC Certificate 35546. All deposit accounts through Axos Bank brands are not separately insured by the FDIC from other deposit accounts held with the same ownership and/or vesting at Axos Bank. The N26 Visa® Debit Card is issued by Axos Bank pursuant to a license by Visa U.S.A. Inc. The N26 Visa Debit Card may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.

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