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Excellent U.S. Credit Cards without Foreign Transaction Fees

Discussion in 'Settlement Issues' started by Publius_Cornelius_Scipio, Sep 18, 2019.

  1. We found Canadian credit cards averagely offer very inferior rewards than U.S. ones:
    • I.e., Amex blue cash in the U.S. offer 3% on grocery while the Canadian version offers 1.25%.
    • While in the U.S., 2% is the minimum reward percentage for a moderately savvy consumer, 1% seems to be the counterpart for Canada.
    For new settlers, we suggest retaining all the good U.S. credit cards without foreign transaction fees. We do not claim the list below to be exclusive. Readers can build upon the information listed below to form their own personal list.


    Discover:
    Discover cashback credit cards
    5% calendar is very attractive.
    All Discover cards charge no Foreign Transaction Fees

    Chase:
    No Foreign Transaction Fees
    Chase sapphire preferred or reversed
    • This card is especially useful for primary coverage on rental cars
    Chase Amazon credit cards
    • For wholefood and Amazon lovers.
    • They are both versions for non-prime members and prime members.
    Chase Hyatt
    • For free nights of Hyatt



    Paypal cashback credit cards:
    Synchrony
    2% cashback master credit cards. A master credit card would be very useful if you are a Costco member because Canadian Costco warehouses only take master credit cards.


    Nordstrom:
    Nordstrom credit card if you like Nordstrom in Canada.
    No Foreign Transaction Fees

    Barclay Uber:
    4% back on restaurants, takeout, and bars, including UberEATS
    3% back on airfare, hotels, and vacation home rentals
    2% back on online purchases including Uber, online shopping, and video and music streaming services*
    1% back on all other purchases
    Up to a $50 credit for online subscriptions services after you spend $5,000 on your card per year
    Up to $600 for mobile phone damage or theft when you pay your mobile phone bill with your card
    No foreign transaction fees when you make purchases outside the U.S.


    Apple credit card:
    3% cashback on Apple purchases and services (including the app store, Apple Music payments, etc.)
    3% cashback on Uber and UberEATS when using Apple Pay
    2% cashback on all Apple Pay purchases
    1% cashback when using the physical card
    No foreign transaction fees
    By using apple pay, you can turn this into a 2% reward card.


    For U.S. institutions, changing the current address to a Canadian one is not an issue. However, you may have to call in to change the address.
    The key is to apply and obtain all credit cards before your relocation. Once you move, you won't be eligible for most if not all credit cards such as the apple credit card.
     
  2. Citi Anywhere
    Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
    No foreign transaction fees
    However, I hazard the reward for this card can only be cashed in a U.S. Costco warehouse.
     
  3. #3 mbaleine, Sep 19, 2019 at 1:14 PM
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
    TD US Bank's cash back Visa card also has no foreign transaction fees (and no annual fee). I guess the perk with TD is that you get the option of Cross-border Banking if you have both TD US Bank and TD Canada Trust accounts.

    But honestly Chase Sapphire Reserve is hands down the best (and probably the only one you ever need) if you could get one. The travel perks are simply amazing with no blackout dates. If you're American you also get to receive full refund for TSA Pre-check and Global Entry fees. And the card is metal and feels much more substantial :)
     
  4. Good to know and thanks for the information.
    What's the use of having US credit card considering the fact that it won't help in building Canadian credit history and to pay the balance one has to face CAD to USD conversion rate etc.
    I just want to understand what's your point and if I am missing anything.
     
  5. Erm, like some of us have a life in the US, have built excellent US credit history, and would like to keep that credit history, or to have a US credit card which we can use to pay in USD instead of CAD when we visit friends and family in the US, or to continue enjoying the many perks of an excellent US credit card? For example, very few Canadian credit cards waive foreign transaction fee, whereas plenty of US credit cards do. When one travels around the world, the foreign transaction fee-free US credit card comes in handy.

    If one has bank account in the US, it’s not a hassle at all to continue making payments to US credit cards. Plus, Canadian banks such as TD and RBC offer cross-border banking and accounts in USD, which can easily be used to pay for US credit cards without CAD conversion.
     
  6. Hmm Ok. I see your point.
     
  7. Sounds good in theory but you will still losing money on each transaction due to the fees built into the foreign exchange rates of Visa and Mastercards (even if you are not charged an extra foreign transaction fee. Only a minority of Canadian residents maintains ties or bank account in the US. Also, as mentioned by someone above, continuing to use exclusively US credit cards just for better rewards will be of no help in building your Canadian credit profile which is needed if you want to apply for loans or mortgages down the road.

    In summary, while this seems to be a good plan on paper, it is not really suitable for most of those who make Canada their home and plan to stay here for long.
     
  8. In Canada, we all start off with bad credit and get credit cards with ridiculously low credit limits, so it's really helpful to keep using your good US credit cards with no foreign transaction fee until your Canadian credit improves. For my first year in Canada, I still used my US credit cards most of the time (usually the Santander Ultimate Cash Back credit card that gives 1.5% cash back on everything, and sometimes the TD Cash Credit Card that gives 3% cash back on dining, 2% on groceries, and 1% on everything else) due to having only a $1000 credit limit on my Canadian credit card. I actually had 2 Canadian credit cards, each with only $1000 credit limit, but only used the Walmart Rewards MasterCard because it was the only one with a decent rewards program. About a year after moving to Canada, I was able to get a much better credit card with a $12,000 credit limit - a PC Financial MasterCard.
     

  9. Canadian credit history can be easily obtained by a global transfer of Amex.

    Some people have or would have a sizeable fund in USD, due to various reasons such as employment, inheritance, and investment. Or it could be some just don't want to bring all assets into Canada for various reasons such as diversification.


    If you are not one of them, this is not for you.

    You may be interested to know that there are roughly 1 million Canadians in U.S. and likewise 1 million Americans in Canada.
     
  10. You could have used the global transfer of Amex. No need to build a credit history from ground zero for Americans with high credit score like 780. Amex transfers the history and reports to Canadian credit agencies.

    I guess it is too late for you to know that. I am sorry.
     
  11. Canadian credit history can be easily obtained by a global transfer of Amex.No need to build a credit history from ground zero for Americans with a high credit score like 780. Amex transfers the history and reports to Canadian credit agencies. It may take some time like a couple of months, but not years if one chooses to build credit from zero.


    Some people have or would have a sizeable fund in USD, due to various reasons such as employment, inheritance, and investment. Or it could be some just don't want to bring all assets into Canada for various reasons such as diversification. If you are not one of them, this is not for you.
     
  12. On a different note, tell you something funny.

    roughly 60% of Canadian students with a Computer science major head south for employment.
    roughly 33% of ones with EE/CE majors head south for employment.


    I don't know the number for doctors, must be high as well.

    Or how about this joke:
    Andrew Sheer is American and pays taxes to the IRS. He must have some fund in USD.
     

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