Best Credit Cards for Overseas Spending in India 2020

Many credit cards in India offer great rewards on overseas spending; however, only a select few have net positive rewards after incurring the foreign exchange fee. We have filtered through our researched cards to identify which cards add the most value for international spending.

Best Overseas Spending Card:
Best Cashback Card: Best Points Card:
Best Travel Rewards Cards:
Learn More About Foreign Exchange Fees

Best Overseas Spending Card: RBL World Plus Supercard

  • 3.6-6.0% rewards rate on overseas spending
  • Promotions: Sign-Up Bonus: 20,000 points (worth ₹ 3,600-6,000 depending on redemption option)
  • Anniversary Bonus: 20,000 points on Rs. 300,000 spend in a year, 20,000 additional points on Rs. 500,000 spend
  • Annual Fee: Rs. 4,999
  • Reward Earn Rate: 20 points/Rs. 100 spent international and dining transactions (max 2,000 points/monthly per category), 2 points/Rs. 100 spent on all else (except fuel)
  • Point Value: 1 point = Rs. 0.18-0.30 depending on redemption option (travel, mobile recharge, shopping)
  • Perks: 8 free (max 2/quarter) domestic lounge visits/year in India; complimentary Priority Pass membership (USD 27/visit); dining/movie benefits
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 500-4,000
  • Foreign Exchange Fee: 3.5%
The RBL World Plus Supercard is the best overseas spending card in our review. Cardholders earn a 3.6-6.0% rewards on all international spends, as well as dining (5% discount on international and dining spends, via 20 points for every Rs. 100 spent, 1 point = 0.18 - 0.30 depending on the redemption category).
On the other hand, this card has a great sign-up bonus of 20,000 points (worth Rs. 3,600-6,000) which works as a way to offset the annual fee of Rs. 4,999. However, because of the abnormal redemption policy, the spending must be enough for the sign-up bonus to reach a value of at least Rs. 4,999. Another positive is that the cardholder will receive an anniversary bonus of 20,000 points on Rs. 300,000 annual spend, and 40,000 total if you spend Rs. 500,000. Furthermore, the card offers 8 airport lounge visits per year (maximum 2 per quarter). Unfortunately, the card offers a lower rewards rate of 0.36-0.60% on spending categories outside of international and dining (2 points per Rs. 100 spent, 1 point = 0.18 - 0.30).Still, this is a great card for big spenders looking to acquire a card primarily for international spending.
  • 3.6-6.0% on overseas spending
  • Promotions: Sign-Up Bonus: 20,000 points (worth ₹ 3,600-6,000 depending on redemption option)
  • Anniversary Bonus: 20,000 points on Rs. 300,000 spend in a year, 20,000 additional points on Rs. 500,000 spend
  • Annual Fee: Rs. 4,999
  • Reward Earn Rate: 20 points/Rs. 100 spent international and dining transactions (max 2,000 points/monthly per category), 2 points/Rs. 100 spent on all else (except fuel)
  • Point Value: 1 point = Rs. 0.18-0.30 depending on redemption option (travel, mobile recharge, shopping)
  • Perks: 8 free (max 2/quarter) domestic lounge visits/year in India; complimentary Priority Pass membership (USD 27/visit); dining/movie benefits
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 500-4,000
  • Foreign Exchange Fee: 3.5%
RBL World Plus Supercard is the best overseas spending card in our review. In both international transactions and dining spending, the cardholder will earn a 3.6-6.0% rewards rate (5% discount on international and dining spends, via 20 points for every Rs. 100 spent, 1 point = 0.18 - 0.30) depending on the redemption category. However, the card offers a lower rewards rate of 0.36-0.60% (2 points per Rs. 100 spent, 1 point = 0.18 - 0.30) on all other spending.


On the other hand, this card has a great sign-up bonus of 20,000 points (worth Rs. 3,600-6,000) which works as a way to offset the annual fee of Rs. 4,999. However, because of the abnormal redemption policy, the spending must be enough for the sign-up bonus to reach a value of at least Rs. 4,999. Another positive is that the cardholder will receive an anniversary bonus of 20,000 points on Rs. 300,000 annual spend, and 40,000 total if you spend Rs. 500,000. Furthermore, the card offers 8 airport lounge visits per year (maximum 2 per quarter). In all, this is a great card for big spenders looking to acquire a card primarily for international spending.

Best Cashback Card for Overseas Spending: Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card

  • 3.33% cashback on all spending categories
  • Promotions: Sign-Up Bonus: Up to ₹ 10,000 cashback on MakeMyTrip if booked within 90 days of card issuance
  • Renewal benefit: 5,000 points
  • Read Our Review
  • Join Fee: Rs 3,500
  • Annual Fee: Rs. 5,000
  • Reward Earn Rate: 5 points per Rs. 150 spent on all transactions
  • Point Value: 1 point = Rs. 1 cashback
  • Travel: Priority Pass ($27/visit, waived once monthly if last month's spend > Rs. 20,000), Visa lounge access (4 free domestic visits per quarter), 5% cashback duty free spend
  • Golf: Golf: 2 free domestic golf games per month (1 free guest/ month), 1 golf coaching session/ month
  • Insurance: Air accident cover of Rs. 1 crore, emergency medical, bag delay, loss of bags/personal docs, hijacking and flight delay coverage
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 2%
The Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card is the best cashback card for international spending. It offers an excellent rewards rate of 3.33% (5 points per Rs. 150 spent; 1 point = Rs. 1 cashback) across all spending categories, including international spending. On top of this, consumers will get an excellent welcome gift of up to Rs. 10,000 cashback on MakeMyTrip tickets booked within the first 90 days of card ownership. The Ultimate Card also offers strong travel perks. These include 4 lounge visits per quarter and one free Priority Pass visit per month. Furthermore, the card offers a 5% discount on duty free purchases and incurs a 2% foreign currency transaction fee, one of the lowest in India. The Standard Chartered Ultimate card will prove to be extremely useful for those looking to acquire a cashback card for all international spends.
  • 3.33% cashback on all spending categories
  • Promotions: Sign-Up Bonus: Up to ₹ 10,000 cashback on MakeMyTrip if booked within 90 days of card issuance
  • Renewal benefit: 5,000 points
  • Read Our Review
  • Join Fee: Rs 3,500
  • Annual Fee: Rs. 5,000
  • Reward Earn Rate: 5 points per Rs. 150 spent on all transactions
  • Point Value: 1 point = Rs. 1 cashback
  • Travel: Priority Pass ($27/visit, waived once monthly if last month's spend > Rs. 20,000), Visa lounge access (4 free domestic visits per quarter), 5% cashback duty free spend
  • Golf: Golf: 2 free domestic golf games per month (1 free guest/ month), 1 golf coaching session/ month
  • Insurance: Air accident cover of Rs. 1 crore, emergency medical, bag delay, loss of bags/personal docs, hijacking and flight delay coverage
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 2%
The Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card is the best cashback card for international spending. The card offers an excellent rewards rate of 3.33% (5 points per Rs. 150 spent; 1 point = Rs. 1 cashback) across all spending categories, including international spending. On top of this, consumers will get an excellent welcome gift of up to Rs. 10,000 cashback on MakeMyTrip tickets booked within the first 90 days of card ownership. The Ultimate Card also offers strong travel perks too which includes 4 lounge visits per quarter via the Visa program and one free Priority Pass visit per month upon reaching Rs. 20,000 in monthly spend. Furthermore, the card offers a 5% discount on duty free purchases and a 2% foreign currency transaction fee, one of the lowest in India. The Standard Chartered Ultimate card will prove to be extremely useful for those looking to acquire a cashback card for all spending categories, including international spends.

Best Points Card for Overseas Spending: HDFC Diners Club Black Credit Card

  • Unlimited global lounge access
  • Promotions: Sign-Up Bonus: 10,000 Reward Points (worth ₹ 10,000)
  • Renewal Benefit: 5,000 Reward Points (worth ₹ 5,000); not applicable when renewal fee is waived (requires annual spend of ₹ 500,000)
  • Annual Fee: Rs. 10,000 first year; Rs. 5,000 beyond (waived on annual spend of Rs. 500,000)
  • Earn Rate: 5 points/Rs. 150 retail spend except fuel
  • FX Fee: 2.0%
  • Point Value: 1 point = Rs. 1 on HDFC Diners Club travel portal
  • Perks: Diners Club Lounge (free access to 850+ lounges); 6 green fee waivers/quarter at 20 courses in India & 40 worldwide; air accident cover Rs. 2 crore; emergency medical expense cover; baggage delay cover
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 400–5,000, max Rs. 1,000/month
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 2%
The HDFC Bank Diners Club Black Credit Card is the best option for individuals looking for a points card for all of their spending needs, including international transactions. To begin, the card offers an excellent sign-up bonus worth Rs. 10,000 and a very high anniversary bonus worth Rs. 5,000, which cancels out the annual fees. Additionally, the card earns a rewards rate of 3.33% (5 points per Rs. 150; 1 point = Rs. 1 in travel rewards) on all spending categories (except fuel). However, you must have an annual income of at least Rs. 2,100,000 to be considered for this card.


Another great positive for this card is the set of perks that are included. For example, unlimited access to the Diners Club airport lounge network (over 850 lounges) and 6 free golf games (green fee waiver) quarterly. This card also offers one of the lowest foreign exchange fees in our review at 2%. If the cardholder meets the minimum income requirement, the HDFC Diners Club Black Card will be a great points card to have for its international spending rewards and travel perks.

  • Unlimited global lounge access
  • Promotions: Sign-Up Bonus: 10,000 Reward Points (worth ₹ 10,000)
  • Renewal Benefit: 5,000 Reward Points (worth ₹ 5,000); not applicable when renewal fee is waived (requires annual spend of ₹ 500,000)
  • Annual Fee: Rs. 10,000 first year; Rs. 5,000 beyond (waived on annual spend of Rs. 500,000)
  • Earn Rate: 5 points/Rs. 150 retail spend except fuel
  • FX Fee: 2.0%
  • Point Value: 1 point = Rs. 1 on HDFC Diners Club travel portal
  • Perks: Diners Club Lounge (free access to 850+ lounges); 6 green fee waivers/quarter at 20 courses in India & 40 worldwide; air accident cover Rs. 2 crore; emergency medical expense cover; baggage delay cover
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 400–5,000, max Rs. 1,000/month
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 2%
The HDFC Bank Diners Club Black Credit Card is the best option for individuals looking for a points card for all their spending needs, including international spending. To begin, the card offers an excellent sign-up bonus worth Rs. 10,000 and a very high anniversary bonus worth Rs. 5,000, which cancels out the annual fees. Additionally, the card earns a rewards rate of 3.33% (5 points per Rs. 150; 1 point = Rs. 1 in travel rewards) on all spending categories (except fuel). However, you must have an annual income of at least Rs. 2,100,000 to be considered for this card.


Another great positive for this card are the set of perks that is included. For example, unlimited access to the Diners Club airport lounge network (over 850 lounges) and 6 free golf games (green fee waiver) quarterly. This card also offers one of the lowest foreign exchange fees in our review at 2%. If the cardholder meets the minimum income requirement, the HDFC Diners Club Black Card will be a great points card to have for its international spending rewards and travel perks.

Best Travel Rewards Cards

The following travel rewards cards may not be the best in terms of international travel spending rewards; however, depending on the amount you travel or your preferred airlines, these cards may be the best for you to maximize your return on spending associated with your next trip.

Best Cashback Travel Card: Standard Chartered Yatra Platinum Credit Card

  • 10% cashback on travel bookings
  • Promotions: Sign-Up Bonus: Yatra vouchers worth ₹ 4,000
  • Read Our Review
  • Annual Fee: 499
  • Earn Rate: 10% Cashback on all travel bookings (Rs. 250 cap on domestic flights, Rs. 750 cap on international flights and Rs. 1,000 cap on hotel bookings—this cashback is applicable 12 times per calendar year and max 4 times a month), 4 points per Rs. 100 spent on Yatra travel bookings, 2 points per Rs. 100 spent on all other spending categories
  • Cashback requirement: To receive this cashback the flights must be roundtrips and the hotel booking has to be at least 3 nights with a minimum booking price of Rs. 4,000.
  • Est. Point Value: 1 point = 0.53 InterMiles = ~ Rs. 0.24
  • Travel Perks: Waivers on flight cancellation fees for all tickets booked on the Yatra platform
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Fuel surcharge waiver of 1% across India (maximum waiver of Rs. 150)
  • Receive dining and shopping discounts through the Standard Chartered Good Life Programme
  • Foreign Exchange Fee: 3.5%
The Standard Chartered Yatra Platinum Credit Card is a great option for individuals looking to acquire a card exclusively for travel bookings. The card offers cardholders 10% cashback on all travel booked with Yatra, which includes domestic and international flights, and hotel bookings. Cardholders also receive a great perk where all flights booked through Yatra can be cancelled without fees. In addition to the 10% cashback rate, cardholders will receive a rewards rate of 0.95% (4 points per Rs. 100, 1 reward point = 0.53 InterMiles) on travel bookings made on Yatra.


As for all the other spending categories, cardholders will receive a relatively low rewards rate of 0.48% (2 points per Rs. 100, 1 reward point = 0.53 InterMiles). Even with this low rate, the Yatra Platinum Card remains the best option for consumers looking to acquire a card exclusively for travel bookings.

  • 10% cashback on travel bookings
  • Promotions: Sign-Up Bonus: Yatra vouchers worth ₹ 4,000
  • Read Our Review
  • Annual Fee: 499
  • Earn Rate: 10% Cashback on all travel bookings (Rs. 250 cap on domestic flights, Rs. 750 cap on international flights and Rs. 1,000 cap on hotel bookings—this cashback is applicable 12 times per calendar year and max 4 times a month), 4 points per Rs. 100 spent on Yatra travel bookings, 2 points per Rs. 100 spent on all other spending categories
  • Cashback requirement: To receive this cashback the flights must be roundtrips and the hotel booking has to be at least 3 nights with a minimum booking price of Rs. 4,000.
  • Est. Point Value: 1 point = 0.53 InterMiles = ~ Rs. 0.24
  • Travel Perks: Waivers on flight cancellation fees for all tickets booked on the Yatra platform
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Fuel surcharge waiver of 1% across India (maximum waiver of Rs. 150)
  • Receive dining and shopping discounts through the Standard Chartered Good Life Programme
  • Foreign Exchange Fee: 3.5%
The Standard Chartered Yatra Platinum Credit Card is a great option for individuals looking to acquire a card exclusively for travel bookings. The card offers cardholders 10% cashback on all travel booked with Yatra, which includes domestic and international flights, and hotel bookings. Cardholders also receive a great perk where all flights booked through Yatra can be cancelled without fees. In addition to the 10% cashback rate, cardholders will receive a rewards rate of 0.95% (4 points per Rs. 100, 1 reward point = 0.53 InterMiles) on travel bookings made on Yatra.


As for all the other spending categories, cardholders will receive a relatively low rewards rate of 0.48% (2 points per Rs. 100, 1 reward point = 0.53 InterMiles). Even with this low rate, the Yatra Platinum Card remains the best option for consumers looking to acquire a card exclusively for travel bookings.

Best InterMiles Travel Card: JetPrivilege HDFC Bank Diners Club

  • 2x on InterMiles spending and 2.5x on Etihad Airways bookings
  • Promotions: Sign-up Bonus: 15,000 Intermiles (worth ~ ₹ 7,650); ₹ 1,000 voucher for return ticket; an extra 15,000 Intermiles on ₹ 150,000 of spend within first 90 days
  • Renewal Benefit: 10,000 Intermiles (worth ~ ₹ 5,100); ₹ 750 voucher for return ticket
  • Read Our Review
  • Annual Fee: Rs. 10,000 (first year), Rs. 5,000 (beyond first year)
  • Earn Rate: 8 InterMiles per Rs. 150 spent except fuel, 16 Intermiles per Rs. 150 on InterMiles, 20 points per Rs. 150 miles on Etihad Airways bookings
  • Est. Point Value: 1 interMile = Rs. 0.45
  • Perks: Diners Club Lounge access (600+ lounges globally); unlimited free golf games (green fee waiver) at 20 courses in India & 40 worldwide; free golf lesson at select ranges in India; domestic airport premiere check-in & extra baggage allowance; dining discounts
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 400 – 5,000; max Rs. 1,000 waived per month
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3.5%
The JetPrivilege HDFC Bank Diners Club Credit Card is a great travel card option for individuals who book their travels through InterMiles frequently. First, the card earns a solid overall rewards rate of 2.4% in (8 JPMiles per Rs. 150, 1 point = 1 InterMile = Rs. 0.45) on general transactions apart from fuel. Furthermore, cardholders get 4.8% (24 miles per Rs. 150, 1 point = 1 InterMile = Rs. 0.45) when booking on InterMiles. Moreover, the card offers increased rewards on bookings done for Etihad Airways with a rewards rate of 6.0% (20 Intermiles per Rs. 150, 1 point = 1 InterMile = Rs. 0.45), with an additional 5% discount on economy tickets and 10% discount on business ticket purchases.


Another great aspect of the card is that the card offers great sign-up and renewal bonuses. The card also provides high spenders with an opportunity to earn even more InterMiles after achieving certain spending limits. The card also offers Diners Club Lounge access. This is the best card for individuals who are looking for a great card to use on flight bookings and travel perks.

  • 2x on InterMiles spending and 2.5x on Etihad Airways bookings
  • Promotions: Sign-up Bonus: 15,000 Intermiles (worth ~ ₹ 7,650); ₹ 1,000 voucher for return ticket; an extra 15,000 Intermiles on ₹ 150,000 of spend within first 90 days
  • Renewal Benefit: 10,000 Intermiles (worth ~ ₹ 5,100); ₹ 750 voucher for return ticket
  • Read Our Review
  • Annual Fee: Rs. 10,000 (first year), Rs. 5,000 (beyond first year)
  • Earn Rate: 8 InterMiles per Rs. 150 spent except fuel, 16 Intermiles per Rs. 150 on InterMiles, 20 points per Rs. 150 miles on Etihad Airways bookings
  • Est. Point Value: 1 interMile = Rs. 0.45
  • Perks: Diners Club Lounge access (600+ lounges globally); unlimited free golf games (green fee waiver) at 20 courses in India & 40 worldwide; free golf lesson at select ranges in India; domestic airport premiere check-in & extra baggage allowance; dining discounts
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 400 – 5,000; max Rs. 1,000 waived per month
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3.5%
The JetPrivilege HDFC Bank Diners Club Credit Card is a great travel card option for individuals who book their travels through InterMiles frequently. First, the card earns a solid overall rewards rate of 2.4% in (8 JPMiles per Rs. 150, 1 point = 1 InterMile = Rs. 0.45) on general transactions apart from fuel. Furthermore, cardholders get 4.8% (24 miles per Rs. 150, 1 point = 1 InterMile = Rs. 0.45) when booking on InterMiles. Moreover, the card offers increased rewards on bookings done for Etihad Airways with a rewards rate of 6.0% (20 Intermiles per Rs. 150, 1 point = 1 InterMile = Rs. 0.45), with an additional 5% discount on economy tickets and 10% discount on business ticket purchases.


Another great aspect of the card is that the card offers great sign-up and renewal bonuses. The card also provides high spenders with an opportunity to earn even more InterMiles after achieving certain spending limits. The card also offers Diners Club Lounge access. This is the best card for individuals who are looking for a great card to use on flight bookings and travel perks.

Best Air India International Spending Card: Air India SBI Credit Card

  • 13.5% on Air India flight bookings
  • Promotions: Signup bonus of 20,000 points (₹ 9,000)
  • Renewal benefit of 5,000 reward points (₹ 2,250)
  • By spending ₹ 2,000,000 cardholder receives 50,000 points, by spending ₹ 1,000,000 cardholder receives 30,000 and by spending ₹ 500,000 cardholder receives 20,000 points (Approximately ₹ 45,000 in total)
  • Read Our Review
  • Annual Fee: Rs. 4,999
  • Reward Earn Rate: 4 points per Rs. 100 on all spends (including grocery & dining), 30 points per Rs. 100 spent on travel bookings.
  • Estimated Point Value: 1 reward point = 1 Air India Mile = Rs. 0.45
  • International Airport Luxury Lounge Access to over 600 airport lounges with the Priority Pass Program
  • Visa Lounge Access Program in India at major domestic airports
  • 8 complimentary visits per year to Domestic VISA Lounges in India, maximum 2 visits per quarter
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: 1% fuel surcharge waiver with your Air India across all petrol pumps with transaction of worth Rs. 500 to Rs. 4,000 (max surcharge waiver of Rs. 250 per statement cycle).
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3.5%
The Air India SBI Signature Card is a great option for individuals looking for a high earning Air India miles card with a solid earnings rate on all other categories. The card offers a great rewards rate of 1.8% (4 points on Rs. 100 spends, 1 Reward Point = 1 Airline Mile = Rs. 0.45) for all spending categories, including international spending. Moreover, the cardholder will earn a 13.5% rewards rate (30 points per Rs. 100 spent) on all Air India travel bookings.


Additionally, the Air India SBI Signature Card provides the largest sign-up bonus offered in our credit card review at 20,000 reward points (Rs. 9,000), which helps offset the card’s annual fee (Rs. 4,999). Furthermore, the card has more to offer for big spenders, as cardholders receive more rewards by achieving specified spending thresholds. For instance, cardholders that spend at least Rs. 2,000,000 will receive 50,000 points, those that spend Rs. 1,000,000 will receive an additional 30,000 points and those that spend Rs. 500,000 will receive 20,000 more points. The Air India SBI Credit Card offers great rewards for general spending categories and Air India transactions with benefits that can be maximized by big spenders and frequent travellers.

  • 13.5% on Air India flight bookings
  • Promotions: Signup bonus of 20,000 points (₹ 9,000)
  • Renewal benefit of 5,000 reward points (₹ 2,250)
  • By spending ₹ 2,000,000 cardholder receives 50,000 points, by spending ₹ 1,000,000 cardholder receives 30,000 and by spending ₹ 500,000 cardholder receives 20,000 points (Approximately ₹ 45,000 in total)
  • Read Our Review
  • Annual Fee: Rs. 4,999
  • Reward Earn Rate: 4 points per Rs. 100 on all spends (including grocery & dining), 30 points per Rs. 100 spent on travel bookings.
  • Estimated Point Value: 1 reward point = 1 Air India Mile = Rs. 0.45
  • International Airport Luxury Lounge Access to over 600 airport lounges with the Priority Pass Program
  • Visa Lounge Access Program in India at major domestic airports
  • 8 complimentary visits per year to Domestic VISA Lounges in India, maximum 2 visits per quarter
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: 1% fuel surcharge waiver with your Air India across all petrol pumps with transaction of worth Rs. 500 to Rs. 4,000 (max surcharge waiver of Rs. 250 per statement cycle).
  • Alternative Payment Options: Convert transactions over Rs. 2,500 to monthly installments within 30 days of purchase through flexipay.
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3.5%
The Air India SBI Signature Card is a great option for individuals looking for a miles card with a solid international spending earnings rate and high Air India rewards. The card offers a great rewards rate of 1.8% (4 points on Rs. 100 spends, 1 Reward Point = 1 Airline Mile = Rs. 0.45) for all spending categories, including international spending. Moreover, the cardholder will also earn a 13.5% rewards rate (30 points per Rs. 100 spent) on all Air India travel bookings.


Additionally, the Air India SBI Signature Card provides the largest sign-up bonus offered in our credit card review at 20,000 reward points (Rs. 9,000), which helps offset the card’s annual fee (Rs. 4,999). Furthermore, the card has more to offer for big spenders providing them with an opportunity to receive more rewards by achieving specified spending thresholds. For example, by spending Rs. 2,000,000 cardholders receive 50,000 points, by spending Rs. 1,000,000 cardholders receive an additional 30,000 and by spending Rs. 500,000 cardholders receive 20,000 more points. The Air India SBI Credit Card offers great rewards for all spending categories, including international spending and Air India transactions with benefits that can be maximized by big spenders.

Learn More About Foreign Exchange Fees

Foreign transaction fees, often recognized as an FX or forex transaction rates, are incurred by credit cards that are used outside their country of issuance. The fees and rates differ and the details can be found in the terms and conditions section of your credit card.

Foreign Exchange Fee Overview

A foreign transaction fee is a charge that many banks or credit card issuers add for each transaction made abroad. According to our review, the average foreign transaction fees for credit cards in India are between 2% - 4% of your international payments. Therefore, if you find yourself traveling abroad or frequently purchasing goods from foreign market platforms, then it may be wise to look into a card with lower foreign transaction fees.

Every transaction fee has a set breakdown— one fee from the credit card network and another fee from the credit card issuer. There are multiple card networks, the most widely known credit card networks are Visa (1% fee), Mastercard (1% fee), and American Express (2.7% fee or no fee for many of the cards). Credit card issuers in India usually charge approximately 2% - 3%, this differs depending on the issuer. Looking at some of the major banks, we can see that the foreign exchange fees primarily remain approximately 2% - 4%; ICICI Bank (3.5%), HDFC Bank (3.5%), Axis Bank (3.5%), and Kotak Mahindra Bank (2.5%).

Here is an example of how foreign transaction fees are calculated:

A man from Mumbai travels to New York for a trip and decides to purchase a gift for a relative back home. The man purchases a hat for Rs. 500 using the Visa Citi Rewards Credit Card. The first charge that occurs is from the card network, in this case Visa, will charge a 1% fee (Rs. 5) on the bill paid. Additionally, the card issuer, in this case Citibank, will charge a 2.5% fee on the bill paid (Rs. 12.5). The final cost for the hat that the man will be paying, with the foreign exchange fee included is Rs. 517.5, the fee being Rs. 17.5 (Calculation: Rs. 500 + (Rs. 500 * 0.01) + (Rs. 500 * 0.025) = Rs. 517.5).

Sahmi Chowdhury

Sahmi is a Junior Research Analyst specialising in credit cards and insurance in India. He previously worked in the financial services sector at Brown Brothers Harriman and True Capital Management.