For years, most travel experts recommended Capital One for its industry-bucking policy of not charging a foreign transaction fee every time customers made a purchase outside the United States.
Capital One Venture's dominance among travelers is being challenged, though: American Express has uncharacteristically announced that three of its products will not charge foreign transaction fees after May 1, 2014.
The Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card, already a favorite of some Delta Air Lines passengers for its linkage of purchases to Delta's frequent flier program, will do away with the fee. It has an annual fee of $95, which would probably offset the total transaction fees for most people, however, the card also waives baggage fees for the first piece of luggage on Delta flights—at $25 a bag, users make back that fee in four annual fights.
Delta's SkyMiles program is not as popular as it once was due to a dilution of the value of a mile, which may be one reason the company has elected to try to attract travelers with this new incentive.
The other two cards are American Express' Platinum and Business Platinum, which carry higher annual fees than standard American Express cards.
Typically, foreign transaction fees for credit card transactions are 3%, so a trip during which a person spends $1,000 would rack up an additional $30 in fees.