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Foreign transaction fees: all you need to know (to avoid it)

May 21, 2023

Traveling abroad is exciting, but dealing with foreign transaction fees can be a real buzzkill. In this blog post, we'll break down what these fees are, how to calculate them, and most importantly, how to avoid them with bunq's ZeroFX feature.

What is a foreign transaction fee?

A foreign transaction fee is a charge that banks or credit card providers apply when you make a purchase in a different currency than your home currency. This fee usually ranges from 1% to 3% of the transaction amount and covers the costs associated with currency exchange and processing international payments.

How to find out how much you'll be charged

To determine the foreign transaction fee for your specific card or bank, check your cardholder agreement or contact your bank's customer service. They should provide you with the exact percentage they charge for currency conversion.

How to calculate foreign transaction fees (with example)

Let's say you're traveling in Europe and you buy a souvenir for €100 using your credit card. Your bank charges a 3% foreign transaction fee on international transactions. To calculate the fee, simply multiply the transaction amount by the fee percentage:

€100 * 0.03 = €3

So, in this case, you'd pay an additional €3 as a foreign transaction fee.

Avoid foreign transaction fees with bunq's ZeroFX

Now that you know how foreign transaction fees work, let's talk about how to avoid them. One great way to dodge these pesky fees is by using bunq's ZeroFX feature. With ZeroFX, you can enjoy fee-free currency exchange when using your bunq account. This means you won't have to worry about any additional charges when making purchases abroad.

Moreover, bunq offers local currencies and local IBANs to make your international transactions even smoother. Plus, you can benefit from instant payments for faster and more convenient money transfers.


Foreign transaction fees can be an unwelcome surprise when traveling or shopping abroad. By understanding what these fees are and how they're calculated, you can better prepare for them. Better yet, switch to bunq and take advantage of the ZeroFX feature to enjoy fee-free currency exchange and a seamless international payment experience.

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