Credit Cards

No More Foreign Transaction Fees On Delta Amex Cards – Too Little Too Late?

Delta American Express
Written by Charlie

Yesterday marked the first day of American Express not passing along foreign transaction fees to Delta Amex cardholders. Foreign transaction fees have long been something that American Express would not shed except for their high-end cards. On the other end of the spectrum, Chase has been issuing most of their cards with no foreign transaction fees.

Delta American Express

This change applies to the Delta Gold, Platinum, and Reserve cards

The foreign transaction fee is a fee of 3% that is passed on by the card issuer to the cardholder when the card is used in a foreign currency. That’s right – you do not even need to be outside of the US to be hit with a foreign transaction fee. If you purchase something from a vendor that charges in a currency other than US dollars, you will be hit with that fee. Having that fee assessed has always been very limiting to American Express members. I have been overseas for the past 10 months and my Delta cards have been back in the US. There is no reason for me to take them with me because there is no way that I get anywhere near 3 cents per mile value out of my Skymiles (which is what the 3% fee works out to cost).

Delta American Express

No more foreign transaction fees!

However, as of May 1, that foreign transaction fee is no longer on Delta American Express cards. That is good news for the Delta American Express cardholding faithful – all 5 of them. 🙂 Actually, I have used my card a fair amount as I earned my Medallion Qualifying Miles with the Reserve card (15,000 MQMs for $30,000 in spend in a calendar year). Being able to use that card anywhere in the world is now a useful perk. Now, if only more places in the world would accept American Express…

With this consumer-friendly change, it would be nice to see American Express do the same thing to their SPG card. I never use my SPG card, even for hotel stays, abroad because of that fee. SPG points are valuable but not that valuable that I want to pay that much for them. Hopefully, this will be the first move of many for American Express. They have lost a lot of ground to Chase, Barclay, and Citi by charging that fee in the past – is this change too little too late? Especially with the increased annual fee on their Delta Platinum card from $150 to $195 (which also went into effect May 1).

Does this change effect how you will use these cards going forward?

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.