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​Heading abroad? Here's a good reason to pack your credit card

Latest MoneyWatch headlines
Latest MoneyWatch headlines 01:07

If you're a frequent traveler and credit card user, there's some good news: Many popular cards are dropping those pesky foreign transaction fees, according to a new report.

Visiting Europe? Avoid these 7 money mistakes
Visiting Europe? Avoid these 7 money mistakes

Think of foreign transaction fees this way: Banks are charging you around $3 for every $100 you spend while abroad just for the privilege of using their credit cards.

According to the report, 61 of 100 cards surveyed still have the fee, but that's down from 77 cards in 2015.

According to's Matt Schulz, many card issuers are eliminating the transaction fee to win more business from high-spending international travelers.

Before heading abroad, you should contact your credit card issuer and put a travel alert on your account; that way, the issuer won't assume your card is being fraudulently used abroad and shut it down without telling you. While you're contacting your issuer, ask if your card does charge foreign transaction fees. If it doesn't, use the card and save on potentially steep ATM fees.

Here's a look at some of the card that dropped foreign transaction fees over the past year:

  • Gold Delta SkyMiles card from American Express
  • CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select World MasterCard
  • United Mileage Plus Explorer card
  • Starwood Preferred Guest card from American Express
  • Marriott Rewards Premier card
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus Premier card
  • Alaska Airlines Visa Signature
  • Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard
  • Navy Federal Credit Union cashRewards Visa
  • Navy Federal Credit Union Platinum card
  • USAA Cash Rewards American Express
  • USAA Rewards World MasterCard
  • U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature
  • SunTrust Travel Rewards card

Another fee that is increasingly being dropped is a charge for paper copies of past statements -- 19 cards dumped this fee since last year, reports. Overall, its survey of 100 cards found a total of 593 fees, down from 613 fees in 2015.

The report is not all rosy: 13 cards added fees for stopped payments to issuers. And almost all cards still charge fees for late payments and cash advances.

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