Credit Cards KrisFlyer

Do Foreign Exchange fees outweigh overseas miles earning rates on your credit card?

A myriad of fees charged by your credit card issuer and the network operator can result in a foreign transaction fee of up to 3.5% being applied to your overseas credit card purchases. Do the extra miles earned offset the increased cost?

Foreign Currency

One major ‘pull’ for many credit cards issued in Singapore is the enhanced miles earning rate for transactions made overseas (or simply transacted in foreign currency, which is the criteria for most cards). Many cards offer attractive headline rates in this category, typically between 2 and 3 miles per S$1 spent.

The question is, since you’ll pay a higher foreign exchange fee with some cards compared to others, does the earning rate you’re receiving for your card make the most sense?

There’s a fair bit of number-crunching in this article, and a few topics covered, so here’s a summary of our conclusions from the outset.
Credit Card Forex fees vs. Miles earned
Good News for:

  • Standard Chartered Visa Infinite
  • OCBC Voyage Visa