Delta Airlines, the second largest U.S. airline, will stop charging foreign transaction fees this week on its co-branded American Express credit cards. It’s a move that makes Delta credit cards appear more attractive for international travel than the cards from other airline competitors.

Ian Gratton / Flickr |

Ian Gratton / Flickr source

Starting May 1, 2014, the current 2.7% foreign transaction fee will no longer be charged for Gold, Platinum and Reserve Delta SkyMiles®credit cardholders.

Someone who spends $2,000 on purchases abroad annually would save $54 per year — something to consider when deciding on whether or not a credit card’s annual fee is worth the cost.

With the fee change, Delta becomes one of two major U.S. airlines to waive foreign transaction fees for credit card customers. United Airlines also doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees on its credit cards.

American Airlines and Southwest Airlines do not charge foreign transaction fees on their higher-tiered credit cards. US Airways imposes foreign transaction fees all on of its credit cards.

(American Airlines and US Airways have merged, but they continue to operate as separate entities in the meantime.)

Most credit cards have a foreign transaction fee of 3% of the transaction amount. Discover and Capital One are two major credit card issuers that have decided to drop foreign transaction fees on all of their credit cards.

To complement the fee change, Delta will also begin to issue credit cards with EMV technology, which has become the standard alternative to magnetic strip in many foreign countries. The newly issued Delta cards will carry chip-and-signature compatibility with payment terminals in foreign countries.

The next-generation cards are available to new cardmembers who are approved for a Delta card on or after May 1, 2014. Existing cardmembers may request a new card with the chip technology.

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