This is not a paid advertisement–it is simply what I have learned as I plan another trip to France from the US. Using my Bank of America Visa card would incur a $5-per-transaction fee for the debit card, and, for credit card purchases, a 3% fee on top of the often crappy exchange rate. So I’m going to leave my B of A card at home.
American Express, on the other hand, does not charge for transactions abroad. My card is one that has an annual fee, but it more than makes up for itself in saved charges, such as covering baggage fees and even food on domestic flights. In addition, AmEx has a “Global Assist” number for users to resort to, should they wind up in an emergency situation abroad. I guess they have convinced this cardmember not to leave home without it.