Best Credit Cards to Use Abroad: Top Picks for Travelers

Credit Cards
best credit cards to use abroad

When you travel overseas, a credit card without foreign transaction fees is a must. These fees can be as high as 3% of what you spend. A good international card should be widely accepted, give nice travel bonuses, and offer perks for global adventurers.

Key Takeaways:

  • Look for credit cards with no foreign transaction fees to avoid unnecessary charges when making purchases abroad.
  • Choose a card with widespread global acceptance to ensure you can use it at merchants around the world.
  • Earn bonus rewards on travel-related spending, such as flights, hotels, and rental cars.
  • Enjoy valuable perks like airport lounge access, travel insurance, and other benefits that enhance your international travel experience.
  • Compare annual fees, rewards earning, and sign-up bonuses to find the best credit card for your international travel needs.

Defining the Best Credit Cards for International Travel

Planning a trip abroad means choosing the right credit card. This card should not charge you for making purchases in other countries. The best cards for travel do more than this. They also give you perks designed for global explorers.

No Foreign Transaction Fees

It’s smart to pick a card without foreign transaction fees if you travel often. These fees are extra charges on purchases outside your home country. They can add up fast. So, go for a no-foreign-transaction-fee credit card to save on these costs.

Worldwide Acceptance

Good credit cards for international travel are loved worldwide. They should be from big names like Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover. This means you can use your card at almost any store or restaurant, no matter where you are.

Travel Rewards and Perks

The ideal travel credit card gives you great travel rewards and perks. Think about things like extra points or miles on travel spending. You might also want benefits like access to airport lounges or travel insurance. Picking a card that fits your travel style can make a big difference in how you explore the world.

Feature Importance for International Travel
No Foreign Transaction Fees Eliminates unnecessary surcharges on purchases outside the U.S., preserving the value of your rewards
Worldwide Acceptance Ensures your card will be welcomed by merchants around the globe, providing flexibility and convenience
Travel Rewards and Perks Offers bonus points or miles on travel purchases, plus valuable benefits like airport lounge access and travel insurance

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Flexibility and Value

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is known for being flexible and rewarding. It has a decent annual fee, yet offers extra points on various daily purchases. These include travel, eating out, some streaming, and online groceries. This makes it a top choice for those who love to travel.

Bonus Rewards on Travel and Dining

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you can earn a lot. For travel booked through Chase, get 5X points. For dining out and takeout, it’s 3X points. This is perfect for travelers and foodies, helping you earn rewards fast.

25% Bonus When Redeeming Points for Travel

You get a bonus for using points on Chase Ultimate Rewards for travel. Your points become 25% more valuable, which means each point is worth 1.25 cents when spent on travel.

Transfer Points to Airline and Hotel Partners

The card lets you move points to various airlines and hotels. You can find great deals and make your rewards go even further. Having this flexibility can make traveling more enjoyable and cost-effective.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Simple Travel Rewards

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is well-known for travel. It comes with good rewards for those who travel a lot.

5X Miles on Hotels and Rental Cars

With the Capital One Venture Rewards card, you get 5 miles for every dollar spent on hotels and car rentals through Capital One Travel. This high rewards rate is perfect for people who often use the credit card’s travel site.

Straightforward Redemption for Travel Purchases

Redeeming your miles is easy with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. You can use your miles like cash, getting 1 cent for each mile on any travel expense. This way, you can cover a lot of different travel costs.

And that’s not all. You also get a nice sign-up bonus and other cool benefits with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. It’s a great choice for people who love to travel and want to earn rewards.

The Platinum Card® from American Express: VIP Travel

The American Express Platinum Card is perfect for those who love luxury. It has a high annual fee. But the benefits it offers make it worth it for people who travel a lot.

Extensive Airport Lounge Access

This card offers amazing access to airport lounges. You get into over 1,400 lounges in 140 countries for free. This includes top lounges like Centurion Lounges. It’s a great way to relax and enjoy your time between flights.

Travel and Shopping Credits

Also, you get travel and shopping credits. This includes $200 for airline fees, $200 for Uber rides, and $100 at Saks Fifth Avenue. These credits help cover your travel costs. They’re a bonus for travelers who want a little extra luxury.

Hotel Benefits and Perks

The American Express Platinum Card isn’t just for the airport. It also offers amazing benefits at hotels. You get special status at Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors. Plus, you have access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program. This means more upgrades and VIP treatment wherever you stay.

Best credit cards to use abroad

Traveling internationally requires a credit card with no foreign transaction fees. These fees, usually about 3% of the purchase, can really add up. This can make your travel rewards less valuable. For the best experience, find credit cards with no foreign transaction fees, global acceptance and valuable protections and insurance.

No Foreign Transaction Fees

The best international credit cards waive foreign transaction fees. These charges on purchases made abroad can lower your reward value. Thus, it’s wise to avoid cards that have these fees if you plan to travel abroad.

Global Acceptance

Top credit cards for international travel not only have no foreign fees but also provide worldwide acceptance. Choose those tied to big networks like Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover. This ensures that your card will be accepted at many places globally.

Travel Protections and Insurance

Important benefits of peaceful and secure international travel include travel protections and insurance. Seek cards that cover trip cancellation, baggage delay, rental car damages, and travel accidents. These benefits can come in very handy during your trips.

With credit cards with no foreign transaction fees, global acceptance, and strong travel-related benefits with credit cards that offer no foreign fees, wide acceptance, and benefits possibilities,

you can truly make the most of your international spending. This way, you’ll have peace of mind during your travels.

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card: No Annual Fee

Looking for a no annual fee travel card? The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card is impressive. It gives you solid rewards on all purchases. And you can use these points for travel purchases with no tough restrictions.

Flexible Rewards on Every Purchase

This card earns 1.5 points per dollar on all your buys. There’s no cap on how many points you can get. You’ll easily rack up points for your next adventure, be it flights, hotels, or rental cars.

Broad Definition of  Travel

The card’s expansive definition of “travel” stands out. It includes more than just staying at hotels or flying. You can use your points for trains, taxis, and even some entertainment. This flexibility makes it ideal for many types of travelers.

Comparing Features for International Travel

When looking at credit cards for global travel, consider key factors. These include annual fees vs. perks, rewards earning and redemption, and sign-up bonuses. They greatly impact a travel credit card’s value, especially if you travel a lot.

Annual Fees vs. Perks

Top travel credit cards usually have yearly fees. These can range from about $100 to $500 or more for fancy cards. Although the cost is high, you get benefits like airport lounges, better rooms at hotels, travel protection, and money back to spend on trips.

Rewards Earning and Redemption

Earning rewards and using them for travel perks is very important. Choose cards that give extra points on travel and eating out. Plus, make sure you can use your points easily for things like paying off travel costs, booking directly, or adding to airline and hotel loyalty programs.

Sign-Up Bonuses

Many cards offer great bonuses when you first sign up. Meeting a spending goal can get you a lot of points or miles. As these bonuses can be worth a lot for travel, they’re key to consider when picking a card.

Feature Importance for International Travel Example Cards
No Foreign Transaction Fees Essential to avoid costly surcharges on overseas purchases Chase Sapphire Preferred, Capital One Venture Rewards, The Platinum Card from American Express
Worldwide Acceptance Ensures your card will be widely accepted at merchants abroad Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover
Travel Rewards and Perks Earn bonus points/miles on travel purchases and enjoy valuable benefits like lounge access. Chase Sapphire Preferred, The Platinum Card from American Express, Bank of America Travel Rewards
Sign-Up Bonuses Provide a valuable head start on earning rewards for your next trip Chase Sapphire Preferred, Capital One Venture Rewards, The Platinum Card from American Express

FAQs

What are the key features to look for in the best credit cards for international travel?

Look for a credit card that is great for international travel. It should not charge foreign transaction fees. It should work worldwide and offer rewards for travelers. Also, cards with great benefits like airport lounge access are a plus.

Why is it important to avoid foreign transaction fees when using a credit card abroad?

When abroad, foreign transaction fees can take away from your rewards. These fees are usually about 3% of what you spend. They can cancel out the reward points you earn. So, it’s better to use a card without these fees when you travel abroad.

What are some of the top credit cards for international travel?

The top credit cards for global travel are the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. The Platinum Card® from American Express is also a good choice. These cards give great travel rewards, let you redeem rewards in many ways, and offer benefits like lounge access.

Do I have to pay an annual fee for a good travel credit card?

You might not have to pay an annual fee for a good travel card. While many top cards do have an annual fee of about 0, there are no-fee options. The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is an example. Think about the card’s benefits compared to the fee to see if it’s a good deal for you.

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