Best credit cards for international travel in 2024


Foreign transaction fees can make everything you buy overseas cost more. By selecting a rewards credit card that doesn’t charge these fees, you save money each time you make a purchase abroad. These credit cards offer valuable rewards without the foreign transaction fees some other cards charge.

The best cards for international travel offer travel rewards or cash back, as well as a range of other perks.

Our top recommendations

card_name: Best overall

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Credit score

credit_score_needed

Welcome bonus

bonus_miles_full

The card_name made our list of top credit cards for international travel due to its lack of foreign transaction fees and the fact it earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

Pros:

  • Points transfer to Chase airline and hotel partners.
  • Get 50% more value for travel booked through Chase.
  • Comes with $300 travel credit each year.
  • Includes airport lounge access.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Comes with generous travel insurance benefits.

Cons:

  • annual_fees annual fee.
  • High APR if you carry a balance.
  • Very good or excellent credit required.

Why we like it: The card_name made our list of top credit cards for international travel due to its lack of foreign transaction fees and the fact it earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points. These flexible rewards points can be redeemed for cash back, gift cards, merchandise or travel through Chase with 50% more value. They can also be transferred 1:1 to airline and hotel partners like British Airways, Marriott Bonvoy, United MileagePlus and World of Hyatt.

Other benefits for international travel include a fee credit for Global Entry, NEXUS or TSA PreCheck each year, broad airport lounge access and the $300 annual travel credit.

card_name: Best for luxury travel

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Credit score

credit_score_needed

Welcome bonus

bonus_miles_full

Pros:

  • Points transfer to Amex airline and hotel partners.
  • Comes with more than $1,500 in statement credits each year.
  • Comes with broadest airport lounge membership available today.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Comes with travel protections included.

Cons:

  • annual_fees annual fee.
  • High APR can apply.
  • Very good to excellent credit required.
  • Statement credits can be difficult to use.

Why we like it: card_name is excellent for international travel for a few reasons, including the fact it earns flexible Amex Membership Rewards points. These rewards transfer to a range of airline and hotel partners, but they can also be used to book travel through AmexTravel.com or redeemed for other flexible options.

This card’s lack of foreign transaction fees is another major advantage, along with the fact it has the best airport lounge membership for international travel. Not only does this card let you enter Priority Pass lounges, but you also have access to Amex Centurion airport lounges and Delta Sky Clubs when you fly Delta. The $1,500 in statement credits this card offers offer even more incentive to sign up.

card_name: Best for flexible rewards

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Credit score

credit_score_needed

Welcome bonus

bonus_miles_full

The card_name is an excellent entry-level card for people who want to earn travel rewards and avoid foreign transaction fees when they take trips abroad.

Pros:

  • Points transfer 1:1 to Chase airline and hotel partners.
  • Other flexible rewards options.
  • Excellent rewards rate for everyday purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Comes with travel protections.
  • Comes with a $50 annual hotel stay credit.

Cons:

  • Requires very good to excellent credit.
  • High APR.
  • No luxury travel benefits.

Why we like it: The card_name is an excellent entry-level card for people who want to earn travel rewards and avoid foreign transaction fees when they take trips abroad. This card has an annual fee of just annual_fees per year, but it earns flexible rewards points that can be transferred to partners or used to get 25% more value for each point when redeeming for travel through Chase.

Other included benefits from Instacart and DoorDash, along with the $50 annual hotel stay credit, also add to this card’s value. The card_name also comes with a range of travel protections included.

card_name: Best for value

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Credit score

credit_score_needed

Welcome bonus

bonus_miles_full

Pros:

  • Flexible miles transfer to Capital One airline and hotel partners.
  • $300 annual travel credit applies.
  • Comes with airport lounge membership.
  • Excellent rewards rate for eligible travel purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Lower annual fee than other premium cards with airport lounge access.

Cons:

  • High APR if you carry a balance.
  • Excellent credit required.

Why we like it: The card_name is a great value card for international travel at annual_fees per year since it comes with a $300 annual travel credit and Priority Pass Select membership (retail value of $469). This card also earns flexible travel points that can be used to book airfare, hotels and car rentals through Capital One or transferred to Capital One airline and hotel partners.

Other benefits like free authorized user cards, cell phone protection and Hertz President’s Circle status sweeten the pot. Also note that this card comes with a range of Visa Infinite benefits.

card_name: Best for flat-rate rewards

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Credit score

credit_score_needed

Welcome bonus

bonus_miles_full

Pros:

  • Earns flexible travel points that transfer to Capital One partners.
  • Other flexible redemption options.
  • Excellent flat rewards rate.
  • Comes with fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Reasonable annual_fees annual fee.

Cons:

  • High APR if you carry a balance.
  • Excellent credit required.
  • No luxury travel benefits.

Why we like it: The card_name requires an annual fee of just annual_fees per year, yet it earns generous rewards for purchases and comes with a sizable welcome offer worth $750. Cardholders will also love the flexibility of this card’s rewards program considering miles can be transferred to airline and hotel partners, used to book travel through Capital One or redeemed for gift cards, merchandise or cash back.

card_name: Best with no annual fee

VentureOne Rewards from Capital One

Credit score

credit_score_needed

Welcome bonus

bonus_miles_full

Pros:

  • Earns flexible miles that transfer to airlines and hotels.
  • Other flexible redemptions for rewards.
  • No annual fee.
  • Comes with intro APR offer.

Cons:

  • High APR if you carry a balance.
  • Excellent credit required.
  • Low rewards rate for regular purchases.

Why we like it: The card_name lets users earn flexible rewards for travel with no annual fee required. The miles you earn with this card can be used for travel through Capital One, transfers to airline and hotel partners, statement credits, gift cards and more. This card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, and it even has intro_apr_rate,intro_apr_duration and balance_transfer_intro_apr,balance_transfer_intro_duration.

card_name: Best for earning cash back

Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Credit score

credit_score_needed

Welcome bonus

bonus_miles_full

Pros:

  • Generous rewards rate in everyday spending categories.
  • ‌intro_apr_rate,intro_apr_duration and balance_transfer_intro_apr,balance_transfer_intro_duration.
  • No annual fee.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

Cons:

  • Excellent credit required.
  • Few travel-specific benefits for international trips.

Why we like it: The card_name doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees or an annual fee, but it does earn generous cash back rewards in a range of categories most people regularly spend in. Cardholders also get intro_apr_rate,intro_apr_duration and balance_transfer_intro_apr,balance_transfer_intro_duration, plus Uber One membership benefits and a handful of travel protections.

card_name: Best for everyday spending

Citi Premier® Card

Credit score

credit_score_needed

Welcome bonus

bonus_miles_full

Pros:

  • Flexible points transfer to Citi airline and hotel partners.
  • Other flexible redemptions through the Citi ThankYou program.
  • Generous rewards in everyday spending categories.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

Cons:

  • Requires very good to excellent credit.
  • High APR can apply.
  • Few travel-related benefits.

Why we like it: The card_name is a great card for everyday spending due to its generous bonus rewards categories that most people spend in. This card also earns rewards that fall within the Citi ThankYou program, which can be transferred to Citi airline and hotel partners, used to book travel through the Citi portal or redeemed for cash back, gift cards and more. This card’s $100 annual hotel benefit also makes up for the annual_fees annual fee each year you use it.

card_name: Best for hotels

IHG(R) Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

Credit score

credit_score_needed

Welcome bonus

bonus_miles_full

Pros:

  • Redeem points for stays at 6,000+ IHG properties.
  • Welcome bonus is worth up to four free nights at 4,800+ hotels worldwide.
  • Generous rewards for paid hotel stays.
  • Free anniversary night (up to 40,000 points).
  • Comes with Platinum Elite status.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

Cons:

  • Limited flexibility for rewards.
  • Very good to excellent credit required.
  • High APR.

Why we like it: The card_name can be a great option for international hotel stays if you want to spend time in one of the program’s 6,000+ properties worldwide without paying foreign transaction fees. This card even comes with automatic Platinum Elite status and a free anniversary night each year.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®: Best for airfare

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

Annual fees

$0 the first year, then $99

Welcome bonus

Earn 75,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $3,500 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening.

Pros:

  • Redeem miles for flights to 900+ destinations through American Airlines and its oneworld partners.
  • Free checked bags.
  • Preferred boarding.
  • Earns Loyalty Points toward elite status.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • No annual fee the first year.

Cons:

  • Limited flexibility for rewards.
  • Very good to excellent credit required.
  • High APR.

Why we like it: The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® is a great card for airfare since miles can be redeemed with American Airlines and partners like British Airways and Cathay Pacific. Members get frequent flyer perks like free checked bags and priority boarding, and this card earns Loyalty Points that count toward elite status requirements with the American AAdvantage program.

card_name: Best for poor credit

Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card

Credit score

credit_score_needed

Welcome bonus

bonus_miles_full

Pros:

  • Available to applicants with poor credit or no credit.
  • Earns 1.5% cash back.
  • No annual fee.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

Cons:

  • Refundable security deposit required.
  • High APR.

Why we like it: The card_name is a secured credit card that requires a refundable cash deposit of at least $200 to get started. However, this card is available to people with poor credit or no credit, and it doesn’t charge an annual fee or foreign transaction fees.

Individuals can use this card to build their credit over time, and they can get their deposit back when they cancel or upgrade their card in good standing with a $0 balance. Capital One also promises automatic credit line reviews with this card after six months, which could pave the way to a higher credit limit.

Best credit cards for international travel 2024: Comparison

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

$0 the first year, then $99

earn 75,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles.

How we chose the best credit cards for international travel

To find the best credit cards for international travel, we only considered card products that don’t charge foreign transaction fees. From there, we looked at rewards rates and other card features that could make international travel more comfortable or affordable. We also looked at credit cards based on their fees, interest rates and credit ratings required.

Ultimately, we looked for credit cards that offer the most lucrative rewards structures and welcome offers, as well as flexibility within their designated rewards programs. Travel perks like travel insurance benefits, annual travel credits, expedited airport security and airport lounge access were also taken into account.

Choosing the best credit card for international travel: Where to begin

Finding the best credit card for international travel is no easy task when there are so many types of cards to choose from. Consider these factors as you search for the right card for your next trip.

Annual fees

Compare cards based on their annual fees, but keep in mind that cards with higher fees tend to offer more benefits in return. If you’re willing to pay $395 per year or more, for example, you can get a credit card for international travel that comes with a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership plus broad airport lounge membership.

Travel perks and features

Many travel credit cards come with perks that can be useful, but you’ll want to figure out which ones you can actually use. Benefits to look for include annual travel credits, automatic elite status benefits, airport lounge membership, fee credits for expedited airport security, free checked bags and free hotel nights.

Travel insurance benefits

Some credit cards also offer robust travel protections that can apply when you use your card to pay for travel with a common carrier. These benefits can include trip cancellation and interruption insurance, trip delay insurance, baggage delay coverage, lost luggage reimbursement, primary auto rental coverage and more.

Customer satisfaction rankings

Note how different credit card issuers have scored in third-party rankings for customer service and satisfaction. You can see below how major credit card issuers scored in J.D. Power’s 2023 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, which was built using responses from 31,418 credit card customers between August 2022 through June 2023.

Eligibility by credit score

Also consider which credit cards you can qualify for based on your credit rating. While the best credit cards for international travel require very good to excellent credit, there are also options for good credit, fair credit and even poor credit or no credit.

Rewards for spending

Look at the rewards you can earn for spending, and make sure to consider the bonus rewards categories each card offers. Ideally, you’ll pick a credit card that offers the most rewards in categories you frequently spend in.

Rewards programs

Also consider the type of rewards you’re earning, whether you prefer to earn flexible rewards for travel, airline miles, hotel points or cash back. Make sure you have an understanding of how much the rewards you earn are worth on average, as well as how you can redeem them.

International acceptance

Finally, make sure to consider international acceptance when you’re planning a trip abroad. Visa and Mastercard credit cards feature the highest rates for international acceptance, whereas American Express and Discover feature lower acceptance rates in some destinations.

Case in point: The Discover website clearly shows that its cards are not regularly accepted across Asia, the Middle East, Russia and some countries in South America.

How to maximize card benefits for international travel

Once you pick a credit card for international travel, there are steps you can take to maximize your card’s benefits and features. Consider the following tips:

  • Use your card for all your spending abroad. Use your credit card for all your international purchases to avoid foreign transaction fees and boost your rewards haul over time.
  • Sign up for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, NEXUS or TSA PreCheck if your card offers a credit. Make sure to sign up for these programs if your card covers the membership fee, and use your card to pay so you can get reimbursed after the fact.
  • Take advantage of airport lounge access if your card offers it. Keep tabs on airport lounges you will have access to during international trips, and make sure to use them when you can.
  • Pay your credit card bill in full each month. Finally, remember that not paying foreign transaction fees won’t save you money if you carry a balance on your card after each trip. Pay your credit card balance in full each month and you can avoid paying the exorbitant interest rates most credit cards charge.

Avoiding dynamic currency conversion

Dynamic currency conversion is a system that shows what your international purchases will cost in U.S. dollars for you, ahead of time. However, this conversion typically comes with a less-than-stellar exchange rate that leaves you paying more for everything you buy overseas.

If you want to avoid dynamic currency conversion when you use a credit card, you will need to make sure all merchants, restaurants and others who charge your card for international spending do so using the local currency.

Things to keep in mind when using a credit card overseas

Before you head overseas on your first international trip, you’ll want to keep several important facts in mind. Consider these tips for a better travel experience overall:

  • Tell your card issuer that you’ll be traveling. Calling the number on the back of your credit card and notifying your card issuer before you travel overseas can help you avoid having transactions denied.
  • Carry more than one type of credit card with you. If you’re worried your card type won’t be accepted, carry more than one with you when you travel overseas. For example, carry both a Visa and a Mastercard, or a Mastercard and an American Express card.
  • Pay in the local currency. Make sure to pay using the local currency when you use your card, even if you have to be specific about it when charges are made. This can help you avoid dynamic currency conversion, which makes international purchases more expensive.
  • Know which travel protections your credit card offers. Also be aware of which travel protections your card offers and when they apply. For example, look for trip cancellation and interruption coverage, travel delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement and other perks that can apply to international trips.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What credit cards are most accepted internationally?

Visa and Mastercard feature the highest international acceptance rates, whereas international acceptance for American Express and Discover lag behind.

Do credit cards automatically convert currency?

Credit cards can use dynamic currency conversion in order to convert the cost of your purchases to U.S. dollars. However, the exchange rates you get with this method will make your purchases more expensive, so you should always pay in the local currency instead.

Do I need to notify my credit card issuer if I’m traveling out of the country?

Notifying your credit card issuer before you travel overseas can help you avoid having transactions denied due to suspicion of fraud. This is especially true if you’re an infrequent traveler who rarely (or never) makes purchases overseas.

What is a foreign transaction fee?

Foreign transaction fees are additional fees that are added to international charges when you pay with a credit card. You can avoid these fees by picking a credit card that doesn’t charge these fees and using it for purchases abroad.

For rates and fees of the card_name, please visit URL.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *