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Best Credit Cards for International Travel

There’s a lot to keep in mind when you’re traveling internationally. Packing the appropriate clothing for inclement or moody weather is key, as is bringing the right amount of cash and mapping out the area surrounding your hotel. Did you remember to pack a portable charger? This is always important since maps apps and social media could drain your battery quickly; the last thing you want is for your phone to die in an unfamiliar city where you don’t speak the language and may not know your way back.

The other vital must-pack item for international travel is your credit card, of course. And a chip-enabled card that does not charge foreign transaction fees could save you a pretty penny. A three percent fee on every purchase may not sound like a lot, but it does add up after all.

Capital One Venture Rewards Card

Take the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, for example. Named the Best Travel Card by CNBC in 2018, the Venture Rewards Credit Card allows you to book with any airline and stay at any hotel with no blackout dates. It boasts no foreign transaction fees and waives the yearly $95 fee during your first year using it. If you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months, you’ll earn 50,000 miles — that’s about $500 in travel! Sign up for Global Entry or TSA Precheck with this card and receive up to $100 off application fees. This means speeding through security on your way out of the country and then through customs when you’re back from your travels so you can get home to your dog/family/kids/plants even faster.

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Citi Premier Card

Similar to the Venture Rewards Card, the Citi Premier Card has a $95 annual fee (waived for the first twelve months), no foreign transaction fees and it accrues points — 50,000 bonus points, to be exact, within the first three months when you spend $4,000, which is redeemable for $625 in airfare through Citi’s ThankYou Rewards Travel Center. Every time you use this card on travel (including most gas stations), you’ll earn three times the points for faster rewards, plus two times the points at restaurants and on entertainment and one point per $1 spent everywhere else.

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Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card

If you’re a fan of the world’s largest low-cost carrier and travel to Latin America often (Puerto Rico, Mexico, South America, Central America and even the Caribbean), the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card might just be the card for you. This Priority card costs a little more than the others ($149 yearly fee), but includes an annual $75 Southwest credit, four upgraded boardings per year and 7,500 points every year. Spend just $1,000 within the first three months of opening this card and get 40,000 bonus points.

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There are plenty more cards that may fit your needs for international travel, including the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Chase Sapphire Reserve cards, the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card and the Discover It Miles card. It’s all about what kind of adventure you enjoy most and which card fits best into your travel lifestyle.

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