• MT Staff Writer
  • February 04, 2019

Editorial Disclosure: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone.

Best travel credit cards to use when traveling abroad

“The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone.”

When it comes to overseas travel, packing the right credit card can be as important as choosing the right clothes for your trip. The best credit cards for traveling abroad are those which are accepted in locations around the world without tacking on costly foreign transaction fees. Here we’ll take a look at some of the best credit cards for International travelers and see what each brings to the table as far as discounts, bonuses, and rewards programs. We’ll also take a look at why choosing the right card is important for overseas travel and what to look for when making your choice.

Best Credit Cards for Traveling Abroad

Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Card

  • Annual Fee: $0 the first year, then $95 
  • Point value: 1.25 cents each when redeemed through the Chase portal

A favorite of International travelers everywhere, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card comes with a top of the line rewards program. You’ll earn rewards points on purchase you make and even 2x the points on travel purchases which include airfare, hotels, taxis, and trains. You’ll also score double the points on dining purchases, whether you’re visiting a restaurant at home or abroad. Alternatively, you can transfer them to a number of participating travel rewards programs.

You’ll also score an extra 50,000 (worth $625 in travel rewards) bonus points if you spend $4,000 in the first three months after sign up. The card also offers perks such as trip cancellation or interruption insurance, zero liability fraud protection, baggage delay insurance, and 24/7 access to customer service specialists.

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Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

  • Annual Fee: $0  for the first year, then $95 
  • Point value: 1-1.14 cents apiece

Capital One’s Venture Rewards Card has become another time-honored favorite for travelers around the world. Offering no foreign transaction fees, the card offers an unlimited rewards program that allows you to earn points on every purchase. You’ll earn 2 miles per dollar on every purchase with a bonus sign-on opportunity to earn 50,000 bonus miles by spending $3,000 within 3 months of sign up. Right now, the card is even offering cardholders the chance to earn 10x the points on hotel purchases through 2020. Your miles never expire and can be redeemed on flights, hotels, and other travel purchase or transferred to 10+ partner rewards programs.

Cardholder perks include a $100 credit towards a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application, travel accident insurance, round the clock travel assistance services, and a waiver towards auto rental collision damage. You’ll also get a free extended warranty on eligible items you purchase with your card for no extra charge. 

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Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard

  • Annual Fee: $0 the first year, then $89 
  • Miles worth: 1.11 cents apiece when redeemed on travel

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard has earned a reputation not only as one of the best travel cards on the market but also as one of the most flexible. You’ll never have to worry about foreign transaction fees and will enjoy the chance to earn 2 miles per dollar on every purchase both at home and abroad. Upon sign up, you’ll have the chance to earn a hefty 70,000 bonus miles (worth $700 in travel rewards) for spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 90 days. Best of all, you can redeem your points by booking your travel however you want and then using your miles as statement credits to cover your travel related purchases. Each time you redeem, you’ll even get 5% miles back to use on your next redemption.

Additional perks include 0% fraud liability protection, the chance to earn even more bonus miles by sharing your travel stories in Barclay’s Travel Community forum, and access to a 24/7 card concierge service. 

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Why you should use a credit card abroad

There’s nothing worse than finding you’ve lost your wallet when traveling overseas…unless, of course, all you had inside it was cash. One major benefit of carrying a credit card along on your travel adventures is that most good travel cards carry 0% fraud liability insurance. That means that even though you may have lost your card, you’ll be able to get in touch with your credit card company to ensure that you aren’t responsible for any purchases made on it. While lost cash may be irreplaceable, you can at least rest assured that you’re not out any money if you lose your credit card. Not to mention, there are also a number of travel-related rewards benefits you can cash in on if you select the right card.

What to look for in an international credit card

When looking for the right travel credit card, there are a few things you’ll definitely want to make sure of:

• Make sure you select a card with no foreign transaction fees. 
• Shoot for a Visa or Mastercard. These are accepted almost anywhere, whereas Discover and American Express tend to be a bit more unpredictable. 
• Check out the rewards program. Find out what cardholders have to do in order to rack up rewards points or miles, as well as what exactly you can redeem them on. 
• Look for high sign-up bonuses. By spending a certain amount of money within your first few months of sign-up, you can earn enough points to cover hundreds of dollars in travel expenses.

Which travel card is right for your International trip?

While any of the cards above are solid choices for international travel, which is right for you will likely depend on your specific spending goals. Each offers an impressive sign-up bonus for spending between $3,000-$5,000 in your first three months of sign-up. The offers are valuable enough that you may want to select your card accordingly. Also be sure to check out which cards offer extra earning incentives and for what types of purchases, so you can pick one that best mirrors your average purchase patterns. Last, but certainly not least, look into how exactly each card allows points to be redeemed. This way you can find one that best lines up with your preferred method of travel booking.

“Many of the listings that appear on this website are from companies which we receive compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The site does not review or include all companies or all available products.”

Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the listings that appear on this website are from companies which we receive compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The site does not review or include all companies or all available products.

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