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Chances are you’ve spent a lot of time around the house with the COVID travel restrictions and various government restrictions affecting your freedom of movement. Things are relaxing and nothing travels to soothe a restless heart and satisfy an adventurous spirit. This is especially true for traveling abroad to learn about other cultures.
Which Credit Card Offers The Best Travel Rewards
If you’re in the US, international travel may mean crossing the border into Canada or south to Mexico. But here’s the thing: travel is expensive. What is the best way to pay for it?
Travel Reward Cards
We want to emphasize that with the right credit card — offering sign-up bonuses, zero foreign transaction fees and more — traveling abroad isn’t a daunting prospect, but with careful planning and financial management, it is. It means a lot.
What’s more, traveling with plastic is safer than carrying cash outside, protecting your money with fraud alerts and zero-liability benefits.
In this guide, we present the three best credit cards for international travel that we’ve determined to be the top three, but we also offer some advice on how to choose the right card for you.
What is your idea of a perfect vacation? Tropical island or ice? Busy city or desolate countryside? There is no right answer to this question, and the bottom line is that no one travels the same way, so no travel credit card is right for everyone.
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With the right credit card that offers travel rewards on everything from groceries to gas at the pump, running errands and planning your trip become one.
After a while we’ll present a full picture of what we like and some things we’ll discuss as we get to know each card.
But first, let’s talk about the most important factor to consider when choosing a credit card for international travel: foreign transaction fees, what they are and how to avoid them.
Your credit card spending limit is calculated in US dollars. When traveling abroad, you pay for accommodation or just a cup of coffee in the currency of the country in which you live.
The 5 Best International Travel Credit Cards Of 2022
This means that a currency exchange occurs when you swipe your card, and some credit card companies charge a fee for this service, sometimes a foreign currency transaction or foreign purchase fee.
They can add fees when traveling abroad, so it’s best to choose a credit card that doesn’t charge them for international travel. The average foreign transaction fee is around 3% and includes the following:
It may not seem like much at first, but when you factor in all the costs of accommodation, food and other incidentals you will incur along the way, it can be a huge additional expense.
Additionally, foreign transaction fees can add up when booking a hotel abroad, even if you’re already doing it from your living room.
How To Find The Best Travel Credit Cards To Use Abroad
To save money on international travel, choose a credit card with few foreign transaction fees. Here are some other ways to avoid these expensive expenses when traveling abroad:
There is a lot to plan when preparing for a trip. Don’t leave these items off the list:
Seems like foreign transaction fees should be avoided at all costs, right? Okay, bye. The best way to avoid foreign transaction fees is to use a credit card that doesn’t charge you anything.
With a clear understanding of foreign transaction fees, what they are and how to avoid them, let’s now turn our attention to the best credit cards for international travel.
The Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards Of 2021
The right credit card sign-up bonus goes a long way toward financing the trip of a lifetime. Why not stretch your travel budget with a little extra cash to sign up?
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers the best sign-up bonus on our list, offering 100,000 bonus points after you spend just $4,000 on the card in the first three months of account opening. You will achieve this goal by booking flights and accommodation for your trip.
What’s more, these points are worth an additional 25 percent when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards, which has tons of travel-related perks to choose from. They can be converted 1:1 to a wide range of airline and hotel loyalty programs. And if that’s not generous enough, Chase awards 2X points for every dollar spent on travel and dining, plus 1 point for every additional dollar spent anywhere in the world across all categories.
And chip-enhanced technology will keep you safe wherever you are. For this reason, you can be sure that the card will be accepted wherever you are.
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There is a $95 annual fee associated with the Chase Sapphire, but consider all the other travel benefits associated with it and it requires excellent credit to be approved. A typical APR ranges from 15.99% to 22.99%, which is slightly lower than average. You can count on 24/7 customer service anywhere in the world.
While travel is expensive, the Chase Sapphire Card continues to earn money spent while traveling in rewards and cash back, making it a great credit card to use when planning your next trip.
Incidental expenses come up a lot when traveling abroad. Spend wisely, and while you’re at it, get something back in miles. Awesome Mileage Rewards Another card offering on our list is the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, one of the best international travel credit cards on the market.
With Venture Rewards, you actually earn 2X miles for every $1 you spend anywhere, anytime. What’s more, Venture One offers a one-time bonus spend of 100,000 miles after you spend $20,000 on the card in the first year of account opening. If you regularly use your credit card to collect travel miles, it’s hard to beat that.
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And the rewards don’t end there. If you spend just $3,000 in the first three months, you’ll earn 100,000 bonus points. Plus, applying for the card earns you a $100 application credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, speeding up your journey through the airport and giving you even more opportunities to save money.
The card only has a $95 annual fee. But if you don’t like fees, check out a similar version with no annual fees, the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card. But there are some trade-offs when it comes to points earned: The B-Face card only offers 1.25 miles per dollar spent.
The card doesn’t offer a special introductory rate, but its usual APR is between 17.24% and 24.49%. With the types of rewards you’ll enjoy, the lack of a special introductory rate isn’t a problem.
For these reasons and more, Venture Rewards is a great card for earning travel points for spending abroad.
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Through Citi, travelers get 60,000 bonus ThankYou points after spending the first $4,000 within three months of opening an account. These points can be redeemed for $600 in Thankyou.com gift cards that can be redeemed at Amazon.com and many other major retailers that stock travel gear for your next adventure.
If you don’t like it, you can exchange your points for $300 in cold hard cash back in your pocket.
Earning 1,000 points actually allows you to transfer them to a long list of airline loyalty programs for free. Participating airlines include JetBlue, Virgin Atlantic and Singapore Airlines. From this list, you will be able to fly wherever you want or always dreamed of.
The daily rewards the card offers are also remarkable: 3X points per dollar spent across a list of relevant categories every day, and again, no foreign transaction fees to worry about. From gas stations and supermarkets to hotels and airlines. And preferably these elements
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Do you like to live in the lap of luxury when you want to travel? Book a hotel room worth $500 (excluding fees and taxes) and activate the annual hotel savings benefit on the card, get $100 off this account. This benefit is renewed every calendar year.
Again, there’s a $95 annual fee associated with the card, which is pretty standard, and you’ll need excellent credit to qualify.
Now that you’ve chosen the perfect card for your overseas holiday, what else do you need to know before you get on the plane?
There is a lot to know and even more to prepare before traveling abroad. Follow this checklist and you’ll be traveling like a pro.
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It usually takes 10 to 12 weeks for the US State Department to issue, renew, or renew a passport, and most countries require your passport to be valid for six months from the date of your return. Don’t leave home without taking care of these essentials