The Best Travel Credit Cards For Your Next Trip
When planning an international trip you want to make sure that you get the very best deals. Deals on hotels and travel and food. But, have you taken into account the benefits a travel card will give you? Or the extra fees you might encounter by using your debit or credit card on international travel?
Did you know that you could be paying foreign transaction fees, currency conversion fees, and out of network ATM fees?! Holy cow! How do you account for all of those extra fees?!
The best way to avoid or lower these extra costs and fees is to make sure you are traveling with the best card(s).
Let’s talk about the cards you can use to save you a ton on your international trip(s).
First of all let’s look at the nasty foreign transaction fee and see if we can just eliminate that altogether.
Some card issuers have a loyalty program with hotel partners or have deals through specific airlines to get you bounce miles, 5x membership rewards, free flights, and annual travel credit reimbursements. This will make your travel more enjoyable. I mean, who doesn’t like getting the best value out of their money spent?
Airlines To Check Out
- Virgin Atlantic
- British Airways
- American Airlines
This one works for students or those who have never had a card before or those who don’t have a lot of credit history or the best credit score. It also has no annual fee and can help with credit history issues.
Capital One does not charge a fee for using your credit card for foreign currency transactions. Foreign purchases will be converted at the foreign exchange rate in effect at the time of processing the charge.
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This card has no annual fee and offers cash back rewards on purchases, that means you get rewards on your everyday purchases on your trips to gas stations, for rental cars, or dining purchases. The cashback offer pays 1.5% on each purchase PLUS you get a one-time $100 bonus when you spend $500 in the first 3 months of account opening. There’s no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees.
This card has a welcome offer signup with bonus points of 50,000 Ultimate Membership Rewards points! You’ll need to spend $4,000 in the first 3 months of card membership to get those extra points, but there are ways to get there.
- Pick up the tab when you go out – the staff will appreciate not having to split the bill. Just have everyone pay you.
- Buy gift cards to pay your regular expenses – you can buy discounted gift cards to save money, too. If you budget $400 a month for groceries, buy a gift card(s) for the store where you’ll be shopping and use the gift cards to pay. Target, Walmart, and most grocery stores offer gift cards and stores like Kroger often offer Fuel rewards points when you buy them, too.
- Pay your bills ahead
- Send money to family and/or friends and have them give it back to you.
This card also offers 2 points for every dollar spent on travel expenses and dining, and one point on everything else. There is no annual fee for the first year, but, it is $95 a year after the first year.
Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, fine hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. When you use points to redeem for cash, each point is worth $.01 (one cent), which means that 100 points equals $1 in redemption value. Each point you redeem for travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards is worth $.0125 (one and a quarter cents), which means that 100 points equals $1.25 in redemption value, and points are worth 25% more than if redeemed for cash. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 towards travel, or $500 when redeemed for cash. The cost of travel is based on the rates and fares available through the Ultimate Rewards website and travel center, and may not reflect all rates and fares that are available through other sales channels.
Don’t want to use a credit card? You can use a debit card to travel and save on fees, as well. As long as you use the right card for you and use it wisely, you’ll be fine.
With this debit card there are no ATM fees, at all, no foreign transaction fees and no monthly fees. PLUS, if another ATM charges you a fee this card will reimburse you for it! Nice!
If you decide to go with a debit card when travelling internationally, here are some tips to help you use it more wisely:
Don’t exchange currency especially at the airport. The rates are much better with debit or credit cards.
Use ATM machines at banks, not hotel chains or convenience stores, for the best rates on your travel expenses. This will save you a ton of money, especially for the frequent travelers
When withdrawing cash always do so in the local currency as it gives you a better rate.
So whether you’re headed for Aruba or Jamaica, Cancun, or anywhere else in the world, be sure to use the right type of card to get additional perks and use them wisely, so there are no surprises when you return from your trip(s).
If you need to start at the beginning to even be able to get a credit card, you can get a free online credit evaluation to get started.
Have more tips? Please share them in the comments below.