9 sorts of playing cards it’s best to pack to your subsequent journey overseas

Editor’s word: It is a recurring submit, usually up to date with new info.

When touring overseas, what you pack in your pockets issues as a lot as what you pack in your baggage.

The method to each ought to be the identical: Hold it easy and sensible. You’ll need at the least one bank card that costs no overseas transaction charges, one which earns bonus factors on journey, one other that gives journey insurance coverage and rental automobile protection, and a fourth that will get me lodge elite standing advantages.

No matter the place your subsequent journey takes you, this information will run by 9 playing cards that can serve you properly in your travels forward.

A card with no overseas transaction charges

When touring internationally, it’s best to have at the least one card that doesn’t cost overseas transaction charges. You’re certain to make purchases if you’re overseas, so why pay (an as much as) a 3% price each time you swipe your card? In lots of instances, these charges will negate the rewards you’ll earn, defeating the aim of utilizing a bank card to start with.


These days, most journey rewards bank cards waive overseas transaction charges, however a couple of on a regular basis playing cards don’t. For instance, the Chase Freedom Limitless and Chase Freedom Flex are in style no-annual-fee playing cards that cost a 3% transaction price if you use them overseas. Double-check your favourite rewards playing cards and guarantee they don’t impose overseas transaction charges. Listed below are a few of our favourite card picks on this class:

The data for the Hilton Aspire Amex card and the Capital One Savor has been collected independently by The Factors Man. The cardboard particulars on this web page haven’t been reviewed or offered by the cardboard issuer.

A card that earns bonus factors on journey


In the event you’re going to journey anyplace, you’ll want a journey rewards card that earns a enough variety of factors. In any case, you’ll be spending fairly a bit on lodge costs, eating places, transportation and extra. A journey rewards card may also help you get as many as 10 factors per greenback on these purchases.

Whereas it’s straightforward to go for the cardboard with the best journey bonus, you’ll wish to take a couple of different elements into consideration. Particularly, you’ll desire a card that protects your journey purchases.

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A card that gives journey safety


While you’re touring overseas, rather a lot can occur. Your journey plans could unexpectedly change, and in case you don’t have journey insurance coverage, you possibly can be in a very powerful spot. Fortunately, you don’t must buy journey safety protection each time you journey in case you have the proper card.

Make sure to carry alongside a card that gives journey safety, together with journey cancellation/interruption safety, journey delay reimbursement and emergency evacuation and transportation protection.

The data for the U.S. Financial institution Altitude Reserve card has been collected independently by The Factors Man. The cardboard particulars on this web page haven’t been reviewed or offered by the cardboard issuer.

Do not forget that protection could also be restricted, relying on the place you reside or your journey vacation spot.

Associated: When to purchase journey insurance coverage versus when to depend on bank card protections

A card that gives main rental automobile protection


Rental automobile protection is essential, particularly if you’re touring overseas. The very last thing you need is to get right into a fender bender and get hit with the next insurance coverage premium. You should purchase main protection on the rental counter or get it free of charge utilizing a card that gives main rental automobile protection, equivalent to:

A card that gives airport lounge entry

Touring overseas means spending fairly a little bit of time on the airport. It’s worthwhile to arrive a number of hours earlier than departure and can in all probability have a couple of hours to spare. An airport lounge is a superb place to cross the time and seize a snack earlier than a flight.


Fortunately, many premium bank cards supply lounge entry, though you can too rating day passes with a card just like the Hilton Honors American Specific Surpass® Card.

Enrollment required for choose advantages.

So what’s the very best card for worldwide lounge entry? That is determined by numerous elements, however The Platinum Card® from American Specific affords probably the most complete community. You not solely get Precedence Cross Choose membership, however you can too go to lounges throughout the unique Centurion lounge community. Simply word you will not get entry to Precedence Cross eating places with this card.

A card that gives lodge elite standing advantages


Having lodge elite standing overseas is extremely helpful. You’ll not solely earn extra factors in your lodge stays, however you’ll additionally get monetary savings by way of perks equivalent to free breakfast and membership lounge entry. As an elite member, you’ll additionally qualify for room upgrades, which might be nice in locations the place lodge rooms are usually smaller ( you, Europe). With the proper lodge bank card, you may get top-tier standing outright or spend your means there.

A card that gives International Entry price credit

Overlook lengthy customs traces if you return to the U.S. Moderately than spending an hour in line, you’ll be able to skip over to the International Entry kiosk and get by in a matter of minutes.


If you need a easy expertise (and no traces) when returning out of your journey overseas, the $100 International Entry utility price (together with TSA PreCheck) is properly value it. Higher but, get your self a bank card that gives a International Entry price credit score and put that $100 towards its annual price. You’ll get a pleasant welcome bonus and your International Entry utility price lined. These credit get renewed as much as each 5 years in time to your renewal utility.

  • Capital One Enterprise Rewards Credit score Card ($95 annual price) – Earn 75,000 bonus miles if you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.
  • Capital One Enterprise X Rewards Credit score Card ($395 annual price) — Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases throughout the first 3 months from account opening.
  • The Platinum Card® from American Specific ($695 annual price; see charges and costs) – Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards Factors after you spend $6,000 on purchases throughout the first six months of card membership.
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve® ($550 annual price) – 60,000 bonus factors after you spend $4,000 within the first three months from account opening.
  • United Explorer Card ($0 intro annual price for the primary yr, then $95) – Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months your account is open.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Good® American Specific® Card ($650 annual price; see charges and costs)– Earn 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus factors after you utilize your new card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases throughout the first three months of card membership.
  • Financial institution of America® Premium Rewards® bank card ($95 annual price) – Earn 50,000 bonus factors after spending $3,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Government World Elite Mastercard® ($450 annual price) – Earn 50,000 miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
  • IHG® Rewards Premier Credit score Card ($99 annual price) –Earn 140,000 bonus factors after spending $3,000 on purchases throughout the first three months of account opening.

Associated: 14 issues it’s best to find out about International Entry earlier than your subsequent journey

A card that gives journey credit

Issues can get costly if you’re touring overseas, however you may be lined in case you carry a premium bank card in your pockets. Many of those playing cards supply annual journey credit which might be both airline/lodge particular, or you should use them for nearly something.


You probably have one in every of these playing cards in your pockets, you’ll wish to pack it to your journey overseas to place that annual credit score to make use of and decrease your out-of-pocket bills.

A debit card that waives worldwide ATM charges

Bank cards aren’t as broadly accepted overseas as they’re within the U.S. It’s not simply off-the-beaten-path locations the place you’ll want to hold money – I’ve come throughout retailers in pretty massive cities all through Europe that didn’t settle for bank cards. You may end up quick on money, so a visit to the ATM will likely be essential.


That’s why it’s so necessary to carry a debit card that costs no worldwide ATM charges if you use it overseas. The Charles Schwab debit card is a superb possibility as a result of it carries no charges in any respect and reimburses all worldwide ATM charges. You possibly can even use the cardboard for purchases because it costs no overseas transaction charges.

  • Capital One debit card – Requires a Capital One 360 checking account.
  • Charles Schwab debit card – Requires opening a Schwab Financial institution Excessive Yield Investor checking account.
  • Constancy Visa Gold Test Card – Requires a Constancy Money Administration Account.
  • SoFi Cash debit card – Requires a SoFi Cash account.

The data for the Capital One debit, Charles Schwab, Constancy Visa Gold Test and SoFi Cash debit playing cards has been collected independently by The Factors Man. The cardboard particulars on this web page haven’t been reviewed or offered by the cardboard issuer.

Associated: 5 playing cards I take with me on each journey overseas


Which playing cards are greatest for journey overseas?

The perfect playing cards for journey overseas are probably the most broadly accepted, and supply strong rewards, journey safety and advantages. Whereas there’s no single excellent card that matches everybody’s journey wants, the Chase Sapphire Reserve checks off probably the most packing containers. As a Visa card, it’s additionally extra broadly accepted than Amex playing cards — however with a $550 annual price.

For these searching for a extra budget-friendly possibility, the Capital One Enterprise Rewards Credit score Card is a superb decide. It has a $95 annual price and affords (secondary) rental automobile protection and a International Entry utility price credit score each 4 years. Not solely are you able to offset most of your journey bills by charging them to this card and redeeming your Capital One miles for 1 cent per mile, however you can too switch your miles to airline and lodge companions.

Associated: Capital One declares new 1:1 switch tier, extra journey companions and extra airport lounge particulars

Do I would like a card with a chip-and-pin?

Chip-and-pin bank cards are in style all through Europe, so chances are you’ll wish to have one in your pockets in case you’re touring overseas. The excellent news is that many in style reward bank cards are already chip-and-pin enabled, so chances are you’ll not should undergo the effort of discovering one other card to use for. Many retailers now supply contactless pay (providers like Apple Pay) as properly.

What are overseas transaction charges?

Some bank cards impose overseas transaction charges on purchases made overseas. These charges are normally round 3%. We’re all about saving on journey, so avoiding one other 3% cost on high of all of your journey spending could be ideally suited. Get your self a rewards card with out overseas transaction charges and also you gained’t have to fret about this added expense.

Do I must let my card issuer know if I’m touring overseas?

You don’t should let your card issuer know you’re touring overseas, nevertheless it’s undoubtedly a good suggestion to take action. That means, you decrease the chance of your purchases being declined overseas. Some banks assist you to submit journey notices on-line, whereas others require you to name and communicate to a consultant. Present a listing of nations you intend on visiting and your account will likely be notated.

Irregular transactions should still get flagged, however this fashion you cut back the probabilities of your purchases being declined.

Backside line

Now is a superb time to plan your subsequent journey by saving up transferable rewards and ensuring you might have the proper bank cards in your pockets. You’ll get monetary savings, earn extra factors and luxuriate in a greater journey expertise. Whichever card mixture you find yourself selecting, be sure that it meets all the standards we’ve outlined above.

For charges and costs of the Amex Platinum Card, please click on right here.
For charges and costs of the Marriott Bonvoy Good Amex Card, please click on right here.
For charges and costs of the Amex Gold card, click on right here.
For charges and costs of the Hilton Aspire card, click on right here.

Extra reporting by Ryan Wilcox and Stella Shon.

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