The Best Credit Card for Frequent Travelers
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So your bags are packed and you do a final run through before you travel.
But wait. You might want to take a good look at what’s in your wallet before you begin your international travel. As more and more Americans take advantage of the current strength of the dollar in countries around the world, it makes a great deal of sense to ensure that you’re leveraging that strength to your advantage.
Most savvy travelers know that you lose money if you exchange cash in a foreign country, but some might not know that you can lose money if you use the wrong credit card in a foreign country, as well. This happens most often in the form of foreign transaction fees levied by the credit card company.
If you’re a frequent international traveler or have an upcoming trip abroad, consider some of these credit cards that are not only incredibly convenient to use around the world but will save you money on international travel as well.
Capital One Venture Card
One of the best cards for overseas travelers is the Capital One Venture Card. Not only does this card charge no foreign transaction fees, with its Visa Signature program you might also find yourself scoring free upgrades on flights and at hotels along the way.
In addition, this is one of the most inexpensive cards to have. The annual fee is waived for the first year, then is a low $59 per year after that. You’ll receive 2 miles per dollar spent and a bonus of 40,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on the card in the first three months, so your miles can add up quickly. The interest rate on this card can be as low as 12.9 percent, but know that this card requires an excellent credit score.
This card also features chip and PIN technology, which is becoming the standard around the world.
BankAmericard Travel Rewards Card
This credit card offered by Bank of America is considered by some experts to be the best of the bunch. You’ll never be charged a foreign transaction fee, there is no annual fee for the card, and it features chip technology. It also offers 1.5 points per dollar spent and a 20,000 point bonus on the first $1,000 spent on the card.
You don’t need to be a Bank of America customer to apply for this card, but if you do have an account with them your rewards will be a lot greater. Depending the value and type of accounts you have with Bank of America and if you’re a member of their Preferred Rewards program, your points dividend can end up as high as 75 percent. However, even if you don’t qualify for the program but you still have an account, you’ll receive a dividend of 10 percent.
While it might seem like prepaid credit cards have gone the way of the dinosaur, in fact there is one prepaid travel card that travel and finance experts rave about, and that’s Travelex. This prepaid card is reloadable online via your current Visa or Mastercard. It features chip technology and a PIN feature that is preferred in Europe, there are no foreign fees attached, and offers a good and up to date exchange rate.
There are a few drawbacks to this card, including the initial cost to purchase the card, and the fact that it’s currently limited to a handful of currencies that you’re able to use. Some of these are the Euro, the British Pound, Mexican Peso, and the Australian dollar. However, as the popularity of this card and its unique and easy service increases, we can expect to see a much wider range of currencies added.
World travel has become much easier for many people with the advent of current technologies, the most important of which is the ability to use credit cards at locations around the world. Be smart with your credit card choices, however, and always choose on that charges no fees for international transactions. Then narrow your choices even further with the attractive sign-on bonuses and rewards programs.
Now when you go through your own pre-flight checklist you know you’ve got your wallet right.
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