When you travel overseas, your credit card can be one of the most valuable things that you take with you. The right credit card can offer you a world of amenities for overseas travel including airport business lounge access, elite status with hotels, and many kinds of travel protections.
Essentials Credit Card Features for Overseas Use
Many credit cards still impose a 3% fee on all charges processed outside of the United States. There’s no reason for this fee, which is even charged on foreign transactions conducted in U.S. dollars. Thankfully, most travel reward credit cards no longer add this costly and unnecessary fee. Therefore, you should always make sure you only travel with cards that don’t have foreign transaction fees.
Another essential feature is compatibility. All credit cards now come with Chip and Signature, but only a few come with the Chip and PIN capability. Unfortunately, there are still some unattended kiosks that only accept Chip and PIN transactions, such as those at train stations, gas stations, and toll booths. And if your card comes with contactactless payment ability, that can help. Contactless payments can also speed things along in places like Europe where most customers now just waive their cards over a credit card terminal.
But beyond technical compatibility, your card’s payment network must also be widely accepted. Unfortunately, the Discover isn’t accepted in many countries. And while American Express is largely accepted worldwide, you’ll find some merchants that only accept Visa or Mastercard.
5 Credit Cards That Are Great for International Travel
The Platinum Card® from American Express & The Business Platinum® Card from American Express
When it comes to perks and benefits for overseas travel, these cards have it all. For example, they both comes with a membership in the Priority Pass Select, Delta SkyClub and American Express Centurion airport lounge programs, which has you covered in over 130 countries. Other benefits include a $100 credit towards Global Entry, which includes TSA Precheck. This will speed things up every time you return from an overseas trip. You also receive Gold elite status with Hilton and Marriott hotels. The personal platinum card has an annual fee of $550 (see rates & fees) and the business card has a $595 annual fee (see rates & fees).
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
This card offers several features that can be great for international travel. First, you get Chip and PIN compatibility, rather than just Chip and Signature. But you also earn 2x miles on all purchases, and miles are worth one cent each as statement credits towards travel reservations with any qualifying airline, hotel or rental car company. And you’ll receive 5% of your redeemed miles back. There’s an $89 annual fee for this card that’s waived the first year.
This card offers 3x points per dollar spent on all travel, including gas stations. You also earn 2x points on restaurants and entertainment and 1x elsewhere. Other advantages for international travelers include robust travel protections including trip cancellation and interruption coverage, trip delay, baggage delay and baggage insurance. There’s a $95 annual fee for this card that’s waived the first year.
This card offers you a Priority Pass Select membership, which gives you access to over 1,000 airport lounges and restaurants around the world. You also receive a $100 credit towards Global Entry, which includes TSA Precheck, which expedites your return to the US. It also offers you numerous travel policies including trip cancellation and interruption coverage, trip delay, baggage delay insurance. There’s a $495 annual fee for this card.