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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

The Platinum Card® from American Express

United℠ Explorer Card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card

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Travel can be amazing and exhilarating, but it can also cause stress, especially if you're traveling internationally. Seeing new places and new cultures is one of the reasons many people travel, but paying in a different currency can be challenging and sometimes costly. Many credit cards charge a foreign transaction fee for any purchases made in a foreign currency. If you spend $1,000 on a card that charges a 3% foreign transaction fee, that's an extra $30 out of your travel budget.

The best credit cards for international travel waive these foreign transaction fees, while also offering rewards and benefits that help make your trip more comfortable, like lounge access.

Compare the best credit cards for international travel of 2022

Welcome Offer
Credit Needed
?
{"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions.","showIcon":false,"tooltipLabel":"?"}
Annual Fee
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred<sup>®</sup> Card
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.720 - 850$95
Apply Now
On Chase's Secure Website
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel660 - 850$0
Apply Now
On Capital One's Secure Website
The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card<sup>®</sup> from American Express
Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.660 - 850$695 See Rates & Fees.
Apply Now
See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website
United℠ Explorer Card
United℠ Explorer Card
Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.660 - 850$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95
Apply Now
On Chase's Secure Website
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel660 - 850$95
Apply Now
On Capital One's Secure Website
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Ink Business Preferred<sup>®</sup> Credit Card
Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.720 - 850$95
Apply Now
On Chase's Secure Website
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant<sup>®</sup> American Express<sup>®</sup> Card
Earn 150,000 Marriott Bonvoy® bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months.660 - 850$650 See Rates & Fees.
Apply Now
See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students
25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases660 - 850$0
Not available on ValuePenguin
Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card
N/A0 - 600$0
Not available on ValuePenguin
American Express® Gold Card
American Express<sup>®</sup> Gold Card
60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.660 - 850$250 See Rates & Fees.
Apply Now
See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel720 - 850$395
Apply Now
On Capital One's Secure Website
Welcome Offer
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
Credit Score Needed
?
720 - 850
660 - 850
Annual Fee
$95
$0
Apply Now
On Chase's Secure Website
Apply Now
On Capital One's Secure Website

Best credit card for international travel overall

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

On Chase's Secure Website

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

$95

19.74% - 26.74% Variable

720 - 850

 

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.

  • Earns valuable transferable points
  • Primary car rental coverage
  • $0 foreign transaction fee
  • $95 annual fee
  • Only 2x earning on most travel purchases

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is our pick for the overall best card for international travel because of its flexibility and versatility. The Ultimate Rewards points that you earn can be transferred to a Chase's airline and hotel partners for great redemption values, or you can use them to book travel directly through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® travel portal. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card also comes with $0 foreign transaction fees, which means that you can safely use it abroad without paying extra fees.

Best credit card for international travel and no annual fee

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

On Capital One's Secure Website

Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel

$0

17.99% - 27.99% (Variable)

660 - 850

  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 17.99% - 27.99% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months

  • $0 annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • APR of 0% intro on purchases for 15 months and 0% intro on balance transfers for 15 months (then a 17.99% - 27.99% (Variable) APR applies)
  • Low earning rate of 1.25 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day; 5 Miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • Relatively low welcome offer compared to other cards

If you’re seeking a travel credit card you can use abroad without racking up foreign transaction fees or paying an annual fee, the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card is a good way to go. While it has a lower welcome bonus and lower earning rates than some other cards, it can be a good choice if you're looking to lower the amount that you pay in fees. The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card also comes with an introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers.

Best card for international travel and lounge access

The Platinum Card® from American Express

See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website

Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

$695

See Pay Over Time APR

660 - 850

  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

  • Large welcome offer
  • Many luxury perks
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $695 annual fee
  • Low earning rate for most non-travel purchases

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here

If you're a frequent traveler looking for luxury perks, you will want to consider The Platinum Card® from American Express.This premium luxury card offers the most robust airport lounge membership program of all travel cards on the market today. The American Express Global Lounge Collection comes with Priority Pass™ Select membership, exclusive access to ultra-swanky Amex Centurion lounges and Delta Sky Club access each time you fly with Delta. Other travel benefits include a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck membership, automatic Hilton Honors Gold status (enrollment required) and Marriott Bonvoy Gold status (enrollment required).

Best credit card for international travel and airlines

United℠ Explorer Card

On Chase's Secure Website

Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95

20.24% - 27.24% Variable

660 - 850

  • Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining, hotel stays, and United® purchases
  • Up to $100 Global Entry, TSA PreCheck® or NEXUS fee credit
  • 25% back as a statement credit on purchases of food, beverages and Wi-Fi on board United-operated flights and on Club premium drinks when you pay with your Explorer Card
  • Free first checked bag - a savings of up to $140 per roundtrip. Terms Apply.
  • Enjoy priority boarding privileges and visit the United ClubSM with 2 one-time passes each year for your anniversary
  • Get one-year complimentary DashPass, a membership for both DoorDash and Caviar that provides unlimited deliveries with $0 delivery fees and lower service fees on eligible orders. After that, you are automatically enrolled in DashPass at the current monthly rate. Activate by 12/31/24.

  • Outstanding welcome offer
  • Excellent United perks
  • $0 foreign transaction fees
  • $0 Intro for the First Year, then $95
  • Must pay for flights with your United card to get free checked bags

The United℠ Explorer Card is a great option if you're looking to earn airline miles. It comes with $0 foreign transaction fees and an annual fee of $0 Intro for the First Year, then $95. You'll also get perks when flying United, including free checked bags for the cardholder and one companion, priority boarding and 25% back when buying food, beverages and Wi-Fi on United flights. The United℠ Explorer Card has an outstanding welcome offer and also comes with $0 foreign transaction fees.

Best for flexible rewards card for international travel

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

On Capital One's Secure Website

Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

$95

18.99% - 26.99% (Variable)

660 - 850

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Enjoy two complimentary visits per year to Capital One Lounges or to 100+ Plaza Premium Lounges through our Partner Lounge Network
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs

  • Excellent welcome bonus
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Great flexibility with miles
  • $95 annual fee
  • No bonus earning categories

For a simple travel card with rewards that are easy to redeem as they are to earn, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is hard to beat. You earn 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day; 5 Miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel; 5 Miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world’s largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023. One of the best features of the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is the flexibility of the rewards you earn. You can redeem them as a statement credit for any type of travel or transfer them to Capital One's airline and hotel partners.

Best credit card for international travel and business

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

On Chase's Secure Website

Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

$95

19.74% - 24.74% Variable

720 - 850

  • Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • With Fraud Protection your card transactions will be monitored for possible signs of fraudulent activity using real-time fraud monitoring
  • With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information
  • Redeem points for cash back, gift cards, travel and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Purchase Protection covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account

  • Generous welcome offer
  • $0 foreign transaction fees
  • Earns flexible Ultimate Rewards points
  • $95 annual fee
  • Requires you to have a business to apply

The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is one of the most flexible and valuable business credit cards around. The card's generous sign-up bonus and earning rate on business purchases can help add to the rewards pile fast. Like other Chase cards, it offers primary car rental protection and trip cancellation/interruption insurance when traveling for business. In addition to having $0 foreign transaction fees, that makes the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card a great option for international travel.

Best credit card for international travel and hotels

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card

See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website

Earn 150,000 Marriott Bonvoy® bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months.

$650

19.49%-28.49% Variable

660 - 850

  • Earn 150,000 Marriott Bonvoy® bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months.
  • Each Card renewal year, get up to $300 in statement credits per calendar year (up to $25 per month) for eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide.
  • A Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite member will earn 50% more points on eligible purchases at participating hotels for each U.S. dollar or the currency equivalent that is incurred and paid for by the member.
  • Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program. 3 points at Worldwide Restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Marriott Brilliant Free Night Award: Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Each calendar year after spending $60,000 on eligible purchases, Card Members are eligible to select an Earned Choice Award benefit. Benefit options include: Five (5) Suite Night Awards, 85K Free Night Award, and mattress and box spring $750 discount from Marriott Bonvoy Boutiques.
  • $100 Luxury Property Credit: Enjoy your stay. Receive up to a $100 property credit for qualifying charges at The Ritz-Carlton® or St. Regis® when you book direct using a special rate for a two-night minimum stay using your Card.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®: Receive either a statement credit every 4 years after you apply for Global Entry ($100) or a statement credit every 4.5 years after you apply for a five-year membership through any Authorized Enrollment Provider for TSA PreCheck® (up to $85) when you pay the application fee with an eligible Card. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Each calendar year you can receive 25 Elite Night Credits toward the next level of Marriott Bonvoy Elite status. Limitations apply per Marriott Bonvoy member account. Benefit is not exclusive to Cards offered by American Express. Terms apply.
  • Enroll in Priority Pass Select, which offers unlimited access to over 1,200 lounges in over 130 countries, regardless of which carrier or class you are flying. This allows you to relax before or between flights. You can enjoy snacks, drinks, and internet access in a quiet, comfortable location.
  • Enjoy unlimited airport lounge visits when you enroll in Priority Pass™ Select membership.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases.
  • Cell phone protection: You can be reimbursed for your costs to repair or replace your damaged or Stolen cell phone up to $800, subject to a $50 deductible, for 2 approved claims per 12-month period when your prior month's wireless bill was paid utilizing an Eligible Card Account. Terms and conditions apply. Coverage is provided by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
  • $650 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.

  • Great welcome offer
  • Monthly dining credit (up to $25 / month)
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $650 annual fee
  • Points can generally only be used for stays at Marriott hotels

For rates and fees of Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, please click here

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card is our top pick for hotels due to its earning rate on paid Marriott hotel stays, over-the-top welcome offer and annual travel perks. While a $650 annual fee applies, cardholders get up to a $300 annual dining credit (up to $25 per month), a free night award after card renewal each year (up to 85,000 points) and a $100 Marriott Bonvoy property credit. Other perks like a Priority Pass™ Select membership (enrollment required), a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck membership (enrollment required) and no foreign transaction fees round out this card.

Best credit card for international travel and students

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students

Generic art
Not available on ValuePenguin

25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases

$0

17.74% - 27.74% Variable APR

660 - 850

  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire.
  • 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want - you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions.
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for travel or dining purchases, such as flights, hotel stays, car and vacation rentals, baggage fees, and also at restaurants including takeout.
  • New longer intro period! 0% Introductory APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 17.74% - 27.74% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers.
  • When handled responsibly, a credit card can help you build your credit history, which could be helpful when looking for an apartment, a car loan, and even a job. Access your FICO® Score for free within Online Banking or your Mobile Banking app.
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.

  • Solid return on all of your spending
  • $0 annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No bonus categories
  • Rewards are not transferable

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students is the best international travel card for students due to its lack of foreign transaction fees and lack of annual fee. Cardholders also earn an unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, which can be redeemed for statement credits to cover nearly any type of travel purchase. Its flexible rewards may be important for students who want to keep their options open as they figure out their travel style. Even better, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students comes with no foreign transaction fees and $0 annual fee.

Best for international travel with bad credit

Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card

Generic art
Not available on ValuePenguin

N/A

$0

28.49% (Variable)

0 - 600

  • No annual or hidden fees, and you can earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day. See if you're approved in seconds
  • Put down a refundable $200 security deposit to get a $200 initial credit line
  • Building your credit? Using a card like this responsibly could help
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won't be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • You could earn back your security deposit as a statement credit when you use your card responsibly, like making payments on time
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months with no additional deposit needed
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • Monitor your credit score with CreditWise from Capital One. It's free for everyone
  • Enjoy up to 6 months of complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024

  • $0 annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Earn cash back on every purchase
  • Requires a minimum $200 refundable security deposit

The Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card is the best option for international travel when you have bad credit. The Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card is marketed to those with fair credit, so it will be easier to be approved for this card than other cards. You'll need to put down a minimum security deposit of at least $200 which will become your credit limit. It doesn't charge an annual fee or any foreign transaction fees. Cardholders also earn 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day; 5% Cash Back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply).

Best for dining and international travel

American Express® Gold Card

See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website

60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

$250

19.74%-26.74% Variable

660 - 850

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.

  • High earning rate on dining and U.S. supermarkets
  • Generous dining and Uber benefits
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $250 annual fee
  • Redeeming your points for non-travel options isn't a good value

For rates and fees of American Express® Gold Card, please click here

The American Express® Gold Card is an attractive option if you have a lot of dining purchases. The American Express® Gold Card Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X), and 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com. Terms apply. This makes it a great option to use while dining abroad, since it also comes with no foreign transaction fees. There is a $250 annual fee, but you can wipe out a large part of the fee if you take advantage of benefits such as up to $120 in credits toward select dining purchases ($10 monthly, enrollment required).

Best for international transfer partners

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

On Capital One's Secure Website

Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

$395

19.99% - 26.99% (Variable)

720 - 850

  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs

  • Outstanding welcome bonus
  • Above average earning rate on all purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $395 annual fee
  • Doesn't offer any hotel or airline elite status

If you're in the market for points that can easily be transferred to partners, consider the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card. Capital One has 18 hotel and airline transfer partners, allowing you to maximize your points no matter where you're going. You'll earn 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day; 10 Miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel; 10 Miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world’s largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023; 5 Miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel. With no foreign transaction fees, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is a great card to take when traveling abroad. The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card comes with a $395 annual fee, but also gives 10,000 Venture miles on your anniversary and an annual $300 travel credit that applies to most travel purchases.

Types of international travel credit cards

International travel credit cards come in a few different varieties:

Airline credit cards

Airline credit cards are usually co-branded between a specific airline and a credit card issuer. Airline credit cards usually earn the miles for that particular airline, and can come with airline-specific benefits like priority boarding, free checked bags or help qualifying for airline elite status.

Hotel credit cards

Hotel credit cards are usually co-branded between a credit card issuer and a particular hotel chain. Hotel credit cards usually earn hotel points that can be used for stays and also often offer hotel-specific benefits like complimentary night certificates, elite status or increased earning rates.

Transferable travel credit cards

Transferable travel credit cards are usually issued directly by a bank or credit card issuer, and earn flexible points that can be used in a variety of different ways. With most transferable travel cards, you can usually redeem your points for statement credits, to book travel directly or transfer to hotel or airline travel partners.

Business travel credit cards

Business travel cards are marketed towards small business owners, and you'll need to enter in your business information when you apply for the card. Business travel credit cards can be airline, hotel or transferable travel cards, so you're sure to find one that meets your needs.

How to choose an international travel credit card

When choosing an international travel credit card, you'll want to consider factors like how widely it's accepted, whether it charges foreign transaction fees and a variety of these other factors.

Whenever you use a debit or credit card outside of the U.S., your issuer will charge you a fee of around 3% of each purchase. While it may not seem like a huge deal, the charges will certainly add up. Finding a credit card with no foreign transaction fees is a must when considering an international credit card.

If you're visiting major tourist destinations, resorts, hotels and museums, you should have no problem paying with your credit card there. However, some destinations may not accept certain networks — or credit cards at all. It's important to research the common types of currency accepted in your given destination to make the right credit card choice.

Many credit cards will come with the added benefit of complimentary travel protection benefits, such as trip cancellation or interruption insurance. In the event of an emergency while on your trip, you can contact your credit card company and receive reimbursement for any nonrefundable expense — potentially saving you hundreds of dollars.

You'll want to apply for a credit card that will reward you appropriately for your spending habits. For example, frequent diners will want a card that will offer bonus points or miles for restaurants and takeout. Meanwhile, frequent travelers will want to be rewarded for flight and hotel purchases. Many travel credit cards offer hybrid reward categories, offering points for both everyday and travel purchases.

Many travel rewards cards incentivize you to apply by offering a large sign-up bonus that can be redeemed for free travel. This can heavily reduce the cost of your trip — especially if you plan on flying internationally.

If you're particularly loyal to one airline, it would be advantageous to open a credit card affiliated with an airline to receive perks, such as free checked bags or priority boarding. Hotel cards can only offer free award stays as well as complimentary elite status. Finally, a general travel rewards card can offer flexibility to transfer your points to either airline or hotel programs.

Owning a travel credit card can open a wide variety of benefits handy for your next international trip, such as Global Entry or TSA Precheck application reimbursement or lounge access. You'll want to think about how much you're willing to spend on annual fees each year and what travel perks are important to you.

Some countries (such as France and Germany) require both an EMV chip and a PIN in order to use a credit card in an unattended terminal. While most credit cards issued within the U.S. include an EMV chip, cards with PINs are rare. However, some issuers (such as Bank of America) allow you to add a PIN to your travel credit card. You should check with your issuer to see if they offer this option.

This map shows at a glance which countries have predominantly adopted the chip and pin versus chip and signature for their credit card processing.

Top cards for lounge access while traveling internationally

Another factor you should consider is if you want airport lounge access, significantly improving your travel experience. Many premium credit card companies come with lounge membership or passes — advantageous for frequent travelers.

Admirals Club

Amex Centurion Lounge

Delta Sky Clubs

Priority Pass™ Select

United Club

Card
Annual fee
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
Citi<sup>®</sup> / AAdvantage<sup>®</sup> Executive World Elite Mastercard<sup>®</sup>
$450
Apply Now
On Citibank's Secure Website

Admirals Club

Card
Annual fee
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
Citi<sup>®</sup> / AAdvantage<sup>®</sup> Executive World Elite Mastercard<sup>®</sup>
$450
Apply Now
On Citibank's Secure Website

Amex Centurion Lounge

Card
Annual fee
The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card<sup>®</sup> from American Express
$695
Apply Now
See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website

Delta Sky Clubs

Card
Annual fee
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles<sup>®</sup> Reserve American Express Card
$550
Apply Now
See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website
The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card<sup>®</sup> from American Express
$695
Apply Now
See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website

Priority Pass™ Select

Card
Annual fee
The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card<sup>®</sup> from American Express
$695
Apply Now
See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website
Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card
Chase Sapphire Reserve<sup>®</sup>
$550
Apply Now
On Chase's Secure Website

United Club

Card
Annual fee
United Club℠ Infinite Card
United Club℠ Infinite Card
$525
Apply Now
On Chase's Secure Website

Avoiding dynamic currency conversion

Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) is when you choose to pay in your own currency, rather than the local currency. When you pay for things with a credit card internationally, you'll often be presented with a choice to use DCC when finalizing your payment. While this might seem like a good idea, since you'll then be more familiar with the actual cost of the purchase, DCC will often use a less-favorable exchange rate and should be avoided.

Here's one example, using current conversion rates as a way to illustrate how dynamic currency conversion works. At the time of writing this article, 1 Euro can be converted to 1.04 USD. If you are traveling in Europe and have a 100 Euro bill, you may be presented with the option to pay 100 Euro or to convert to $106 — a higher rate than the current exchange rate (a fair conversion for 100 Euros in this scenario would be USD $104). For this reason, it's a good rule of thumb to always pay in the local currency with your credit card, using a credit card that doesn't charge foreign transaction fees.

How to use a credit card internationally

Making the most of your international credit card is best done by following all of these international credit card tips. Pick a card with no foreign transaction fees and good travel perks and use it for all of your regular expenses. When traveling internationally, generally you should choose to pay for purchases in the local currency rather than using dynamic currency conversion.

This will help you maximize your international credit card use and ensure you rack up as many travel rewards points and miles as possible, which you can put towards your next trip, or flight upgrades and free hotel nights. Paying for your expenses with a credit card can also give you additional security or peace of mind if your card has a $0 fraud liability benefit. Plus, if you use a card with no foreign transaction fees and pay in the local currency, you will likely get a reasonable conversion rate.

International credit cards are notorious for charging high interest rates. Be sure to avoid carrying a balance on your card so you never have to pay more than you should. Carrying a balance on your card can also be damaging to your credit score, so you'll want to watch out for that as well. Put yourself in a position where you have the financial ability and discipline to pay your credit card statement in full, each and every month.

Many premium travel credit cards come with benefits that can make your trip more affordable and comfortable. Check to see if your card offers these benefits and learn how to take advantage of them ahead of your next international trip.

  • Room or seat upgrades: Some airline or hotel credit cards offer upgrades to cardholders. An international trip can be a great time to redeem some of these card benefits.
  • Free checked baggage: Many airline credit cards offer free checked bags. If you need to fly with more baggage than your ticket allows, consider signing up for an airline credit card as an alternative to paying baggage fees.
  • Free lounge access: If your international trip is going to have you spending a lot of time in airports, look for cards that offer airport lounge access as a perk. An airport lounge can be a great way to make your trip more relaxing and less stressful, so you should pinpoint the lounges along your route and make sure they don't require a reservation ahead of your arrival.
  • Companion passes: Your airline credit card may offer a companion pass after meeting certain criteria. Using a companion pass on an expensive international trip can help you maximize your miles.

Global Entry, TSA Pre and CLEAR are three different programs that allow you to minimize the time that you spend in airport security lines. If you are a frequent traveler, it can be a good idea to sign up for one or more of these programs. Even if you save a few minutes on each trip, that can add up over tens or hundreds of trips.

Each of these three programs helps you save time with airport security in different ways. For international travel, Global Entry will likely be the most helpful. Having a Global Entry account allows you to skip much of the immigration line when entering the United States. And because Global Entry also includes TSA PreCheck, you'll also save time while traveling domestically. Many credit cards offer a statement credit to reimburse your application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four or five years.

Frequently asked questions

Just about any credit card can be used internationally, though not all retailers take every kind of card. As a general rule, Visa and Mastercard are more commonly accepted than Discover and American Express, especially internationally.

There are a variety of different credit cards that offer travel insurance. While most of these cards come with annual fees, the cost can be worth it if you need trip cancellation, lost baggage or trip delay insurance. Not all travel insurance credit cards are equal however, so make sure to check the details to know what is covered, what deductible you might have and exactly how your card's travel insurance works.

Most banks and credit card companies no longer require you to let them know if you are traveling outside your local area or home country. In some cases, this is due to the added security that comes from most credit cards now having an EMV chip. While many credit card companies do allow you to let them know if you're traveling if it gives you peace of mind, others (like Capital One) specifically say that you don't need to tell them about your travel plans.

The best credit card for international travel will vary depending on the user. For high spenders and luxury travelers, owning a premium credit card will serve your travels well to score perks like hotel elite status and concierge services. We recommend the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, The Platinum Card® from American Express or the Citi Premier® Card in these cases. For the average traveler, cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card should suffice — offering no foreign transaction fees and the potential to earn travel rewards.

It's commonly thought that Visa and Mastercard are more generally accepted than any other card network available. This has changed dramatically in recent years, as networks such as American Express and Discover have worked hard to increase their international acceptance. In fact, our recent study found that Discover is the most accepted network internationally — with 48 million merchants. However, Discover isn't accepted in some countries. Therefore, Visa will most likely be your best bet, since it's accepted at 46 million merchants worldwide.

Recap of the best international travel credit cards of December 2022

Methodology

To make choosing the right card easier, we've looked at credit cards reviewed on ValuePenguin as well as cards on major issuer sites to compile a list of the best rewards credit cards available right now. Our recommendations are based on the additional value you can earn with the cards — including the rewards value, cost of ownership and value of benefits such as travel and purchase protections, lounge membership and airline companion passes. No cards on this page charge foreign transaction fees. Our choices are not influenced by our advertisers. Learn more on how we calculate rewards.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here

For rates and fees of Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, please click here

For rates and fees of American Express® Gold Card, please click here

The information related to Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students and Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).