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Top Credit Cards for International Travel of 2022

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

On Chase's Secure Website

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

On Chase's Secure Website

Citi Premier® Card

On Citibank's Secure Website

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When you're traveling abroad and need access to funds, it's always a good idea to own a travel credit card. Be wary — not all credit cards will serve you well — make sure your card is accepted abroad and doesn't charge foreign transaction fees if possible.

Compare the best credit cards for international travel of 2022

Card
Welcome Offer
Credit Needed
Annual Fee
Best overall
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
Airport lounge access
The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card<sup>®</sup> from American Express
Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the 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
Luxury
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Chase Sapphire Reserve<sup>®</sup>
New Offer! Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.720 - 850$550
Apply Now
On Chase's Secure Website
Compare all cards

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 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

Credit Score Needed

720 - 850
660 - 850

Annual Fee

$95
Apply Now
On Chase's Secure Website
Apply Now
See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' 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

16.74% - 23.74% 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.
  • With Pay Yourself BackSM, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • 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 transferable points

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card remains our top pick for the best international credit card as it's one of the most rewarding for travel and overall rewards. When you book flights and hotels, you'll earn 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases.

This card's strength lies in the Chase Ultimate Rewards® program — one of the most valuable points of any credit card out there. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you earn 25% more redemption value when using your points to book any travel on the Ultimate Rewards portal. Additionally, you can transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to 14 loyalty programs at a 1:1 ratio, including Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, United MileagePlus and more.

Besides offering travel redemption options and $0 foreign transaction fees, this card comes in handy in case of any travel situations or emergencies. By purchasing your trip on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, enjoy complimentary trip cancellation and interruption insurance, trip and baggage delay insurance, travel and emergency assistance services and more.

Highlights

  • Sizable welcome bonus: 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®.
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards® is a fantastic rewards program with flexible rewards points that can be transferred to a number of different hotel and airline partners.
  • $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • $95 annual fee.


Best credit card for international travel and airport lounge access

The Platinum Card® from American Express

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

Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

$695

See Pay Over Time APR

660 - 850

  • Earn 100,000 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®. And if you fly, you can receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year after you select a qualifying airline and incidental fees are charged by the airline to 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.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at select airports and stadiums.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Earns transferable points

If you're a fan of airport lounges, look no further than The Platinum Card® from American Express. Not only will you enjoy Priority Pass™ Select membership (enrollment required), but you'll gain access to Amex Centurion lounges and Delta Sky Clubs. You're bound to find a lounge to relax at any airport you visit.

A best card for international travel, this card is quite rewarding for travel purchases: 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Terms apply. Membership Rewards points can also be transferred to a ton of airlines, such as Delta Air Lines, British Airways and Iberia Plus.

Travelers will enjoy the myriad of benefits that come with this card, such as Global Entry or TSA Precheck reimbursement, Hilton Honors Gold status (enrollment required) and Marriott Bonvoy Gold status (enrollment required) and 24/7 Platinum Card Concierge. In case of any travel emergencies, The Platinum Card® from American Express comes well-equipped with trip cancellation and delay insurance, car rental insurance and Premium Global Assist Hotline.

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

Note, unlike some credit cards, the 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Terms apply. allows you to carry a balance on some charges, but not all.

Highlights

  • Outstanding welcome offer: Earn Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Amex Centurion, Priority Pass™ and Delta Sky Club lounge access (enrollment required for Priority Pass access).
  • Foreign transaction fees: None
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms apply.


Best credit card for international travel and luxury

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

On Chase's Secure Website

New Offer! Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

$550

17.74% - 24.74% Variable

720 - 850

  • New Offer: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on air travel and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
  • With Pay Yourself BackSM, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more

Earns transferable points

Luxury travelers will benefit most from the premium Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card. Although it comes with a $550 annual fee, it offers a plethora of exclusive travel benefits. The $300 yearly travel credit alone drops the card’s price to $250 per year for users who take advantage of this feature.

This card's rewards rate is also quite lucrative: 5x points on flights and 10x points on hotels and car rentals through Chase Ultimate Rewards® You'll get a 50% redemption bonus with this card, or you can transfer your points to Chase's leading airline and hotel partners.

Furthermore, frequent travelers can skip long lines at the airport by utilizing the card's TSA PreCheck/Global Entry/NEXUS application reimbursement — up to a $100 value. Once through the security line, cardholders can head to an airport lounge as it comes with Priority Pass™ Select. This benefit lets you access more than 1,000 lounges worldwide.

Like its sister card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card comes with the most seamless travel protections that we've seen on any credit card. To make the deal even sweeter, enjoy 24/7 access to customer service specialists that can help answer any questions while traveling.

Highlights

  • Solid sign-up bonus: New Offer! Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Complimentary airport lounge access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide.
  • $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • $550 annual fee.


Best credit card for international travel and airlines

United℠ Explorer Card

On Chase's Secure Website

Earn up to 70,000 bonus miles. Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, earn an additional 10,000 miles after you spend $6,000 total on purchases in the first 6 months your account is open.

$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95

17.24% - 24.24% Variable

660 - 850

 

  • Earn up to 70,000 bonus miles. Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, earn an additional 10,000 miles after you spend $6,000 total on purchases in the first 6 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 or TSA PreCheck® fee Credit
  • 25% back on United® inflight purchases
  • Check your first bag for free (a savings of up to $140 per roundtrip) when you use your card to purchase your ticket
  • Enjoy priority boarding privileges and visit the United ClubSM with 2 one-time passes each year for your anniversary
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining including eligible delivery services

The United℠ Explorer Card is arguably one of the best airline credit cards for many reasons. United Airlines is part of the Star Alliance — the largest international airline network out there — raising the MileagePlus loyalty program's value.

With an annual fee of $0 Intro for the First Year, then $95, the United℠ Explorer Card lets you check your first bag for free and offers up two annual United Club passes. You'll also receive reimbursement for Global Entry or TSA Precheck — a rare perk that comes with a mid-level airline card. The rewards rate also lets you Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining, hotel stays and United® purchases. 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Finally, the United℠ Explorer Card is issued by Chase, offering unbeatable trip protections for your travels ahead.

Highlights

  • Useful sign-up bonus: Earn up to 70,000 bonus miles. Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, earn an additional 10,000 miles after you spend $6,000 total on purchases in the first 6 months your account is open.
  • United Airlines offers dozens of international destinations and is part of the Star Alliance.
  • $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • $0 Intro for the First Year, then $95 annual fee.


Best credit card for international travel and travel rewards

Citi Premier® Card

On Citibank's Secure Website

For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

$95

17.49% - 25.49% (Variable)

660 - 850

  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases

Earns transferable points

Out of the credit cards we surveyed, the Citi Premier® Card has the best assortments of international airline partners. You'll earn Citi ThankYou points that can be converted at a 1:1 ratio to 14 airlines, including Etihad Guest, Qantas Frequent Flyer and Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles. Savvy international travelers will enjoy the option to convert their ThankYou points to higher-valued programs.

Earning points is easy with the Citi Premier® Card, as you'll be rewarded for travel and everyday purchases: Earn 3X points per $1 spent at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels and 1X per $1 spent on all other purchases. An annual $100 hotel credit (on bookings of $500 or more) plus 0% foreign transaction fees make this the perfect international travel companion.

Highlights

  • Terrific sign-up bonus: For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
  • Transfer your points to one domestic and 16 international airlines.
  • 0% foreign transaction fee.
  • $95 annual fee.


Best credit card for international travel and hotels

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

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

75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months.

$450

17.24%-26.24% Variable

660 - 850

  • Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months.
  • Each Card renewal year, get up to $300 in statement credits for purchases on the Card at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™. Effective 9/22/22, the $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit benefit will no longer be available. It will be replaced with a NEW benefit of up to $300 in statement credits per calendar year (up to $25 per month) for eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide.
  • Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program. 3 points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at a participating hotel. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy unlimited airport lounge visits when you enroll in Priority Pass™ Select membership.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $450 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card is ideal for international hotel stays, thanks to Marriott's pervasive global presence. Your loyalty to the Marriott Bonvoy program will certainly pay off with this card, as you'll earn up to $300 in statement credits each year for eligible purchases at participating Marriott hotels.

This isn't just an extraordinary hotel card — you'll enjoy free Priority Pass™ Select membership for airport lounge access and a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee reimbursement (enrollment required). With this card, you'll Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program. 3 points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points on all other eligible purchases.

American Express is known as one of the best card issuers out there, so enjoy complimentary protections, such as car rental loss and damage insurance, Premium Global Assist Hotline and trip cancellation and interruption insurance.

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

Highlights

  • Great welcome offer: 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months.
  • Multiple statement credits and Priority Pass™ Select membership (enrollment required).
  • Foreign transaction fees: None
  • $450 annual fee.
  • Terms apply.


Best credit card for international travel with 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

16.49% - 26.49% (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; 16.49% - 26.49% variable APR after that

If you’re seeking a no-annual-fee card that you can use abroad without racking up foreign transaction fees, the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card is a good way to go. The card offers a simple earning scheme: 1.25 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day; 5 Miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. Rewards are just as simple to redeem as they are to earn. Just simply use Capital One’s Purchase Eraser to redeem your miles for any eligible travel purchase on your statement at a value of 1 cent per mile. You also get a decent sign-up bonus that you can use toward your next trip, as well as car rental insurance.

Highlights

  • Decent welcome offer: Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Foreign transaction fees: None
  • $0 annual fee.
  • Car rental insurance.


Best credit card for international travel and small business owners

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

16.74% - 21.74% 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

Earns transferable points

The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is a superb business card for travel rewards. Like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you'll earn all of your points through the Ultimate Rewards program. This gives you access to Chase's loyalty partners or the chance to book through the Ultimate Rewards portal and receive a 25% point bonus.

Businesses can earn a significant amount of points just from routine spending alone. You'll Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases—with no limit to the amount you can earn.

Like the other Chase cards, the travel coverages on this card tie it all together as one of the best international credit cards available.

Highlights

  • Excellent sign-up bonus: Earn 100,000 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 rewards when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • High rewards rate on business expenses, offering the chance to earn a ton of Ultimate Rewards points for travel and other redemption opportunities.
  • $0 foreign transaction fees,
  • $95 annual fee.


Best credit card for international travel and students

Journey Student Rewards from Capital One

Generic art
Not available on ValuePenguin

$0

26.99% (Variable)

0 - 660

  • Earn 1% cash back on all your purchases. Pay on time to boost your cash back to a total of 1.25% for that month
  • Earn $5 per month for 12 months on Select Streaming Subscriptions when you pay on time. *Exclusions Apply
  • Enjoy no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • You can help build your credit with responsible use of a card like this
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • $0 fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • 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
  • Pick the monthly due date that works best for you

Whether you're an international student or are studying abroad, the Journey Student Rewards from Capital One is truly your best bet. No matter the purchase — whether it's a textbook or a late-night snack — you'll earn 1% Cash Back on all purchases; 0.25% Cash Back bonus on the cash back you earn each month you pay on time; 5% Cash Back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply).

This card offers the necessities for students just starting out with credit: a $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. Since this card is a Visa, you should have relatively no problems finding acceptance abroad.

Highlights

  • No traditional sign-up bonus, but a $60 streaming subscription offer: Earn $5 per month for 12 months on select streaming subscriptions when you pay on time.
  • Earn up to 1.25% cash back on unlimited purchases
  • Foreign transaction fees: None
  • $0 annual fee.


Best credit card for international travel and bad credit

Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card

Generic art
Not available on ValuePenguin

$0

26.99% (Variable)

0 - 300

  • 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

If you are currently working on building or rebuilding your credit, the Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card can be the best credit card for foreign travel. Cardholders can 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) with a refundable $200 minimum deposit. This is an impressive earning rate for a secured credit card, as most secured cards don't offer a rewards program.

This credit card offers easy approval for consumers with bad credit. It also does not charge foreign transaction fees, which is an incredibly valuable feature while traveling abroad.

Highlights

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No sign-up bonus
  • $200 minimum refundable deposit required
  • Great earning rate for a secured credit card
  • $0 annual fee


Best credit card for international travel and flexible rewards

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

17.49% - 25.49% (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

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is an excellent international credit card option for those looking to earn flexible rewards. That's because when you redeem your rewards through Capital One Travel, you have the option to transfer your miles to any of Capital One's travel partners, including loyalty programs like Air France, Aeromexico, Emirates, British Airways and more.

Cardholders can 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. Plus, 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.

Highlights

  • $95 annual fee
  • Stellar earning rate: 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
  • Earn flexible rewards
  • None foreign transaction fees
  • Up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®

ValuePenguin's verdict

Whether you're looking to book your international trip on award points or just need the perfect accompaniment to your travels abroad, any of the options listed above will fit the bill. There are some nonnegotiables to look out for when picking a travel credit card — such as no foreign transaction fees. However, the right travel credit card can go above and beyond with complimentary travel insurance or 24/7 concierge service to help plan travel or offer advice in emergencies.

What to look out for when choosing a credit card for international travel

If you’re searching for a travel credit card, there are several factors to keep in mind that will allow you to identify whether a card has "international potential."

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.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
Annual fee$695 $550$95$450$550 $525
Lounge access
  • Amex Centurion Lounge
  • Delta Sky Clubs
  • Priority Pass™ Select membership
Priority Pass™ Select membership10 free visits to Priority Pass™ loungesAdmirals ClubDelta Sky ClubsUnited Club lounges
See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website
On Chase's Secure Website
On Citibank's Secure Website
See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website
On Chase's Secure Website

For a complete list of credit cards with complimentary lounge access, read our guide here.

International credit card travel tips

When choosing a best credit card for international use, you'll want to consider the following international credit card travel tips:

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.

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.

The best way to maximize your international credit card use is to be aware of all the perks and benefits that come with your card and make sure to use them. If your card comes with airport lounge access and free checked bags, be sure to take advantage of those perks.

Do you have to be vaccinated to travel internationally?

Whether or not you have to be vaccinated to travel internationally will depend on the international travel requirements in your destination. Each country has its own restrictions and requirements for entry, so it's essential you do your research ahead of time and know what you need before traveling. Many countries currently require international travelers to show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test prior to entering the country.

FAQs about credit cards for international travel

What is the best credit card to use while traveling to Europe?

The best credit card for European 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. 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.

How do I avoid credit card fees when traveling internationally?

Before traveling internationally, you'll want to make sure that your credit card offers no foreign transaction fees. Otherwise, you'll be hit with fees of around 3% per transaction.

Are debit cards useful for international travel?

Yes. While credit cards are essential for international travel, you'll still want to carry a debit card when traveling internationally. If you need cash while abroad, you can visit the local ATM to get cash from your checking or savings account with a debit card. You do not want to use a credit card to get cash from an ATM as you'll be charged a cash advance fee, which can come with APRs around 25%.

Is Visa or Mastercard better for international travel?

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, at 46 million merchants worldwide.

How do you speed up a credit card application?

If you're traveling internationally soon, you may not receive your credit card in the mail in time for your trip. Issuers like American Express provide your card number upon approval, while others allow you to immediately add your credit card to your mobile wallet. Once your application is approved, you should set up your online account immediately, as you may be able to access your credit line and card benefits immediately. If you need the physical card immediately, you can request overnight shipping or contact the card issuer directly to expedite this process for you.

Is using a credit card internationally a good idea?

Yes. It's best practice to use a credit card while traveling internationally. Not only will you be able to earn valuable rewards on your purchases, but your card issuer will back you up in case of emergency. For example, most travel credit cards come with fraud protection and offer the ability to dispute a charge. By paying with cash or a debit card, it's hard to get your money back or prove that purchases were made fraudulently.

Recap of the best international travel credit cards of July 2022

Methodology

What is the best credit card for international travel?

ValuePenguin's pick for the best card is Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

While the credit card will depend on your personal travel habits and preferences, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers a hefty sign-up bonus and comes with flexible travel rewards. For consumers looking for a valuable international credit card, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card can be a great option.

How we chose the best credit cards for international travel

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. 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 Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, please click here

The information related to Journey Student Rewards from Capital One and the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.

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).