Best Credit Cards for International Travel

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If you are counting down the days until your next international destination, the right credit card could make all the difference. With the right piece of plastic in your wallet, you can rack up credit card rewards to pay for your next trip. Plus, the best credit cards for international travel protect your wallet from excessive transaction fees.

As you wait to head to the airport, consider adding a premium credit card to your wallet for a smooth international travel experience.

5 Best Credit Cards for International Travel

Here’s a quick guide to help you learn more about the best credit cards for international travel.

Card Annual Fee Bonus
Capital One Venture X Rewards Card $395 Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 within three months of account opening
United Explore MileagePlus $95 — waived the first year Earn 50,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 within three months of account opening
Earn 60,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 within three months of account opening
Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards Points when you spend $6,000 within six months of account opening
$695 Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards Points when you spend $15,000 within three months of account opening
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Capital One Venture X Rewards Card

The Capital One Venture X Rewards card makes international travel more enjoyable and more accessible. Flexible travel redemption options are available through the card, which comes without a foreign transaction fee. Although there is an annual fee of $395, frequent travelers can use this card to stretch their international travel budget a little bit further.

  • Features: Earn 10,000 anniversary bonus miles every year; receive a $300 annual travel credit; get up to $100 fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck; earn 10x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel; get access to Capital One airport lounges and the Partner Lounge network; earn 5x miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel; earn 2x miles on all other purchases; earn 10x miles when you book a car on Turo.
  • Bonus: Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 within three months of account opening.
  • APR:
  • Annual fee: $395
  • Foreign transaction fee: None

UnitedSM Explorer MileagePlus

The United Explorer MileagePlus card offers a wide range of perks. It’s especially useful to travelers who frequently fly with United Airlines. But since United Airlines is a part of the largest international airline network, the Star Alliance, racking up United miles can come in handy for world travelers. With the fee waived for the first year, you can see whether or not this card is the right fit for your wallet.

  • Features: Earn 2x miles on United purchases, hotel accommodations, delivery services and dining; earn 1x miles for all other purchases; get up to $100 fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck; get 25% back as a statement credit on in-flight United purchases; enjoy Priority boarding; get 2 United Club one-time passes for each cardholder anniversary; lost luggage reimbursement; trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance.
  • Bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 within three months of account opening.
  • APR:
  • Annual fee: $95, waived for the first year
  • Foreign transaction fee: None
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Chase Sapphire Reserve®

The Chase Sapphire Reserve puts a VIP-level travel experience within reach for those with excellent credit scores. As a cardholder, you’ll start building up points based on your spending. Depending on your spending habits, these rewards can quickly turn into a helpful sum for your next international destination. You can breeze through airports with Global Entry, courtesy of your credit card. And if you are stuck with a long layover, use your credit card to access one of over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide.

  • Features: $300 annual travel credit; up to $100 fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck; earn 10x points on hotels and car rentals booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, earn 3x points on other travel, earn 10x points on Chase Dining purchases, earn 3x points on all other dining, earn 1x point on all other purchases; $10 monthly statement credit for GoPuff; one year of free DashPass subscription; earn 10x points on Lyft rides; access to airport lounges via the Priority Pass; trip cancellation and interruption insurance; lost luggage reimbursement.
  • Bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 within three months of account opening.
  • APR:
  • Annual fee: — plus $75 for each authorized user
  • Foreign transaction fee: None

Platinum Card® from American Express

With a $695 annual fee, the Platinum Card from American Express, Member FDIC, doesn’t come cheap. But a lengthy list of benefits can make the price point worth it for frequent international travelers. The card comes with access to a Platinum Travel Service, which can create custom itineraries based on your unique interests to help you get the most out of a vacation. And the Premium Global Assist Hotline can come in handy to help you sort through medical, legal, financial or other emergency issues while away from home.

  • Features: Earn 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels; $200 airline fee credit; $15 Uber credit every month; $200 hotel credit; $240 digital entertainment credit; $155 Walmart+ credit; access to the Global Lounge Collection with over 1,400 airport lounges; $189 Clear Credit; fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck; get a $100 experience credit at hotel stays booked with the Hotel Collection; trip delay and trip cancellation insurance.
  • Bonus: Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $6,000 on purchases within six months of account opening.
  • APR:
  • Annual fee:
  • Foreign transaction fee: None
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The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

If you happen to be a business owner, the Business Platinum Card from American Express can open up doors for your international travel experiences. It gives you the chance to tap into extensive travel perks as a result of your business spending. Help from the Business Platinum Travel service can lead to unforgettable trips with itineraries designed for your specific interests. Plus, you’ll get access to many premium membership levels at hotels and car rental providers for a top-notch travel experience.

  • Features: Earn 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels; earn 1.5x points on spending business categories; earn 1.5x points on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more; earn 1x points on all other purchases; $400 annual statement credit with Dell Technologies; $360 annual statement credit for Indeed; $150 annual statement credit for Adobe Creative Solutions; $200 airline fee credit; fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck; trip delay and trip cancellation insurance.
  • Bonus: Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $15,000 on purchases within three months of account opening.
  • APR:
  • Annual fee: $695
  • Foreign transaction fee: None

What Is The Best Credit Card for Your International Travel Plans?

The best credit card for your international travel plans varies based on your goals. As a baseline, you should opt for a credit card with no foreign transaction fees. Plus, you should ensure that the credit card of your choice is widely accepted in countries you regularly frequent.

Beyond those basics, selecting the right credit card comes down to your specific plans. You might choose the flexibility of a travel rewards credit card or select an airline-branded card for your favorite airline.

Additionally, look for a credit card that offers the most rewards for your spending habits. For example, business owners might get the most out of a business-specific credit card. But frequent travelers that stick to a specific airline might get the most perks by selecting the airline’s branded card.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Oct. 6, 2022.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.

All information about American Express card offers has been collected independently by GOBankingRates and has not been reviewed or approved by American Express. These offers are not available through GOBankingRates.

The information related to Chase United Explorer and Chase Sapphire Reserve cards was collected by GOBankingRates and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this products/cards. Product details may vary. Please see issuer website for current information. GOBankingRates does not receive commission for these products.

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About the Author

Sarah Sharkey is a personal finance writer with a desire to help readers improve their own financial balance sheets. After earning a bachelor’s degree in biology, she went on to business school. With a master’s degree in Management from the Hough School of Business at the University of Florida, she loves diving into the details of personal finance. With years of experience as a personal finance writer, she helps readers grasp the concept and take control by breaking down complex topics filled with jargon down to their basic components. After all, a little bit of knowledge can go a long way in the world of personal finance.

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