Best Credit Cards for International Travel

7 min Read

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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 $8,000 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.

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.

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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.

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Platinum Card® from American Express

With a 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.

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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.

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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.

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