What is the best credit card to use when traveling out of the USA?

financierpro007@gmail.com

What is the best credit card to use when traveling out of the USA?

When traveling out of the United States, it is essential to have a reliable and efficient means of making payments. Credit cards are often the preferred choice for travelers due to their convenience, security, and potential rewards. However, not all credit cards are created equal, and choosing the right one for your international travels can make a significant difference in your overall experience. In this article, we will explore the factors to consider when selecting the best credit card for traveling out of the USA and provide recommendations for top cards in the market.

I. Key Factors to Consider

No Foreign Transaction Fees


Foreign transaction fees are charges that card issuers impose on transactions made in a foreign currency or processed outside the United States. These fees can range from 1% to 3% of the transaction amount and can quickly add up during your travels. To avoid these costs, look for a credit card that waives foreign transaction fees.

Competitive Rewards Program


Choose a credit card with a rewards program that aligns with your spending habits and travel preferences. Some cards offer travel-specific rewards, such as airline miles, hotel points, or statement credits for travel-related expenses. Others may provide cashback or flexible points that can be redeemed for various purposes, including travel.

Chip-and-PIN Technology


Chip-and-PIN cards are more secure than traditional magnetic stripe cards and are widely used in Europe and other regions. They require a Personal Identification Number (PIN) for verification, which adds an extra layer of security. When traveling internationally, having a chip-and-PIN card can help ensure acceptance at automated kiosks and unmanned terminals, such as train stations and gas pumps.

Global Acceptance


Visa and Mastercard are the most widely accepted card networks globally, followed by American Express and Discover. To maximize your card’s usability, consider choosing one with broad international acceptance.

Travel Insurance and Protections


Some credit cards offer built-in travel insurance and protections, such as trip cancellation or interruption coverage, baggage delay or lost luggage reimbursement, and travel accident insurance. These benefits can provide peace of mind and financial protection in case of unforeseen events during your trip.

Emergency Assistance Services


Select a card that offers 24/7 customer support and emergency assistance services, such as card replacement and cash advances, in case you lose your card or encounter other issues while traveling.

II. Top Credit Card Recommendations for Traveling Out of the USA

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card


The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a popular choice among travelers due to its generous rewards program and travel benefits. Cardholders earn 2 points per dollar on travel and dining purchases and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. Points can be redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal at a 25% bonus, or transferred to numerous airline and hotel partners.

Key features:

No foreign transaction fees


1:1 point transfer to airline and hotel partners


Trip cancellation/interruption insurance


Baggage delay insurance


Travel accident insurance


24/7 customer support and emergency assistance


Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card


The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers a straightforward rewards program with 2 miles per dollar on all purchases. Miles can be redeemed for travel expenses at a rate of 1 cent per mile, making it easy to offset travel costs.

Key features:

No foreign transaction fees


Flexible redemption options for travel expenses


Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit (up to $100 every four years)


Travel accident insurance


24-hour travel assistance services


American Express Platinum Card


The American Express Platinum Card caters to frequent travelers with a wide range of luxury benefits and a comprehensive rewards program. Cardholders earn 5 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel, and 5 points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com. The card also offers 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. Points can be redeemed for travel, statement credits, gift cards, or transferred to a variety of airline and hotel partners.

Key features:

No foreign transaction fees


Access to more than 1,200 airport lounges worldwide, including Centurion Lounges and Priority Pass Select lounges


Up to $200 in annual airline fee credits for incidental fees on a selected airline


Up to $200 in annual Uber credits


Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit (up to $100 every four years)


Elite status with Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors


Comprehensive travel insurance, including trip cancellation/interruption, baggage delay/loss, and travel accident insurance


Premium Global Assist Hotline for 24/7 emergency assistance


Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card


The Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card is a solid option for those who prefer a no-annual-fee card with straightforward rewards.

Cardholders earn 1.5 points per dollar on all purchases, with no limits or categories. Points can be redeemed for a statement credit towards travel-related expenses, such as flights, hotels, car rentals, and more.

Key features:

No foreign transaction fees


No annual fee


1.5 points per dollar on all purchases


Flexible redemption options for travel expenses


24/7 account access and customer service


Discover it® Miles


The Discover it® Miles card offers a simple rewards structure with 1.5 miles per dollar on all purchases. Discover will also match all the miles earned at the end of the first year for new cardmembers, effectively doubling the rewards. Miles can be redeemed as a statement credit for travel purchases or cash back, providing flexibility in redemption options.

Key features:

No foreign transaction fees


No annual fee


1.5 miles per dollar on all purchases


Discover’s Miles-for-Miles match at the end of the first year


Flexible redemption options for travel expenses or cash back


Conclusion

When selecting the best credit card for traveling out of the USA, consider factors such as foreign transaction fees, rewards programs, global acceptance, and travel protections. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, American Express Platinum Card, Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card, and Discover it® Miles are excellent options that cater to different travel preferences and spending habits. Before applying for a card, assess your individual needs and research each card’s specific benefits to find the perfect fit for your international adventures.