2017 RANKING & REVIEWS
TOP RANKING CREDIT CARDS FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL


Finding the Best Credit Card for International Travel

Traveling the world is usually on everyone’s bucket list. Unfortunately, carrying large sums of cash and worrying about currency exchange rates and foreign transaction fees can put a damper on any vacation. That is why having credit cards without international fees is so beneficial while you travel.

While it is great to have an international credit card, credit card international fees are not something that you want to mess with.

You can use most credit cards internationally, but about 90% have credit card international fees that come with them. These international fees range from 1 to 3%, so you definitely want to find a no international transaction fee credit card to take with you on your travels.

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Award Emblem: Top 6 Credit Card for International Travel

International fees can add up quickly. It is hard enough coming home and transitioning back into the real world after a vacation, but receiving a credit card bill filled with hefty international charges can make the transition even tougher. Do yourself a favor a grab a no international fee credit card before you head out on your next adventure.

We’ve made it easy to select the best card for international travel by providing a list of the top 6 credit cards without international fees.

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AdvisoryHQ’s List of Top 6 Best Credit Cards with No International Fees

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the credit card names below to go directly to the detailed review section for that credit card):


Top 6 Best Credit Cards with No International Fees | Brief Comparison

Credit Card
Names

Annual Percentage
Rate (APR)

Annual Fee

Bonus
Offer

Cash Back Bonus
(Spend this amount
to gain
bonus):

American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card

15.99
–24.99%

$95,
1st year
waived

50,000
miles (exp. 11/9/16)

$2,000 in
first 3 mo.

BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card

15.24
–23.24%

None

20,000
pts

$1,000 in
first 3 mo.

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

13.24
–23.24%

None

$100

$500 in
first 3 mo.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

13.24
–23.24%

$59,
1st year
waived

40,000
miles

$3,000 in
first 3 mo.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Credit Card

16.24
–23.24%

$95,
1st year
waived

50,000
pts

$4,000 in
first 3 mo.

Discover it® Miles Card

11.24
–23.24%

None

None
Offered

Table: Top 6 Best Credit Cards without International Fees | Above list is sorted alphabetically



Detailed Overview of Credit Card International Fees

According to a senior analyst at the National Travel & Tourism Office, last year there were 73 million international departures made by Americans. It is predicted that 2016 will surpass that number. One thing that these American travelers do not want to see is an international credit card that comes with international fees.

International fees, also known as foreign transaction fees, are fees assessed by your credit card issuer for using your international credit card abroad. If you do not have a no international fee credit card, you can be charged up to 3% on every transaction that is made out of the country.

Image source: Pixabay

While 3% does not seem like much, if you head out for a month-long backpacking trip through Europe without a no international transaction fee credit card, you might be surprised when you get your bill. Spending $6,000 that month for travel, lodging, food and once-in-a-lifetime experiences can cost you an extra $180 in foreign transaction fees. That is why it is important to have the best international travel credit card when you jet off to foreign lands.


Detailed Overview of Bonuses for an International Credit Card

While searching for the best international credit card you will see several bonus offers. A no international fee credit card company often offers bonuses to convince you to apply for and use their credit card. Credit card companies make a profit every time you use your card by charging merchants around 2% to 3% for every credit card purchase.

The best credit card for international travel does not just limit itself to low APRs and no international transaction fees. Most companies offer bonuses. As you will see later on, these bonuses encourage you to use your card by offering a reward—either points, cash back, or miles—if you charge a certain amount of purchases in their specified time frame.

In your hunt for the best card for international travel, make sure that you consider these initial bonuses. Many cards will have similar APRs and fees so a bonus can really tip the scales. If you are planning a home renovation or on making some big purchases, it could be the ideal time to search for the best international travel credit card. You can benefit from getting a no international transaction fee credit card, and a $100 or 50,000 mile bonus!

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Selection Methodology

What methodology does AdvisoryHQ use in selecting and finalizing the credit cards, financial products, firms, services and products that are ranked on its various top-rated lists?

Please click here “AdvisoryHQ's Ranking Methodologies” for a detailed review of AdvisoryHQ’s selection methodologies for ranking top-rated credit cards, financial accounts, firms, products, and services.


Detailed Review—Top Ranking Best International Credit Cards

Below, please find the detailed review of each card on our list of best international travel credit card. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these credit cards without international fees to score so high in our selection ranking.



American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card


When looking for the best card for international travel, the American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card makes our list. You will need good credit to apply for the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card, but if you have the credit, this is a great option for a best international credit card for you.

Bonus Offer

While the American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card is offering a hefty 50,000 bonus miles if you spend $2,000 in the first three months, this offer ends on November 9, 2016, so you will need to act fast. If you miss this offer, it is sure to come around again if you are willing and able to wait for it. This great bonus offer tops many others that are offered by other best credit cards without international fees.

Fee Structure

Where the American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card makes an impact on the list of best international credit card, is that there are no foreign transaction fees, and they waive the $95 annual fee for the first year. However, their APR rates are on the higher end of the list at 15.99% to 24.99% for purchases and balance transfers. There is also no intro APR offer, so you will see those APRs from the start.



BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card Review


The BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card is one of the best credit cards with no international fees for several reasons. This card comes with no annual fee, a bonus offer, a low APR intro offer, and a rewards program that is easy to decipher and utilize. If you like earning 1.5 points for every dollar that you spend to redeem for travel credits, then this card may be right for you.

Bonus Offer

The BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card is on the list for best international credit card in part due to the bonus offer. By spending $1,000 in the first 90 days, you will receive 20,000 bonus points. 20,000 points equates to a $200 statement credit for travel purchases. Qualifying travel purchases include hotels, flights, cruises, vacation packages, baggage fees, and even rental cars.

Fee Structure

Aside from its great bonus offer, the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card is considered one of the best credit cards with no international fees due to the 0% intro APR offer that lasts 12 months. After the initial period, interest rates will increase to between 15.24% and 23.24%.

If you’re looking for a cash advance, the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card has the lowest minimum APR on the list of 18.24%. Another benefit of this international credit card is that there is no annual fee, which means you can keep racking up the rewards.

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Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card Review


You will need a credit score higher than 690 to apply for this no international fee credit card, but there is no annual fee, which makes it very attractive. With a moderate bonus offer and intro APR offer, this is one of the best credit cards with no international fees.

Fees

The 0% APR offer extends for 9 months and definitely makes this card worth considering. If you have any big purchases planned, such as an international trip, this credit card will allow you to put off paying the lump sum up front. That’s definitely a nice feature for a no international transaction fee credit card.

After the initial intro period, you’ll see APR rates ranging between 13.24% and 23.24% for purchases and balance transfers. Late payment fees are $35, which falls in line with other the other credit cards with no international fees on our list. However, if you pay your bill on time, this number won’t matter regardless.

Bonus Offer

The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card didn’t make the list for best credit card for international travel simply because of the bonus offer. While the bonus is easy to achieve by spending $500 in three months, it is only a $100 cash bonus. Still, this is a good option for anyone that would like a bonus, but don’t see themselves spending $3,000 to $4,000 in the first few months.



Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card Review


The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card easily makes our list for the best credit card for international travel due to its large bonus offering.

Bonus Offer

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card makes the list for the best international credit card because it doesn’t receive foreign transaction fees, and there is a massive bonus offering. If you spend $3,000 in the first three months, you will receive a bonus of 40,000 miles.

You can also earn 2 times the miles on every purchase, and you will experience no blackout dates. The miles will never expire, and you can stay at any hotel or fly any airline whenever you want. Miles can be redeemed for 1 cent each on travel expenses, so 40,000 points is a $400 bonus! If you want rewards that are easy to earn and redeem, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card may be the best credit card for international travel for you.

Fees

We don’t like that this no international transaction fee credit card has an annual fee of $59, but at least the fee is waived for the first year. With an APR ranging from 13.24% to 23.24%, this card falls into the middle of the pack. You can also take out a cash advance, but it comes with a 23.24% variable APR. If you occasionally pay your bill late, you also won’t like the $35 late fee that comes with this no international fee credit card.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Credit Card Review


The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Credit Card ticks all the boxes in your search for the best credit card for international travel. This no international fee credit card will require you to have good to excellent credit to apply. However, it is really the bonus that is offered that has this credit card on our list for the best credit card for international travel.

Image source: Pixabay

Bonus Offering

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Credit Card offers 50,000 bonus points if you spend at least $4,000 in the first three months of opening the account. This alone makes it one of the best credit cards with no international fees. It also offers 2 times the points on travel and dining worldwide, which increases the incentive to use it while you travel. There are no blackout dates or any travel restrictions so as long as there is a seat on the flight that you want, you can book it with your rewards points.

Fees

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Credit Card does have an annual fee of $95, but it is waived for the first year. It is hard to declare this the best credit card for international travel for that reason, but the bonus offered is essentially unparalleled.

There is no low intro APR offer with this credit card, and you will see APR rates that range from 16.24% to 23.24% on purchases and balance transfers. The maximum APR is in line with the other cards on our list for the best international credit card, but the minimum APR is higher than the rest. For cash advances, you will be charged an APR of 25.24%, which is also on the higher end of our list of the best credit cards with no international fees.


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Discover it® Miles Card Review


If you don’t like annual fees or high APR, the Discover it® Miles Card is the best international credit card for you. You will need good to excellent credit to apply for the Discover it® Miles Card, but it is one of the best credit cards with no international fees for a few reasons.

Fees

The Discover it® Miles Card has the lowest minimum APR on our list of the best credit cards with no international fees. With a minimum APR of 11.24% and a maximum of 23.24% for purchases and balance transfers, this is a good card to have in your wallet regardless of international fees.

With Discover, you will never pay an annual fee, and any late fees will be waived the first time that you pay late. You will also earn 1.5 miles on every dollar that you spend on purchases. It may seem small, but the miles add up quickly. What makes this one of the best credit cards with no international fees is that you are also offered an initial 12 month 0% APR.

Bonus Offering

While the Discover it® Miles Card does not offer an initial bonus, there are several bonuses to using this no international transaction fee credit card. Discover will automatically match all of the miles that you earn in the first year of using your credit card. That means that if you have 50,000 miles, it will turn into 100,000 at the end of year. These miles can be redeemed as statement credit or travel, which is why it makes our list of the best credit card for international travel.

Discover also offers customer service that is 100% based in the United States, and a $30 credit for in-flight Wi-Fi fees. This is great for traveling on certain airlines that charge you to connect to the Internet. Also, like any best international credit card, Discover has no blackout dates. You can fly anytime on any airline with Discover it® Miles and Discover also provides a free FICO® Credit Score on your monthly statements.

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Conclusion—Top 6 Best Cards for International Travel

As you search for the best credit card for international travel, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fees
  • Annual percentage rates
  • Bonus offers

In today’s competitive market, the best international credit card will have no foreign transaction fees. With the increase in international travel, many credit companies are doing away with having credit card international fees, but the best international credit card will also have no, or a low annual fee. If there is an annual fee, at least secure a no international fee credit card that waives the annual fee the first year.

Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few options of similar credit cards with no international fees, take a look at the bonuses that are offered. If they are similar in terms of fees and APR, but one international credit card has a better bonus that might be the best credit card for international travel for you.

Also, keep in mind that the best credit card for international travel is different for everyone. If you like an international credit card with no annual fees, then the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card, Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card, or Discover it® Miles Card qualify as a best international credit card option to consider.

If a bonus is what you’re after, then the American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card, Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Credit Card may be worthwhile options for the best credit card for international travel.

Figure out what features are important to you, and work from there to determine the best credit cards with no international fees.



AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:

Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.

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