What Is A Travel Credit Card Anyway
During the past 10 years, every major US Bank has begun offering credit cards specifically for customers who travel internationally. These credit cards are regular credit cards with a normally high interest rate, but have 2 important distinctions.
A travel credit card is a regular credit card with 2 important features: no foreign transaction fees and some benefits specific to traveling.
Other than these two specific features there is nothing different or magical about a travel credit card.
Now that we understand clearly what a travel credit card is, lets start our quest for the best card for international travel.
Check The Payment Network Coverage
Some regions dont accept certain credit card networks. Visa and Mastercard payment networks are usually your safest bets but are still not accepted in many parts of Asia. Since acceptance varies even between different regions of the same country, its best to contact your credit card issuer about network coverage. When its time to travel, you can take credit cards from at least two different networks and always have cash on hand.
No Annual Fee Or Balance Transfer Fees
With a $0 annual fee, the Capital One Platinum Credit Card could be a handy tool to rebuild your credit for free. The balance transfer fee is also $0 at this Transfer APR many credit cards charge 3%-5% to move a balance from another card. We’ve compared the Capital One Platinum Credit Card to measurable subprime cards to illustrate the unwarranted amount of fees you may face:
|-Inactive account fee: $10 per month after 12 months of no activity-Dormant account fee: $10 per month after 36 months of no activity-Garnishments/levies: $150 per incident|
The biggest selling feature of the Capital One Platinum Credit Card is the minimal amount of fees that come with this card, which isn’t usually the case with comparable options. With any card, it’s a good idea to check if there are any hidden fees buried in the terms and conditions.
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Accept Hsa And Fsa Cards
Licensed health care providers and pharmacies can process Health Savings Account and Flexible Spending Account cards with Square.
If you are a healthcare provider and you selected the Medical Practitioner, Medical Services, or Dentistry business category during the signup process, you should have no trouble accepting HSA or FSA cards. If you believe your business category needs to be updated, contact us.
Note: Daycare centers and childcare services are unable to accept HSA and FSA cards through Square at this time.
Discover It Cash Back
Best for rotating cash back categories
- This card is a good fit for: Those who enjoy variety or already have a card that rewards the basics.
- This card is not a great choice for: Someone looking for a low-maintenance rewards strategy.
- What makes this card unique? This card offers 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 spent in quarterly-rotating cash back categories, then 1 percent.
- Is the Discover it Cash Back worth it? If you meet the $1,500 spending limit for the 5 percent rate each quarter , youll earn $75 per quarter or $300 annually. As an added bonus, Discover will automatically match all of the cash back you earn at the end of your first year. On the negative side, this isnt a set and forget card. You have to remember to activate the rotating bonus categories each quarter, which may detract from the cards value for some.
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Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards Of September 2021
Discover the best credit cards for international travel.
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Most credit cards tack an extra charge onto purchases made outside the United States. If you’re planning to travel abroad, you’ll want to look out for these foreign transaction fees . They are assessed by your credit card issuer and are usually 1% to 3% of the purchase amount, with 3% being common. That amount might not seem like a big deal, but if you spent, say, $3,000 at a hotel, you could be looking at an additional $90 charge.
The best way to avoid foreign transaction fees is to get a travel credit card that doesn’t charge them. Fortunately, any travel credit card worth its salt including airline cards will not charge foreign transaction fees, so you have plenty of options. Some major issuers most notably Capital One and Discover don’t charge these fees on any of their cards.
Here are our favorite cards without the fee.
Capital One Savor Foreign Transaction Fee Annual Fee And Rewards
There is no Capital One Savor foreign transaction fee. This is great news for those wanting to use their account for overseas purchases, as foreign transaction fees can be costly.
|You can read more about foreign transaction fees, and how they impact your purchases in this article.|
There is an annual fee, however, of $95. This can be offset in the first year, with a one-off bonus of $300 for $3000 spent in the first three months.
The Capital One Savor card offers unlimited cash back of 4% for all dining and entertainment spend, making it rewarding for high spenders in these areas. There is also 2% cash back for grocery spend, and 1% for everything else.
The card offers an APR of 15.99% to 24.99%, and there is no introductory 0% APR offer.¹
|Capital One Savor key features²|
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Do I Have To Be A Frequent Flyer To Have An Airline Credit Card
No. Even a casual flyer can benefit from an airline credit card. The savings on baggage, earnings on purchases and welcome bonus are among the reasons a person who isnt a frequent flyer could find an airline credit card useful. You do need to be a member of the airlines frequent flyer program.
That said, you could achieve some of the same benefits by getting a travel rewards card that has flexible miles. By using flexible miles, you will have more flexibility in how you can use your rewards.
Us Bank Visa Fees For Purchases Made In Foreign Currency
Heres an example of what US Bank says about foreign transactions on my VISA credit card statement: As a reminder, we may charge a foreign fee of 3% on transactions that occur in a country other than the U.S. Now, this is interesting! As if they will ever NOT charge me 3% on transactions that occur in another country. This 3% consists of 1% VISA foreign transaction fee and 2% US Bank Usage fee. Using the example I have used for American Express, the same 100 Euro item would cost me $154.50 if I would use my US Bank Visa credit card.
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American Express Gold Card: Best For No Blackout Dates
Why we picked it: Not only does the American Express Gold Card offer no blackout dates, it provides cardholders with bountiful rewards and hard-to-miss bonus categories. Earn a welcome offer of 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 within the first six months of card membership. Also, earn 4X points at U.S. supermarkets . Finally, earn 4X points at restaurants, including takeout and delivery, 4X points on Uber Eats purchases, as well as 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com. While the annual fee of $250 may make you hesitate, these rewards are bodacious.
Pros: With the exception of the $25,000 cap on rewards earned via U.S. supermarket purchases, there are no points limits. Better still, points dont expire and can be applied to just a portion of qualifying travel purchases if you so choose.
Cons: Yes, the $250 annual fee is a little on the high side but well worth it once you consider the potential rewards.
Who should apply: This card will benefit travelers who spend a good bit at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets and prefer to redeem rewards on travel versus cash back.
Who should skip? Both the annual fee and welcome offer threshold may be a little high for someone on a budget.
Rules For Using Your Debit And Credit Cards In Europe
The convenience of ATM cards and extends worldwide, including Europe, thanks to a few global cash networks. These networks allow debit and credit cards to be used in different countries just as you would used them at home in the US. You should have no problems using your American cards anywhere in Europe provided you check a few things before you leave. In addition, if you apply a few simple rules you can also save a bit of money as well when you travel to Europe. This article will outline these few things you need to know before you use your ATM and Credit Cards in Europe.
Will my debit card work in Europe?Will my credit card work in Europe?your debit and credit card will work in Europelearning a few simple rules
Foreign Transaction Fees And Credit Card Issuers
Foreign transaction fees by credit card issuers vary according to different factors, including processing fees. Mastercard and Visa are payment networks, while American Express and Discover are credit card issuers that also have their own payment networks. Also, its not unusual for an issuer to charge a foreign transaction fee with some cards but not with others.
Heres a quick look at how the fee structure breaks down among several major credit card issuers:
Dynamic Currency Conversion Fees
These are additional charges added by a foreign payment merchant, rather than the bank. DCC converts the rate into US dollars at the point of sale, but at an additional cost that can be as high as 7%.
The best advice is to stay vigilant whenever making a payment – and check the currency quoted. If your bill is converted to USD without your permission, you can ask the merchant to void the transaction.
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Want To Avoid Costly Fees When Spending Abroad Try Wise
With the Wise multi-currency account, you can make payments and transfers overseas using the real exchange rate. You can also hold funds in up to 50 different currencies.
A Wise Account is simple to set up and use. You wont receive rewards or cashback as you will with some credit cards, but you also wont pay any annual fees. There are also never any minimum balances to worry about.
Alongside the free account, you can also obtain a Wise debit card for a small fee. This allows you to make direct payments and cash withdrawals from your account anywhere that VISA or Mastercard is accepted.
Discover It Miles: Best For New Cardholders
Why we picked it: The solid 1.5X miles earned on all purchases can really add up, plus your miles matched at the end of your first year.
Pros: The lack of annual fees, foreign transaction fees and miles limits plus the flexible redemption options make for a powerhouse travel card for beginners.
Cons: While this may not be a total dealbreaker for budget travelers and newbie cardholders, miles cant be transferred to airline loyalty programs
Who should apply: If youre looking for a travel credit card but you dont want to get locked into confusing points offers or an annual fee, the Discover it Miles just may have what youre looking for.
Who should skip? Travelers who typically fly one airline or a specific airline alliance may be better off with a co-branded card that offers more carrier-specific perks.
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Best Travel Rewards Credit Card
. When it comes to travel credit cards with rewards, all of the good ones offer no foreign transaction fees. But in addition to that, they offer a great sign up bonus and other important travel rewards.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card is my favorite travel credit card with the most flexible travel rewards and a most generous sign up bonus. As of September 2021, this card has increased its rewards earning potential making it an even better choice for a great travel credit card.
Capital One Contact Centers Innovate Faster Using Amazon Connect
Capital One trained contact-center associates in 30 minutes and achieved 100 percent adoption in five months using Amazon Connect. Capital One is one of the largest banks in the United States and offers credit cards, checking and savings accounts, auto loans, rewards, and online banking services for consumers and businesses. The flexibility of Amazon Connect allows the company to add new features in weeks instead of the three to six months required by its previous solution.
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Is There An Annual Fee
Annual fees are common among mid-tier and premium travel credit cards, which frequently skip foreign transaction fees. When determining whether to get a card with an annual fee, its important to weigh whether that fee can be offset or recouped with reward earnings, added benefits and perks, or if you can just generally shoulder the added cost. Luckily, there are many cards on the market that have no annual fee and no foreign transaction fee. Keep in mind that you may find some cards that do have an annual fee worth it when it comes to accessing more high-end rewards. Be sure to evaluate your own spending habits and budget needs when considering a card with an annual fee.
Your Atm Cards Pin Number Must Have 4 Digits
In Europe pin numbers still have only 4 digits allowed. In the US most banks allow for 5 digits as well. Before you travel abroad, make sure you go to a local branch and change your pin to 4 digits. Dont forget to test the new pin! Europe has been moving to 5 digit pin numbers lately but there are still many older ATM machines that only work with 4 digit pin numbers.
Yes, even in 2020, the safest way to make sure your ATM card works in Europe is to have 4 digits only as your PIN number. Barclays Bank in the UK suggests using 4 digit pins for their own customers if they have to create a new PIN number. So, be safe and use 4 digits.
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American Express Foreign Currency Conversion Fees
If you look at the back side of the first page of your American Express statement you will see a somewhat clear statement with regards to transactions made in foreign currency. Transactions Made in Foreign Currencies: If you incur a charge in a foreign currency, it will be converted into US dollars on the date it is processed by us or our agents. Unless a particular rate is required by applicable law, we will choose a conversion rate that is acceptable to us for that date. Currently, the conversion rate we use for a Charge in a foreign currency is no greater than the highest official conversion rate published by a government agency, or the highest inter-bank conversion rate identified by us from customary banking sources, on the conversion date or the prior business day, in each instance increased by 2%. This conversion rate may the rates such establishments use.
What does this mean? Well lets just take a simple example: Lets say you purchase something in France that costs 100 euros. American Express, when they receive the transaction, converts the price from Euros to U.S. Dollars using the highest conversion rate they can find . Lets say that they find 1.5 US Dollars to 1 Euro. That means that they will charge you $150 U.S. Dollars for the 100 Euro item you have purchased. Now, the finance charge is 2%, which means that that they would add an extra $3 . So, your total for that item would be $153 US Dollars.
Capital One Ventureone Rewards Credit Card
Best for foreign travel beginners
- This card is a good fit for: Someone who only travels occasionally and wants to earn miles on everyday purchases.
- This card is not a great choice for: Travel rewards maximizers. While this is a great card for someone who doesnt want to worry about offsetting the cost of an annual fee, those who travel often are likely better off with a more premium card.
- What makes this card unique? A lot of travel rewards cards require you to redeem your rewards through the issuers portal, which can limit your options. With the VentureOne, you have the option to redeem your miles as a statement credit to cover travel purchases made on your card within the last 90 days. So whether the best deal is through Capital One, directly with the airline or hotel, or with a third-party site, you can use your rewards to cover the cost.
- Is the Capital One VentureOne worth it? Its not a premium travel card, but its a good option for an occasional or frugal traveler looking for a flexible travel rewards card.
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