When traveling internationally using a credit card for all purchases is a smart idea. This is especially true when contesting fraudulent charges. Investigation takes less time than bank debit card retrieval. You may also have access to the credit line tied up in the investigation.
Nearly all major credit card companies charge fees for international transactions. Fees range from 2-5 percent. A variety of the Capital One cards charge no fee. The Capital One cards that have no foreign transaction fees are: Capital One Ventureone Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Platinum Prestige Credit Card and Capital One Cash Rewards. You must have excellent credit to obtain these cards. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the Barclay Arrival World Mastercard also have no foreign fees policy.
Travel reward cards are a financial bonus. For every $100 you spend, some credit card companies award miles, points or other rewards. In this category Barclay Arrival World Mastercard is among the best. This credit card offers 2 points for each dollar spent. For every $100 spent on flight and hotel reservations you get $2 of redeemable value. Many travel cards limit you to one hotel chain or airline network. The Barclay Arrival World Mastercard does not restrict travel purchase redemption for any car rental agency, airline or hotel.
The flexible mile usage gives this card even more value. An additional 10 percent in points are awarded when point redemption is used for travel expenses. A credit of 40,000 bonus miles is granted after spending $1000 during the first 3 months of membership. That give you $400 to spend on travel.
Other credit card companies also award lesser flight and hotel rewards. The Capital One Venture Rewards Card matches the $2 per $100 spent. The 10 percent bonus and 40,000 bonus miles for spending $1000 in the first 3 months are not available.
Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express features the best hotel redemption. You get $2.61 per $100 spent on hotels. Users earn 4-5 points per dollar spent at Starwood hotels. The flight redemption is only $1.35 per $100. All other purchases yield 1 point per dollar spent. An additional 15,000 points are awarded for spending $5,000 during the first 6 months.
Frequent travelers may feel an American Express Platinum Card is worthwhile. There is a $450 annual fee. This is a charge card. That means the balance must be paid in full each month. Through Priority Pass Select and Platinum Service Concierge access to over 600 airport lounges throughout the world is available.
When traveling to Europe, there is another feature to consider. A chip-and-pin system, not used in most American cards, is utilized there. The Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card is one of the few exceptions. Most credit cards can be used with a cashier. Problems arise when trying to access European parking lot kiosks or automated vending machines.
The content of this article is the result of research into international travel. Many credit card companies make similar claims. They vary in annual fees, awards offered and facilities a traveler can use.