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Elite card deals for travelers

By Lucy Lazarony · Bankrate.com
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Posted: 1 pm ET

Credit card issuers are looking to woo elite travelers by dropping foreign transaction fees, dropping annual fees for the first year and rolling out hefty sign-up bonuses.

Chase announced that it would no longer charge foreign currency conversion fees on the United Mileage Plus Visa and the Continental Presidential Plus card, The New York Times reports.

Both credit cards charge annual fees of $375. With the United Mileage Plus Club Visa, once you make $250 of initial purchases with the card, you receive 30,000 bonus miles.  And Continental Presidential Plus card members get their first and second bags checked for free on Continental flights purchased with their Presidential Plus cards.

With the US Airways Dividend Miles Premier World MasterCard, issued by Barclays Bank Delaware, you earn 35,000 bonus miles after your first transaction with the card. And you earn 10,000 bonus miles after your one-year anniversary with the card and an additional 10,000 bonus miles for every subsequent anniversary. The card's $89 annual fee is dropped in the first year.

Sign up for the Priority Club Select Visa card from Chase and you'll earn up to 60,000 bonus points after your first purchase with the card. Those 60,000 bonus points are good for up to four free nights at select hotels worldwide. Every year on your account anniversary you'll receive a certificate good for one free night at a participating hotel.

The card's annual fee of $49 is waived in the first year. The Priority Club Select Visa card does not charge fees on foreign transactions.

Most banks and credit card issuers charge foreign currency conversion fees when customers make purchases outside the United States. This fee is often 3 percent of every foreign purchase made with the card.

In recent months, Chase, Citibank and American Express have made moves to drop fees for foreign purchases from some credit cards.

Capital One has a longtime policy of not charging fees on foreign purchases on any of its credit cards.

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