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You’ve dusted off your passport, booked the flights and hotel, and maybe even started packing. But have you stopped to consider which credit card to bring on your trip? These credit cards for foreign travel charge no foreign transaction fees and have the potential to earn travel-based rewards, too:
Popular Credit Cards for Foreign Travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card
- British Airways Visa Signature Credit Card
- Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Credit Card
The experts at CreditCards.com have picked their favorite credit cards from a number of categories. Here are the credit cards on their list that could also make a world traveler smile.
|Card||Why it’s good||Annual fee|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve||3 points per $1 spent on travel and dining||$450|
|British Airways Visa Signature||2 miles for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases||$95|
|Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve||Earn 2 weekend nights free; 10 points per $1 spent at Hilton hotels||$95|
Beloved by travelers and rewards aficionados alike for its generous sign-up bonus and travel perks, the Chase Sapphire Reserve has a hefty $450 annual price tag but the lengthy list of benefits might make it worth it for some. You can earn a whopping 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points if you meet the minimum spending requirement of $4,000 in three months.
- Earn three points per dollar spent on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, one point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Receive up to $300 in statement credits annually as a reimbursement for travel purchases.
- Get 50 percent greater value for your points when you book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. For example, 50,000 Chase Ultimate Points can be redeemed for $750 worth of travel.
Who should get this card
If you spend big on travel and dining, the Chase Sapphire Reserve can be a good option.
It also offers top-of-the-line perks, as well, like access to more than 900 airport lounges worldwide and reimbursement for enrolling in TSA PreCheck.
Keep in mind that this card, like nearly all rewards cards, only offers value if you pay your balance in full each month. Otherwise the double digit variable APR on this card may cost you more in interest charges than the value of any rewards.
British Airways Visa Signature
If you’ve had your eye on a trip overseas, the British Airways Visa Signature might help you get there. Along with a top-notch sign-up bonus, you’ll also earn major reward points, called Avios, when you fly with British Airways.
- Earn three Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases and one Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
- Earn 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
- Every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Visa card, you’ll earn a Travel Together Ticket good for two years. Applicable taxes and fees apply to the companion ticket.
Who should get this card
For international road warriors, the British Airways Visa Signature card’s potential to earn high rewards could be tempting, even with its $95 annual fee. On top of that initial 50,000-point bonus, big spenders can tack on another 50,000 points. Earn 25,000 after you spend $10,000 on purchases within the first year. Earn an additional 25,000 after you spend $20,000 on purchases within the first year.
But if most of your travel is domestic, you may not get the maximum rewards value from this card as most of the airlines accepting Avios points are international carriers. Also note that rewards flights booked using Avios points are sometimes subject to fuel surcharge fees, which can run into hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars, depending on your destination.
Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve
The Hilton HHonors Reserve card comes with some significant bonuses and a rewards program tailored for travelers.
- This offer is expired.
- Earn 10 points per $1 spent at properties in the Hilton portfolio, which includes over a dozen brands like Waldorf Astoria, Doubletree and Embassy Suites.
- Earn five points per $1 spent on airline and car rentals and three points per $1 spent on all other purchases.
- Earn two free weekend night certificates after making $2,500 in purchases within the first four months of opening the account.
Who should get this card
If you’re a frequent traveler and don’t mind staying within the Hilton portfolio, you can earn free stays, upgrades and get perks like free hotel internet access.
Although Hilton HHonors points tend to be worth significantly less than other rewards programs, the company has rolled out a flexible redemption program that allows you to use any combination of points and money to pay for a stay.
There is an annual $95 fee so unless you travel or spend enough to earn rewards worth more than the carrying cost of the card, you may want to consider a less-expensive cash-back card.
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