Best Credit Cards for International Travel in 2024

Jan 2, 2024 | 0 comments

When you’re traveling abroad, having the right credit card is just as important as having your passport. The right credit card can help you earn more rewards and provide valuable protections and benefits. It can save you money on foreign transaction fees and help protect your purchases from fraud and theft. Certain credit cards offer perks that can make your travels more comfortable, such as lounge access, elite status benefits, and travel insurance. For international travel, it’s best to have a credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees and offers bonus points on travel. It’s also helpful to have travel insurance. To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of the best credit cards for international travel.

What Are Some Tips for Choosing the Best Credit Card for International Travel?

Choosing the right credit card for international travel is important to save money and enjoy benefits during your trip. Here are some simple tips to help you select the best credit card:

  • No foreign transaction fees: Look for a card that doesn’t charge extra fees when you use it abroad. These fees can add up, so it’s better to choose a card that waives them completely.
  • Bonus points on travel: Many credit cards offer rewards in categories like travel, dining, groceries, and gas. These points can be redeemed for free flights, hotel stays, or other travel perks. Make sure to choose a card that offers bonus points for both U.S. and international travel expenses to maximize your rewards.
  • Trusted traveler programs: Airports can be stressful, both in the U.S. and abroad. Trusted traveler programs like TSA Precheck, Global Entry, and NEXUS can make the process smoother and faster. Consider a credit card that offers an application fee credit for these programs. This credit can help offset high annual fees and make your international trip more enjoyable.

By following these tips, you can find a credit card that suits your needs and provides benefits specifically for international travel.

Best Credit Cards for International Travel

If you travel a lot outside the country, it’s a good idea to have a credit card specifically for international trips. These credit cards can help you avoid extra costs and problems that come with traveling abroad. With the right card, you can earn bonus points on expenses like dining and shopping, even in other countries.

Even if you don’t travel often, these cards can still be useful. They can provide a sense of security as a backup payment option in case your debit card or cash gets lost or stolen while you’re abroad. In fact, the right credit card can be beneficial for your everyday activities as well.

Here are some of the best credit cards for international travel:

1. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
FeatureDetails
Annual Fee$95
Foreign Transaction FeesNone
Travel Protections– Trip cancellation/interruption insurance- Primary rental car coverage- Baggage delay insurance- Trip delay reimbursement
Welcome Bonus60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first three months
Rewards– 5X points on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards- 2X points on other travel purchases- 1X points on other purchases
Additional Benefits– Annual $50 Ultimate Rewards hotel credit- Various travel and emergency assistance services
EligibilityGood to excellent credit score
Pros– Generous category bonuses- Valuable rewards program- Extensive travel protections
Cons– Subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule- Limited $50 annual hotel credit- Category bonuses limited to Chase Ultimate Rewards bookings

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a top choice for international travel in 2024. It offers all the benefits you need when traveling abroad. The card has valuable travel protections and earns rewards at a reasonable annual fee of $95. Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar on travel booked through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal and 2 points on other travel purchases. It also provides important travel insurance coverage.

One of the great features of this card is that there are no foreign transaction fees, which can save you money when making purchases abroad. Whether you’re paying for your hotel or doing some extra shopping, not having to pay these fees can lead to significant savings.

The Sapphire Preferred card offers trip cancellation/interruption insurance, primary rental car coverage (both in the U.S. and abroad), baggage delay insurance, and trip delay reimbursement. These protections can be very helpful in case of travel delays or emergencies. While it’s a good idea to consider supplemental travel insurance for certain trips, the credit card’s coverage provides a solid baseline.

As a welcome bonus, you can earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of opening the account. The card also offers generous rewards, such as 5X points on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3X points on dining and select services, 2X points on other travel, and 1X points on other purchases.

In terms of travel benefits, the card provides an annual $50 Ultimate Rewards hotel credit, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, primary rental car insurance, trip delay reimbursement, baggage delay insurance, and travel and emergency assistance services.

To be eligible for this card, a good to excellent credit score is required. The annual fee is $95.

  • Pros of the card include generous category bonuses, an excellent rewards program with various airline and hotel transfer partners, a $50 annual travel credit, and extensive travel protections, including primary rental car insurance abroad.
  • Cons of the card are that it is subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule (meaning you may not be approved if you’ve opened five credit cards at any bank in the last 24 months) and the $50 annual hotel credit is limited to Chase Ultimate Rewards bookings and does not earn bonus points.
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2. The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card from American Express
FeatureDetails
Annual Fee$695
Foreign Transaction FeesNone
Travel Protections– Trip delay coverage- Cancellation/interruption insurance- Lost luggage coverage- Rental car insurance- Emergency medical services and transportation- Trip cancellation/interruption coverage
Welcome Bonus80,000 points after spending $8,000 within six months
Rewards– 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or Amex Travel- 5X points on prepaid hotels booked with Amex Travel- 1X point on all other purchases
Additional Benefits– Annual airline fee credit up to $200- Annual hotel booking credit up to $200- Annual Uber Cash credit up to $200- Various travel and elite status benefits
EligibilityGood to excellent credit score
Pros– Wide range of travel credits- Valuable Membership Rewards points- Exceptional travel protections
Cons– High annual fee- Category bonuses limited to Amex Travel and direct bookings- Not the highest welcome bonus to date

The Platinum Card® from American Express is the best credit card for travel perks. It offers unmatched benefits that no other card can match. With over $1,500 in annual statement credits, you can use them for airline fees, hotel bookings, and trusted-traveler programs like CLEAR® Plus and Global Entry. Global Entry is especially useful for international trips because it helps speed up the passport control process.

One of the great advantages of this card is that you can upgrade to Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy Gold elite status without even going to a hotel. These higher status levels come with additional perks like room upgrades and complimentary breakfast, making your hotel experience even better.

The Platinum Card also provides travel protections to give you peace of mind. It includes trip delay coverage and cancellation/interruption insurance.

As a welcome bonus, you can earn 80,000 points after spending $8,000 within six months of opening the account. The card also offers rewards, such as 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or Amex Travel (up to $500,000 per year), 5X points on prepaid hotels booked with Amex Travel, and 1X point on all other purchases.

In terms of travel benefits, the card provides an annual airline fee credit of up to $200, an annual hotel booking credit of up to $200 (Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay), an annual Uber Cash credit of up to $200, a $20 monthly digital entertainment credit for select streaming services, a $155 Walmart+ Credit, a $300 annual Equinox statement credit, a $50 semi-annual Saks credit, a $189 CLEAR Plus credit, Hilton and Marriott Gold elite status, elite status with Avis, Hertz, and National rental car companies, trip delay insurance, and trip cancellation & interruption insurance.

To be eligible for this card, you need a good to excellent credit score. The annual fee is $695.

  • Pros of the card include a wide range of travel credits that offset the annual fee (if you use them), valuable Membership Rewards points, and exceptional travel protections.
  • Cons of the card are the high annual fee, category bonuses limited to Amex Travel and direct bookings, and the current welcome bonus not being the highest to date. Additionally, the card is subject to the Amex once-per-lifetime rule.

3. The Chase Sapphire Reserve®

The Chase Sapphire Reserve
FeatureDetails
Annual Fee$550 (+$75 per authorized user)
Foreign Transaction FeesNone
Travel Protections– Trip cancellation/interruption insurance- Lost luggage reimbursement- Emergency evacuation and transportation- Primary rental car insurance- Various travel protections
Welcome Bonus60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first three months
Rewards– 10X points on Chase Dining purchases, hotels, and car rentals through Chase Ultimate Rewards- 5X points on flights purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards- 3X points on other travel and dining- 1X point on all other purchases
Additional Benefits– Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits- 50% more value when redeeming points through Chase Ultimate Rewards- Priority Pass Select membership- Application fee credit for Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS every four years
EligibilityExcellent credit score
Pros– Comprehensive travel insurance- Application fee credits- Priority Pass Select membership
Cons– High annual fee- Subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule- Authorized user fee

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is the best credit card for travel insurance. When you’re traveling abroad, it’s important to have good insurance coverage in case something goes wrong. With the Sapphire Reserve®, you get exceptional travel insurance without having to buy a separate policy. Just use the card to pay for your travel expenses, and you’ll be covered for trip delays, lost luggage, and rental car accidents. The card also provides emergency medical services and transportation up to $100,000, as well as trip cancellation/interruption coverage up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip. If your flight is delayed for six hours or more, you can get reimbursed up to $500 per ticket for meals and lodging.

If you arrive at your destination and find out that your luggage is missing or damaged, the card provides up to $3,000 per passenger to buy essentials or replace your luggage, including carry-ons.

The Sapphire Reserve® also offers one of the best auto rental collision damage waivers in the industry. It covers rentals made abroad and provides up to $75,000 in coverage for theft or collision damage.

As a welcome bonus, you can earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of opening the account. The card also offers rewards, such as 10X points on Chase Dining purchases, hotels, and car rentals through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 5X points on flights purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3X points on other travel and dining; and 1X point on all other purchases.

In terms of travel benefits, the card provides up to $300 in annual travel statement credits for airfare, hotels, and rental cars. You can also get 50% more value when redeeming points for airfare, hotels, car rentals, and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. The card includes a Priority Pass Select membership for access to over 1300 airline lounges worldwide. Additionally, you can receive an application fee credit for Global Entry, TSA Precheck, or NEXUS every four years. The card provides various travel protections, including cancellation/interruption insurance, trip delay reimbursement, primary rental car insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, and emergency evacuation and transportation.

To be eligible for this card, you need an excellent credit score. The annual fee is $550, plus $75 per authorized user.

  • Pros of the card include comprehensive travel insurance when using the Sapphire Card for booking, application fee credits for Global Entry, TSA Precheck, and NEXUS, Priority Pass Select membership, and the $300 annual travel credit that offsets part of the high annual fee.
  • Cons of the card are the high annual fee, the Chase 5/24 rule that may affect approval if you’ve signed up for five or more credit cards in the last 24 months, and the $75 authorized user fee.

4. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
FeatureDetails
Annual Fee$95
Foreign Transaction FeesNone
Travel ProtectionsN/A
Welcome Bonus75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 within the first three months
Rewards– 2X miles on all purchases
Additional Benefits– Complimentary six-month membership to The Cultivist- Hertz Five Star status- Various travel and dining benefits
EligibilityGood to excellent credit score
Pros– Straightforward rewards program- Complimentary membership to The Cultivist- No foreign transaction fees
Cons– Limited lounge network compared to other credit cards

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is the top choice for tours and activities when traveling internationally. It offers a straightforward rewards program where you earn 2 miles for every dollar spent on any purchase, allowing you to accumulate rewards quickly. These miles can be used to cover various travel expenses such as flights, hotels, and rental cars.

Cardholders also receive a complimentary six-month membership to The Cultivist, a subscription platform that grants free admission to over 60 museums, including prestigious ones like the New York Met, Paris Louvre, and The Art Institute of Chicago. You can even bring up to three guests along for free, making the Venture Card an excellent option for tours and activities.

With its easy-to-understand rewards structure and hassle-free redemption process, the Capital One Venture Card is a great choice for travelers who want to save money on their next tour or activity.

As a welcome bonus, you can earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 within the first three months of opening the account. The card’s rewards program includes 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 2X miles on all other purchases.

In terms of travel benefits, the card provides up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fees every four years. It also offers Hertz Five Star status, rental car insurance, travel accident insurance, and Capital One Dining access.

To be eligible for this card, you need a good to excellent credit score. The annual fee is $95.

  • Pros of the card include a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fees, generous lounge benefits for a card with a $95 annual fee, and a simple rewards structure with multiple international airline transfer partners.
  • A potential downside of the card is that its lounge network is more limited compared to other credit cards.

5. The American Express Gold Card

The American Express Gold Card
FeatureDetails
Travel Protections– Secondary rental car coverage- Baggage insurance plan- Access to Global Assist hotline- Experience credits and travel perks through The Hotel Collection
Welcome Bonus60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 within the first six months
Rewards– 4X points at restaurants- 4X points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X)- 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or Amex Travel- 1X points on all other purchases
Additional Benefits– Up to $10 in monthly Uber Cash- Up to $10 in monthly dining credits- Access to Amex Offers- Secondary rental car coverage- Baggage insurance plan- Access to Global Assist hotline- Experience credits and travel perks through The Hotel Collection
EligibilityGood to excellent credit score
Pros– High earnings on dining and flights- Monthly Uber Cash and dining credits- Savings through Amex Offers- Valuable travel protections
Cons– High annual fee- Limited lounge network

The American Express Gold Card is the best credit card for dining around the world. When you’re traveling abroad, dining expenses can add up quickly. With the Amex Gold Card, you earn 4 points for every dollar spent at restaurants, allowing you to maximize your rewards. The card also earns 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or Amex Travel, so you can make the most of your vacation spending.

Additionally, the Amex Gold Card offers up to $10 in monthly Uber Cash and an additional $10 towards select dining establishments like Grubhub, Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Milk Bar, and select Shake Shack locations. While you may not find many Cheesecake Factories abroad, it’s a nice bonus that can be useful during domestic travels. The card also qualifies for Amex Offers, which provides discounts at popular retailers, restaurants, and hotels. By taking advantage of these dining deals, you can save hundreds of dollars.

As a welcome bonus, you can earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 within the first six months of opening the account. The card’s rewards program includes 4X points at restaurants, 4X points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or Amex Travel, and 1X points on all other purchases.

In terms of travel benefits, the card provides up to $10 in monthly Uber Cash for rides or Uber Eats orders, as well as up to $10 in monthly dining credits at select establishments. It also offers secondary rental car coverage, a baggage insurance plan, access to the Global Assist hotline, and experience credits and travel perks through The Hotel Collection.

To be eligible for this card, you need a good to excellent credit score. The annual fee is $250.

  • Pros of the card include high earnings on popular travel spending categories, up to $240 in annual dining credits, additional savings on travel through Amex Offers, and valuable travel protections.
  • Cons of the card are the high annual fee, and the current welcome bonus may not be the highest ever offered. Additionally, the card is subject to American Express’s once-per-lifetime rule, meaning you may only be eligible for the welcome bonus once.

6. The Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card

The Wells Fargo Autograph Card
FeatureDetails
Annual FeeNone
Foreign Transaction FeesNone
Travel Protections– Secondary rental car insurance- Travel and emergency services assistance<br>- Emergency cash disbursement- Card replacement- Cell phone protection
Welcome Bonus20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first three months
Rewards– 3X points on travel, gas, restaurants, transit, and popular streaming services- 1X points on all other purchases
Additional Benefits– Secondary rental car insurance- Travel and emergency services assistance- Emergency cash disbursement- Card replacement- Cell phone protection
EligibilityGood to excellent credit score
Pros– No annual fee- No foreign transaction fees- High earning potential in various travel spending categories- Cell phone protection
ConsN/A

The Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card is a top choice if you want a credit card with no annual fee. It’s particularly great for international travel because it doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, which is unusual for a card without an annual fee. The card also offers generous bonuses on various popular travel spending categories like dining, gas, transit, airfare, hotels, rental cars, and cruises. Additionally, it has a 0% introductory APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for the first 12 months, making it a good option if you need to make some short-term purchases and want to spread out the payments without accruing interest.

As a welcome bonus, you can earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening the account. The card’s rewards program includes earning 3X points on travel, gas, restaurants, transit, and popular streaming services, and 1X points on all other purchases.

In terms of travel benefits, the card provides secondary rental car insurance in the United States and primary rental car coverage abroad. It also offers travel and emergency services assistance, emergency cash disbursement, card replacement, and cell phone protection (up to $600 per year).

To be eligible for this card, you need a good to excellent credit score. There is no annual fee associated with this card.

  • Pros of the card include its high earning potential in various travel spending categories, one of the few credit cards offering cell phone protection, and primary rental car coverage abroad with secondary coverage in the United States.
  • Cons of the card are the relatively low welcome bonus, the inability to transfer points to airline or hotel loyalty programs, and the lack of travel protections beyond rental car insurance.
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Conclusion

We’ve done our best to provide you with a list of the best credit cards for international travel in 2024. If you know of any other credit cards that you think would be helpful for our readers, please leave a comment and let us know. We value your input, and if we find your suggestions useful, we’ll add them to our list. Also, if you have any personal experiences with the cards we mentioned in the article, please share them in the comments! Lastly, don’t forget to subscribe to our daily newsletter to stay updated on our latest blog posts.

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