Should You Ask Santa for a Credit Card for Foreign Travel?

Written by: Valencia Higuera

Are you thinking that Santa might bring you a European vacation or a trip to a sunny island paradise in the middle of winter?  If so, now’s the time to plan ahead to save money by getting a credit card that’s designed for foreign travel.  When traveling abroad, the last thing you want to worry about is exchanging your currency. For this reason, you may decide to travel with your credit card and use this as your method of payment. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted worldwide. The ability to travel with credit cards throughout the world is convenient, but also costly. With foreign transaction fees, you could end up paying more than necessary for each purchase. But this doesn’t suggest leaving your credit cards at home. The key is finding the right credit card for foreign travel.

Check various credit card options.

If applying for a credit card specifically for foreign travel, be picky and choose a credit card that charges no foreign transaction fee. A foreign transaction fee is the fee charged by your credit card company to convert the foreign currency into dollars. Several credit cards charge this annoying fee, and the fee is typically 3% of the purchase. Many credit card users do not question this fee. They accept the fee as a necessary evil, but there are ways to avoid this additional expense.

If you already have a major credit card in your possession, contact your credit card company to review the terms of your agreement. In all likelihood, this credit card has a foreign transaction fee. You can ask your credit card company to waive his fee, but they may decline your request.

If so, search for a new credit card. Websites such as Creditcards.com can compile a list of various credit cards that are ideal for foreign travel. A side-by-side comparison lets you review interest rates, annual fees and other terms.

Choose cards that offer rewards.

If you travel abroad frequently, don’t only look for credit cards that offer no foreign transaction fee, but also credit cards that feature travel reward miles. Since you’re traveling a greater distance, book your airline with this particular credit card and you’ll accumulate points faster. Points are redeemable for a variety of merchandise, gift cards, airline miles and cash.

Foreign travel tips.

When traveling abroad with a credit card, it’s wise to contact your creditors before leaving the country. While most major credit cards work abroad, using your credit card in a different country may trigger a fraud alert on your account. This alert will freeze your credit card, wherein you’re unable to use the card. To remove the fraud, you have to contact your credit card company. You can avoid this inconvenience by simply notifying creditors of your whereabouts before leaving the country.

Credit cards for foreign travel.

If you need a credit card for foreign travel, consider the Capital One Cash Rewards for newcomers. This credit card features no foreign transaction fee and no annual fee. Earn 2% cash back on travel purchases, as well as 1% cash back on all other purchases. Another option is the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card. Earn 40,000 bonus points when you spend $3000 in the first 90 days, which is good toward $500 in travel rewards. There is no foreign transaction fee, plus you receive 20% off airline tickets, hotels, car rentals and cruises.


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