Best Credit Cards for International Travel Purchases

woman reaching back for hand while looking at sea

At Experian, one of our priorities is consumer credit and finance education. This post may contain links and references to one or more of our partners, but we provide an objective view to help you make the best decisions. For more information, see our Editorial Policy.

If you're headed abroad, you want to make sure you have at least one credit card in your wallet that doesn't charge foreign transaction fees. That's because those fees typically add 3% to each purchase you make when buying something outside the U.S.

It's an unnecessary charge that you needn't pay when you're traveling because there are plenty of great credit cards on the market that don't assess foreign transaction fees. In fact, both Capital One and Discover are two major card issuers that don't charge foreign transaction fees on any of their cards.

We've highlighted five cards that all fit the bill: They don't charge foreign transaction fees, but they also boast other solid travel perks that will make your trip better. So take a look at these offerings and figure out which card suits your needs best. Then, bon voyage!

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

Apply

on Capital One's website

Good - Exceptional

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

APR

16.49% - 26.49% (Variable)

Intro APR

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months

Rewards

5x miles on Hotels and Rental Cars Booked through Capital One Travel

1.25x miles on Every Purchase

Intro Bonus

Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel

Annual Fee

$0

Card Details
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 16.49% - 26.49% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months

If you want a simple travel rewards card that charges no annual fee, this is an excellent option. You'll earn 1.25x miles per $1 spent on everyday purchases and 5x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. You're also eligible to earn a sign-up bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

That's worth $200 in travel. To redeem miles, you simply pay for travel purchases with the card, then use your miles to get statement credits against those purchases. This card charges no foreign transaction fees, and you can also transfer your miles to more than 12 leading travel loyalty programs.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Apply

on Chase's website

Good - Exceptional

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

APR

17.49% - 24.49% Variable

Intro APR

N/A

Rewards

5X points on Travel purchased through Chase

3X points on Dining

2X points on Travel

1X points on All Other Purchases

Intro Bonus

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$95

Card Details
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®; 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠; your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.

This is one of the strongest premium travel rewards cards around: You earn 3 points per $1 spent on dining worldwide, 2 points per $1 spent on travel purchases, and 1 point per $1 spent on everything else. You'll also earn an impressive 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Redeeming travel rewards is easy: There are no blackout dates or restrictions, you get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals or cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®—making those 60,000 bonus points worth $750 in travel.

You can also take advantage of transferring points on a 1-to-1 basis to several leading hotel and airline loyalty programs. The card comes with a $95 annual fee, but you also get access to excellent travel insurance benefits, including trip cancellation insurance, baggage delay insurance, trip delay and baggage delay reimbursement, auto rental collision damage waiver and more.

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

Apply

on Capital One's website

Good - Exceptional

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

APR

16.49% - 26.49% (Variable)

Intro APR

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months

Rewards

5% cash back on Hotels and Rental Cars Booked Through Capital One Travel

1.5% cash back on Every Purchase

Intro Bonus

One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee

$0

Card Details
  • One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 16.49%-26.49% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months

If you want a basic cash back card that you can also take abroad with you, this card is a good option. You earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases, 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply) and have the opportunity of earning a $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. There's no annual fee.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

If you want to earn easy-to-use flat-rate travel rewards without being tied to a specific airline or travel program, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® is a smart option. You'll earn an unlimited 2 miles per $1 spent on every purchase, plus the chance to earn 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of opening the account.

Booking travel is easy: You simply pay for your airline tickets or hotel reservations with the card, then redeem your miles for travel statement credits. You also get 5% back to use toward your next redemption every time you redeem. The annual fee is $89, waived the first year.

Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Apply

on Capital One's website

Fair, New to Credit

Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

APR

26.99% (Variable)

Intro APR

N/A

Rewards

5% cash back on Hotels and Rental Cars Booked Through Capital One Travel

1.5% cash back on All Purchases

Annual Fee

$39

Card Details
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories or limits to how much you can earn, and cash back doesn't expire for the life of the account. It's that simple
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won't be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Help strengthen your credit for the future with responsible card use
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • Monitor your credit score with CreditWise from Capital One. It's free for everyone
  • Check out quickly and securely with a contactless card, without touching a terminal or handing your card to a cashier. Just hover your card over a contactless reader, wait for the confirmation, and you're all set

If you have fair credit and need to take a card abroad, this is one you should check out. You'll earn 1.5% back on all purchases, a great rewards option which is rare for cards available to users with fair credit. You will pay a $39 annual fee, but that's pretty modest and could make the convenience of taking it abroad worth it.

All information about the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® credit card has been collected by Experian and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card. Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® is longer available through Experian. Offer details may be outdated.

The purpose of this question submission tool is to provide general education on credit reporting. The Ask Experian team cannot respond to each question individually. However, if your question is of interest to a wide audience of consumers, the Experian team may include it in a future post and may also share responses in its social media outreach. If you have a question, others likely have the same question, too. By sharing your questions and our answers, we can help others as well.

Personal credit report disputes cannot be submitted through Ask Experian. To dispute information in your personal credit report, simply follow the instructions provided with it. Your personal credit report includes appropriate contact information including a website address, toll-free telephone number and mailing address.

To submit a dispute online visit Experian's Dispute Center. If you have a current copy of your personal credit report, simply enter the report number where indicated, and follow the instructions provided. If you do not have a current personal report, Experian will provide a free copy when you submit the information requested. Additionally, you may obtain a free copy of your report once a week through December 31, 2022 at AnnualCreditReport.