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What are the best international credit cards?

Avoid foreign transaction fees and get travel-centric perks.

Our pick for use internationally: Citi Premier® Card

80,000-point

Signup bonus after spending $4,000 in first 3 months

  • Earn 80,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn 3x points at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, flights and hotels
Apply now

An international credit card is ideal for making purchases abroad and on international websites. They typically have no foreign transaction fees and come with bonus rewards on travel purchases. You may also find benefits such as travel insurance, travel credits, airport lounge access and chip-and-PIN capability.

Top international credit card

There are many excellent credit cards for overseas travel. And truth be told, there is no “best” card — only the one that fits your needs most effectively.

Nevertheless, some cards are consistently ranked among the top travel credit cards.

We compared credit cards for different travel niches, adding standout products to our list. We gave heavier weight to cards with best-in-market travel rewards rates. Also, we highlighted each international credit card that delivered excellent value through their travel benefits, such as credits and airport lounge access.

What are the best international credit cards?

Best premium card for flexible rewards
Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve® logo
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (740-850)
See offer
on Creditcards.com's secure site
Rates & fees

740
Min. credit score
$550
Annual fee
60,000
Points welcome offer
Up to 10x
Points
With an excellent annual travel credit, you can easily offset much of this card's annual fee. You'll like the strong 3x points you'll earn on travel and dining after you receive your travel credit. What's more, you get to earn 10x points on Lyft rides until March 2021, and you get a one year complementary Lyft Pink membership, which comes with a 15% discount on Lyft rides among its many perks. Other card benefits include complementary airport lounge access and a $100 credit for your Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee.
  • 60,000 points after you make $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
  • 3x points on travel and dining after you earn your $300 annual travel credit. Plus you get 10x points on Lyft rides until March 2021. All points are worth 50% more when redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
  • $300 annual travel credit.
  • Airport lounge access.
  • Credit for your Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee.
Annual fee $550
Purchase APR 16.99% to 23.99% variable
Foreign transaction fee None
Welcome offer 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, a value of up to $900 through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Estimated welcome offer value $900 based on Finder's valuation
Rewards 10x points on Lyft rides, 3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit and 1x points on all other purchases

Best cobranded hotel card
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card logo
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (740-850)
Apply now
on American Express's secure site
Rates & fees

740
Min. credit score
$450
Annual fee
75,000
Points welcome offer
Up to 6x
Points
This hotel credit card is loaded with benefits, including strong rewards, an annual Free Night Award and complementary Elite status in the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program. You'll also receive credits that can offset a large portion of your annual fee, as well as airport lounge access through Priority Pass Select after you enroll.
  • 6x Marriott Bonvoy points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels. 3x points at US restaurants and on direct-book flights. 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Annual Free Night Award and complementary Elite status.
  • Annual $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit and $100 Marriott Bonvoy property credit.
  • $200 Credit for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee.
  • Priority Pass Select after you enroll.
Annual fee $450
Purchase APR 15.74% to 24.74% variable
Foreign transaction fee None
Welcome offer 75,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $200 in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants within the first 6 months
Estimated welcome offer value $750 based on Finder's valuation
Rewards 6x Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3x at US restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2x for all other purchases
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers.

Best for flights
The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express logo
Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Apply now
on American Express's secure site
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$695
Annual fee
100,000
Points welcome offer
Up to 10x
Points
The Amex Platinum Card offers a market-leading rewards rate on flights. And if you transfer your Membership Rewards points to certain travel partners, they could be worth twice as much. It's a lucrative combination. Add invaluable travel credits and complementary airport lounge access, and you have one of the best travel cards, bar none.
  • 100,000 Membership Rewards points after you make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of account opening. You'll also earn 10x points at restaurants and when you Shop Small in the US on up to $25,000 in combined purchases for the first 6 months of card membership.
  • Earn 5x points on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel on up to $500,000 annually (then 1x points) and 5x points on prepaid hotels booked at American Express Travel. All other purchases earn 1x points. Redeem points for Uber gift cards at a value of 0.7 cents a point.
  • Enjoy $200 annual airline fee credit after you select an airline and enroll, $200 annual Uber Cash, Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit and up to $179 back per year on your CLEAR membership.
  • Complementary airport lounge access - including the Centurion Lounges.
Annual fee $695
Purchase APR See Pay Over Time APR
Foreign transaction fee None
Welcome offer 100,000 points after spending $6,000 in your first 6 months, plus 10x points at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the US on up to $25,000 in combined purchases in the same timeframe
Estimated welcome offer value $7,000 based on Finder's valuation
Rewards 10x points at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the US on up to $25,000 combined in the first 6 months, 5x points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel, 5x points on directly-booked flights on up to $500,000 annually, then 1x points after that and on other purchases
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers.

Best for airline rewards
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card logo
Finder Rating: 4 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Apply now
on American Express's secure site
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$250
Annual fee
50,000
Miles welcome offer
Up to 3x
Miles
This is one of the leading credit cards for international travel because you can earn and redeem your miles for flights anywhere across the globe. As a member of the SkyTeam alliance, you can fly with partner airlines, such as AeroMexico, Air France, Korean Air, Virgin Australia, Aeroflot, China Airlines and more.
  • Earn 50,000 miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months your account is open. This is worth up to $700 in value. Also, get up to $100 in statement credit on US restaurant purchases made within the first 3 months.
  • 3x miles on eligible Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2x at restaurants and US supermarkets and 1x miles on all other purchases.
  • Get a domestic main cabin round-trip companion certificate each year you renew your Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card. This allows you to take a guest along on a round-trip domestic flight for only the price of the taxes and fees.
  • Get a intro APR on purchases, which is rare for an airline card. The intro APR lasts for from when you open the account, and then reverts to a variable APR of 15.74% - 24.74%.
Annual fee $250
Purchase APR 15.74% to 24.74% variable
Foreign transaction fee None
Welcome offer Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months.
Also, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for purchases at US restaurants within the first 3 months of membership.
Estimated welcome offer value $700 based on Finder's valuation
Rewards 3x miles on Delta and direct hotel purchases, 2x miles at restaurants and US supermarkets and 1x miles on all other eligible purchases
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers.

Best hotel card with no annual fee
Hilton Honors American Express Card

Hilton Honors American Express Card logo
Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Apply now
on American Express's secure site
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
100,000
Points welcome offer
Up to 7x
Points
With more than 6,000 Hilton locations worldwide, having a card like the no-annual-fee Hilton Honors American Express Card could make your international travel a rewarding experience. Earn a generous welcome offer with this card and spend it on hotel stays.
  • Until August 25, 2021, earn 100,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open, plus earn a $100 statement credit after your first eligible Hilton purchase within your first year.
  • 7x points on eligible purchases within the Hilton Portfolio of hotels and resorts, 5x points when you spend at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, and 3x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • No annual fee.
Annual fee $0
Purchase APR 15.74% to 24.74% variable
Foreign transaction fee None
Welcome offer 100,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months, plus earn up to $100 in statement credits on eligible purchases at Hilton hotels in the first 12 months. Offers expire 8/25/2021
Estimated welcome offer value $600 based on Finder's valuation
Rewards 7x points on Hilton Honors purchases, 5x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers.

Best for flat-rate rewards
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card logo
Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Read review
670
Min. credit score
$95
Annual fee
60,000
Miles welcome offer
5x
Miles
If you don't want to worry about bonus categories, consider this reliable international credit card from Capital One. You'll earn a consistent 2x miles on every purchase. Call Capital One and a representative can assign you a PIN — perfect if you'll travel to a chip-and-PIN destination. Plus, enjoy more flexibility with your miles by transferring them to Capital One's 15 travel partners.
  • Signup bonus. Earn 100,000 bonus miles after you spend $20,000 in your first 12 months of account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 in your first 3 months.
  • $100 Credit for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee.
  • $95 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
Annual fee $95
Purchase APR 17.24%, 21.99% or 24.49% variable
Foreign transaction fee None
Welcome offer Earn 60,000 bonus miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
Estimated welcome offer value $900 based on Finder's valuation
Rewards 5x miles on Uber Eats and 2x miles on all purchases

Best for travel perks with no annual fee
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card logo
Finder Rating: 3.2 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Read review
670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
25,000
Points welcome offer
1.5x
Points
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card has no annual fee and offers solid rewards and a nice signup bonus.
  • Signup bonus. You'll get 25,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in your first 90 days of card membership.
  • Earn points. Earn a flat 1.5x points on all eligible purchases.
  • Intro APR on purchases. Enjoy a 0% intro APR period on purchases for the first 12 statement closing dates, reverting to 13.99% to 23.99% after.
Annual fee $0
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 12 statement closing dates (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
Foreign transaction fee None
Welcome offer 25,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days
Estimated welcome offer value $250 based on Finder's valuation
Rewards 1.5x points on all purchases
What’s changed in 2021?
With travel largely suspended in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions, travel cards didn’t see many changes affecting travel abroad. With a vaccine on the horizon, we will update and evolve our list throughout 2021.

How do I choose the best international credit card?

The hallmark of an international credit card is its no-foreign-transaction fee benefit and travel perks, making it a great choice for spending on international trips and on foreign websites. Here are a few factors to consider while looking for your next card:

  • Foreign transaction fees. These are fees applied when you use your card abroad or on a foreign website, and they’re typically 3% of each transaction. The vast majority of travel cards will not charge you these fees.
  • Chip-and-PIN capabilities.

    Most cards in the US are chip-and-signature cards. You’ll use your card, and if necessary, you’ll provide a signature. In many international destinations — Europe, for example — chip-and-PIN cards are common. After using your card, you’ll be asked to input a PIN to verify your transaction.

    Research whether the country you’ll visit is a chip-and-PIN area. If so, look for card providers that let you request a PIN, such as Barclays travel cards, Bank of America credit cards or PenFed Credit Union cards.

  • Merchant acceptance. Visa and Mastercard are accepted far more widely than Discover and American Express. If you’ll use cards from the latter two providers, consider having another credit card as a backup.

More ways to find your next international credit card

  • Annual fee.

    Decide whether a card will deliver enough value to justify paying for it yearly. Consider whether the bonus rewards will offset the price. And take into account travel credits and extra benefits.

  • Rewards.

    Look for an international credit card that offers bonus rewards for your preferred spending categories. If you’re a loyal Marriott customer, for example, a cobranded hotel card from the chain might be a great pick. If you’re not particular about the hotel you stay in, however, you might like a general travel card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

  • Travel benefits.

    Extra benefits can add tremendous value to your card. Look for travel credits, which reimburse you for eligible spending. You might also find perks such as airport lounge access, elite upgrades, priority boarding and free checked baggage.

  • Travel protections.

    For peace of mind on your next trip, you might want protections like travel insurance, auto rental collision damage waivers, lost luggage reimbursement, trip delay reimbursement, and emergency evacuation and transportation. You’ll find more of these protections with premium travel cards. However, mid-tier travel cards may also offer these benefits to some degree.

What are the pros and cons of using an international credit card?

Pros

  • Global acceptance. If you’re using a Mastercard or Visa credit card, you’ll be able to use your credit card in millions of locations around the world. American Express and Discover cards are also accepted worldwide, though in fewer places than Visa or Mastercard.
  • Travel perks. An international credit card usually offers travel-related benefits such as frequent-flyer rewards programs, complementary insurance and airline lounge access.
  • Security of credit. When you’re traveling overseas, it’s advisable to have more than one way to access your cash. Even if you have a prepaid card or debit card for everyday spending, you can use a credit card as a backup.

Cons

  • Fees. Depending on the card, using your credit card overseas can come with many costs. Understand exactly what you’ll pay when using your card for foreign transactions before you apply.
  • Temptation to spend. While a credit card can provide you with peace of mind, it might also tempt you to spend money you don’t really have. Remember that you’ll have to pay back everything you charge, plus interest if you plan on carrying a balance.

Do I really need a credit card with 0% foreign transaction fees?

This largely depends on how often you travel abroad and how much you spend. For example, spending $5,000 annually abroad will cost you $150 in foreign transaction fees. Getting a no-annual-fee card with no foreign transaction fees can save you that money.

That said, spending $500 with your card abroad will only cost you $15. Sometimes, trying to avoid a $15 fee may not be worth the hassle of getting another card.

Should I use my international credit card to withdraw cash from international ATMs?

Not only should you avoid withdrawing cash with your credit card from international ATMs, but you should avoid doing so at any ATM, period. You’ll be hit with a cash advance fee, and your transaction will immediately start accruing interest. The local ATM provider may even charge you a withdrawal fee.

One of the best options to withdraw cash abroad is using a debit card — specifically one that waives all ATM fees and gives you the true exchange rate. Consider a service like the Charles Schwab High Yield Investor Checking account, which comes highly recommended by Finder staff.

International credit cards with 0% foreign transaction fees

Save on unnecessary costs abroad with one of these international credit cards. Select your credit range below and choose Show cards to start comparing card features side-by-side.

Name Product Foreign transaction fee Annual fee Purchase APR Filter values
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
None
$95
15.99% to 22.99% variable

Up to $1,250 signup bonus

Earn a massive signup bonus of 100,000 points with this popular travel card. That's worth up to $1,250!
American Express® Gold Card
None
$250
See Pay Over Time APR

Rose Gold is Back

Earn up to 4x points on select purchases, a bevy of travel perks, and a welcome offer worth up to $600 based on our valuation with this upper-mid tier travel card. Terms apply, see rates & fees
The Platinum Card® from American Express
None
$695
See Pay Over Time APR

New Platinum Exclusive Offer

One of the most valuable premium travel cards, featuring two welcome offers worth up to $7,000 based on Finder's valuation, multiple travel credits and unrivaled lounge access. Terms apply, see rates & fees
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Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

The ideal international credit card is one that meets your individual needs. Given the wide variety of options, take your time and compare several cards you like. For help narrowing your options, check out our guide to travel cards, as well as our airline cards and hotel card guides.

Back to top

Frequently asked questions

  • Is there any way to find out which countries accept a given card?
    One easy way to find out if the card you want will be accepted in the country you’re traveling to is to visit the website of the payment system that supports the card, which can be Visa or Mastercard.
  • Why is it important to avoid foreign transaction fees?
    While foreign transaction fees can be relatively small — typically 3% of each transaction — they can add up over many purchases. To avoid surprises after your international trip, strongly consider a card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.
  • Do I have to pay an annual fee for an international credit card?
    No. You’ll find plenty of great no-annual-fee travel cards. If you’re willing to pay, you’ll find strong cards around the $95, $200, $450, and even $1,000 price point.

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