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Best Credit Cards For Foreign Transactions

So you travel a lot. Then you should know that traveling is expensive as it is already. With flights, hotel accommodation, and international cuisine, you’d want to cut costs on literally anything possible. Sometimes, the best option to make sure you can cover all expenses is a credit card. However, most people are unaware of credit card fees beyond the annual membership fee (AMF), interest rate, and cash advance fee (if the bank allows).

Other extra fees you should watch out for are late payment fees, and our current interest,foreign currency transaction fees.YES. The bank has additional charges for when you spend your credit to pay foreign currency. It mainly comes from the difference in conversion rates, including bank/ card assessment fees for your purchase. Unlike paying late, or borrowing cash, traveling shouldn’t be a reason to incur additional credit card fees!

This is why choosing a travel-friendly credit card, whether local or international, is essential for most people. Good thing GoBear rounded up the best options for you!

Best rewards credit cards

HSBC Platinum Visa


Minimum annual income: PHP 500,000

HSBC features a travel-oriented credit card with a very generous rewards system. This card is ideal for big spenders, whether locally or abroad. The best part? Spending foreign currency is rewarded 4X the reward bonus from what you pay locally.


  • Rewards:
    • PHP 25 spend = 1 air mile
    • PHP 20 overseas/online spend = 4 rewards points
    • PHP 20 local shopping/dining spend = 3 rewards points
    • PHP 20 spend on everything else = 1 rewards point
  • Free travel accident and inconvenienceinsurance coverageof up to PHP 10M
  • More rewards: 6% on first, and 3% on succeeding Caltex transactions and fuel purchases
  • Cash advance option


  • AMF: PHP 5,000 (waived for the first year)
  • Interest rate: 3.50%
  • Foreign currency transaction fee: 2.50% (plus Visa’s 1% assessment fee)
  • Cash advance fee: 3.00% of the borrowed amount or PHP 500, whichever is higher

Ideal for:Big spenders both locally and overseas

Citi Cash Back Card

Minimum annual income: PHP 250,000

This is the cheaper equivalent to the HSBC rewards card. With less minimum income requirement and a lower AMF, anyone can undoubtedly afford this card and its rewards!



  • All purchases entail unlimited, non-expiring cashback rewards!
    • 6% cashback on grocery purchases
    • 2% cashback on Meralco bill payments
    • 0.2% cashback on all other purchases, local or international
    • Waived AMF upon PHP 180,000 annual spend with the credit card
  • Cash advance option


  • AMF: PHP 1,500 (waived for the first year)
  • Interest rate: 3.50%
  • Foreign transaction fee: 3.525% (inclusive of Visa’s 1% assessment fee)
  • Cash advance fee: 3.00% of the borrowed amount or PHP 500, whichever is higher

Ideal for:Spenders looking for rewards for smaller purchases

No foreign transaction fee

Security Bank Platinum Mastercard

Minimum annual income: PHP 1.3M

Not all credit cards are equal. This one is specially made for frequent travellers! In general, Security Bank credit cards feature no extra fees for foreign transactions. With the Platinum Mastercard’s dual currency billing system, you also don’t have to deal with foreign exchange rates. You are guaranteed to spend overseas in the same way you do locally. No unnecessary additional worries and fuss just because you travel!


  • Dual currency billing system: Separate credit card billing statements for transactions paid with Philippine Pesos (PHP) and US Dollars (USD)
  • Cash advance of up to 50% of the credit limit
  • Rewards: PHP 20 = 1 rewards point
  • Airport lounge benefit: 2 complimentary lounge access annually, with excess visit charged at USD 27 each
  • Freetravel insurance: up to PHP 10M of coverage, depending on the type of hazard. This also includes usual insurance benefits like flight delay and baggage loss
  • Free concierge services


  • AMF: PHP 4,000 (waived in the first year)
  • Interest rate: 3.25%
  • Foreign currency transaction fee: NONE!
  • Cash advance fee: 5% of the borrowed amount or PHP 500, whichever is higher

Ideal for:Clients who occasionally to frequently travel and spend abroad

Best basic credit card

BPI Family Credit Card

Minimum annual income: PHP 180,000

Most credit cards have high-income requirements, AMF, interest rates, and miscellaneous fees.This is not one of those.If you’re a traveler who can deal better with generally low fees, then this is the credit card for you.


  • Affordable! Low overall fees to owning this card
  • Cash advance up to 30% of the credit limit


  • AMF: PHP 1,000 (waived for the first year)
  • Interest rate: 2.00%
  • Foreign currency transaction fee: 0.85% (plus Mastercard’s 1% assessment fee)
  • Cash advance fee: 3.00% of the borrowed amount or PHP 500, whichever is higher.

Ideal for:Occasional travelers trying to cut costs, and even stretch a budget

credit cards

Best for frequent overseas spending

BDO American Express Cashback

Minimum annual income: PHP 420,000

Because of the American Express branding, BDO’s Amex cashback credit card is the best option for spending abroad. It offers higher rewards for overseas spend than for local transactions! The care allows you to earn unlimited, non-expiring rebates for multiple purchases, as well.


  • Rewards:
    • 5% rebates on all purchases for the first three months after issuance
    • 2% rebates on overseas spend
    • 1% rebates on local transactions
    • Waived AMF for the next year upon a PHP 200,000 total annual spend charge on the credit card
  • Cash advance up to 30% of the credit limit
  • American Express Selects and Invites: for travel, shopping, dining, and entertainment experiences worldwide
  • 24/7 Global Assist: Immediate personal advice (through the phone) on travel emergencies


  • AMF: PHP 3,000 (waived for the first year)
  • Interest rate: 3.50%
  • Foreign currency transaction fee: 2.50% (Amex’s 1% assessment fee already included)
  • Cash advance fee: 5% of the borrowed amount or PHP 500/ USD 10, whichever is higher

Ideal for:Clients who frequently to almost always spend foreign currency

Bottom Line:

Travelling shouldn’t be worrisome if it doesn’t need to be. Owning a travel-oriented credit card relieves some of its burden from your shoulder – from more available bookings, getting rewards for spending money, and even saving some cash! Compare other credit card options and apply for the best one with GoBear today!

Everything You Need To Know About Credit Cards in the Philippines

Know how credit cards work and what you need to qualify

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