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Credit cards for travel

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Credit card with travel perks and waive fees can save you money on your next vacation.

Whether you’re a regular traveler or planning a rare getaway, you need to find the right credit card for hotel, flight purchases and everything else. But you’re in danger of spending too much of your budget on currency conversion and foreign transaction fees.

This guide compares credit cards that are the best for travel and why you should find the right one for your next vacation.

Compare travel credit cards

Rates last updated June 19th, 2018
Name Product Product Description Rewards Points per $ spent (VISA/MC) APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate ) Annual fee
Luxury Card Mastercard® Titanium Card™
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
1
16.49% variable
$195
Apply now Read review
Luxury Card Mastercard® Black Card™
Mastercard Black Card members receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
16.49% variable
$495
Apply now Read review
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card
20,000 online bonus points offer. Ditch the restrictions of typical airline rewards cards. Any airline, any hotel, anytime. No blackout dates.
1.5
16.49% to 24.49% variable
$0
Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit card
Earn 50000 points when you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of your account opening, and an additional 30,000 points when you spend a total of $30,000 on purchases within the first year of your account opening.
2
17.49% to 24.49% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card
Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
2
17.49% to 24.49% variable
$95
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Earn 50000 BONUS POINTS after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening* — that's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3
17.49% to 24.49% variable
$450
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5X points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
5
No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month
$550
Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™
Earn points every time you spend. Luxury Card enhances your purchasing power by providing you with one (1) point for every one dollar ($1) you spend. Every purchase gets you closer to the rewards you want.
2
16.49% variable
$995
Apply now Read review
Venture® from Capital One®
Earn 50000 bonus miles once after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
2
14.24%, 19.24% or 24.24% variable
$$0 intro for the first year, $95 after
United℠ Explorer Card
40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.* Plus a $100 statement credit after your first purchase.
2
17.49% to 24.49% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)

Compare up to 4 providers

Compare different types of travel credit cards


Credit cards for travel

How a credit card are useful for travel

  • Live exchange rates. You could benefit from fluctuating exchange rates that change daily when USD depreciates against the currency of your destination.
  • Travel now, pay later. Some credit cards can provide up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and 0% introductory APRs when you open a new card. So you can spend, but save on interest and fees.
  • Rewards. Earn points for flights and cash back with rewards programs.

Things to note when using credit cards for travel.

  • Avoid cash advances. Using your credit card to get cash from an ATM can cost your high fees and interest rates. There is usually no interest-free days on cash advances.

No Currency Conversion Fee Credit Cards

One of the biggest fees you’ll pay when you travel are foreign exchange fees. These are fees that your credit card charges for each purchase you make while you’re out of the country — usually 3% of your purchase. This can really add up, especially if you plan on using your card a lot on your trip. There are lots of cards out there that waive that fee.

Rates last updated June 19th, 2018
Name Product Product Description Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (MC) Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (VISA) Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (AMEX) Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee
Luxury Card Mastercard® Titanium Card™
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
0% of transaction value
Luxury Card Mastercard® Black Card™
Mastercard Black Card members receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
0% of transaction value
Uber Visa Card
Get 4% points back on dining, 3% on travel, 2% on Uber rides and online shopping and 1% on other purchases, and redeem points for Uber credits, gift cards or cash back.
0% of transaction value
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card
20,000 online bonus points offer. Ditch the restrictions of typical airline rewards cards. Any airline, any hotel, anytime. No blackout dates.
0% of transaction value
HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases.
Venture® from Capital One®
Earn 50000 bonus miles once after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
0% of transaction value
Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit card
Earn 50000 points when you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of your account opening, and an additional 30,000 points when you spend a total of $30,000 on purchases within the first year of your account opening.
0% of transaction value
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card
Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Earn 50000 BONUS POINTS after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening* — that's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
0% of transaction value
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5X points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
0% of transaction value
Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™
Earn points every time you spend. Luxury Card enhances your purchasing power by providing you with one (1) point for every one dollar ($1) you spend. Every purchase gets you closer to the rewards you want.
0% of transaction value
United MileagePlus® Club card
Enjoy United Club membership, Premier Access® travel services, free checked bags, plus earn miles on every purchase.
0% of transaction value
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Card
Buy one ticket, get one for just the taxes and fees ($0 fare plus taxes and fees from just $22) after you make $1,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening. There are no blackout dates.
0% of transaction value
Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
Earn 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 35,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months.
0% of transaction value

Compare up to 4 providers

Credit cards with travel benefits

Cards with travel rewards are designed with the traveler in mind can make you feel better about using your credit card for big purchases on your trip. There are many cards that offer 2x or 3x points on hotels, flights and other adventures on your trip. Use your points for cash back, your next flight or hotel stay and so much more.

High-end cards can get you access to exclusive airport lounges and hotel and flight upgrades. These cards often have high annual fees, so be sure you can make it worth it.

You’ll also find cards with travel insurance, covering you for missed flights, accidents or illnesses while you’re away. But credit cards are the best option for travel insurance. Find out more about the benefits of travel insurance with our guide.

Rates last updated June 19th, 2018
Name Product Product Description Rewards Points per $ spent (VISA/MC) APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate ) Annual fee
Luxury Card Mastercard® Titanium Card™
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
1
16.49% variable
$195
Apply now Read review
Luxury Card Mastercard® Black Card™
Mastercard Black Card members receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
16.49% variable
$495
Apply now Read review
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card
20,000 online bonus points offer. Ditch the restrictions of typical airline rewards cards. Any airline, any hotel, anytime. No blackout dates.
1.5
16.49% to 24.49% variable
$0
Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit card
Earn 50000 points when you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of your account opening, and an additional 30,000 points when you spend a total of $30,000 on purchases within the first year of your account opening.
2
17.49% to 24.49% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card
Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
2
17.49% to 24.49% variable
$95
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Earn 50000 BONUS POINTS after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening* — that's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3
17.49% to 24.49% variable
$450
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5X points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
5
No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month
$550
Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™
Earn points every time you spend. Luxury Card enhances your purchasing power by providing you with one (1) point for every one dollar ($1) you spend. Every purchase gets you closer to the rewards you want.
2
16.49% variable
$995
Apply now Read review
Venture® from Capital One®
Earn 50000 bonus miles once after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
2
14.24%, 19.24% or 24.24% variable
$$0 intro for the first year, $95 after
United℠ Explorer Card
40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.* Plus a $100 statement credit after your first purchase.
2
17.49% to 24.49% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)

Compare up to 4 providers

Intro APR

Credit cards that offer an interest free introductory period are great to get right before your trip. It makes the idea of “buy now, pay later” really work for you. Often credit cards offer a year or more of 0% APR, giving you the chance to pay down your balances after a big trip. But be careful — once your period is up, you’ll pay the high APR on your remaining balance.

Rates last updated June 19th, 2018
Name Product Product Description Intro Purchase APR Intro Purchase APR Period
Discover it® Card
Earn 5% Cash Back in rotating categories each quarter like gas stations, restaurants, Amazon.com, wholesale clubs and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
0%
14 months from the date your account is open
Citi Simplicity® Card
This is the only card with No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate and No Annual Fee - Ever. Give it a try and apply to find out what the Citi Simplicity® Card can do for you.
0%
18 months
Chase Slate® Credit Card
Jumpstart your financial fitness! 60 day introductory balance transfer offer, save on interest, and get your free monthly credit score.
0%
15 months
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card
20,000 online bonus points offer. Ditch the restrictions of typical airline rewards cards. Any airline, any hotel, anytime. No blackout dates.
0%
12 statement closing dates
Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®
A low, variable APR on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances.

Compare up to 4 providers

No annual fee credit cards

These no-frills cards don’t cost anything to have. If you only use your card for emergencies and small purchases no annual fee cards are a great pick. These card often offer no-interest days when you open an account, and you can find cards with low APRs. You won’t find travel benefits — like no foreign transaction fees — or rewards that other cards offer.

Rates last updated June 19th, 2018
Name Product Product Description Annual fee APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate )
HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases.
$0
14.49%, 18.49% or 24.49% variable
Amex EveryDay® Credit Card
Earn 15000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
$0
14.74% to 25.74% variable
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive the $150 back in the form of a statement credit.
$0
14.74% to 25.74% variable
Chase Freedom® credit card
Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
$0
16.49% to 25.24% variable
Chase Freedom Unlimited® credit card
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase – it's automatic. No minimum to redeem for cash back.
$0
16.49% to 25.24% variable
Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Earn more cash back for the things you buy most.
$0
14.74% to 24.74% variable
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card
20,000 online bonus points offer. Ditch the restrictions of typical airline rewards cards. Any airline, any hotel, anytime. No blackout dates.
$0
16.49% to 24.49% variable
Chase Slate® Credit Card
Jumpstart your financial fitness! 60 day introductory balance transfer offer, save on interest, and get your free monthly credit score.
$0
16.49% to 25.24% variable
Quicksilver® from Capital One®
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
$0
14.24%, 19.24% or 24.24% variable
Uber Visa Card
Get 4% points back on dining, 3% on travel, 2% on Uber rides and online shopping and 1% on other purchases, and redeem points for Uber credits, gift cards or cash back.
$0
16.49%, 22.24% or 25.24% variable
Discover it® Card
Earn 5% Cash Back in rotating categories each quarter like gas stations, restaurants, Amazon.com, wholesale clubs and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
$0
13.49% to 24.49% variable
Discover it® Miles Travel Credit Card
Earn unlimited 1.5x Miles for every dollar spent on all purchases – from airfare and hotels to groceries and online shopping.
$0
13.49% to 24.49% variable
Citi® Double Cash Card
Earn 1% cash back for payments on purchases, on top of the 1% cash back on purchases. No annual fee.
$0
14.99% to 24.99% variable

Compare up to 4 providers

Gold and platinum credit cards

Find you use your credit card for most purchases? Gold and platinum credit cards offer greater perks like higher credit limits, rewards and complimentary insurance. If finding exclusive airport lounges and hotel upgrades are important to you, the high annual fees could be worth it. Annual fees for these cards range from $150 to $500 a year, and often you need a stellar credit score to qualify.

Rates last updated June 19th, 2018
Name Product APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate ) Intro APR for Balance Transfer Annual fee Product Description
Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™
16.49% variable
0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles (with the amount of each transfer, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$995
Earn points every time you spend. Luxury Card enhances your purchasing power by providing you with one (1) point for every one dollar ($1) you spend. Every purchase gets you closer to the rewards you want.
Apply now Read review
 Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card
9.99% fixed
$48
This secured card can help you rebuild your credit with an initial deposit of $200 to $1,000.
Apply now Read review
Green Dot primor® Mastercard® Gold Secured Credit Card
9.99% fixed
$49
Low fixed interest rates with no penalty rate.
Apply now Read review
Green Dot primor® Visa® Gold Secured Credit Card
9.99% fixed
$49
Fast, easy application process. No processing or application fees!
Apply now Read review
Milestone® Gold Mastercard®
23.90% variable
$75 first year, $99 thereafter
All the benefits of Gold from the card designed for those with less than perfect credit. Milestone® Gold Mastercard®.
Apply now Read review
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
19.99% variable
$450
Earn 50000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases on the Business Platinum Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
Citi® / AAdvantage®  Platinum Select®  World Elite™ Mastercard®
17.49% to 25.49% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 thereafter)
Earn 60000 AAdvantage® bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®
17.24% to 25.24% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 60000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
AT&T Universal Savings Platinum
13.99% to 23.99% variable
0% Intro APR for 15 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0
Platinum Credit Card from Capital One®
24.73% variable
$0
Enjoy no annual fee, plus access to valuable benefits.
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
17.49% to 26.49% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 35000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new card within your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold World Elite™ Mastercard®
17.49% to 25.49% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($50 thereafter)
Earn 25000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after you spend $750 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
AccountNow® Gold Visa® Prepaid Card
The AccountNow Gold Visa Prepaid Card is a debit card that allows cardholders the convenience of direct deposit without having to open a checking account.
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
0
$0 annual fee for the first year ($195 thereafter)
Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

Choosing a credit card your your vacation depends much on your spending habits and how much you plan to use your cards. You’ll find the most savings with cards that waive foreign transaction fees. Always compare credit cards to find the best deal before opening a credit card.

Frequently asked questions about travel credit cards

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Leah Fallon

Leah Fallon is a writer and editor for finder.com. She's here to fix annoying apostrophes, elusive infinitives and the muddled em and en dash. When she's not helping people with their finances, you can find her wrangling her two sprightly girls in Leesburg, Virginia.

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