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