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Credit cards for travel

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 February 18th, 2018
Name Product Product Description Rewards Points per $ spent (VISA/MC) APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate ) Annual fee
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
Enjoy 40000
bonus miles after you spend on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase.
2
17.24%, 21.24% or 24.24% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($89 thereafter)
Luxury Card Mastercard® Titanium Card™
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
1
16.24% variable
$195 ($95 for each Authorized User added to the account)
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
16.24% variable
$995 ($295 for each Authorized User added to the account)

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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

Avoid getting charged a fee for currency conversion when making purchases overseas or online.

Rates last updated February 18th, 2018
Name Product Product Description Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (MC) Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (VISA) Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (AMEX) Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
Enjoy 40000
bonus miles after you spend on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase.
0% of transaction value
$0
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
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
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 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
Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit card
Earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants.
0% of transaction value
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card
Earn 2x points on Southwest® purchases and points on all other purchases. Plus 6,000 anniversary bonus points.
0% of transaction value
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Card
Buy one ticket, get one for just the taxes and fees with Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare™ offer.
0% of transaction value
BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card
Ditch the restrictions of typical airline rewards cards. Any airline, any hotel, anytime. No blackout dates.
0% of transaction value
Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
Earn bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
0% of transaction value

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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 February 18th, 2018
Name Product Product Description Rewards Points per $ spent (VISA/MC) APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate ) Annual fee
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
Enjoy 40000
bonus miles after you spend on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase.
2
17.24%, 21.24% or 24.24% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($89 thereafter)
Luxury Card Mastercard® Titanium Card™
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
1
16.24% variable
$195 ($95 for each Authorized User added to the account)
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
16.24% variable
$995 ($295 for each Authorized User added to the account)

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travel fees

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.

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 February 18th, 2018
Name Product Product Description Intro Purchase APR Intro Purchase APR Period
Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®
A low, variable APR on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances.
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%
First 15 billing cycles
BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card
Ditch the restrictions of typical airline rewards cards. Any airline, any hotel, anytime. No blackout dates.
0%
12 billing cycles

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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 February 18th, 2018
Name Product Product Description Annual fee APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate )
Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®
A low, variable APR on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances.
$0
10.24% variable
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
Enjoy 40000
bonus miles after you spend on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($89 thereafter)
17.24%, 21.24% or 24.24% variable
Simmons Bank Visa® Platinum
The Simmons Bank Visa® Platinum Card offers multiple perks, including one of the lowest available APRs on the market.
$0
9.25% variable
Simmons Bank Visa® Platinum Rewards
Excellent Credit Required - Applicants that do not have excellent credit will not be approved
$0
11.25% variable
Barclaycard NFL Extra Points Credit Card
Balance transfer offer of 0.00% for 15 months and enjoy 10,000 bonus points.
$0
15.99% to 25.99% 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
16.24%, 21.99% or 24.99% variable

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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 February 18th, 2018
Name Product APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate ) Intro APR for Balance Transfer Annual fee Product Description
Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™
16.24% variable
0% Intro APR for for the first 15 billing cycles (with the amount of each transfer, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$995 ($295 for each Authorized User added to the account)
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.
American Express Business Platinum Card
American Express Business Platinum Card
$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.
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.
Citi® / AAdvantage®  Platinum Select®  World Elite™ Mastercard®
17.24% to 25.24% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 60000 AAdvantage® bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.
primor® Secured Mastercard® Gold Card
9.99% variable
$49
Low fixed interest rates with no penalty rate.
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®
16.74% to 24.74% 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.
primor® Secured Visa Gold Card
9.99% variable
$49
Fast, easy application process. No processing or application fees!
Citibank AT&T Universal Savings Platinum Card
13.99% to 23.99% variable
0% Intro APR for 15 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0
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®.
Capital One® Platinum Credit Card
24.99% variable
$0
Enjoy no annual fee, plus access to valuable benefits.
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
16.99% to 25.99% variable
16.99% to 25.99%% Intro APR for 60 days of account opening (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 30000 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 Gold / AAdvantage World Mastercard
16.99% to 24.99% variable
0% Intro APR for 15 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$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
No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month
$0 annual fee for the first year ($195 thereafter)
More Points. More Rewards.

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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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