Compare travel credit cards for 2024

The right travel credit card can give your trip an extra lift. Choose from cards with no foreign transaction fees, or perks like lounge access.

Promoted for spending abroad
Santander All in One Credit Card logo
Santander All in One Credit Card
Check eligibility
29.8% APR representative variable
4.5 ★★★★★
No foreign transaction fees
Over a year to spread the cost of purchases
Earn 0.5% cashback
Best for hotel perks
The Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card logo
Finder Award
The Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card
Check eligibility
54.8% APR representative variable
4 ★★★★★
Earn points on purchases
Earn 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points
Free Travel Inconvenience Insurance
Best for Avios points
British Airways American Express Credit Card logo
Finder Award
British Airways American Express Credit Card
Check eligibility
31% APR representative variable
4 ★★★★★
No annual fee
Earn Avios as you spend
Generous welcome offer

What makes a credit card a good travel companion? There are many ways credit cards can improve your trip abroad, from saving a few pounds on fees to making you feel like a VIP with airport lounge access.

The best travel credit card option for you is going to depend on what you need the card to do. Let’s break it down.

Compare travel credit cards

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first
1 - 9 of 24
Name Product Finder Score Foreign transaction fee Foreign cash transaction fee Interest-free days on foreign transactions Interest-free days on foreign cash transactions Incentive Representative example Link
Santander All in One Credit Card
4.5
★★★★★
0%
3% (min. £3)
Up to 56 days
0 days
0.5% after £1 of monthly spend. Maximum of £10 cashback paid per month. Cashback paid monthly into Card Account. Maximum spend for cashback purposes is limited to credit limit.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 23.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £3 per month, your representative rate is 29.8% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
View details
Yonder Credit Card
Finder Award
Yonder Credit Card
4.5
★★★★★
0%
0%
0 days
0 days
First month free for new members, £15 p/m thereafter. Plus, 10,000 bonus points. Earn 5 points per £1 spent and up to 25 points per £1 at selected partners. Membership includes worldwide travel insurance, no FX fees and use your points towards any flight.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 29.94% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £15 per month, your representative rate is 66.7% APR (variable).
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View details
Additional account needed
Santander Edge Credit Card Mastercard
4.5
★★★★★
0%
3% (min. £3)
0 days
0 days
Limited time offer: Existing Santander Edge current account customers can also receive £18 for opening a Santander Edge credit card between 21 May and 2 July 2024. T&Cs apply.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 23.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £3 per month, your representative rate is 29.8% APR (variable).
View details
The Royal Bank Credit Card
4.7
★★★★★
0%
3%
Up to 56 days
0 days
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 12.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 12.9% APR (variable).
View details
NatWest Credit Card
4.7
★★★★★
0%
3%
Up to 56 days
0 days
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 12.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 12.9% APR (variable).
View details
Royal Bank of Scotland Reward Black Credit Card
4.0
★★★★★
0%
3%
Up to 56 days
0 days
Earn 1% back at supermarkets and 0.5% back everywhere else, including supermarket petrol stations. At selected retailers, you could earn 1-15% back.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £84 per annum. Reward Black Current Account holders: £0 per annum, your representative rate is 40.7% APR (variable).
View details
NatWest Reward Black Credit Card
4.3
★★★★★
0%
3%
Up to 56 days
0 days
You'll earn 1% back at supermarkets and 0.5% back everywhere else, including supermarket petrol stations. At selected retailers, you could earn 1-15% back.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £84 per annum. Reward Black Current Account holders: Year 2 onwards - £0 per annum, your representative rate is 40.7% APR (variable).
View details
The Ulster Bank Credit Card Mastercard
4.7
★★★★★
0%
3%
Up to 56 days
0 days
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 12.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 12.9% APR (variable).
View details
Metro Bank Personal Credit Card Mastercard
4.0
★★★★★
0% within the EU and 2.99% in other countries
0%
Up to 56 days
0 days
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).
View details
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Approval for any credit card depends on your status. The representative APRs shown represent the interest rate offered to most successful applicants. Depending on your personal circumstances, the APR you're offered may be higher, or you may not be offered credit at all. Fees and rates are subject to change without notice. It's always wise to check the terms of any deal before you borrow. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables is provided by Moneyfacts.

Priority Pass discounts

Deal

Lounge access with Priority Pass

Access 1,500+ airport lounges and premium travel experiences globally, in 600 cities across 148 countries

How to choose your travel credit card

Even if you go on holiday only once a year, it’s a good idea to have a separate credit card for when you travel. That’s because your needs will be different when you’re on the road or enjoying the sun on a tropical beach from when the longest distance you travel is that between your house and the office. But how do you go about picking a good travel credit card?

The main decision you have to make is which features you want to prioritise. Here’s a basic list of things you may want to consider when comparing travel credit cards:

Approval for any credit card depends on your status. The representative APRs shown represent the interest rate offered to most successful applicants. Depending on your personal circumstances, the APR you're offered may be higher, or you may not be offered credit at all. Fees and rates are subject to change without notice. It's always wise to check the terms of any deal before you borrow. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables is provided by Moneyfacts.

Avoid non-sterling transaction conversion fees

When travelling abroad, avoiding foreign exchange fees can be a tough task, but it’s not impossible. When using your credit card overseas, there are three main kinds of fees you should expect and learn how to dodge:

  • Foreign transaction fees charged by your credit card provider. They’re charged every time you pay in a foreign currency and can amount up to 3% of the transaction. The only way of avoiding them when paying on plastic is getting a credit card that allows fee-free spending abroad.
  • Fees charged by local merchants. When paying with your card, you may be offered the option of paying in pounds instead of the local currency. If you’ve taken out a credit card designed for use abroad (one that offers fee-free non-sterling transactions) you should opt to pay in the local currency, since you know that your own bank is giving you a favourable currency conversion deal. Outside the EU merchants sometimes also apply a surcharge if you want to pay by card and not in cash. If you’re concerned that this may be the case, it’s worth asking about it before picking a payment method.
  • Cash advance fees. Almost all credit cards charge you extra for withdrawing cash, both in the UK and abroad. Out of the country, it’s even more expensive because the cash advance fee will add up to the foreign currency transaction fee, so you should only get cash with your credit card in case of emergency.

Compare 0% foreign fees credit cards

Spread the cost of your getaway

Planning a great holiday but not sure you can afford to pay for it in one go? With a 0% purchase credit card, you’ll be able to spread the cost over a few months without having to pay any interest on it.

0% purchase credit cards can be great for breaking down the cost of a trip into more affordable instalments, but you really need to have paid the sum back by the time the introductory deal expires. Otherwise, your balance will start accruing interest at the card’s standard rate (which is usually not very competitive). It’s essential to work out a repayment plan (divide your expenditure by the number of months in the 0% deal to work out what you should repay each month) and stick to it to make sure you pay the whole sum back on time.

Compare 0% purchase credit cards

Finder's pick

Santander World Elite Mastercard

18 months

0% interest on balance transfers

0%

Balance transfer fee

18 months

0% interest on purchases

49.8%

Representative APR

Only available to existing Santander Select or Private Banking customers, and going head-to-head with the slightly-more-expensive HSBC World Elite, this card offers interest-free periods on both balance transfers and purchases, as well as significant rewards and travel perks. Cardholders can travel in style with free LoungeKey membership – one of the most popular programmes going – allowing unlimited access to airport lounges in over 120 countries. Plus when you use your card overseas, you won’t have to worry about pesky non-sterling transaction fees.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Earn cashback on purchases
  • 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers
  • No balance transfer fee within introductory period
  • Mastercard Concierge.
  • Free LoungeKey airport lounge membership, with complimentary access for additional cardholders.
  • No extra fees for up to three additional cardholders.
  • £15 monthly account fee
  • Must be a Santander Select or Private banking customer.
  • High annual income requirement to open Select or Private bank accounts.
Minimum income 10500
Residency UK Resident
Availability Available to existing customers
Foreign usage charge (EU) 0%
Cash advance fee 29.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £15 per month, your representative rate is 49.8% APR (variable).

Get yourself some hotel perks

A small number of credit cards offer special hotel benefits like room upgrades, priority check-in, later check-out times or the opportunity to earn points that can be redeemed for free stays.

These cards are often offered by the hotel companies themselves and are more suitable to people that travel quite often and stay at the same kind of hotel. If that sounds like you, you’ll be able to make the most of the perks while also earning points quite quickly.

Finder's pick

The Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card

54.8%

Representative APR

£95

Yearly account fee

60,000 points

Max. intro bonus

Earn 2 points

per £1 spent

If you like to travel in style, then you can still earn tailored rewards while you spend with this specialised offer.
  • Earn points on purchases
  • Earn 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points
  • Free Travel Inconvenience Insurance
  • £95 annual account fee
  • A relatively high interest rate on purchases
  • Applicants with low credit scores are unlikely to be eligible
Residency UK resident and has a UK bank or building society account.
Availability Available to new customers
Foreign usage charge (EU) 2.99%
Cash advance fee 38.3%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 31% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £95 per annum, your representative rate is 54.8% APR (variable).

Travel in comfort with airport lounge access

Airports – not much fun are they? But if you can relax in an airport lounge, you’ll cut out much of the stress and feel pretty smug at the same time. You’ll need to be comfortable with the idea of paying an annual or monthly account fee in return for complimentary lounge access (if that’s a deal-breaker, consider a one-off membership to a scheme like Priority Pass). But on the plus side, lounge access won’t be the only benefit these cards offer.

Compare cards with airport lounge access

Finder's pick

HSBC Premier World Elite Credit Card

59.3%

Representative APR

£195

Yearly account fee

40,000 points

Max. intro bonus

Up to 56 days

Interest-free each billing period

  • Rewards points for every £1 you spend.
  • Welcome points offer when you first open account.
  • Anniversary points boost.
  • Access to HSBC Premier Privileges (discounts and experiences).
  • Free LoungeKey airport lounge membership.
  • Must be an existing HSBC Premier Bank customer.
  • Minimum income of £75,000 and have a HSBC mortgage, investment, life insurance or protection product; or have at least £50,000 in savings or investments with HSBC.
  • High annual fee.
  • No 0% interest introductory offers on purchases or balance transfers.
  • Foreign transaction fees.
  • Fees for additional cardholders.
Residency Must hold a HSBC Premier Current Account, eligibility criteria apply.
Availability Available to existing customers
Foreign usage charge (EU) 2.99%
Cash advance fee 18.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £195 per annum, your representative rate is 59.3% APR (variable).

Collect air miles with a frequent flyer card

Just like credit cards that offer hotel perks, frequent flyer credit cards are meant for people who fly, well, frequently. If you get on a plane once a year, you won’t be able to make the most of them; if it’s more like once a month, they can really be worth it.

They work just like rewards credit cards, but let you earn air miles on all your spending instead of points or cashback. Usually, you’ll earn even more miles when you use the card to purchase tickets with the card’s partner airlines. You can get both basic options without annual fees and premium options that do charge an annual fee in return for a higher earn rate.

Compare frequent flyer credit cards

Finder's pick

British Airways American Express® Credit Card

31%

Representative APR

£0

Account fee

5,000 points

Max. intro bonus

Up to 56 days

Interest-free each billing period

Earn points virtually every time you use your card, to redeem with British Airways or a number of other airlines, for flights, flight upgrades, hotel stays and more. You can also benefit from a generous intro points offer, and won't pay an annual fee.
  • No annual fee
  • Earn Avios as you spend
  • Generous welcome offer
  • Free supplementary cards
  • Companion flight voucher each year you spend £12,000
  • Use Amex’s referral programme to boost your points earnings. For every friend who is approved, you receive 4,000 Avios (up to 9,000 Avios). Check out our guide to Amex's referral programme
  • Travel accident insurance up to £75,000 (subject to enrolment), plus access to Global Assist® 24/7 emergency assistance
  • Refund Protection (90 days to return, receive max £200 per item, £750 per year)
  • No annual fee
  • Big spenders who clear their balance in full each month may get more from the Premium Plus card
  • If you carry an outstanding balance month-to-month, the relatively high interest rate will cancel out any benefits
  • Welcome bonus limited to new Cardmembers or those who have not held a personal American Express card in the past 24 months.
  • This card carries a 2.99% foreign usage charge
Residency UK resident and has a UK bank or building society account.
Availability Available to new customers
Foreign usage charge (EU) 2.99%
Cash advance fee 38.3%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 31% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 31% APR (variable).

Enjoy peace of mind with complimentary travel insurance

There are a few premium cards out there that come with travel insurance included and save you the hassle of having to purchase it separately. Expect fairly pricey annual fees in return for a whole lot of benefits, such as airport lounge access.

It’s not easy to calculate when it’s better to get a card that offers it and when it’s more convenient to purchase it separately, but as we said, the travel insurance will usually be combined with other perks, so it’s a good idea to check whether those are appealing to you or not.

Finder's pick

The Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card

54.8%

Representative APR

£95

Yearly account fee

60,000 points

Max. intro bonus

Earn 2 points

per £1 spent

If you like to travel in style, then you can still earn tailored rewards while you spend with this specialised offer.
  • Earn points on purchases
  • Earn 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points
  • Free Travel Inconvenience Insurance
  • £95 annual account fee
  • A relatively high interest rate on purchases
  • Applicants with low credit scores are unlikely to be eligible
Residency UK resident and has a UK bank or building society account.
Availability Available to new customers
Foreign usage charge (EU) 2.99%
Cash advance fee 38.3%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 31% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £95 per annum, your representative rate is 54.8% APR (variable).

Track real-time spending in an app

We know how it goes: you’re on holiday, buy a souvenir here and an extra ice cream there, and when you come back and check your card statement you realise you’ve spectacularly exceeded your budget for the trip.

A practical way of keeping an eye on the money you spend while travelling is downloading your credit card’s app on your smartphone. The best mobile banking apps will notify you whenever you use the card and allow you to check all your recent transactions in real time. For example, the American Express app does just that, while also allowing you to set up a spend tracking alert that will notify you when you overspend.

Compare banking apps


How to use a credit card in…

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables has the source: Moneyfacts Group PLC. In other cases, Finder has sourced data directly from providers.

Written by

Chris Lilly

Chris Lilly is Head of publishing at finder.com. He's a specialist in personal finance, from day-to-day banking to investing to borrowing, and is passionate about helping UK consumers make informed decisions about their money. In his spare time Chris likes forcing his kids to exercise more. See full profile

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