Market-leading rewards and the freedom to swipe anywhere in the world make Visa credit cards some of the best for travel. But to get the full benefits when making purchases abroad, choose a card with no foreign transaction fees.
Best Visa travel credit cards
When making our picks for best Visa travel credit cards, we compared several features among available travel cards, including reward points per dollar spent, value of points upon redemption, welcome offer values, annual travel credits, point transfer options, flexibility of reward categories and other perks or benefits a frequent traveler might look for in a travel credit card. We chose cards with exemplary performance in one or more of these categories for our list below.
Frequent travelers could get solid benefits with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. With it, you can take advantage of a generous signup bonus and earn double points on travel and dining purchases.
Reward points. Earn 2x points on travel and dining at restaurants and 1x points on everything else you buy. Also, until March 2022, you get to earn 5x points on Lyft rides. When you redeem your points for travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards, they are worth 25% more.
Signup bonus. Spend $4,000 within 3 months of your account opening and earn 60,000 bonus points - worth $750 when redeemed for flight tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. You'll also be able to earn up to $50 in statement credit towards groceries.
Point transfer. You can transfer your points at a 1:1 ratio with Chase's airline and hotel partners, including JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, IHG hotels, Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton World of Hyatt and more.
15.99% to 22.99% variable
Foreign transaction fee
60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, a value of up to $750 through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Plus up to $50 statement credit towards groceries.
5x points on Lyft, 2x points on up to $1,000 on groceries until April 30, 2021, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
Best Visa card for the ultimate traveler Chase Sapphire Reserve®
If you travel often and you want to get a credit card with high reward value and premium benefits, consider the Chase Sapphire Reserve® credit card.
Reward points. Earn 3x points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, and 10x points on Lyft purchases until March 2022. Every other purchase earns you 1x points. Redeem your points through Chase Ultimate Rewards and get 50% higher value for your points.
Signup bonus. Spend $4,000 within your first 3 months of card membership to earn 50,000 bonus points. According to the Chase website as of February 2019, that's up to $750 worth of travel redemption through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Annual travel credit. Each year get a $300 statement credit and use it as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card. Plus, get your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee reimbursed on up to $100 once every four years.
16.99% to 23.99% variable
Foreign transaction fee
50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
10x points on Lyft rides, 3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit and 1x points on all other purchases
World of Hyatt Credit Card is a one of the most rewarding Visa cards you can find. That's because you get a free night each year, a massive rewards rate on World of Hyatt stays, and the chance to earn a generous signup bonus worth up to 10 hotel stays.
Reward points. Earn 9x points on World of Hyatt purchases, 2x points on fitness club and gym memberships, local transit and commuting purchases, at restaurants and on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline. Earn 1x points on everything else you buy.
Signup bonus. Earn 30,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in your first 3 months of card membership. You'll also earn 2x instead of 1x points on up to $15,000 (for a total of up to 30,000 additional points) in the first 6 months.
Reward night. Get one reward night each year on your card anniversary. This is enough to offset the annual fee. Also, if you spend $15,000 with your card in one year, you get an additional free night.
15.99% to 22.99% variable
Foreign transaction fee
30,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus 2x instead of 1x points on up to $15,000 (up to 30,000 more points) in the first 6 months
9x total points at Hyatt hotels as a World of Hyatt member, 2x on gyms, commuting, dining and airlines and 1x on all other purchases
Are you a frequent customer of a particular hotel or airline? Look into cobranded hotel or airline credit cards, as you may be able to earn significant rewards. You’ll also find unique perks that normal credit cards won’t offer.
Where do you spend the most money? Rewards rates vary between cards, so lean toward the products that offer bonus rewards for the categories in which you spend the most.
How do you want to redeem rewards? If you enjoy transferring points and trying to get the most value from your rewards, look into cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve®.
What kind of welcome offer do you want? Annual-fee cards tend to have superior welcome offers compared to those with no-annual-fee cards. But among annual-fee cards, a higher price doesn’t always mean a better bonus. For example, the Chase Sapphire cards sometimes have bonuses of equal value.
Compare Visa travel credit cards
Visa travel rewards benefits
Depending on your credit score, most banks will either give you a Visa Platinum or a Visa Signature card. The difference between the two is the higher credit line you get with the Visa Signature, starting from $5,000. You also get additional perks and higher coverage amounts. But all Visa cards come with:
Car rental coverage. When you pay the full rental amount with your Visa card, you get coverage against collision damage and theft up to the value of the car. Some cars aren’t covered, including minivans, expensive or antique cars. The coverage extends to 15 consecutive days within the US or 31 days abroad.
Roadside dispatch. Visa uses a pay-per-use dispatch program, which sends help when your car breaks down. The service is available 24/7 and a single service call costs $59.95.
Zero Fraud Liability. You’re protected against unauthorized fraudulent charges made with your card, but you have to report them to your bank.
Lost or stolen card reporting. In case you lose your card or it’s stolen, call Visa at 800-847-2911 and customer service will help you.
Emergency card replacement and cash disbursement. If you lose your card, Visa can block it for you and arrange an emergency card replacement with your bank. They will also work with your issuer to arrange sending cash near you.
Visa Signature benefits
Travel and emergency assistance. When you’re traveling anywhere in the world, you have access to emergency service assistance 24/7. Services include, emergency message service, medical, legal, emergency transportation assistance, lost luggage locator service, translation service and more. Know, that you are responsible for any third-party service charges.
Lost luggage reimbursement. Use your card to buy a common carrier ticket and get reimbursement for your checked or carry-on bags and their contents in case of theft or loss.
Trip delay and cancelation reimbursement. Get up to $300 when you’re stuck for more than 12 hours due to a covered event. You can also get reimbursement for the non-refundable purchases you made, like flight tickets or cruises in the case of trip cancelation.
Travel accident insurance. Use your Visa Signature card to buy your common carrier ticket and get travel accident insurance.
American Express. There are powerful Amex travel credit cards, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express, American Express® Gold Card and Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card.
If you’re looking for the best travel credit card, make sure you consider Visa credit cards. You won’t have any problems paying anywhere in the world, plus you get to earn rewards and — depending on what kind of Visa card you get — you can enjoy Visa travel benefits and protection.
Kliment Dukovski is a credit cards writer. He's written over 600 articles to help readers find and compare the best credit cards. Kliment has also written on money transfers, home loans and more. Previously, he ghostwrote guides and articles on foreign exchange, stock market trading and cryptocurrencies.
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