If you love to travel, some of the things that you would regard as your best would be accommodation, flights, food, safety, and basically affordable travel. But it turns out that these are not the only best things that could make your next international trip fun and more memorable than the last. When it comes to your finances during international trips, the best thing that you could have in your wallet is a reliable credit card, perhaps a zero-interest credit card?
We all know that traveling abroad is quite expensive, and the travel costs will pile up pretty fast if you have to pay transaction fees every time you use your credit card. And can we all agree that there is nothing more frustrating than getting home from your trip to find that all the transactions posted to your credit card from your trip have a minimum charge of 3% charged to them? At 3% or more, the charges add up so fast, and you end up paying more £££ than you ever would?
Well, thanks to someone who understands the pain you are going through, let’s introduce you to not just the best but the best credit cards that will charge you NOTHING / ZERO in foreign transaction fees.
These cards allow you to pay for the big-ticket items such as car rentals and hotel rooms without worrying about the extra fees charged to your card.
The good news is that you have many options to choose from, and the cards will work for you whether you travel often or if you travel once a year or every other year.
In your search for the best credit card for international travel, you need to check how well that credit card suits your needs.
For the most part, some of the credit cards you find will offer more benefits for the hotel stays, while others offer much better flight perks.
In addition to your needs and perks, you also need to take into account the APR% charged monthly charges and annual fees.
Beware of the cash withdrawal fees too.
The best Credit Cards for International Travel
The NatWest Credit Card
If you are looking for an international travel credit card with a very low APR and zero foreign transaction fees, then this Natwest credit card could be exactly what you need.
This card boasts an impressive track record of being that go-to, solid credit card that you can take everywhere. Although it promises a low APR, you should keep in mind that this card doesn’t offer any sign-up bonuses, rewards, or cash-backs.
On top of being the best credit card for UK residents travelling abroad, this card is also one of the best day-to-day credit cards that you can use in the UK. Note that the absence of 0% balance transfers on interest and also the absence of rewards could be because the card’s target is the travel scene.
You might also like this credit card because it has no annual fees and no balance transfer fees.
Overall, this is an excellent credit card, and the only thing that could be improved is the rewards category – this move would definitely make the card even more attractive!
Aqua Reward Credit Card
Aqua Reward credit card by Aqua could be exactly what you need if you wish to enjoy all the benefits of travel credit cards, especially when you have a weak/ poor credit card. This credit card allows you to enjoy the best no-fees travel, and you may also like this card because you will not be charged any fees for the non-sterling transactions abroad.
Note, however, that the card charges a 3% fee with a minimum of £3 for any cash withdrawal you make, whether you are making the withdrawal abroad or at home. Therefore, like most other international travel credit cards, we do not recommend using this card for any cash withdrawal from the ATM.
In addition to the zero-transaction fee on non-sterling settlements, and the fact that the card works for individuals with poor credit, this credit card also offers rewards in the form of cashback rewards, at a rate of 0.5%.
What’s the catch? Well, if you’ve done your homework, you will agree with us that this card comes with conditions that are too good to be true. And you are right to think so. The truth is that with the card being acceptable to individuals with poor credit ratings, it comes with a huge caveat in the form of a high APR. Aqua Reward credit cards have a higher than average variable cash APR of 44.95% and a variable purchase APR of 34.95%. So, while the card doesn’t charge annual fees, get it only if you really need it.
It’s also worth noting that this card is an ideal no-fee international card for students, as well as individuals with poor credit. It’s also an excellent credit builder if you need a UK credit card to use abroad.
IHG Rewards Club Premium Credit Card
This travel credit card is one of the best cards for international travel for anyone looking for the best hotel rewards. And thanks to this card, you could enjoy close to free stays in some of the best hotels. The next time you are planning an international holiday or if you are getting ready for a business trip, you may like this card.
Some of the benefits of this card include the 4 IHG Rewards Club points that cardholders earn for every pound they spend in IHG properties and an additional 2 rewards/pound when the card is used elsewhere. There is also an awesome welcome bonus of 20,000 points – these points are worth about £100. You could also earn a free night each year you travel if you spend £10,00 with the card. Overall, this premium credit card could earn you £640 in rewards in two years. The card charges a fee of £99 annually. The card is also affordable, with a 0% charge on balance transfers for a year and a 22.9% variable purchase rate.
Virgin Money Travel Credit Card
Stress-free travel abroad always means being aware of how much you’d be spending where, or at least having an estimate. But even with this in mind, you wouldn’t want to incur high transaction fees on each retail, hotel, and leisure stop and use your card because these fees will add up too fast and become impossible for you to handle.
This credit card from Virgin Money makes travelling easy since you not only get to transact in foreign currency at no cost, but you also get to enjoy a 12-month interest-free introductory period for both card purchases, as well as credit card balance transfers.
Besides the zero fees charged, this card promises to make your next trip easier and more affordable with the travel discounts that are offered for by Virgin Holidays. Virgin Holidays also offers cashback rewards on their travel insurance package, making this card the perfect choice for anyone looking for an all-rounded travel package.
Along with the zero fees on foreign transactions, and the 0% interest in the 12 months after you first get the card, this card carries another caveat – a 4% fee on money transfers made within 60 days of getting/ using the card.
However, you should know that this card has a 3% cash advance fee that’s charged on ATM withdrawals – these fees apply to cash withdrawals in the UK and also overseas.
Another important thing you should know before you get or use this card is that Virgin Money doesn’t allow balance transfers from any other credit card, even when issued by Virgin Money. And if you go over your credit limit or miss the minimum payment acceptable, your promotion rates will be withdrawn.
The other downside of this credit card is that its minimum monthly payment fee is considerably higher than what’s charged by other credit card companies. At £25, you might want to shop around for other cards first, and only settle on this credit card if its features match your needs.
Halifax Clarity Credit Card
With zero annual fees and no fees charged on foreign transactions, this card is a great fit for you if you are looking for the best credit card to use when travelling abroad. Unfortunately, this card, just like most of the other credit cards that do not charge foreign transaction fees, it doesn’t offer any rewards or offers. There are no sign-up bonuses, rewards, or cashbacks.
The card is widely accepted, and it makes use of the MasterCard foreign exchange rates. To qualify for his credit card, your credit rating should be good or excellent.
Nationwide Select Credit Card
If you need a full-featured credit card that will make your next trip easier and more affordable, then you might want to have this Nationwide Select credit card into consideration. This card comes with a 12-month introductory interest rate of 0% applicable to balance transfers and purchases. It also offers a no-balance transfer fee.
But what makes this card really stand out from the other international travel credit cards is the fact that you will not be charged the foreign exchange fees when using this card, and this means an even cheaper trip.
You must have a good or an excellent credit card rating to use this credit card. The other impressive bit is that if you are looking for a credit card that will help you pay less for a large upcoming purchase, for example, a £1,200 purchase/ balance on your card, using this credit card for that purchase would save you as much £227. This is a huge saving, even with an APR of 18.9% on the credit card after the end of the 12-month period. All you have to do to enjoy such benefits is to ensure that you pay off your credit card balance within the 12-month introductory period.
The other thing worth noting is that this Nationwide Select Credit Card is a Visa card, meaning that the Visa exchange rates apply.
But this card isn’t perfect: while the zero-balance transfer offer draws you to the card, the 12-month period might not be adequate for you if you make a big purchase. The other issue is that this card is currently available only to Nationwide’s existing customers, specifically, the customers with main current accounts at Nationwide. You need a good or an excellent credit rating to enjoy the benefits of this card.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
If you are looking for the best international credit card for luxury travel, then you might want to try this Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card.
It offers bonuses, rewards, and offers. But being a luxury travel card, be ready for high annual fees and a balance transfer fee. There is no introductory APR.
Choosing the Best Credit Cards for International Travel
While the main consideration in your search for the best credit cards for international travel is the absence of fees charged on foreign transactions, basically zero fees on non-sterling transactions, that is not the only feature that you should be looking at when searching for the best credit card to use when traveling abroad. There are several other important features for you to consider. They include:
Overseas usage fees – as the key to international travel and international travel credit cards, you need to make sure that the credit card you are applying for has no foreign transaction fees. You should also check out reviews from other users of the card just to make sure that the card offers all it promises.
Rewards – If a credit card offers no foreign transaction fees plus rewards, and the APR is reasonable, then you have yourself a good deal.
Travel discounts – Check for credit cards that offer travel discounts. Even though very few travel credit card companies offer travel discounts as perks, they are not entirely absent from the market. But again, you must ensure that the discount is not being charged back to in some other way, such as high monthly rates or the absence of an introductory APR.
Introductory 0% offers – A 0% introductory offer is just as good as the zero foreign transaction fee when it comes to the best international travel.
Credit Rating – Note that all the credit cards for international travel covered above are accessible to individuals with either good or excellent credit ratings. Essentially, good/ excellent credit rating means low APR, approval of your application, and better terms overall.
That said, if you are comparing credit cards for travel, you need to check the foreign transaction fees, the annual fees, standard APR, as well as perks like cashbacks, bonuses, and rewards.