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The Best Credit Cards for International Travel

If you’re planning on traveling outside the United States, it’s a good idea to protect yourself by using a credit card instead of cash when possible. But did you know there are travel-friendly credit cards that can offer you benefits like airport lounge access, TSA Precheck®, or even reimburse you for travel expenses? Here are three of our favorites.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Annual Fee: $695 + $175 for up to 3 additional cardholders

The Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the premier travel cards around but it comes with a hefty annual fee. Also, since it’s a charge card and not a credit card, balances must be paid off in full every month (unless you’ve received a promotional offer), so it’s not the best way to consolidate credit card debt. However, as a travel card, there are enough perks to more than cover the annual fee. Owning this card gets you:

  • 5x points on travel purchases
  • $200 hotel credit
  • Complimentary access to Delta Sky Club® lounges
  • Complimentary access to the Centurion®Lounges
  • Complimentary Priority Pass membership with access to hundreds of airport lounges around the world
  • $200 airline credit (airline must be selected ahead of time and is only good for certain purchases)
  • Exclusive access to their Fine Hotels and Resorts® Collection
  • $200 Uber cash
  • No international transaction fees
  • Complimentary access to their Concierge service for travel recommendations and help
  • $189 CLEAR®Credit for faster airport security lines
  • Fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck®
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold Status
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance
  • 24/7 Global Assist® hotline for medical, legal, or financial assistance
  • Trip delay insurance
  • Trip cancellation insurance
  • Free gold cards for authorized users

Chase Sapphire Reserve® Credit Card

Annual fee: $550 + $75 for each authorized user

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card is one of the most popular travel credit cards on the market due to its generous $300 yearly travel credit. Unlike American Express, Chase does not impose many limits on how you can use its credits.

  • $300 annual travel credit to be used in a variety of ways
  • 5x points on flights purchased through Chase
  • 10x points on hotels and car rentals purchased through Chase
  • 3x points on travel
  • 50% bonus value when redeeming points through their Ultimate Rewards program
  • Complimentary Priority Pass membership with access to hundreds of airport lounges around the world
  • Fee credit for NEXUS or TSA Precheck®
  • Trip cancellation insurance
  • Trip interruption insurance
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • No international transaction fees

Capital One Venture® X Rewards Credit Card

Annual fee: $395

While still offering a significant annual fee, Capital One’s premier travel card offers a lot of benefits that put it well above your standard $95 annual fee card and is one of the few premier cards that has a $0 fee for additional users. However, you must have excellent credit to be approved so this isn’t a card for those trying to build their credit.

  • Unlimited 10x miles on hotels and rental cars reserved through Capital One Travel
  • Unlimited 5x miles on flights booked via Capital One Travel
  • Up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck®
  • Complimentary access to Capital One lounges
  • Complimentary Priority Pass membership
  • Up to $300 Capital One Travel credit
  • 10,000 miles anniversary bonus
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Miles don’t expire
  • No blackout dates
  • Cell phone insurance
  • Free additional cardholders
  • Complimentary Hertz President’s Circle®status

The bottom line

If you’re looking for a great travel credit card, one that offers primary cardholder discounts on hotels, flights, and rental cars, and great rewards programs, then be sure to consider one of the cards listed in this article.