Top Credit Cards for International Travel (Updated March 2024)

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Check out all the reasons these are the top credit cards for international travel for this month! 

Last Updated: March 1, 2024

credit cards for international travel

Are you planning an international trip and looking for the best credit cards to save money on flights and hotels? Look no further than our regularly updated blog post covering the top credit cards for international travel.

We have saved over $15,000 on our full-time travels thanks to credit card hacking and the free miles and points earned from travel credit cards. And we’re not alone! Many travelers use these rewards programs to make their travel dreams a reality.

Our post is updated monthly to ensure that you have access to the best credit card options and sign-up deals for your next international adventure. But do know that some credit card deals are subject to availability, directed towards specific customers, and all must be handled responsibly. Only sign up for a new credit card if you can consistently pay off all your credit card debt every month.

This post is all about the best credit cards for international travel (updated monthly!).

Best Credit cards for international travel

Annual Fee: $95

Rewards Points: Ultimate Rewards Points

Current Offer: 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months.

This is our go-to everyday card. Since it is Visa, we can use it most everywhere and earn great points on our everyday spending. We love the value of the Ultimate Rewards Points and how we can transfer them to a host of other programs for free flights.

International Travel Benefits: 
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • 2x points on all travel; 5x points on travel booked in Chase Portal
  • 3x points on all dining – works globally, not just US
  • $50 Annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit
  • 10% anniversary points boost
  • 1:1 transfer value to many airlines and hotel loyalty programs
  • 25% bonus on booking travel through the Chase Portal with Ultimate Rewards Points
  • Includes various travel protection benefits (trip cancellation, baggage delay, trip delay, travel accident, etc.)
  • Visa accepted globally
Best Uses:
  • All travel purchases (hotels, rental cars, train tickets, tours, etc.) – 2x points
  • All restaurants, takeout, and delivery food – 3x points 
  • Any other miscellaneous purchases – great 1:1 transfer partners, 25% bonus in Chase Portal, Visa accepted globally, 10% points boost

Annual Fee: $695

Rewards Points: Membership Rewards Points

Current Offer: 80,000 points after spending $8,000 in the first 6 months.

I know the annual fee is daunting. But I promise it is WORTH IT. If you travel a ton, this card has so many layers of benefits it’s hard even to value it all. After using it excessively for over three years, we could not travel without this card. It is an Amex which means it’s not always accepted internationally. However, we use it for all our fixed subscriptions and flights. Just look at how long the highlights section is below!

International Travel Benefits:
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • 5x points on flights booked direct; 5x points on hotels and flights booked through the Amex Portal
  • Access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection (includes Priority Pass and Centurion Lounges)
  • $189 CLEAR Plus Credit
  • $100 Credit for Global Entry Credit or TSA PreCheck (every 4 years)
  • Gold Status with Hilton Honors
    • Includes free breakfast, room upgrades, 5th night free on reward stays, milestone bonuses, and more!
  • Gold Elite Status with Marriott Bonvoy
    • Includes 25% points bonus, room upgrades, late checkout, and more!
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit (for incidentals)
  • $200 Uber Cash ($15 per month + $20 bonus in December)
  • $200 Annual Hotel Credit on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts (or the Hotel Collection)
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit (includes Disney+ and Audible)
  • Enrollment in Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Program
  • Amex Offers & Benefits (rotating offers that often include statement credits or additional points on travel purchases)
  • 1:1 transfer value to many airlines and hotel loyalty programs
  • Platinum Card Concierge
  • Private Jet Program
  • Includes various travel protection benefits (trip cancellation, baggage insurance, trip delay, travel accident, rental car protection etc.)
Best Uses:
  • All direct flight bookings – 5x points, Airline fee credit, travel protection benefits 
  • CLEAR Plus Subscription – $189 credit
  • Global Entry Application (includes TSA PreCheck) – $100 credit 
  • Uber Account – $15 monthly credit 
  • Entertainment Subscriptions (Audible, Disney+, etc.) – $20 monthly credit
  • Rental Cars – car rental insurance, 15% discount + upgrades (Hertz)
  • Specific Brands on the Amex Offers & Benefits List
  • Any other miscellaneous purchases – great 1:1 transfer partners

Annual Fee: $95

Rewards Points: Capital One Miles

Current Offer: 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months.

The card pays for itself in the first year with the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit alone. Not to mention the $750+ value of the bonus miles. This is a great card to get and use on your daily purchases since you earn two times miles on all purchases, and you can transfer those miles to over 15 different partners.

International Travel Benefits:
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • 2x miles on all purchases; 5x miles through Capital One Travel
  • $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • 2 free lounge visits per year
  • Hertz Five Star Elite Status
  • 15+ airline and hotel transfer partners
  • Includes various travel protection benefits (travel accident, auto rental, etc.)
  • Mastercard accepted globally
Best Uses: 
  • Any purchases – 2x miles on all purchases + great transfer partners, Mastercard accepted globally 

Annual Fee: $150

Rewards Points: Hilton Honors Bonus Points

Current Offer: 130,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 6 months.

This card is brand specific, and we use it specifically for our stays at Hilton properties. Hilton is our hotel brand of choice, and this card allows us to earn even more points every time we stay. It also gets us a few extra Priority Pass visits which we have used when traveling with friends or family! We used this card for the initial bonus offer and then exclusively for our Hilton stays.

International Travel Highlights:
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • 12x points at Hilton hotels (globally)
  • Complimentary Gold Hilton Honors Status
    • Includes free breakfast, room upgrades, 5th night free on reward stays, milestone bonuses, and more!
  • $50 per quarter credit on Hilton purchases ($200 per year)
Best Uses: 
  •  Hilton Hotels (charge everything to your room!) – 12x points + $50 credit every 3 months

Annual Fee: $95

Rewards Points: Marriott Bonvoy Points

Current Offer: 5 Free Night Awards (valued up to 50,000 points each) after spending $5,000 in first 3 months (Limited-Time Offer thru 03/27/24)

This is another credit card we use specifically for our Marriott stays. It offers great value on earning Marriott Bonvoy points, especially with this welcome offer! Plus, this card offers value in the fact that you earn a free night award every year.

International Travel Highlights:
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • 17x points at Marriott hotels; 3x points on gas and dining (globally); 2x points on travel
  • Free Night Award annually on account anniversary
  • Automatic Silver Elite Status
  • Free Premium Wi-Fi at Marriott hotels
  • Includes various travel protection benefits (baggage delay, trip delay, etc.)
  • Visa accepted globally
Best Uses: 
  •  Marriott Hotels (charge everything to your room!) – 17x points 

Annual Fee: $99

Rewards Points: IHG Reward Points

Current Offer: 4 Free Nights (valued up to 40,000 each) after spending $3,000 in first 3 months. 

Another credit card we use specifically for specific hotel brand stays; this time, it’s IHG. It offers great value in earning IHG Reward Points. This is a great welcome offer with a low spend + $100 towards an IHG stay! And you get a Free Night every year!

International Travel Highlights:
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • 26x points at IHG hotels; 5x points on travel, gas, and dining (globally); 3x points on all
  • Free Anniversary Night annually
  • Automatic Platinum Elite Status
  • 4th night free on reward nights redemption
  • $100 Credit for Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS (every 4 years)
  • $50 United Airlines TravelBank Cash
  • Includes various travel protection benefits (trip cancellation, etc.)
  • MasterCard accepted globally
Best Uses: 
  •  IHG Hotels (charge everything to your room) – 26x points 
  • Global Entry Application – $100 credit 

Annual Fee: $0

Rewards Points: Hilton Honors Bonus Points

Current Offer: 80,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 6 months.

Another Hilton Honors card, and although we do love Hilton, we added this one because this is fantastic, no annual fee card. That means FREE! Plus, the spending limit for the bonus is one of the lowest we’ve seen with such a good offer! 

International Travel Highlights:
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • 7x points at Hilton hotels (globally)
  • Complimentary Silver Hilton Honors Status
    • Includes 5th night free on reward stays, 20% bonus on points, and more!
Best Uses: 
  •  Hilton Hotels (charge everything to your room!) – 7x points

Annual Fee: $99

Rewards Points: Southwest Rapid Rewards Points

Current Offer: Earn a Companion Pass + 30,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months (Limited-Time Offer thru 03/11/24)

Southwest is an odd pick for an international travel credit card. However, Southwest actually has international routes to the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America! Plus, there are no foreign transaction fees with this card! Lastly, earning 135,000 qualifying points in a calendar year (including the sign-on bonus and all points earned on the card) can earn a free companion pass. The Companion Pass allows one person to fly with you free of charge every time you fly Southwest (not including taxes and fees – $5.60 one-way). HUGE VALUE!

International Travel Highlights:
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • 3x points on Southwest Airlines purchases; 2x points on local transit (including rideshare)
  • 6,000 bonus points every anniversary
  • 2 EarlyBird Check-In each year
  • 25% back on in-flight purchases
  • 10,000 Companion Pass qualifying points boost each year
  • Visa accepted globally
Best Uses: 
  • Southwest Airlines Flights + Purchases – 3x points, EarlyBird Check-in, 25% back on in-flight purchases + COMPANION PASS (which means one person flies free all year!)
  • Local Transit (taxi, trains, rideshare, bikes, etc.) – 2x points 
  • Any other miscellaneous purchases – work towards Companion Pass, Visa accepted globally 

Annual Fee: $0

Rewards Points: B of A Online Bonus Points (equivalent to statement credits)

Current Offer: 25,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months.

We don’t often recommend no-fee cards because it’s hard to find valuable offers. However, this card is offering a 25% return for free! That’s $250 cash in your pocket for whatever you want to purchase!

International Travel Highlights:
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • 1.5x points on all purchases
  • Visa accepted globally
Best Uses: 
  •  Any Purchases – 1.5x points, Visa accepted globally 

THIS POST WAS ALL ABOUT THE best credit cards for international travel!

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Hi there!

We’re Alicia & Nate, a couple that traveled full-time for 3 years straight. We are now living in a cozy little apartment in Albania. We have a passion for exploring new places and trying new foods.

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