The college years are a time to explore and spread your wings. This often involves travel, either domestically or outside the country.
If you’re a student planning to travel for pleasure or educational opportunity, you’ll want to have a credit card in your wallet well suited for that travel.
While annual fees and interest rates are always important to know, there are other factors to consider when choosing a credit card knowing you’ll want to travel with it. Does the card charge foreign transaction fees? (Note: All but one of the cards below are foreign-transaction-fee free). Can you earn and redeem rewards for travel? Does it offer additional coverages – rental car insurance, lost luggage coverage – that could come in handy? And, of course, you want a card with a solid 24/7 customer service desk.
Some cards have attractive welcome offers and generous rewards earning opportunities. That said, rewards aren’t the primary goal if you’re a student starting your credit card journey. Instead, focus on using the card responsibly and building a positive credit history and score.
With so much to think about, how can you determine which card is best for you? Fortunately, our editors have done some research for you and have compiled the list below of the best travel cards for students. By the way, none of these cards charge foreign transaction fees, so feel free to take any of these along for your semester abroad or Spring Break adventure.
The CardName is the only card on this list that charges a foreign transaction fee (foreign_fee), which is obviously not ideal if you’re studying abroad or traveling abroad for fun. However, this card is a solid card for students staying within the U.S. and it offers a nice introduction to the world of Chase Ultimate Rewards points. All the cash back earned with this card actually accumulates as Ultimate Rewards points, which can be redeemed for a variety of travel expenses. Furthermore, Ultimate Rewards points are a powerful travel rewards currency that you’ll likely encounter in the future if you continue a credit card journey that includes travel rewards.