Best airline credit cards for international travel

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Written by
Bill Gilman
Terms apply; see the online credit card application for full terms and conditions of offers and rewards.

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If you’re a frequent international traveler, the “go-to” credit card you choose to use can either be a source of savings and added comfort, or cause of frustration and even added expense.

Whether traveling for business or pleasure, you’ll be using that card before, during and after for travel related expenses. If you have an airline you use for all, or most, of your flights, it can be beneficial to have a credit card connected to that airline.

The right card can help you quickly earn upgrades, free flights and other travel rewards. There are sometimes also numerous perks available, such as private lounge access, preferred boarding, and discounts for onboard purchases.

But not all airline credit cards are created equal. Rewards programs differ greatly, as do redemption procedures and perks. You’ll want to examine the rewards program and match it to your spending habits.

Then, of course, there are the fees. While you might be focused on a credit card’s annual fee, that really isn’t the most consequential for international travelers. The fee you need to be concerned with is the foreign transaction fee. This averages between 3-5% on every purchase you make, using your card in another country or making a purchase in a foreign currency. There are some cards, though, which don’t charge foreign transaction fees, which are the best options to consider for international travel. Here are our top picks:

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Disclaimer:

The information in this article is believed to be accurate as of the date it was written. Please keep in mind that credit card offers change frequently. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information in this article. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. See the online credit card application for full terms and conditions on offers and rewards. Please verify all terms and conditions of any credit card prior to applying.

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