If you’ve got a vacation or business trip planned, you will want to make sure you have a credit card in your wallet you can count on for value, convenience and, if need be, customer service while you’re away from home.
A FICO credit score in the “fair” range (580-669), might make you think your options are limited when it comes to finding a credit card to help you along during your travels. However, even with average/fair credit, the right card can mean rewards, protections and more. Best of all, with responsible use, that credit card for fair credit can help you build your score and soon qualify for better cards geared toward applicants with good or excellent scores.
How do you choose a travel credit card for fair credit?
When it comes to a good travel credit card for travel, but also available to those with fair credit, one of the first factors to consider is fees. You don’t want your travel budget drained by your credit card, so look for cards with low or even $0 annual fees available for those with fair credit.
Then, importantly, check out the foreign transaction fees. If you plan to travel overseas, you want a card that doesn’t charge these fees, as they usually range from 3%-5% of each transaction and can add up quickly on a vacation or business trip. By the way, none of the cards on the list below charge foreign transaction fees.
Certainly take a look at the APR, but also know that the interest rate only affects you if you don’t pay off your balance in full each cycle, which you really need to be doing anyway.
Another feature than can be invaluable on a trip is a credit card’s customer service desk. When far from home, you want to be able to talk to a live person at your credit card company 24/7 to help deal with any problems that might arise. Some companies can even help with information on restaurants, hotels and attractions in the area you’re visiting.
Remember, when you’re building your credit, travel rewards may not be available to you, but there are plenty of cash-back rewards cards for fair credit. Many of those will also check the boxes mentioned above: low fees, no foreign transaction fees, the chance to build your credit with responsible use and even excellent customer service. Take a look at the CardRatings picks for best travel credit cards for fair credit.