Are credit cards international?
While most credit cards can be used internationally, not all of them are created equal. Your goal should be find the right international credit card for you that does not charge a foreign transaction fee. While a 1% to 3% foreign transaction fee may not seem like a lot, it can start to add up. If two people spent $2,500 on transportation, hotel, and dining while abroad, they’d be looking at $25 to $75 just in fees.
Is an international credit card safer than cash?
Overall, there are many reasons that international credit cards are safer than cash. Quite a few, including the ones we reviewed, are chip-enabled, which helps to prevent fraudulent purchases. Another thing that makes international credit cards safer is that they can be easily canceled and replaced if the card is lost or stolen. You can’t really do that if a wad of bills goes missing.
Other examples that prove international credit cards can be safer include the following:
- Many other countries outside of the U.S. now employ more stringent authentication on purchases made with credit cards.
- It’s much easier to monitor your transaction activity on a credit card account versus trying to keep track of all of those receipts.
- Swiping your credit card on a purchase is less conspicuous (and more convenient) than fumbling in your pocket for the local currency.
Additionally, some international credit cards might even offer travel insurance and lost luggage reimbursement. Contact your credit card provider to learn more about these and other safeguards.
What is a foreign transaction fee?
A foreign transaction fee is a fee charged by your credit card issuer to use your card outside of the United States or with non-U.S. retailers (sometimes even online). As mentioned above, this fee is a percentage (usually 1% to 3%) of the total transaction cost.
Which credit card is best for international travel?
The best international credit card is the one that fits your travel needs, but ideally it would have no foreign transaction fees, a low annual fee, and the opportunity to earn substantial rewards toward your travel.
How to find your ideal travel credit card
After reviewing the best international credit cards on our list, you may find that one stands out to you based on your travel goals. For instance, if your goal is to earn as many points as possible, you may consider the Discover it® Cash Back for the opportunity to earn matching rewards at the end of the first year. Or, if the hotel accommodations are important when you travel, you may consider the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express (currently unavailable), which allows you to earn and use points at more than 1,300 participating hotels in 100 countries.
Can I use international credit cards on the IRCTC?
The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) recently permitted the use of international credit and debit cards for booking e-tickets. This means that travelers using international and/or debit cards issued outside the country can book train trips via the IRCTC’s ticketing sites.
Which U.S. stores accept international credit cards?
In most cases, you should not have any trouble using any of these international credit cards at U.S. stores. However, you should always check before you try to make a purchase. You can determine if your card will be accepted by U.S. merchants by consulting with the card website. Some stores in cities (like New York City) that take in a lot of international traffic will often display the logo of credit card providers they recognize.
How do international credit cards work?
For the most part, international credit cards function much in the same way that regular credit cards work. The main difference is usually in the types of rewards you can earn and, of course, the fact that you don’t usually have to deal with foreign transaction fees. It might be easier to redeem your rewards for free travel with an international credit card over a regular one. Some international credit cards might feature rewards that apply to restaurants abroad.
Best international credit cards for 2018
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card : Best all-around international credit card
- Discover it® Cash Back : Best international card with first year rewards matching
- Discover it® Miles : Best no annual fee international credit card