Recently, a family member asked me for some advice on which credit card to get for an upcoming trip. This would be their first trip to Europe, and they wanted a card without foreign transaction fees and hoping to earn rewards they could use for upcoming trips.
I answered the same way I always do — I said I would get the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. There are so many reasons I believe this is the best card for newbie travelers, but here are the most important ones:
- Reasonable annual fee. The main reason this card is such a good option for new travelers is the fact that it only has a $95 annual fee. That’s low enough for most people to stomach — even if they haven’t traveled a lot. I never suggest cards with large annual fees to people new to travel because they never know whether they’ll take advantage of cardholder perks to get enough value in return. The Chase Sapphire Preferred card’s $95 annual fee is reasonable enough nearly anyone could get that much value out of this card.
- No foreign transaction fees. You won’t pay foreign transaction fees on this card, which can save you around 3% of every purchase you make abroad.
- Free travel insurance perks. The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers some epic travel perks you can get when you use your card to pay for travel. This includes baggage delay insurance, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, primary auto rental coverage, and more.
- Chase 5/24 rule. One more reason I would get the Chase Sapphire Preferred card first is the fact that Chase makes it increasingly difficult to get their rewards cards later. Their 5/24 rule says you can only get their credit cards if you’ve had less than 5 new credit cards from any issuer in the last 12 months. That means you should load up on Chase cards first before you try a bunch of rewards cards from different banks.
- Lucrative signup bonus. For a limited time, you’ll earn 60,000 points worth $750 in travel after you spend $4,000 on this card within three months of account opening.
- Flexible rewards don’t tie you down. The final and most important reason to get the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the fact you earn points in the Chase Ultimate Rewards program. This flexible program lets you cash in your points in more than one way, including 1:1 transfers to airline and hotel partners or direct travel bookings with Expedia through the Chase website. You can also cash in your points for gift cards or statement credits at a rate of one cent per point, which can be a good option if you wind up not being able to travel after all.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to the best cards for newbies, I always suggest the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Not only does it offer a reasonable annual fee and valuable travel protections, but the points you earn can be redeemed in more than one way. This ensures you’ll never wind up with points you can’t use.
What do you think is the best credit card for beginners? Why?
[Featured Image: Chase]
Source: frugal travel guy