How To Pick The Best Travel Credit Card

How do you travel in style, travel in comfort and travel on the cheap? Let your credit card do the heavy lifting. Having the right credit card can make or break your dreams of limitless travel. Not every credit card is equal when it comes to piling on those travel perks. How can you find the best travel credit card? Take a look at the six qualities your card should have if you have a case of wanderlust.

No Foreign Transaction Fees

Transaction fees can really sneak up on you and take a crater-sized bite out of your travel budget if you’re not careful. Unfortunately, it can be easy to overlook this detail when shopping around for a credit card. Foreign fees typically total between 1% and 3% of every purchase. The good news is that you can find tons of cards that don’t charge foreign transaction fees. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card and the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card are all popular options that won’t cause you to rack up fees every time you make a purchase while traveling abroad.

Generous Points and Miles

Every purchase you make should be moving you closer to your next vacation. That’s why you should be choosing your next card specifically based on what it offers in terms of travel points if you have some big trips planned. It’s sort of like letting your groceries or new shoes help to pay for an airline ticket or hotel room.

Which credit cards have the best travel rewards? The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is pretty popular among people who chase down airfare deals because it allows you to earn and redeem miles with tons of flexibility. That means you can earn free and discounted travel without being loyal to one single airline or hotel brand. Chase makes it pretty easy to transfer points to hotel and airline loyalty programs. Points that are earned with this card are actually worth 25% more when you redeem them for travel. Of course, it can also make sense to stick to a branded credit card if you’re loyal to one airline or hotel brand. Signing up for a co-branded card can give you access to very exclusive perks.

Lounge Access

Are you still flying around without any way to enjoy airport lounges? Don’t get a stiff neck and a short deal when it comes to waiting around between flights. You don’t have to sit in uncomfortable lobby chairs and endure the sounds of luggage wheels scraping by during your entire airport visit. Lounges are more accessible than ever!

A credit card that offers lounge perks can get you through the doors even if you don’t belong to an airline loyalty program. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card offers Priority Pass™ Select access. The United MileagePlus Club Card is going to unlock free snacks and beverages for you and your travel companions whenever you visit United Club locations and qualifying Star Alliance lounges around the globe. Of course, American Express is going big when it comes to lounges right now. That makes an option like the Platinum Card® from American Express very attractive to lounge-minded travelers. This card gives you access to more than 800 airport lounges in spots like New York City, Las Vegas, Miami, Seattle and other cities around the globe. In addition, you get access to Delta Sky Club locations and Priority Pass Select locations with this card.

Travel Protection

Don’t let a canceled trip rob you of your love of travel and your travel costs. Some credit cards actually provide travel protection that basically acts as insurance against the unexpected factors that could cause you to cancel a trip. Travel protection isn’t all that common. That means you’ll need to do some digging if you want to find a card that offers it. In addition, each card issuer will have its own policy when it comes to what is a covered cancellation reason and what isn’t.

Things like a serious illness or injury that prevents you from flying, the death of an immediate family member and extreme weather are typically covered by most cards. However, sometimes things like pre-existing health conditions that flare up or political unrest in the area you’re visiting aren’t covered. What are some of the popular cards that offer travel protection? Chase is a good go-to issuer when looking for travel coverage from a credit card. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card all offer protection.

Good Customer Support and Easy Access to Help

The best credit card in the world won’t be very helpful to you if something goes wrong and you can’t access your perks. That’s why choosing a card with reliable customer support that you can actually access is so important. The reality is that any card worth its salt needs to provide phone support, email support and chat support. What’s more, the support needs to be usable for the times when you’re actually on the road and away from home.

Which card companies shine when it comes to customer support? J.D. Power’s 2018 Credit Card Satisfaction Study offers a nice glance at which cards deliver. Discover ranked the highest overall by earning a score of 836 out of 1,000. The company provides phone support, email support and the option to speak with a representative via live chat. American Express and Barclays took second and third place behind Discover for customer satisfaction.

Wide Acceptance

International travelers have a little more work on their plates. That’s because not all cards are widely accepted around the world. American Express and Discover offer some pretty great perks and highly regarded customer service. However, those cards simply aren’t accepted that widely around the globe. Why is that the case? The reasons mostly have to do with higher-than-average processing fees and the reluctance of vendors to take on those fees.

Discover actually provides a tool that allows you to see where your card is accepted around the globe. You aren’t totally in the clear even if you’re visiting a country where your card is accepted. That’s because vendors can still choose not to accept American Express or Discover.

Which credit cards are the most widely accepted around the globe? Visa and Mastercard are almost universally accepted by vendors around the world. It’s fine to use whatever card you want when traveling. However, you might want to consider keeping a card issued by Visa or Mastercard in your wallet just in case you run into problems.

Picking the Best Travel Credit Card

Your travel style is going to play a big role in determining which card offers the perks you need and want. You may be able to take or leave lounge access. You may also be comfortable with skipping cards that come with travel protection because you’re okay with the risk. However, there’s no reason why you should settle for paying foreign transaction fees every time you travel. In addition, having a card that is actually accepted in the places you plan to visit is also a non-negotiable feature. Does your credit card have the ability to take you where you want to go and get you there on your terms? Start exploring what’s out there today and start seeing the world with a few extra perks tucked between your passport and your plane ticket.


[Image: Shutterstock]

Source: frugal travel guy

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