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.
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.
Other fees you’ll want to be aware of, especially when traveling:
- Annual fee – This the amount you pay yearly in order to use your cards and its benefits.
- ATM withdrawal fee – If you take cash out at an international ATM, you may be charged a fee – either a flat rate or a percentage – per transaction.
- Cash advance fee – This is when you borrow cash against your credit card. Unlike a cash withdrawal, this is an amount that you agree to pay back at a later date. Fees are typically a percentage of the amount.
- Over-limit fee – It can be easy to get carried away while on vacation, but if you exceed your card’s limit, you may be charged a fee.
Which credit card has no foreign transaction fee?
All of the cards on our list have no foreign transaction fee, so choosing the best international credit card for you will depend on your travel preferences and goals.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
- Discover it® Cashback Match™
- Discover it® Miles
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® Cashback Match™ 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, 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.
Best international credit cards for 2018
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card : Best all-around international credit card
- Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express : Best hotel card with no foreign transaction fee
- Discover it® – Cashback Match™ : Best international card with first year rewards matching
- Discover it® Miles : Best no annual fee international credit card