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The best international credit cards have exclusive perks like no checked bag fees, no foreign transaction fees, and come with smart chip technology making them perfect for international travel. Here are some of the best to consider. 

For instance, new Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card cardholders can earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, worth $1250 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. This is the highest bonus offer ever for the Chase Sapphire Preferred!

Top International Travel Credit Cards Table

Credit CardCategoryAnnual Fee Recommended Credit ScoreMore Information
Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardTravel Credit Card$95700More Info
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit CardTravel Credit Card$95700More Info
Chase Sapphire Reserve®Travel Credit Card$550780More Info
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressTravel Credit Card$695 (See Rates & Fees)700+More Info
British Airways Visa Signature® CardAirline Credit Card$95700+More Info
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® CardHotel Credit Card$450 (See Rates & Fees)690+More Info
Ink Business Preferred® Credit CardBusiness Credit Card$95700+More Info
Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit CardBusiness Credit CardNone!700+More Info
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® CardNo Annual Fee Credit CardNone!670More Info

What are the Best Credits Cards for International Travel in 2021?

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

For near-universal acceptance, choose a Visa or Mastercard international credit card product. But, you might decide to also travel with an American Express product to enjoy upscale travel benefits that other credit cards struggle to offer. The best credit cards for international travel in 2021 go beyond just having no foreign transaction fees and chip technology. They give points/miles and benefits! 

Using the best credit cards for international travel with exploring London back in May 2015. Credit: Johnny Jet

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card – The Best International Credit Card

Arguably the best travel rewards card is the Chase Sapphire Preferred. The Chase Sapphire Preferred review shows how the signup bonus can be maximized. New Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card cardholders can earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, worth $1250 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. This is the highest bonus offer ever for the Chase Sapphire Preferred!

You will also earn 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x points on dining, and 2x points on all other travel purchases, plus more, making it a great option for purchasing airline flight tickets. Cardholders also earn 5x points on Lyft rides, through March 2022. 

Also, enjoy new Chase Sapphire benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit.

Additional Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits include unlimited deliveries with no delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with a DoorDash DashPass subscription. Activate your card by December 31, 2021.

Additionally, cardholders can earn up to $60 in statement credits on Peloton Digital and All-Access Memberships through December 31, 2021.

Points are worth 25% more now through Sept. 30, 2021, when redeemed for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories with the Chase Pay Yourself Back feature.

Points are also worth 25% more when redeemed through the new Chase Dining hub in Ultimate Rewards, now through Sept. 30, 2021.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Travel Redemption Bonus

But the real value for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and what makes it the best international credit card lies in its two valuable travel redemption options:

  • 25% travel redemption bonus
  • 1:1 point transfers to airline and hotel loyalty programs

The 25% redemption bonus applies to any award travel you book on the Ultimate Rewards travel portal. Having each point worth 1.25 cents each is awesome, but you might find more value in the 1:1 point transfers.

Some of the international 1:1 transfer partners include United Airlines, British Airways, Aer Lingus, and Singapore Airlines. You might transfer your points to British Airways to intra-Europe award flights that start at 4,500 Avios. Or you can fly United or Aer Lingus to avoid the fuel surcharges that most global airlines charge all passengers.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card also has a budget-friendly $95 annual fee and earns the extremely valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Here is the credit score you will need for the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

While there is a $95 annual fee, there are no foreign transaction fees.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card – One of the Best Credit Cards For International Travel

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has always been one of the best cards for international travel, but you have three more reasons to use this card on your next world tour:

  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
  • Airline and hotel transfer partners
  • Earn unlimited 2x miles on every purchase, worldwide

You can transfer your miles to several leading travel partners and also redeem your Capital One miles for travel statement credits or future award travel. You may also be able to visit the new Capital One airport lounges.

Similar to the Chase Sapphire Preferred, there is a $95 annual fee but no foreign transaction fees. You may want to visit our comparison of the Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Capital One Venture Rewards for a deeper dive into which card is better suited for your lifestyle.

New Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card cardholders can earn 60,000 miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

Learn more: Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Chase Sapphire Reserve – No Foreign Transaction Fees Card for Frequent Travelers

When you want to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points but want a few premium international travel credit card perks, get the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. It has a $550 annual fee (vs. $95 for the Sapphire Preferred), but these Sapphire Reserve perks can help offset the cost of owning a premium rewards card:

Plus, earn 5x total points on air travel and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Gas station and grocery store purchases will also count towards earning the travel credit, through Dec. 31, 2021.

Additionally, cardholders can earn up to $120 in statement credits on Peloton Digital and All-Access Memberships through December 31, 2021. Plus, cardholders earn 10x points on Lyft rides, including bikes and scooters. Complimentary Lyft Pink Membership is also available when activated by March 21, 2022.

This is in addition to the complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash that lets cardholders get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees. They also earn up to $120 in statement credits on DoorDash purchases ($60 in statement credits through 2020 and another $60 in statement credits through 2021).

Points are worth 50% more now through Sept. 30, 2021, when redeemed for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories with the Chase Pay Yourself Back feature.

Points are also worth 50% more when redeemed through the new Chase Dining hub in Ultimate Rewards, now through Sept. 30, 2021.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Travel Redemption Bonus

Like the Sapphire Reserve’s sister card, you can also enjoy a travel redemption bonus. However, instead of 25% (that you enjoy with the Preferred), cardholders can enjoy a 50% travel redemption bonus. Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders also can maximize their cards with the 1:1 point transfers to airline and hotel loyalty programs. 

New Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardmembers can earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, worth $900 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. 

Of course, there are no foreign transaction fees on the Sapphire Reserve. Here’s how the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred compare.

The Platinum Card from American Express – The Best Premium International Travel Card

The Platinum Card® from American Express provides an impressive array of air travel perks including up to $200 annually in air travel statement credits for incidental fees at one qualifying airline (in the form of a statement credit; enrollment required), fee credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, and access to several lounge networks like The Centurion and Priority Pass (enrollment required).

In addition to enjoying TSA PreCheck or Global Entry access, cardholders can also enjoy CLEAR perks. Cardholders can use their Card and get up to $179 back per year on their CLEAR® membership. Terms apply.

Cardholders earn 5x Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel, up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year. Prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel earn unlimited 5x points. This is one of the best miles cards

Your points are worth one cent each when booking award flights on Amex Travel. But you will probably find more value in the 1:1 airline transfer partners that offer many international award flight options. Some of the international transfer partners are:

  • Aer Lingus
  • ANA
  • Asia Miles
  • Avianca Lifemiles
  • Emirates
  • Etihad
  • Singapore Airlines

 With this lineup, it’s possible to book award flights to any part of the world. Here’s the credit score needed for the Amex Platinum

Amex Platinum Welcome Bonus

New The Platinum Card® from American Express cardmembers can earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after spending $6,000 on purchases on the Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership. New cardholders also earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms apply. 

Note that you may be eligible for a targeted 150k Platinum Card bonus offer

The annual fee is $695 (See Rates & Fees) but can be offset with the perks, which are valued at over $1,400.

Terms apply.

Learn more: Johnny Jet Recommended Credit Cards

British Airways Visa Signature Card – The Best Airline Credit Card for International Travel

When flying to Europe, the British Airways Visa Signature® Card can help you book short-haul flights or TransAtlantic flights sooner. New British Airways Visa Signature® Card cardholders can earn 100,000 Avios after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

New cardholders also earn 5 Avios per $1 spent on purchases with Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, and LEVEL within the first 12 months from account opening (earn 3 Avios thereafter). New cardholders can also earn 3 Avios per $1 spent on hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel within the first 12 months from account opening (earn 2 Avios thereafter).

The British Airways Visa Signature Card has a $95 annual fee but doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee.

Spending $30,000 annually also gives you the Travel Together ticket. You only pay the fees and taxes for your travel companion’s seat when you use Avios to buy a roundtrip ticket that originates and returns within the United States.

Eating a hamburger in Hamburg! Credit: Johnny Jet

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card

This freshly rebranded premium international hotel credit card can be used to book your airfare and hotel rooms. The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card earns:

  • 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program
  • 3 points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines
  • 2 points on all other eligible purchases
  •  

You can redeem your points for Marriott Bonvoy award nights that start at 5,000 points. Plus, you can transfer your points to 40 different airlines or book air travel or car rentals with the Air+Car partners. Other premium card benefits include one free anniversary night valid at Bonvoy properties costing 50,000 points or less.

They also credit your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee, Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status, and up to $300 in statement credits each year of Card Membership for eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program (enrollment may be required, terms apply). It is one of the best Marriott credit cards.

It has a $450 Annual Fee (See Rates & Fees).

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Welcome Bonus

New Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card cardholders can earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $200 in Statement Credits for eligible purchases at U.S. Restaurants within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

Learn more: Hotel Rewards Credit Cards

What Are the Best Credits Card to Use for International Travel?

Best Business Credit Cards for International Travel

Whether you want cash or travel rewards, one of these small business credit cards for travel can be a perfect fit for your business.

Despite being business credit cards, only try for them if you don’t have at least 5 new credit cards in the last 24 months to stay below the “Chase 5/24 rule.” You will also need a 740 credit score to qualify for these cards.

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card – International Business Credit Card 

The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card earns 3x points on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable, and phone services, and on advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. All other purchases earn 1 point per $1 spent.

The business version of the Chase Sapphire Preferred, with the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, your points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel and can be transferred to the 1:1 Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners. Points do not expire as long as your account is open.

The annual fee is $95 and no foreign transaction fee. This card has a whopping 100,000-point bonus after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. That’s $1,250 toward travel rewards when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

This is one of the best Chase Business credit cards

Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card – Best Business Card for International Travel

If you don’t want to pay an annual fee the Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card offers 5% back (on the first $25,000 in combined spending) office supply store, internet, phone, and cable services. You get 2% back (on the first $25,000 in combined spending) at gas stations and restaurants. All remaining purchases earn an unlimited 1% back.

Each point is worth 1 cent each when redeeming for travel, cash, and gift cards. The Ink Business Cash Credit Card signup bonus is $750 bonus cash after spending $7500 in the first 3 months. 

Capital One Spark Miles for Business 

The Capital One Spark Miles for Business is a top choice in the corporate credit card world due to its many extras. New card applicants can take advantage of the ability to earn 50,000 miles after spending $4,500 in the first 3 months of account opening. 

Cardholders also earn an unlimited 2x miles earned per dollar spent, everywhere. They also earn 5x miles on hotels and car rentals booked through Capital One Travel. There are no foreign transaction fees and cardholders receive up to $100 statement credit for one Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee.

Learn more: Business Credit Cards

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Use the best credit cards for international travel and take advantage of the travel perks that come with your card. Image Credit: Hyatt Hotel du Louvre

What Credit Card is Best for International Travel?

While free travel is great—it also makes sense to consider your own hotel and airline brand preference and hotel price preference. You want to make sure that you’re choosing a credit card that makes sense for your own personal spending habits and travel needs. A premium travel credit card may not make sense if you’re typically a budget traveler.

It’s also important to take a look at the point system that is in place. Are you going to get a good return on the points that you earn? Finally, don’t forget to look at fees and other costs, like the card’s APR (in case you ever carry a balance). You want to make sure that you’re getting great value with the card of your choosing.

The Best Loyalty Programs For Lounge Access for International Travel

Airport lounges can differ in quality and amenities, but nearly all of them offer one primary perk — a getaway from the crazy hubbub of the airport and a quiet respite for a little bit of relaxation or possibly some work. However, accessing airport lounges can be pricey, especially if you don’t have the right credit card. Which international credit cards are best for your flying habits and lounge preferences?

American Express Membership Rewards

The American Express Membership Rewards program comes with a variety of international credit cards. But, there’s one in particular that you’ll want if you’re a member of this loyalty program.

Things to Know about The Platinum Card from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express offers some great benefits. However, the annual fee is $695 (See Rates & Fees), but, can be offset with the perks, which are valued at over $1,400.     

Don’t take this annual fee at face value, though. The international card comes with lots of credits and fee waivers, that, if taken into consideration, reduce the fee nominally. For example, you’ll receive $200 worth of Uber credits each year (terms apply), a $200 statement credit for airline fees (in the form of a statement credit; enrollment required), a $100 statement credit for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue (enrollment required), and a $100 statement credit for Global Entry.

In addition to enjoying TSA PreCheck or Global Entry access, cardholders can also enjoy CLEAR perks. Cardholders can use their Card and get up to $179 back per year on their CLEAR® membership. Terms apply.

If you take full advantage of all of the above, that more than covers the annual fee.

The Platinum Card and Lounge Access

But what about the lounge access? The Platinum Card from American Express gives you access to its own American Express Centurion Lounges. You will also get access to Delta Sky Clubs when you’re traveling with Delta. How do you know if both of those are a good fit for you?

Plus, American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. Now there are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.

If you fly Delta frequently, but do not have a Delta co-branded credit card that allows you Sky Club access, this might be an appealing option. The Centurion Lounges are quickly becoming the crème de la crème of airport lounges. But, they are in limited airports thus far.

New The Platinum Card from American Express Benefits

There’s also a new digital entertainment credit. Cardholders can get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.

Another exciting new benefit is the ability for cardholders to enjoy up to $25 back each month on select Equinox memberships. This amounts to up to $300 annually. Enrollment required.

Terms apply. Enrollment may be required.

Hilton Honors

The information for the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

You might not necessarily think that being a member of a hotel loyalty program would grant you great lounge access, but Hilton Honors may make you think again. Just being a member of the loyalty program is not enough, though. You will need the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card to get in, one of the best Hilton credit cards.

It also comes with several benefits. You receive a $250 Hilton Resort credit as well as a $250 airline credit annually. As far as lounges go, you’ll receive unlimited access to Priority Pass airport lounges (Enrollment required). 

Many credit cards that offer Priority Pass lounge access only give a certain number of visits per year for free.

Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

For example, The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card gives you a complimentary Priority Pass membership (enrollment required). But, only 10 visits per year are free. This will be used up quickly if you fly frequently. With the Hilton Honors Aspire Card though, you receive unlimited access to more than 1,300 Priority Pass lounges around the world. 

Other perks of The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card include Hilton Honors Gold Status, a free weekend night reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year, plus a second free weekend night reward after spending an additional $45,000 in purchases annually. Cardholders earn 12x points on purchases at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio, 6x points on select travel and business purchases, and 3x points on all other eligible purchases. Terms and limitations apply. Enrollment may be required.

New The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card cardholders can earn up to 180,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points! Earn 130,000 Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors Business Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend a total of $10,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months.

There is a $95 annual fee (See Rates & Fees). 

United Explorer Card – Airline International Credit Card for United

What if you’re not a frequent traveler, but you want to visit a lounge on occasion when you do fly? If that’s the case, the United℠ Explorer Card may be a good fit. The United Explorer Card grants you access twice each year to a United lounge. This is convenient, mainly because most airports have a United lounge and are serviced by United.

This means if you’re not a frequent traveler, it won’t impact you much to start flying United and take advantage of the lounges. If you only fly a handful of times per year, the likelihood of you having multiple long layovers to really enjoy a lounge is slim. You won’t feel like you’re wasting your two passes when you do use them.

In addition, United lounges are often above and beyond satisfactory, with free dining, drinks, WiFi, and plenty of space and privacy. You might want to compare this to the other United credit cards.

How to Expedite a Pending International Credit Card Decision

Ok, so you’re ready to try for your international credit card, but you got a pending decision. Here’s how you can expedite your approval. Most banks provide instant decisions when you try for a new credit card. But, there are times when your application requires further review.

While you can impatiently wait for the bank to manually review your application, there are ways you can speed up a pending credit card decision. Let’s review how.

Dining and Bar area at the Centurion Lounge at HKG. Credit: American Express

Why You Might Have a Pending Travel Credit Card Decision

Reading the words “Your application is pending further review” is frustrating. In most cases, the bank will also go on to state that it can take seven to ten days to reach a final decision. After that, it can still be another five business days before your new card arrives in the mail.

Pending credit decisions cause more delay than you think. This can be especially frustrating if you need a card ASAP because you’re hoping to qualify for a signup bonus.

Every credit card company has its own approval criteria. By no means is this list all-encompassing. However, these are a few common reasons why your application is pending.

Too Many Recent Credit Card Applications

If you’re a travel rewards junkie, you most likely have several credit cards in your wallet. It is recommended that you keep tabs on how many applications you have in the most recent 24 months. After 24 months, the credit card inquiry drops off your credit report.

Usually, if the bank decides you have too many recent applications, your application gets declined. The only thing you can do is wait until your hard inquiry count drops. These are two of the bank rules you should know about:

  • Chase: The “Chase 5/24 Rule” is the most well-known rule. If you apply for at least 5 credit cards in the last 24 months, your application for select Chase cards is declined. Being listed as an authorized user counts as one of the 5 applications too. And, it doesn’t matter which bank is offering the credit card. Some of the cards subject to the 5/24 rule include the Sapphire Reserve and Preferred application rules, Ink Business Preferred, and some of the co-brand credit cards.
  • Bank of America: The BofA has a”2/3/4 rule.” You can’t apply for more than 2 BofA credit cards every 2 months. You also can’t apply for more than 3 cards in a year or 4 cards in two years.

Must Verify Your Identity or Income

Other banks want to review your identity and income to prevent credit fraud. In most cases, you can clarify this information with a phone call or by submitting an additional online form. In extreme cases, you may have to mail a copy of your tax return to prove your income or other official documents.

One example can be applying for a premium income with a relatively low income or net worth. Another example is if you’re self-employed (which makes any credit card or loan application slightly more difficult).

A Low Credit Score

A “low” credit score and a “bad” credit score aren’t always the same thing. You can have good credit, but it might not be good enough for the best credit cards yet. Maybe this is the first credit card you’re applying for. Or perhaps you’re in the process of rebuilding your score. Some cards that require excellent credit (a score above 780) may review your application if your score is slightly below that mark.

Whether you receive an instant decision or get flagged for further review depends on your other personal and credit factors too. If you still only have good credit, it can be better to apply for a credit card for good credit. Your approval odds are higher so you have a better chance of receiving instant approval.

A FICO credit score above 700 is considered good, but scores in the 600’s still offer options for travel reward credit cards.

Recent Missed Payments or High Card Balances

Even if you’re credit score is still within the range of most applicants, a history of recently missed payments or high balances puts your approval odds at risk. The bank might be unsure if these two negative factors were one-time accidents or the start of a new trend. They may pass your application to a manager for review.

The Bank Has Too Many Applications

Sometimes, new credit cards go “viral.” If so, the approval department has to work more hours to process applications. Once the backlog clears, you will receive your pending credit card decision.

How to Speed Up Your Pending Credit Card Decision

While you probably won’t see the reason why your application is pending review on the application screen, the bank has a note in their records. The review team may contact you about the review. Or, they may do the research themselves without calling you. However, you don’t know when they may call. It is possible to check your credit card application status online

Basically, the only way to receive a decision sooner is to call the bank’s customer service number. You can call the number provided on the application screen.

Most banks now give you the capability to track your application status in real-time. If you don’t receive an update in one or two business days, you should call the bank. The person you talk to usually has the option to approve your application. Or, they can transfer you to their manager who can make the final decision.

Chase is the one large bank that doesn’t let you track your card application status in real-time. You must call their reconsideration line to receive updates:

  • Personal Credit Cards: 1-888-270-2127
  • Business Credit Cards: 1-800-453-9719

Call the Bank

When calling the bank, ask for the credit reconsideration department. At most, wait two days before you call if they don’t contact you first. Once you’re talking with the credit representative, remember to always be kind. Kindness can go a long way in these conversations.

If you also happen to have another credit card, loan, or bank account with the bank, have this information handy. You can use it to verify some personal questions they may ask.

As the conversation progresses, you may be put on hold as the agent reviews your file. Or, they may have to get secondary approval from their supervisor before they can say “Yes” or “No.” To get approved, you may have to accept a smaller credit limit.

This concession makes you a less risky credit card owner. Plus, you at least still get approved and have the chance to build your credit score with your credit card. Once you receive verbal approval, you may have to return online to add an authorized user. But, your new credit card will print in the next batch.

Summary

Point transfers, travel redemption bonuses, and annual travel credits. Each of the best credit cards for international travel provides different travel rewards. More importantly, they can all help you have a great trip.

Related Posts: 

FAQs

What is the best airline credit card for international travel deals?

The Platinum Card® from American Express earns 5 points per $1 spent on flights booked directly through the airline or on AmexTravel.com, up to $500,000 on these purchases annually. You can also redeem points for award flights or transfer them at a 1:1 ratio to domestic and international frequent flyer programs. Select partners include Delta SkyMiles, Emirates Skywards, and British Airways Executive Club.

The Platinum Card also gives you an annual $200 airline fee credit (in the form of a statement credit; enrollment required) and a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit. Plus, you get complimentary airport lounge access to some of the best networks including The Centurion, Priority Pass (enrollment required), Delta Sky Club, and Plaza Premium.

Terms apply.

What is the best Chase credit card for international travel?

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is the Chase credit card with the most international travel benefits. You earn 3x Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on travel (immediately after earning $300 travel credit) and dining. Your points are worth 50% more when booking award flights. You can also transfer them at a 1:1 ratio to airlines including United, Emirates, Air France KLM, and Southwest Airlines. 

Other benefits include an annual $300 travel credit, Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership, and a Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fee credit.

What is the best Wells Fargo credit card for international travel?

The Wells Fargo Propel from American Express is the best Wells Fargo credit card for international travel. It has no annual fee or foreign transaction fee. You also earn 3x points on travel, gas, rideshares and transit, dining, and popular streaming services.

Your points are most valuable when redeeming points for award flights. In fact, your points can be worth as much as 50% more when booking award flights on the Wells Fargo Travel Center.

How do I inform my credit card provider that I’m traveling internationally?

You must notify your credit card provider before leaving your home country. One option is to call the credit card provider customer service number on the back of your credit card. A second option is logging into your online account. Then create a new travel notification stating your destination(s) and travel dates.   

When should I notify my credit card company that I’m traveling internationally?

Most banks let you create a travel notification for up to one year in advance. You should set your notification as soon as you finalize your travel plans to avoid forgetting. If you are within 72 hours of starting your trip, you may most likely have to call to create a notification.

Rates and fees of The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, please click here.

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4 Comments On "The Best Credit Cards For International Travel In 2021"
  1. anonymous|

    Pentagon Federal Credit Union Pathfinder Travel Rewards Visa (previously AmEx).
    No AF, no FTF, $100 incidental airline fee credit, $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck reimbursement. Up to 4x (about 3.4% return) for all travel charges, 1.5x (about 1.2%) for everything else. Points can be redeemed for various retail gift cards, or by making travel reservations in PenFed’s portal (prices may not be the best).
    Temporarily closed to new applications right now, but scheduled to open again soon. It’s easy to join PenFed.

  2. Radha|

    Thank you for telling me about credit cards that should be used for international travel. It helped me . Great work and guidance.

  3. Joe|

    Would it make sense to have an Amex platinum card and a Hilton honors credit card at the same time?

    1. Johnny Jet Editorial|

      Yes, if you stay frequently at Hilton properites.

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