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Best credit cards for travelers

updated:
18. June 2022
ALSO CONSIDER:
Best Crypto Cards

When frequently traveling, selecting a suitable credit or debit card will benefit you. Based on your circumstances and spending, you can decide on a card that will help you get the advantages like collecting miles, rewards, cashback, withdrawing money with low fees abroad, memberships and other benefits.

Your choice depends if you are a digital nomad or just want to collect benefits on everyday spending and use them for your annual leave. So we came up with a list of cards that will serve you best, depending on your situation, and also the cards we use daily as digital nomads.

Selecting the correct card will make your short or long trip abroad more comfortable and even help you collect points to benefit from free flights or hotel stays. And we love getting free things, don't we?

After in-depth research, our absolute winner is The Platinum Card from American Express due to its perks and travel benefits. While it does have one of the highest annual fees, its rewards pay off for us as we travel frequently.

Check more details and other bests in their category; we separated them based on the available market and also covered some that allow you to pay with crypto.

Best Travel Credit Cards

  • Earn from 1% to 4% back in rewards whenever you make a purchase (if you purchase USDC, no conversion fee applies)
  • The card automatically converts your preferred cryptocurrency to fiat money on-demand, so you don't need to keep your fiat balance in the account.
Annual Fee

No Annual Fee

Available in

US, EU, UK

  • 3X points per $1 on the first 6,000 USD spent in combined purchases each year on eligible purchases.
  • 1 Elite Night Credit towards Elite Status for every 5,000 USD spent
  • 1 Free Night Award (up to 35,000 points) every year after your account anniversary.
  • 17X total points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 2X points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • 15 Elite Night Credits annually
Annual Fee

$95 annual Fee

Available in

US

  • 2X miles on every purchase; miles don't expire as long you keep the account open
  • 5X miles on hotels/rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • Two gratis visits per year to Capital One Lounges or any of Plaza Premium Lounges
Annual Fee

$95 annual fee

Available in

US

  • 5 points per dollar on travel purchased,
  • 3 points per dollar on dining, online grocery purchases, and selected streaming services
  • 2 points per dollar on all other travel purchases
  • 1 point per dollar on all other purchases
  • Points can be redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal at a rate of 1.25 cents per point.
Annual Fee

$95 annual fee

Available in

US

  • Airport lounge access
  • Dedicated travel and lifestyle service
  • Membership Rewards
  • Hotel partner programs
  • Travel protection benefits
Annual Fee

695 USD / 695 EUR

Available in

US, EU / Excellent Score

• N26 has a banking license in the EU
• No monthly fee or minimum balance
• Free card shipments and no account maintenance fee
• Great for organizing your spending and budgeting with Spaces
• Overdraft possibilities
• Mobile and desktop version

Annual Fee

No annual fee

Available in

European Union

  • You can earn up to 5% cashback on your purchases if you hold at least 350,000 EUR in their native coin CRO
  • You can withdraw up to 1,000 EUR per month for free on ATMs
  • The top card tiers also give you benefits like 100% reimbursements for Spotify, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Airport Lounge Access, Bonus Rewards, discounts on Airbnb and Expedia, and others.
Annual Fee
Available in

• Free multi-currency Mastercard or Visa Debit Card
• 2% cashback in their currency Wirex
• Free transfers to other Wirex users
• Interest Account
• Low fees & High limits

Annual Fee

No annual fee

Available in

EEA, Australia, Hong-Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan

You can keep 50+ currencies in your account
Low fees and quick international transfers
Local Account Details in AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, NZD, MYR, PLN, SGD, USD, RON, HUF, TRY
Multicurrency Card

Annual Fee

No annual fee

Available in

UK, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, Canada, Brazil, Malaysia, most of the EEA, and the US.

• Free International transfer within SWIFT
• You can send up to 1,000 EUR each month without exchange fees; a 0.5% fee applies when exceeding this threshold.
• Transparent fees
• Virtual cards
• Supports Cryptocurrencies
• Insurance options with higher planes
• Revolut Bank

Annual Fee

No annual fee

Available in

EEA, Australia, Singapore, Switzerland, Japan, the US, and the UK.

Best overall: The Platinum Card from American Express

Quick overview

The Amex Platinum is a premium credit card with a high annual fee but has a lot of luxury benefits for travelers who love to travel conveniently and in style.

With Amex, you can access extensive benefits like airport lounge access, travel, hotel, shopping credits per year, and other high-value-added services.

For that reason, frequent travelers are willing to pay a higher annual fee to benefit from these premium features.

Pros
  • High reward on flights and hotels when booking through American Express Travel
  • Airport lounge access
  • Elite status with Hilton and Marriott
  • Premium concierge service
  • Great travel insurances package incl. rental car insurance
Cons
  • Very high annual fee
  • Complicated rewards
  • American Express isn't as widely accepted as Visa and Mastercard.
  • It's hardly paying off for occasional travelers.
  • Requires excellent credit

Welcome bonus

You get 100,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 on purchases on the card in the first six months.

Main benefits

Here are some of the main perks that come with the Amex Platinum card:

  • You can earn five membership rewards points/USD for flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel for up to 500,000 USD per calendar year.
  • You can earn 5 points per dollar on hotels booked with American Express Travel and 1 point per dollar on other entitled purchases.
  • Access to over 1,400 airport lounges around the world
  • Travel insurances, compensation for flight delays, car rental loss and damage insurance, premium car rental status, hotel and airline fee credits, Platinum concierge service, etc.

Who is the card for?

This card is designed for high-end frequent travelers willing to pay a high fee to level up their comfort and status while traveling. It's for travelers with an excellent credit score.

Besides that, Amex Platinum is also great for you if you use Uber or Lyft, as you can benefit from yearly credits redeemed for rides and eats. It's also for all who like to stay in luxurious hotels like Hilton and Marriot and often rent cars around the world. Their Premium Global Assist Hotline helps you with medical, legal, or baggage assistance.

Amex Platinum is not very recommended if you usually buy discounted flight tickets through metasearch services and agencies, you don't often travel, or you have a low credit score.

Best for Earning Miles: Capital One Venture Rewards Card

Quick overview

Capital One Venture Rewards Card implements a simple rewards system and easy redemption, becoming a top-rated card for earning miles.

You don't need to deal with different bonus categories, you earn 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, and you can redeem them on flights, vacation rentals, car rentals, and more.

Capital One Venture is great if you want to use one card for all spending, as you will be rewarded for every purchase you make. This makes the annual fee of 95 USD worth a while.

You can also transfer points to one of their 16 partners in a 1:1 ratio, meaning that you get 1000 points/miles in the hotel or airline program for every 1000 points you transfer from Capital One.

Pros
  • Simple miles program
  • Great sign-up bonus
  • You can redeem miles for any travel expense, and you are
    not limited to any single airline or hotel chain
Cons
  • No additional luxury perks

Who is the card for?

Capital One Venture Rewards is excellent for travelers who want to travel for free by earning points on their everyday purchases and not thinking much about the complicated rewards systems. The card is for those who have an excellent credit score.

Main benefits

  • 2X miles on every purchase; miles don't expire as long you keep the account open
  • 5X miles on hotels/rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • Two gratis visits per year to Capital One Lounges or any of Plaza Premium Lounges

Welcome bonus

Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.

Best Mid-Range Hotel Card: Marriott Bonvoy Card Boundless Credit Card from Chase

Quick overview

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card helps travelers start using the benefits of their loyalty Bonvoy program. Marriott has hotels around the world, close to 8000 properties.

Pros
  • Great sign-up bonus
  • Annual free night (up to 35,000 points) for the year
  • 15 elite night credits annually to help earn mid or high-tier Bonvoy status.
Cons
  • It's not useful if you are not staying in their hotel chains.

Who is the card for?

Marriott Bonwoy Card is for travelers who occasionally stay in Marriott hotels around the world, but not all the time to justify the fees of their higher-tiers cards.

Main benefits

Here are some of the perks and benefits that come with the Marriott Bonvoy Bounderless card:

  • 3X points per $1 on the first 6,000 USD spent in combined purchases each year on eligible purchases.
  • 1 Elite Night Credit towards Elite Status for every 5,000 USD spent
  • 1 Free Night Award (up to 35,000 points) every year after your account anniversary.
  • 17X total points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 2X points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • 15 Elite Night Credits annually

Welcome bonus:

  • You earn 5 Free Nights (each night valued at up to 50,000 points)

Best Crypto Travel Card: Crypto.com

Quick overview

Crypto.com  is a fast-growing cryptocurrency exchange that supports a wide range of crypto and fiat currencies, so it's perfect for all crypto enthusiasts.

Their contactless Visa Crypto Card was one of the first cards with the possibility to spend your cryptos for everyday purchases without unnecessary waiting. You must load your crypto funds to the card and convert them to your preferred fiat currency.

Crypto.com offers up to 5% cashback on purchases. However, the cashback amount highly depends on the staking amount of Crypto.com's native token CRO.

Pros
  • No monthly or annual fee
  • Cashback in their native coin and other benefits
  • It makes it easy to turn digital assets into the spendable currency you can use right away
  • Great mobile app
  • Airport lounge access (top 3 card tiers)
Cons
  • You need to stake large amounts of CRO for the highest rewards
  • Low monthly ATM limits on lower-tier cards

Who is the card for?

Crypto.com visa debit card is ideal for travelers who want the possibility to spend their cryptos for everyday purchases anywhere in the world where Visa is excepted.

Main benefits:

There are five different tiers of prepaid debit crypto cards through which users can stake fiat currency into CRO tokens; each tier comes with various features. It all depends on how many CRO coins you are staking.

  • You can earn up to 5% cashback on your purchases if you hold at least 350,000 EUR in their native coin CRO
  • You can withdraw up to 1,000 EUR per month for free on ATMs
  • The top card tiers also give you benefits like 100% reimbursements for Spotify, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Airport Lounge Access, Bonus Rewards, discounts on Airbnb and Expedia, and others.
  • As you noticed by now, Crypto.com is offering some pretty nice rewards, but as mentioned,

Welcome bonus: N/A

Read more in our detailed Crypto.com Card Review.

Best Credit Card for Occasional Travelers: Revolut

Quick overview

Revolut is a popular fintech bank whose digital banking alternative quickly grew and became one of the most recognizable bank solutions for international businesses and digital nomads. The card supports multi-currencies which helps you to exchange your money quickly, in the app, withdrawing from ATM, or via card payments.

Besides prepaid debit cards on different tiers, currency exchanges, international transfers, and easy money transfers between Revolut users, they also offer cryptocurrency exchange (Bitcoin, Ethereum, and 30+ other currencies) and investments in stock and commodities, support Google and Apple Pay.

Pros
  • Free and fast transfers
  • Transparent fees
  • Virtual cards
  • Supports Cryptocurrencies
  • Insurance options with higher planes
Cons
  • Higher fees during the weekends
  • Fees on international withdrawals
  • Not a credit card

Welcome bonus: N/A

Main benefits:

  • With Revolut, you can withdraw $300 for free each month (on a Standard plan) via their network of 55,000+ ATMs.
  • Instant and free transfers between Revolut friends,
  • With Premium or Metal plans, you get pay-per-day travel medical insurance, delay and lost baggage insurance, emergency dental, and medical coverage.
  • With Premium or Metal plans, you can also get lounge access to +1000 airport lounges globally and SmartDelay, which allows you to get a free airport lounge pass if your flight is delayed more than an hour.
  • Investment opportunities include buying, selling, sending cryptocurrencies, and investing in stocks and precious metals like gold and silver.

Who is the card for?

Revolut card is a great solution to manage your money on the go, directly from your app. Revolut is making your life easier when occasionally traveling abroad and using their impressive additional features that help you budget and track your spending better.

Revolut is for those looking for a convenient way to top up your holiday and travel money and use it abroad with reasonable fees.

It's also convenient for those who want to make the first step into crypto trading, as you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies within the app.

If Revolut fits your needs, you can read more about it in our comparison article Wise vs Revolut.

Best First Travel card for Rewards: Bank of America Travel Rewards Card

Quick overview

We find the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card a very convenient and straightforward reward card that doesn't require much work and understanding. It has no annual fee, and you can earn 1.5 points / USD on all purchases.

You can use your points for travel purchases on your statement credit, making it a fantastic first travel credit card.

Pros
  • No annual fee
  • Flexible and simple rewards redemption
  • No foreign transaction fees
Cons
  • Requires good/excellent credit
  • You don't get luxury perks
  • No bonus categories

Welcome bonus

You get 100,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 on purchases on the card in the first six months.

Main benefits

You get 25,000 bonus points after spending at least 1,000 USD in the first 90 days of account opening - that can translate to a $250 credit on your statement.

Main benefits

  • No annual fee, no foreign transaction fees
  • You get 1.5 points per dollar on all purchases; your points don't expire as long as your account stays open
  • Ability to use your points for travel purchases on your statement credit
  • No booking restrictions.
  • Auto Rental Insurance and Roadside assistance

Who is the card for?

This card is convenient for travelers who need a simple way to earn and redeem points they collect during their travels without unnecessary complications. In addition, the card is great for beginners in the sometimes complicated world of collecting points, miles, and any existing Bank of America customer.

Best bank for European Digital Nomads: N26

Quick overview

N26  is another fintech bank that offers smart features that make your banking experience on a mobile phone convenient. With N26, you get easy top-up, direct debits, affordable international money transfers, instant transfers to other N26 users called MoneyBeam, sub-accounts, etc.

N26 is available to 22 countries in Europe, and while being present in the US market, they closed their operations in the US in January 2022. They left the UK market following Brexit.

They have a full European banking license, and your funds will be covered by the German Bank guarantee (up to €100,000).

You can choose from free and paid personal and also business accounts.

Pros
  • No monthly fee or minimum balance
  • Free card shipments and no account maintenance fee
  • Great for organizing your spending and budgeting
  • Overdraft possibilities
Cons
  • Not available in the US and UK anymore
  • Withdrawals abroad are charged with a 1.70% transaction fee.
  • No interest on savings
  • N26 doesn't offer a credit card

Who is the card for?

The N26 MasterCard is great for traveling. There are no transaction fees and no currency conversion fees. So this makes it an excellent card for everybody looking for a simple online bank with a real banking license.

Main benefits:

  • You can transfer your funds under Mastercard's exchange rates without additional fees.
  • Transparent fees
  • Selecting any plan above Standard will allow you to use benefits like flight insurance, luggage insurance, car rental insurance, unlimited free withdrawals, etc. So great option for frequent travelers or digital nomads.
  • N26 has a full European banking license and is ruled by the same laws and regulations as any other bank, which is excellent security for a fintech bank.

Welcome bonus: N/A

If you are located in Europe and N26 seems a good card for you, you can read more about it in our N26 vs Revolut comparison article.

Best for International Transfers: Wise (formerly Transferwise)

Quick overview

It's not a secret that we are fans of fintech online bank solutions. The next one on our list as best for international transfers is Wise, formerly Transferwise, a UK-based currency transfer service that issues multi-currency debit cards.

Wise converts your money at the actual mid-market exchange rates, so they can keep their foreign currency conversion fees low.

With Wise, you can set up your account in different currencies, enabling you to send and receive money globally and use the Wise Debit Card to withdraw the funds in local currency.

They offer a business account, which can be one of the more basic solutions when opening a US LLC business as a foreigner, and paying your overseas freelancers and contractors.

A multi-currency account, previously known as a borderless account, is a fantastic option for all who require local bank details in different countries. They offer low fees and reliable services, making them one of the top solutions for international transfers.

This travel debit card is available in the UK, US, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore.

Pros
  • You can keep 50+ currencies in your account
  • Low fees and quick transfers
  • Local Account Details in AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, NZD, MYR, PLN, SGD, USD, RON, HUF, TRY
  • Multicurrency Card
Cons
  • No loans or overdrafts
  • Processing times can differ in different countries/currencies
  • No live chat support

Who is the card for?

Wise is for travelers looking for fast and affordable international money transfers with a low and transparent fee structure. In addition, it is great for everybody looking for a card that enables them to withdraw funds in local currency while traveling.

Main benefits:

  • The travel debit card is powered by MasterCard
  • Freeze your card via app in case of loss or theft
  • You'll enjoy free ATM withdrawals (in over 2 million ATMs around the world) up to 200 EUR / 30 days
  • Their app lets you top up, check your balance and transactions, and convert currency in real-time
  • Very low currency conversion fees
  • Load your card with 50+ currencies

Welcome bonus: N/A

Best for Travel Insurance and Sign-up Bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred

Quick overview

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a popular card with great benefits that quickly exceed the annual fee of 95 USD. With this card, you can accelerate your travel and also dining experience.

You can redeem at the value of 1.25 cents and use them for your travel bookings or transfer them to their hotel and airline partners. Points are worth 25% more when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards, a great way to get more value from the rewards program. E.g., 60,000 welcome points are worth $750 toward travel credit.

If you want to earn Ultimate Rewards points and benefit from travel insurance without paying a high annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a great way to go.

Pros
  • The low annual fee for the benefits
  • Trip Cancellation Insurance,
    Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver,
    Lost Luggage Insurance, and more.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
Cons
  • Requires good/excellent credit
  • Complicated rewards
  • Some benefits are temporary

Welcome bonus:

You get 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening, which is a great sign-up bonus for a card with a 95 USD annual fee.

Who is the card for?

This card is excellent for occasional to frequent travelers looking for a card with a low annual fee, a good sign-up bonus, and who don't mind investing some time in a more complicated point system. The card is also great for people who love dining outside or ordering food delivery services.

Main benefits:

If making purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you get:

  • 5 points per dollar on travel purchased,
  • 3 points per dollar on dining, online grocery purchases, and selected streaming services
  • 2 points per dollar on all other travel purchases
  • 1 point per dollar on all other purchases
  • Points can be redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal at a rate of 1.25 cents per point.
  • Points can also be transferred to Chase's 14 airline and hotel partners.

Best Crypto Travel Card for Cashback and Perks: Wirex

Quick overview

Wirex  is a crypto payment platform with a Visa-backed cryptocurrency debit card. The card offers rewards in their native token WXT, free ATM withdrawals, and earning interest on fiat, BTC, and ETH currencies.

We love that Wirex does not require a minimum balance to earn rewards. Instead, they offer a straightforward, flexible solution that allows you to spend, send/receive, and exchange various crypto and fiat currencies.

Not all features and cards are available for all locations. You can see supported countries and features here. They operate in 130 countries worldwide.

Wirex is bridging the crypto world with real-life transactions and is enabling users to keep their fiat and digital currencies in one place, ready to use at any time.

Pros
  • Cashback and referral bonuses
  • Supports 150+ traditional and fiat currencies
  • The ability to sell Cryptocurrencies at low fees
  • Free transfers between Wirex users
Cons
  • Rewards only in their native Wirex WXT token
  • Available features depend on your location

Who is the card for?

Wirex is ideal for you if you love traveling for business or leisure and want to experience a seamless transition between your fiat and cryptocurrency holdings. Their Visa and Mastercard give you access to borderless international transactions with low fees, under OTC and interbank rates, so it's perfect for everybody who doesn't like any unpleasant surprises of additional fees when returning from a trip.

Main benefits:

  • Crypto Cashback rewards when paying for goods and services, up to 2%
  • With Wirex Visa, you get free ATM withdrawals up to about $300 per month.
  • With their most promoted feature, X-Accounts, you can earn up to 16% interest on fiat and up to 10% interest on cryptocurrencies BTC and ETH.
  • You can earn up to 16% on your savings on selected crypto and fiat currencies through a new product called Wirex X-Accounts.
  • They've partnered with Booking.com and Agoda for offers in the Asia-Pacific region. Agoda offers up to 6% off existing travel deals and Booking 10% cashback when booking with your Wirex travel card.

If you want to see more details about Wirex and why it can become your crypto card for travel perks and cashback read our detailed Wirex Review.

Best Crypto Travel Card for Beginners: Coinbase

Quick overview

Coinbase Card is a popular crypto exchange, offering a debit card and our choice if you are looking for a straightforward solution for a crypto card and easy application in real-world purchases. On top of that, it offers a simple cashback scheme that can bring you rewards on daily spending.

You can use it worldwide, where Visa is accepted and supports multiple cryptocurrencies.

Pros
  • It can be used worldwide
  • Pay using multiple cryptocurrencies
  • Large selection of cryptos
  • Strong rewards system
Cons
  • Coinbase account required
  • It's a debit, not a credit card.

Who is the card for?

A Coinbase card is excellent for everybody who is holding cryptocurrencies on a Coinbase account and wants to use them for daily purchases. There is no annual fee, so it's an attractive solution for all beginners.

The card can be used anywhere Visa is accepted, so it's great for occasional and frequent travelers.

Main benefits:

  • Earn from 1% to 4% back in rewards whenever you make a purchase (if you purchase USDC, no conversion fee applies)
  • The card automatically converts your preferred cryptocurrency to fiat money on-demand, so you don't need to keep your fiat balance in the account.

Welcome bonus: N/A