The best credit cards for your summer travels

When planning for your summer vacation, take a close look at the credit card(s) you’re carrying, particularly if you’re planning to travel outside the borders of the United States. Certain cards could increase the cost of your trip while others could help you earn credit toward next year’s vacation.

Personal finance website released its Best Credit Card Report identifying the best cards to carry, evaluating a variety of cards using six criteria: purchase intro annual percentage rate (APR), transfer intro APR, regular APR, annual fee, rewards rate, and rewards bonus.

The survey also identified the best cards based upon the credit rating of those carrying it: for those with excellent credit, good credit, fair credit, limited credit and bad credit.

“There is no perfect credit card,” the survey notes, adding that “The best rewards cards are unlikely to have the best interest rates, for example, because they’re designed for people who pay their monthly bills in full. And the best credit card for someone with bad credit won’t necessarily offer rewards.”

Those planning trips outside the U.S. should pay special attention. In total, credit cards offer some 13 international travel benefits, but many credit cards charge foreign transaction fees, which WalletHub’s Foreign Transaction Fee Survey showed an overwhelming percentage of travelers do not fully understand.

The survey showed that more than half of all travelers don’t know if their credit card charges a foreign transaction fee, which is typically three percent of the purchase amount. But there’s an added twist: Foreign transaction fees not only apply to purchases made outside the U.S., they can also apply to purchases made in the U.S. from international merchants. Fully 86 percent of those surveyed didn’t understand that aspect of many cards.

While there are many cards that do not add foreign transaction fees, there are only four major issuers that don’t have transaction fees on any of the cards they issue. Those are Capital One, Discover, USAA and Barclays.

Overall, WalletHub rated the best credit cards for international travelers as the Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card, Bank of America Travel Rewards and Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard.

With regard to benefits offered, 96 percent of credit cards offer rental car insurance, while 86 percent offer travel accident insurance and 37 percent offer insurance for lost or delayed luggage. Other benefits can include travel emergency assistance, whether financial assistance is available in case of lost or stolen credit cards, or in case of travel emergencies.

Review the benefits of the cards you carry now and make changes if necessary to maximize your travel budget.

Visit my main page at for more news, reviews, and personal observations on the world of upmarket travel.

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