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Updated June 19, 2019

Study: Credit Card for European Travel

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Traveling to Europe? Look for a card with chip technology and no foreign transaction fees. Here are our favorite cards for international travel.

Credit Card for Travel in Europe

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Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted. While many American credit cards work in Europe, you should make sure your credit card has no foreign transaction fee.

Factors to Consider

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Here are the main factors we considered in comparing European travel cards:

  1. Fees
  2. Signup Bonus
  3. Travel Rewards

Fees are no fun, of course, but with credit cards, sometimes the extra costs are justified by their benefits. It's a balance you'll want to consider by looking at each card's annual fee and foreign transaction fee. Annual fees are the price of membership for being a cardholder. Foreign transaction fees occur when you make purchases abroad; credit card companies will charge you a percentage on top of the total price of each purchase you make. If you do a lot of traveling, these fees can add up fast, so look for a card with no foreign transaction fees.

Most travel cards offer an introductory signup bonus to entice new members. The bonus is usually a large amount of points or miles that you'll receive if you spend a certain amount of money by a specific time. For savvy card users, these bonuses can more than justify most cards' annual fee. But if you're not going to spend enough money to get the bonus, getting one of these cards doesn't make financial sense.

In addition to a generous bonus, a good travel credit card should also provide ample opportunity to earn points and miles to help pay for your next trip. Then you'll want flexibility in how you can use those rewards. You don't want to be limited in your choice of airlines or hotels.

Getting ready to take a trip? Check out this article from The Walking Street for 20 great tips on saving money while travelling.

Credit Cards for European Travel

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Capital One Venture

Capital One Venture offers a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases within three months of account opening. 50,000 miles is equal to $500 in travel. This card earns 2x miles per dollar on all purchases. You can redeem miles toward travel purchases on any airline, hotel, or car rental. There are no foreign transaction fees. You get up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®. There is a $95 annual fee ($0 intro annual fee for the first year).

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Sapphire Preferred
Apply for Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred lets you earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. This card lets you earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide.

Points can be transferred 1:1 to leading frequent travel programs including airline transfer partners. The card has a $0 foreign transaction fee. The card also comes with premium travel and purchase protection benefits (including trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance and auto rental collision damage waiver). There is a $95 annual fee.

Why We Like It
The Sapphire Preferred lets you pile on the points and gives you the freedom to use them. You can transfer the points at full 1:1 value to select frequent travel programs with no additional fees.

The Downsides
The card is Chip and Signature instead of Chip and PIN. To learn the difference, read our Beginner's Guide to Smart Chip Credit Cards.

Besides the annual fee, the card is not easy to get. You will need excellent credit to qualify and reap the rewards of the Sapphire Preferred.

Who It Works Best For
Frequent travelers with excellent credit who can take advantage of the signup bonus.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: The information for the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

More from CreditDonkey:


Beginner's Guide to Chip Credit Cards


Foreign Transaction Fee


Airline

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Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Apply for Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
At Chase's Secure Site
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Go to issuer's official application, terms, and details
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/A
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
$95

International Travel

The best credit cards for international travel have no foreign transaction fees, chip technology and worldwide acceptance. But what's the right travel card for you?

Chase Sapphire Preferred Review

Travel credit cards are a smart way to earn flights and hotel stays. Our favorite is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card because of its bonus point offer and premium travel benefits. Read on to see if the annual fee is worth it for you.
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About CreditDonkey®
CreditDonkey is a credit card comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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