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Updated March 20, 2018

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

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.

Credit Cards for European Travel

© CreditDonkey

Capital One Venture

Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/A
14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that

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.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Apply for Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
At Chase's Secure Site
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/A
17.74% - 24.74% Variable
$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95

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


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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.

†Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which CreditDonkey receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CreditDonkey does not include all companies or all offers that may be available in the marketplace.

*See the card issuer's online application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However, all information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button you can review the terms and conditions on the card issuer's website.

CreditDonkey does not know your individual circumstances and provides information for general educational purposes only. CreditDonkey is not a substitute for, and should not be used as, professional legal, credit or financial advice. You should consult your own professional advisors for such advice.