[Update: Some offers mentioned below have expired. You can view the current offers from our partners here — Capital One VentureOne Rewards, Capital One Venture Rewards and Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard.Disclosure: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]
With the price of flights to Europe dropping faster than dominoes, it’s no wonder people are thinking of going abroad. But while scoring a cheap flight is nice, there’s nothing like packing a credit card with no foreign transaction fees. Even better: When that card has no annual fees the first year.
To help you start your trip off right, we sussed out a few that fit the bill. That’s right, none of the three cards listed below have foreign transaction fees and their annual fees are waived the first year. Who says it’s tough to pack light?
1. Capital One VentureOne Rewards
The Pros: Capital One VentureOne Rewards (read our review here) members earn 1.25 miles per dollar, which can be redeemed for one cent each as a statement credit toward travel purchases, including airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises. New applicants also receive a whopping 20,000 miles, worth $200, after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months of opening the account.
The Cons: The rate of return on rewards is less than the double miles offered by Capital One’s alternate version of no-foreign-transaction-fee travel plastic, the Capital One Venture Rewards card.
APR: The variable interest rate is 12.24% to 22.24% after the first year (which is a 0% introductory rate).
2. Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Pros: Chase Sapphire Preferred (read our full review here) cardholders earn double points for all dining and travel charges, and one point for every dollar spent everywhere else. They can also redeem points directly through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards travel portal at a rate of 1.25 cents per point. Other rewards — such as gift cards, swag and cash back — are also offered at a rate of one cent per point.
The Cons: The $95 annual fee for the card is waived the first year, but you should consider if you’ll travel or dine out enough to make the card worth that fee before signing up.
APR: The variable interest rate is 16.24% to 23.24%, depending on your creditworthiness, after the year-long 0% introductory rate expires.
3. Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard
The Pros: If you’re a frequent flier on American Airlines, the Citi AAdvantage Platinum card (read our review here) may be what you’re looking for. (Full Disclosure: Citibank, as well as Capital One and Chase, advertise on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.) Cardholders earn two miles for every dollar spent on qualifying American Airlines ticket purchases, and one point per dollar on everything else, with no limit on the amount of miles you can receive. Members can also waive the fee for their first checked bag for up to four of their travel companions on domestic flights.
The Cons: Again, there’s a $95 annual fee that is waived the first year. And if you don’t fly American Airlines, you may want to consider a different card.
APR: Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard offers a variable interest rate of 14.24% to 22.24%.
Remember, it’s important to read the fine print of any credit card you’re considering to be sure it’s right for you. And, before you apply, it’s good to have an idea of where your credit stands, as this will help determine what kind of terms and conditions you may qualify for. You can view a free snapshot of your credit report, updated each month, on Credit.com.
At publishing time, the Capital One VentureOne Rewards and Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.