3 global travel credit cards to carry

There are many rewards cards on the market with good point incentives and programs, but if you are a frequent world traveler, these 3 travel credit cards will also save you money on many additional travel related costs and fees. Be sure to have these 3 cards in your wallet:

1. American Express Platinum Card

The membership fee is $450 per year but includes:

  • $200 airline incidental credit of your choice. Go online and register your airline of choice for the travel credits BEFORE you travel. Any luggage, lounge, refreshment and incidental charges from the airline, up to $200, will be credited.
  • Free entry into Delta or American Express’ own Centurion travel lounges
  • Free Global Entry Program worth $100
  • No foreign transaction fees (up to 3% savings in your overseas charges)
  • Premium Collision Damage Waiver: Primary coverage can be purchased for $17.95 for a rental up to 42 days. With primary coverage, your credit card covers the damages or loss to the rental vehicle so you don’t have to notify your personal car insurer. This saves you money on potentially increased premiums.
  • Free Companion Ticket when flying Business or First Class. Must be booked through American Express Travel and paid with your AMEX. There is a $39 fee per ticket.
  • Microchip enabled. In many parts of the world, magnetic swipe cards are no longer in use. For added security, many countries now use microchip credit cards.

2. Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa

The first year is free, $95 per year

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Collision damage waiver with primary rental car coverage included
  • Microchip enabled

3. Charles Schwab Visa

Open an online checking account with Charles Schwab and you won’t pay ATM fees for withdrawals anywhere in the world. There is no minimum balance required or any bank fees. You will get a more competitive exchange rate withdrawing cash at the ATM than at exchange counters. By linking the Schwab account with your everyday bank accounts, you can transfer money while traveling, as you need it. Be sure to give yourself 2 days to a week after the transfer for the money to be available for withdrawal.

When traveling, don’t forget to call the banks and credit card companies to let them know where you will be! They will “unlock” your account for use in the countries you request for up to 1 year. Ask them to set you up for email fraud alerts so you can be quickly be reached if there is suspicious activity occurring in one of your accounts.


  1. Tracy B.

    This is so helpful, thank you! I felt ripped off by all the fees last time my boyfriend and I went backpacking in Europe.

  2. World Traveling Dave

    I didn’t think about calling the bank before leaving. I’ll be following your advice to make my life easier. Please keep sharing.

    1. Cynthia

      Always let your bank know! They monitor charges in real-time and you don’t want to get a decline while paying for a cab in the middle of the night.

  3. Carlotta Barrini

    The American Express card fee is so high! I’d have to travel constantly to justify. Do you recommend the Chase Visa or the Schwab Visa?

    1. Cynthia

      Hi Carlotta,
      I’d recommend both Visas. The Chase one is great because it’s not tied to a bank account, should anything fraudulent happen. The Schwab one is more like a Debit Visa and best for withdrawing money as you need. Happy travels!

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