Credit Cards

What Is The Best Credit Card To Use In Europe

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 6 minute read

With these travel credit cards, you’ll be able to enjoy your dream European holiday.
The ability to schedule vacations that I otherwise would not be able to afford is one of my favorite perks of collecting credit card points, airline miles, and hotel points. In the past, I’ve been able to travel across Europe thanks to travel points.

It’s important to choose which credit cards you’ll take with you when you go abroad. Take a look at our selection of the finest European travel credit cards.

What characteristics should an international credit card have?

If you’re planning a trip outside the United States, you’ll want a different credit card from the one you use at home. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing a credit card for European travel.

Transaction fees for foreign currency transactions are not charged

The majority of widely used credit cards currently do not impose international transaction fees, but you may still have a few in your wallet. You pay a tax on your purchases when you travel abroad because of the foreign transaction costs. Your purchase will be increased by 3% if you have to pay these fees.

Choosing to pay in the local currency is a great way to save money. Hotels, restaurants, and other merchants often charge a “convenience fee” to convert the foreign currency pricing into US dollars.

PIN technology

Chip-and-signature credit card technology is commonplace in the United States. The card is inserted and the receipt is signed. In order to decrease fraudulent transactions, Europe has advanced the technology even further. In place of signing the receipt, you’ll be prompted to enter your PIN to authenticate your identity.

The majority of U.S. credit cards do not have chip-and-PIN technology, but you should still bring one with you to Europe just in case. Consider these chip-and-pin credit cards.

Global Entry reimbursement

There is a TSA PreCheck program that allows you to bypass security queues if you often fly within the United States. If you’ve just returned from a long-haul journey overseas, you can save time at U.S. Customs by enrolling in Global Entry. Consider utilizing one of the TSA PreCheck or Global Entry reimbursement credit cards before your trip to apply for the security program that best suits your needs.

Bonuses for international trades

Travel, eating, petrol, and other categories are all great ways to rack up extra miles and points while making purchases. The small print on many credit cards states that these bonus points and miles may only be earned in the United States. If you want to earn as many points as possible toward a free trip, use a credit card that gives perks all over the world.

The 5 greatest credit cards to take on a European vacation with

The Platinum Card from American Express

After spending $6,000 in the first six months, you’ll receive 100,000 Membership Rewards points as a welcome gift. All other qualifying purchases are eligible for 1X points per dollar, however, you may earn 5X points per dollar on qualified flights (up to $500,000 per calendar year, after that 1X points per dollar).

As a premium travel rewards card from American Express, the Platinum Card is popular among experienced travelers. Over 1,200 lounges are available to cardholders in 130 countries. In addition, you’ll receive immediate Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite and Hilton Honors Gold status, as well as important advantages with The Hotel Collection and Fine Hotels & Resorts, which may make every hotel stay unique. Enrollment is required for some benefits.

That European trip is going to be a lot more enjoyable because you’ll be able to avoid long waits at the airport upon your return.

AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard

For a one-year subscription, you’ll pay $99. After making your first purchase in the first 90 days and paying the yearly fee, you will receive 60,000 bonus miles. Earn 2X miles for every dollar spent on American Airlines purchases, and 1X mile per dollar spent on all other purchases if you qualify. This is a big perk of Barclays’ credit cards, as chip and PIN technology is a must while traveling in Europe! The Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard comes with a slew of perks for travelers, including the ability to earn points on all of your travel purchases.

In addition to trip cancellation and interruption insurance, the card offers baggage delay insurance, vehicle rental collision damage waiver, and auto rental collision damage waiver.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

The yearly cost is $550. Earn 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months.
You may earn 10X points on Lyft and Chase Dining purchases; 5X points on air travel booked through Ultimate Rewards; 3X points on dining and travel, and 1x point every $1 spent on all other transactions.

As soon as it was released, the Chase Sapphire Reserve quickly became one of the most popular high-end credit cards on the market. Although the annual charge is $550, the card comes with a slew of perks and credits that make it worthwhile. Every year, you’ll be given a $300 credit to use against travel-related costs. Priority Pass Select membership and credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry costs are also included in the card’s benefits.

Nine airlines and three hotel reward programs accept points for transfer. Using the Chase Ultimate Rewards site, each point is worth 1.5 cents when purchasing travel.

Citi Premier Card

The yearly charge is $95. Spend $4,000 in the first three months and get 60,000 extra points. Earn 3X points in restaurants, supermarkets, and petrol stations, as well as on airfare and hotel stays, while only receiving 1X points on all other transactions. Earn 1X points on all other purchases.

Bonus points are earned on typical travel costs with the Citi Premier Card, and you can redeem them for travel through Citi’s booking platform for 1.25 cents apiece. Using the ThankYou Travel Center, you may earn up to $750 in extra points for signing up for the program.

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card

400 dollars per year. Offer for new members: 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,500 during the first 90 days; terms and conditions apply. Altitude Rewards Center members get 5X points on pre-booked hotel and auto rental reservations; 3X points on qualifying travel and mobile wallet transactions; and 1X points for all other eligible purchases.

There are several advantages for regular travelers with the US Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card. You’ll get $325 in annual travel credits and additional points on travel and mobile wallet purchases each year when you join this program. If you get the 50,000-point bonus, you’ll get up to $750 worth of travel credit.

TSA PreCheck and Global Entry reimbursements of up to $100 per four years are also available to cardholders, as is a Priority Pass Select membership for access to airport lounges.

Before you go on vacation, do this

Follow these suggestions before you go for your European holiday to avoid any issues with using your credit cards in a foreign nation.

Share travel plans with your bank

In the event of a fraudulent transaction, banks are always on guard. To prevent unauthorized transactions, your bank may temporarily suspend your account until you can provide proof that the charges are indeed coming from your account.

Inform your bank in advance of your trip plans if you want to avoid this situation. Don’t forget to list any nations where you could be stopping over on the way home. Rather than having to call or go to the branch, many financial institutions now allow you to send a notification via their app or website.

Download the bank’s app to track purchases

When you’re on the road, it’s imperative that you keep an eye on your finances. A mobile banking app is a convenient way to stay on top of your finances on the go. If you’ve misplaced your credit card, you may alert the bank via the app and get a new one.

Set up automatic payments

To avoid paying interest, we should all pay off our credit cards in full each month. This isn’t always the case, of course. In a new place, this is especially true because you’re having a good time.

Hence, the recommendation to have automatic payments of the minimum due set up by everyone in the household. In this way, you may prevent late penalties and avoid having a late payment recorded to credit bureaus, keeping your account in good standing.

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