Top Credit Cards for Europe

Written by: Valencia Higuera

Major credit cards, such as Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express are accepted in practically every country, which is perfect if you’re planning a trip to Europe. There’s plenty to see and do throughout Europe, and to take advantage of everything that the continent has to offer, you need adequate funds. You can bring cash on your trip, but there’s the hassle of searching for a currency exchange or ATM whenever you need funds. Because U.S. credit cards are widely accepted at restaurants, hotels and other establishments throughout Europe, this method of payment is by far the most convenient and easiest. But when you sort through your wallet, don’t grab just any credit card from europe.

Several banks and credit card companies charge foreign transaction fees when you use your card overseas, which is basically a currency conversion fee. This fee can cost up to 3% of your total purchase. But with the right credit card, you can avoid this fee when traveling to Europe and other overseas locations.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Not only does this credit card waive the foreign transaction fee when you travel and shop abroad, but you can earn 2 points on every dollar that you spend on airfare, hotel, cruises, taxis and rental cars. You also earn 2 points on every dollar at restaurants and 1 point on other purchases. Book your travel arrangements through Ultimate Rewards and receive 20% off airfare, hotels, cruises and rentals when you book. And if you spend $3,000 within the first three months, you earn 40,000 bonus points. The $95 annual fee is waived the first year.

Citi ThankYou Premier Card

Use your Citi ThankYou Premier Card on your European vacation and never pay a dime in foreign transaction fees. You receive a 15% discount on all air travel, plus a free domestic companion ticket every year. Earn 1 point on every dollar that you spend, plus 1 point for every mile that you fly. Redeem points for hotel, airfare, gift cards, travel packages and more. Spend $2,000 within your first three months and receive 30,000 bonus points. The $125 annual fee is waived the first year.

The American Express Platinum Card

In addition to zero foreign transaction fees, this credit card features a rewards program that lets you earn 1 point on every dollar spent. With the card’s Platinum Travel Service, you can speak with a travel consultant 24 hours a day, seven days a week and receive 24/7 emergency assistant anywhere in the world. Other travel benefits include a $200 annual credit, access to over 700 choice hotels around the globe, complimentary companion ticket with a qualifying business or first-class ticket, as well as access to a rental car program and cruise privilege program. The annual fee is $175.

Capital One

Capital One is the only credit card that offers zero foreign transaction fees on all it’s credit cards. This includes the VentureOne Card, the Platinum Prestige Card, the Venture Reward Card and the Classic Platinum Card. And the best part, Capital One has credit cards for all credit types – bad credit, good credit and no credit. You can apply for a simple, no frills credit card and avoid an annual fee, or select a rewards credit card and receive points or cash back on your purchases.

When you pack your bags for that big vacation across the pond this summer, take a credit card for Europe that won’t tack on additional fees and otherwise increase the cost of your trip.


Top Credit Cards for Europe

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