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Best Credit Card for Foreign Travel? (Ask the Readers)

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Last week, I mentioned how my wife and I are going on ambitious trip to Phuket (and Australia). It's been a little while since I went outside the US. Last year, we went to Aruba, but I'm so familiar with saving money in Aruba, that I didn't feel the need to conserve every last cent. More importantly, they accept US Dollars so there's no conversion.

Australia and Thailand are two different monsters entirely. I have no clue what to expect for prices. I've heard that credit card companies can play some tricks with conversion rates and fees. For example this article from Bankrate says that there are a couple of fees, one from Mastercard and Visa and another from the issuing bank. I'd like to be able to use my credit as a savings tool like I do in the US earning cash back when possible.

It looks like Capital One may have one of the lowest fees, but I don't feel comfortable with them since they hate the environment.

In the end, we'll probably take advantage of the USAA and their debit card. They promise no fees even abroad. Seeing how they are affiliated with the military, I think I trust them to get me a good exchange rate since they aren't for big profits like other banks... Or else I'll just check out some of these credit card reviews.

Last updated on October 27, 2008.

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4 Responses to “Best Credit Card for Foreign Travel? (Ask the Readers)”

  1. DebtDieter says:

    To be honest I’d avoid the fees & go with a Travelex Cash Passport.

    You load up your money in it & then use it like a credit card & you can get money out of ATM’s with the Visa logo in most countries.

  2. I’d say USAA is a definite safe bet. Although I could be biases seeing as how I have 12 accounts w/ them ;) I really should just start working there…

  3. dave says:

    Pentagon Federal has a Platinum Cash card that has very fair rates and only charges a 1% foreign transaction fee but gives 1.25% cash back thereby netting 0.25% cash back on foreign transactions. Not to mention they give 5% on gasoline and 2% on supermarkets every day with no limits.

  4. kitty says:

    I heard that credit union cards have no foreign exchange fees. They offer no cashback, but savings in foreign exchange fees are often higher. I am considering getting one from our credit union before my planned trip in December.

    A friend of mine has Capital One; she says it also has no foreign exchange fees. Some article I read mentioned Wachovia. Needless to say this information may be outdated and needs to be verified.

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