19 Jan Top 2 Credit Cards When Traveling Abroad!

I play the points game to the best of my ability. That involves applying for multiple travel rewards credit cards every few months to capitalize on the generous initial points/miles sign-up bonuses! These bonuses allow me to travel near and far, especially internationally, and for that I am thankful!

As you might imagine, all of those credit cards have begun to pile up (literally) and now I find myself with 20-some-odd credit cards! I’m not sure if there is a wallet out there that could hold all those cards, and even if there was, I’m certain I wouldn’t want to carry it around every day – especially when I’m on one of my international travel itineraries!

SO MANY CARDS!

SO MANY CARDS! There’s more where these came from!

So, I decided to simplify things for me and for you and detail out my top two favorite cards to use when traveling abroad.

I’ll start with my second favorite…

#2 The Barclaycard Arrival Plus

Chip + Pin Security – The majority of credit cards around the world utilize this technology, and it works great! It requires payers to insert their credit card and input a 4 digit pin, similar to the process you might follow with a debit card. Unfortunately for Americans, the majority of our credit cards do not utilize this technology, but rather a much less secure Chip + Signature process.

You: “Wait, no… the little chip thingy, right? Yeah my card has that! It must be chip + pin!?”

Wrong. While your card may have a brand spanking new chip, all it means for you in the US is that now have to stand at the card reader for an extra 3 minutes waiting for your payment to process. Outside the US, those Chips don’t mean a thing!

You: “Ok, got it – Chip+Pin cards are different, so what is the big deal?”

The Big Deal – When you go to use your credit card at any unmanned/unstaffed payment terminal – like at metro stations, train stations, grocery store self-checkout, etc. – your US credit card will not work!

Waiting at Payment Terminal - AYP Insert Chip + Pin - AYP

Unless that US credit card is the Barclaycard Arrival Plus (or another Barclay issued card)! Still don’t see what the big deal is? Well, next time you find yourself at a metro station with no attendant on duty and no payment terminal that accepts cash… then you’ll know!

Barclay Arrival + Train Tix - AYP

The BA+ saves me time and effort when traveling abroad!

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus has has saved me time and time again and I will continue to show it love all around this wide, wide world!

#1 The Chase Sapphire Reserve

This is currently the most popular rewards credit card on the market! It took the credit card market by storm this past August with a MONSTER 100k point sign-up bonus (the 100k online offer has since decreased, but more on this later) and a variety of premium travel perks!

Ain't she beautiful!?

Ain’t she beautiful!?

Chances are you already know quite a bit about this card, but do you know…

What makes the CSR so good outside of the US?

(1) 3x Earning on Travel and Dining – If you’re anything like me, you love to travel. And your favorite activity while traveling is eating! The CSR has you covered on both fronts, offering you 3x points earning whether you’re chillin’ in a suite at the Park Hyatt Milan or munching a trdelnik in Old Town Prague, Czech Republic!

Park Hyatt Milan Entrance Prague Trdelnick

(2) $300 Annual (worldwide) Travel Credit – It didn’t take long for yours truly to take advantage of the 2017 $300 annual travel credit! But I promise I put it too good use – during my New Year’s stay at the Andaz London Liverpool!

Bodda-bing, bodda-boom! The credit is mine!

Bodda-bing, bodda-boom! The credit is mine!

(3) No Foreign Transaction Fees – This is a must when traveling abroad so please do not take this for granted! It may seem like all credit cards these days have no/waived foreign transaction fees but think again… I made the mistake of having another Chase card (Freedom) linked to my Uber account and was stuck paying additional fees each time I hitched a ride! Note: The Barclay Arrival Plus also includes this feature.

(4) Priority Pass Select Lounge Access (including unlimited guests) – The international Priority Pass network is strong (over 400 cities worldwide!)and the CSR provides THE best access over any other credit card in the game! Free unlimited access for yourself and your travel companions to the Oman Air Lounge in Bangkok – what more could you want!?

(5) Travel Protections What’s worse than trip delays, trip cancellations, delayed/lost luggage and/or medical emergencies? Imagine all of the above… but in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language! Luckily for you the CSR doesn’t care what language you speak and will take care of you wherever in the world you may be!

Some people might be down on the card given the recent 50k point slash to the online sign-up bonus, but I am still on the bandwagon through March 12th – the last day to snag the 100k point offer in a Chase branch near you!

Final Thought

Travel far and travel wide, and don’t forget to bring this card combo, or something like it, everywhere you go!

Earn bonus points, save money and travel effectively – all thanks the CSR & BA+!

AYP Tip – These cards should cover most of your travel needs, but it will never hurt to put a little more time researching prior to your travels to make sure you pack the right cards for your destination!

Do you have a particular favorite credit card to use when traveling internationally!?

Happy Travels!

DW

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