Or, consider other cards for 50,000 more miles or points that transfer into United miles with additional flexibility for your everyday spending.
$1,000 toward travel or transfer to United, Southwest, and more.
Citi® Hilton HHonorsTM Visa Signature® Card - no annual fee.
Paying foreign transaction fees on a rewards credit card is a waste, with fees as high as 3% that will eat away most of the rewards from your spending.
While just about every good travel credit card with an annual fee has no foreign transaction fees these days, if you’re looking to pay no annual fee at all, you’re going to make some sacrifices.
The Amex Everyday, one of the few cards that lets you earn real airline miles with no annual fee, has a 2.7% foreign transaction fee.
And all but one of the major hotel credit cards with no annual fee also has foreign transaction fees.
So if you’re looking to earn real airline miles or transferable points like Chase Ultimate Rewards, you’re going to need to get a card with an annual fee.
But there are still some very good travel rewards cards with no annual or foreign transaction fees that can get you 2% or better cash return on your spending.
Here are our picks for the best credit cards with no foreign transaction fees.
This might be the most lucrative card around for travel with no annual fee. For international travel it offers no foreign transaction fees, wide Visa acceptance, and it’s a chip card with a PIN available, so you can use it at kiosks worldwide.
It’s loaded with perks that you usually only find on cards with a hefty annual fee.
There’s a big 50,000 point signon bonus that’s worth $500 in cash, or up to $1,000 in flights.
You also get emergency evacuation coverage up to $100,000, trip delay coverage up to $100 a day, and lost luggage reimbursement.
The travel rewards are decent too. When you use your points for airfare you can book a flight worth up to $500 for 25,000 points. So if you buy a ticket that’s right around $500, you’re getting about 2 cents per point in value, which is great. The catch is that price only applies to flights on American Airlines, British Airways, Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines. And you can’t book flights for less than 25,000 points, so it’s not as great a deal for cheap flights.
You don’t need to be a wealthy Merrill Lynch customer to apply either – it’s open to anyone.
If simple, but big 2% cash rewards from ongoing spending is your thing, the PenFed Power Cash Rewards card is a great deal for foreign travel.
When you deposit $500 in a no fee PenFed Access America checking account, you can earn 2% unlimited cash back on every purchase, with no foreign transaction fees.
It’s a Visa so it’s accepted plenty of places, and it’s also a fully functional Chip and PIN card so you don’t have to worry about being able to use it at kiosks and train stations.
Anyone can join PenFed with a $17 donation to Voices for America’s Troops.
If you want real hotel points, you can earn them with no annual fee using the Wyndham Visa. It earns 3x points per dollar at Wyndham properties, 2x on gas, grocery, and utility purchases, and 1 point per dollar everywhere else.
It’s from Barclaycard, so it has Chip + PIN functionality that lets you use it just about anywhere.
15,000 Wyndham points lets you book a free night at any Wyndham hotel worldwide. There aren’t a lot of fantastic ones, but some are worth thinking about. Basically, at 15,000 points a night, you’re getting a good return on your spending if a a free night saves you $300 or more a night.
Wyndham hotels include Wyndham, Wyndham Garden, Tryp, Wingate, Hawthorn, Microtel, Baymont, Days Inn, Super 8, Howard Johnson, Travelodge, and Knights Inn. Beware that Wyndham points expire 4 years after you earn them.
The Bank Americard Travel Rewards card earns a simple 1.5x points per dollar on all your spending.
It’s a Chip card with PIN functionality, and you can use the points to get statement credit for any travel you buy with the card.
If you’re a Bank of America customer, you can earn up to 2.6x points per dollar via the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program. It’s also a Visa with wide acceptance.
If you’re a real stickler for Chip + PIN with not just a PIN, but full priority for the PIN, so you never have to sign in places that have terminals, the First Tech Federal Union Choice Rewards MasterCard is one of your few choices.
The rewards are OK – you earn a basic 2x points on gas, grocery, household goods, electronics, and telecommunication purchases, and 1x point on everything else.
To join First Tech you can make an $8 donation to the Financial Fitness Association.
The Discover It Miles earns 1.5x points on everything you spend, and for your first year your points are doubled. So if you earn 25,000 points from your spending, Discover will match them so you earn a total of 50,000 miles with no limits. Every 10,000 points are worth $100 toward any travel you purchase with the card.
There are no foreign transaction fees, but the catch here is Discover isn’t accepted at nearly as many places abroad as Visa, MasterCard, or American Express, so it’s not the greatest to rely on its own.
Every card from Capital One has no foreign transaction fees, and the VentureOne is the card for travel with no annual fee. It earns a basic 1.5x points on everything you spend, and you can use them to get reimbursed for any travel purchase you put on your card. Every 1,000 points is worth $10.
Its sibling, the Capital One Venture, earns a full 2x points on everything, but with a $59 annual fee after the first year.
This card earns Orbucks, which you can use to book many of the hotels available on Orbitz.com. Since this card earns 2 Orbucks for all purchases, you’re earning 2% cash value toward rewards on everything you buy, though you’re limited to booking on Orbitz. It’s not a full Chip + PIN card, and it’s from Comenity Bank, which doesn’t have the greatest interface for account management.
The Priceline Rewards Visa doesn’t have a whole lot going for it on the rewards front, with a basic 1x points on most purchases, and 5x points on Priceline purchases. But it’s a Barclaycard, so it has Chip + PIN capability.
There aren’t a lot of choices for small business spending overseas in this category, but the WorldPoints for Business card earns 1.5x points on everything plus 3x points when you book travel on the Bank of America travel website.
Every 10,000 points is worth $100 toward travel.
Capital One also has a Spark Miles Select for Business Card with no fee, but it earns 1.5x on everything with no 3x bonus on travel.
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