This is my least favorite part of trip planning–deciding what credit and debit cards to take on the trip, and notifying the banks that I will be traveling. We like to take a several debit and credit cards from different banks. The main criterion for the cards is that the underlying bank doesn’t charge a Foreign Transaction Fee. Some banks will tack on a 3% fee, and we’ll use their cards only in emergencies. The following cards charge no foreign transaction fees and will be the cards we will be taking.
Priceline Rewards Visa
It seems like I’m always talking about my United Club card, but the Priceline Rewards Visa is my favorite card. I always get comments on this card because of the William Shatner Price Buster image. It has no yearly fee and it pays 2% cash back on all purchases. I’ve had it for years, and about a year ago, they changed the terms on it so that it works just like the Barclay Arrival Card. It is even better because I can redeem points against ANY charge, not just travel. I won’t go into more details here because Barclays is no longer offering this card.
American Express Platinum
As I mentioned in my last blog post, I’ll be taking this along for possible lounge access. I also charged some expenses for this trip on this card so I can take advantage of their trip cancellation and delay insurance.
United Club Card
I’ll take the accompanying Star Alliance Club access card for lounge access, but I’ll take this card along also. We’ll use this for car rentals because it provides primary car insurance. Many credit cards provide this insurance, but you must make a claim with your own car insurance first. We’ve paid for the cruise with this card, and it provides medical evacuation insurance.
Capital One Rewards Money Market Visa
This is no longer offered, but you can open a Capital One 360 account for their debit card. Both Bruce and I have one that draws on the same account.
Fidelity Visa Check Card
This is our back-up card. No FTF, but it does charge a 1% fee.
In summary here’s what we’re taking:
Priceline Rewards Visa (Barclays)
United Club Card (Chase)
AMEX Platinum (American Express)
Capital One Debit (x2)
Fidelity Check Card (Visa)
An important chore is to make sure that the debit cards are adequately funded, and that all banks are notified with travel plans. I do this via secure messaging with each bank.