- 1 Best Signup Bonus Credit Cards
- 2 The Best Travel Credit and Debit Cards (Updated 2017)
- 3 The best travel credit cards: Our Roundup
- 4 The best travel debit cards: Our Roundup
- 5 Essential tips for using debit and credit cards while travelling
- 5.1 1. Pay using a credit card whenever possible.
- 5.2 2. Never take the option of paying in your own currency
- 5.3 3. Inform your debit and credit card providers of your travels
- 5.4 4. Obtain at least one debit and credit card on each of the Visa/Plus and MasterCard/Cirrus networks.
- 5.5 5. Consider a credit card with included insurance
- 5.6 6. Keep backup cards in your hotel room
- 5.7 7. Bring $100 USD as backup cash
- 6 RewardsCreditCards.org ∙ The Best Points & Mileage Credit Cards
- 7 Best Sign-Up Bonuses: Top 5 Credit Cards That Offer Bonus Miles
- 8 Best Credit Card Perks and Bonuses
- 9 Best Credit Card Deals, Bonuses, Offers, & Promotions – August 2017
Best Signup Bonus Credit Cards
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In this article, I want to discuss an aspect of casino bonuses that players sometimes miss - the true cost ie how much the bonus is going to cost you. Nothing, you might say, it's free money.
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The Best Travel Credit and Debit Cards (Updated 2017)
No matter where you go or how long you travel, preparing for how you’ll pay for things overseas is one of the easiest ways to save money while travelling, period.
Currency exchange booths at airports and banks can be convenient, but a lot of your money goes towards exchange fees (e.g. $10 per exchange) and hidden commissions padded into poor exchange rates. With a bit of research and planning, you can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in fees over the long-term!
Credit and debit cards are the cheapest, easiest ways to get money and make payments overseas. Credit cards are accepted worldwide, and when you need cash, ATMs are abundant in every country. ATMs are internationally networked through the Visa/Plus and Mastercard/Cirrus networks. You enter your PIN and withdraw your cash just like you would at home, while the exchange rates are automatically handled by the banks.
However, some credit and debit cards are better than others! Hidden in the fine print, banks still try to secretly add commissions and fees to each payment or ATM withdrawal made abroad. Even if you don’t travel a lot, these fees add up quickly.
We’ve rounded up the best credit and debit cards around the world that minimize or eliminate these fees, putting more money back into your adventure funds!
The best travel credit cards: Our Roundup
Credit cards have various features that can make or break your travel savings. Ideally, these are the features to look for in a credit card:
- Foreign transaction rate of 0%
- No annual fee
- Competitive points or cash-back rewards program (at least 1% of the purchase price
- Included insurance on car rentals paid with the credit card
So what are the best credit cards for travel? Check your country below to see what’s best for you!
The best travel debit cards: Our Roundup
These are the ideal features to look for in a debit card:
- Foreign transaction rate of 0%
- International ATM withdrawal fee of $0
- Competitive points or cash-back rewards program (at least 1% of the purchase price)
Many banks around the world have come together to establish the Global ATM Alliance. If your card belongs to a bank in the alliance, you can make withdrawals from banks at other alliance member ATMs around the world without paying additional fees . Here’s our roundup of the best debit cards for travel.
Essential tips for using debit and credit cards while travelling
1. Pay using a credit card whenever possible.
Foreign ATMs can still inflate their exchange rates and charge withdrawal fees, but a direct credit card payment only involves the credit card you signed up with in your home country. And with a good points or cashback program, this beats any other method of foreign payment.
Bottom line? Always pay with a credit card, but NEVER withdraw cash from an ATM with one. Credit cards charge interest on cash advances from the moment you withdraw it at the ATM.
2. Never take the option of paying in your own currency
Card terminals at shops and hotels will often detect that your card is from another country and offer to bill you in your home currency. Never choose this option – always pay in the foreign currency! The exchange rate offered will be inflated by the card terminal, so if you’re using one of the credit cards recommended above, you will receive a much better exchange rate.
3. Inform your debit and credit card providers of your travels
Credit and debit cards are frequently being monitored by security departments for suspicious activity. If you’re from the U.S. and you make an ATM withdrawal in Thailand when they don’t know you’re overseas, this could appear suspicious to your bank, and your card might be locked the next time you withdraw. Give your bank or credit card provider a call and let them know when and where you’ll be travelling. Take it from us – you do not want to be stuck without cash and a useless card!
4. Obtain at least one debit and credit card on each of the Visa/Plus and MasterCard/Cirrus networks.
Even if you follow the advice in tip #3, it’s possible your card could get locked anyway. On top of that, it’s easy to find yourself in a situation where an ATM accepts only one network and not the other. For example, when we travelled in Japan, the only ATMs we could find that would even accept international cards were at 7-Eleven, and they only worked with cards on the Visa/Plus network. I speak from experience – there’s nothing more stressful than needing more cash and not being able to withdraw it, so be prepared and bring multiple cards on multiple networks.
5. Consider a credit card with included insurance
The jury is still out on whether it’s safe to rely on car and travel insurance that is sometimes provided by credit cards, and unfortunately, the only way to know for sure is to file a claim after the accident has happened. If you’re concerned about insurance, its best to be safe and purchase it from the car rental company, but if not, you might as well pay with a credit card that offers car insurance and hope for the best if you do end up in an accident.
6. Keep backup cards in your hotel room
If you lose all your credit and debit cards while overseas, you’re going to be in quite the pickle. Always keep at least one extra card back at your accommodation in case your main card or entire wallet is lost or stolen while you’re out.
7. Bring $100 USD as backup cash
When all else fails, U.S. dollars are the closest thing to a global currency that we have today. It’s the most commonly accepted currency, not only at exchange booths, but even at shops and restaurants in other countries. If there are no ATMs in sight or your cards have been stolen, an emergency backup of U.S. dollars will get you out an emergency situation.
Do you have another card recommendation? Know something we don’t? Write it in the comments below!
RewardsCreditCards.org ∙ The Best Points & Mileage Credit Cards
Best Sign-Up Bonuses: Top 5 Credit Cards That Offer Bonus Miles
Nowadays, credit cards offer a wide array of benefits, apart from the basic credit lending facility. They provide a whole lot of perks and reward points. Among others, some credit cards offer bonus airline miles, which is an added advantage for frequent travellers. These cards provide sign-up perks in order to lure new customers. However, only few travel cards provide some amazing rewards that can enable you to travel extensively. You can earn valuable miles by making certain purchases with the card. Our list of the 5 best credit cards that offer extra airline miles will help you to figure out the best one suitable for you. Apart from the reward miles, these cards give the best sign-up bonuses that will surely give you a head start in your reward miles.
5 credit cards that offer the best sign-up bonuses for air miles
This credit card offers 30,000 bonus miles to new cardholders. These best sign-up bonuses are available after you make purchases worth $1000 within the first 3 months. You can also get 2 miles on all United tickets, 1 mile on other purchases, and two complimentary passes to the United club every year. Apart from this, you also get some amazing travel perks like priority boarding privilege, first free baggage check, no foreign transaction fees, etc. The United MileagePlus Explorer card comes with an annual fee of $95, which is waived for the first year.
With this card, you can get the best sign-up bonuses of 40,000 miles, after you spend $4000 within 3 months of opening your account. By adding an authorized user and making purchases in the initial 3 months, you can earn an extra 5000 reward miles. Additionally, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers 2 points on restaurants and travel and 1 point with $1 spent on other purchases. You can also transfer your reward points to affiliated travel programs and airlines. The annual fee of $95 on this card is suspended for the initial 12 months.
- British Airways Visa Signature Card
The British Airways Visa Signature card provides 50,000 Avios points after spending $2000 in the first 3 months. You can also get a travel together ticket for two years that allows you to travel with your companion free of cost, only after you spend $30,000 in a calendar year. Further, the card gets you 3 Avios points per dollar with purchases on British Airways and 1 Avios point per dollar with other purchases. The card is equipped with the new smart chip technology that enables you to make purchases all over Europe. With no international transaction fees, the card has a $95 yearly fee, which too is surrendered for the first year.
This card from American Express gives you the best sign-up bonuses equal to 30,000 points, after you spend $1000 in 3 months of account opening. While making Delta purchases with this card in the initial 3 months, you can also obtain a statement credit of $50. Moreover, the card offers 2 miles per dollar on Delta purchases, and 1 mile per dollar on other purchases. You can also get other travel benefits such as priority boarding and first free baggage check. This credit card comes with an introductory offer and an annual fee of $95 that is waived for the initial 12 months.
This exclusive credit card offers you 40,000 bonus miles that equals $400 in travel, after you make purchases worth $3000 in the initial 3 months. With this you also get unlimited 2 points, when you spend $1 on all purchases, without any expiry dates. Moreover, the Capital One Venture Rewards card has no overseas transaction bills and no blackout dates. All this comes at a yearly fee of $59 and that too is suspended for the first year.
These travel credit cards offer the best sign-up bonuses on airline miles, that will enable you to fly free of cost. Although, you have to pay taxes, fuel surcharges, and annual fees, still these are only minor costs. So add thrill to you travelling experience with these discounted travel cards.
Best Credit Card Perks and Bonuses
BEST CREDIT CARD PERKS BY CATEGORY
If you are looking for a credit card, you should be searching for a card that will give you the best credit card perks and bonuses for your needs. It can be difficult to sift through all the best credit cards that are out there, so we did some of the leg work for you:
What To Look for in the Best Credit Card Perks and Bonuses
Credit cards are offerings some of the best perks and bonuses right now because there is so much competition in the marketplace. This is great news for the average consumer. If you use your credit card correctly and pay off your balance every month, you can actually make money from your credit cards, instead of going into credit card debt.
So what credit card perks and bonuses are the best? We start with the most outrageous perks and work our way down to help you find the best credit card perks and bonuses for you.
Most Outrageous Credit Card Bonuses and Perks
There are regular credit cards and then there are luxury credit cards, which are in a class of their own. If you are willing to pay the outrageous annual fees, which can top $2,500 although most stay around $500, you are entitled to some of the greatest credit card perks available today.
These perks include a credit card made out of stainless steel or gold, $100-$200 annual airline credits, 24-hour concierge service, financial and lifestyle manager, members-only gifts, airport lounge access, price assurance perks, exclusive travel credits, and VIP access to major sporting and concert events.
Not only do these cards offer great exclusive perks, but the also offer great standard credit card perks, like 2x the rewards on all purchases and bonus intros that can go as high as $1,000 in reward points.
Cash back perks are the most common type of credit card perk. The credit cards basically offer you a percentage back on what you spend. So if you have a card that offers 2% cash back, when you spend $100, you get $2 back. These types of rewards seem pretty straight forward, but there are actually three different types of cash back perk categories that credit cards fall into now.
Cash back on specific categories: These credit cards offer up to 5% on certain categories (restaurants, gas, groceries, etc.), but those cards typically only offer 1% back on other purchases.
General cash back rewards: These credit cards will offer up to 2% on every purchase, meaning you are getting the most cash back no matter what you spend your money on.
Cash back when you pay: The newest of the cash back perks, these cards pay you a percentage, generally 1% when you make a purchase, and then 1% when you pay your credit card on time. This is a good incentive for credit card users who have a hard time remembering to pay their credit cards bills.
Many cards these days are offering a 0% intro APR, which basically means you pay no interest for a certain period after you first sign up for the credit card. This perk also has two different categories, although many cards offer the 0% intro APR perk for both categories.
Purchases: This is the most common and simple of the 0% intro APR perks, since it applied to any purchase you make within the initial period, which can range from 6 months to 21 months. If you are lucky enough to get approved for an 21 month card, you basically have an interest-free loan for almost two years, which is a great perk if you need to make a big purchase but don’t have the money right away. This way, you have 21 months to pay off your balance before you start accruing interest.
Balance Transfers: The balance transfer 0% intro APR works very similarly to the purchase version; you can make a balance transfer from another credit card to this credit card and pay no interest on that balance for 6 to 21 months, depending on the card’s terms. The only difference is that many cards that offer this balance transfer perk do charge a balance transfer fee, which can be up to 3% of the balance transferred, so even though you aren’t paying interest, you may have to pay to transfer the balance.
Credit card companies are competing for your business, and many of them are pulling out the big guns when it comes to the best credit card cash back bonuses. It used to be that credit cards would only offer you ongoing cash back perks for making purchases on your card. Now, credit cards are offering intro cash back bonuses to get some extra money in the pockets of their card users. There are two types of cash back bonuses you can get from your credit card.
Cash back for spending cash: Many are now offering up to $500 in cash back when you spend a certain amount in the first three months. The bonus offered usually affects the amount you have to spend. For a bonus such as $500, you might have to spend up to $3,000 to $5,000 in the first three months to get the bonus. If the bonus is only $100, you may only have to spend $500 on purchases. Either way, Take advantage of these perks to get some free money from your credit card.
Cash back match: A somewhat newer cash back bonus approach that some cards are now offering is a match of your cash back rewards. For example, if you earn $100 in cash back rewards in your first year, the credit card company will match that amount, basically giving you $100 in free cash.
Best Credit Card Perks for Travel
There are two types of travel rewards credit cards, which makes for good options depending on what you are looking for. The original type of card was a branded card, used by a specific airline or hotel, that offered rewards for making purchases with that company. A new type of travel card is a general travel rewards credit card, which lets you earn and use your rewards more freely.
Branded travel rewards credit cards: These types of credit cards are specific to airlines or hotels who offer perks to those travelers that use their company often. These cards are good for people who live near an airport that is a hub for a specific airline, or who find themselves staying at the same hotel chain when they travel.
Branded travel rewards credit cards often offer higher cash back rates, up to 6x rewards, when you make purchases within that company. For example, if it’s a card for a specific airline, booking your plane tickets through the company’s website could net you up to 6x the travel points. The only downside is that it limits you to only flying one airline or staying in one hotel chain.
General travel rewards credit cards: This is where the general travel rewards credit cards come in. The cards offer up to 2x the rewards for purchases anywhere. Any time you use the card, you get 2x the points. This is better for people who don’t use a specific airline or look for the cheapest hotel price instead of being loyal to one brand. You use the points you accrue as statement credits for any travel costs on your credit card bill. Some cards even let you use your rewards points for things like Uber rides or public transit purchases.
Best Credit Card Perks for Students
Up until recently, students didn’t have many choices when it came to credit cards. Student credit cards were often marketed to students who were looking for financial freedom, and would take any credit card without checking out things like interest rates or annual fees.
Several years ago, though, the government started putting restrictions on student credit cards to cut down on the amount of student credit card debt that was happening. Since then, credit card companies are smarter about offering perks to students to set them apart from other student credit cards. Here are some of the best credit card perks banks are now offering students:
Cash back bonuses: Student cards are now offering both lump sum cash back intro bonuses, such as getting $25 if you spend $500 within the first 3 months, as well as cash back matching, where you get $1 for every $1 you spend during the first year, up to a limit.
Cash back perks: It used to be that the most a student could hope for was 1% cash back on purchases. Now, cards offer up to 5% cash back within certain categories, some which cater specifically to college students like Amazon.com.
Higher credit limits: Since most college students have no credit history, credit limits on their credit cards are usually pretty low. Some cards are offering quick credit limit increases if you pay your bill on time for the first 5 to 12 months, depending on the card.
Education rewards: Some cards are even offering cash back for good grades. If you carry a 3.0 or higher for the school year, you can earn an extra $20.
Best Credit Card Perks for Bad Credit
If you have bad credit, your options to the best credit card perks are limited. Generally, credit cards for bad credit don’t offer any perks. In fact, usually, you have to make down payment to be approved for a secured credit card. Since the last recession, so many people are in need of secured credit cards to boost their credit rating that many credit card issuers are including some bad-credit specific rewards to help out people who have bad credit.
No deposit: Some secured credit cards are not requiring a deposit, so you can get a secured credit card without putting any money down, which is very unusual, but a good perk for those with bad credit.
Cash back rewards: You can actually get cash back rewards with a secured credit card now, which was unheard of even a couple of years ago. Generally, the cards offer 1% cash back on purchases, but some offer up to 2% cash back for purchases in specific categories.
Credit line increase: Instead of you having to be proactive and asking for credit line increases, some cards are now monitoring their secured credit cards monthly to look for potential for credit line increases on your card.
Credit reporting: One perk that you should make sure your secured credit card has no matter what is credit bureau reporting. Make sure your secured credit card reports to all three credit bureaus every month, so that you can start building some positive credit and start to raise your credit score.
Best Credit Card Deals, Bonuses, Offers, & Promotions – August 2017
You’re in the right spot if you’re looking to earn cash, points, or mile bonuses via credit cards! Credit card sign-up bonus offers are a great way to earn hundreds of dollars (up to thousands) worth of cash, points and miles. Below is our complete list of the Best Credit Card Deals, Bonuses, Offers, & Promotions. You can see our review of the Best Credit Card Deals from Chase, American Express, Citibank, Discover, and the list goes on! We will list the highlights of each credit card and their bonus. You also have the option view our in-depth reviews of each card.
Editor’s Note: Below you will see a table of contents. To quickly get to the credit you’re looking to learn more about, simply click on the credit card on the table of contents and it will land you directly where the card is on this list. To see a more in-depth review of the card, click the red link after “See our full review.” See below for our list of the Best Credit Card Deals.
Signed up for a credit card and need to figure out how to meet the minimum spending requirement to receive your credit card bonus? See our guide on How To Meet Minimum Debit & Credit Transaction Requirements.
Call if you are not instantly approved:
American Express Credit Card Reconsideration
- 877-399-3083 (new accounts) 8am-midnight EST M-F, 10am-6:30pm Saturday
Barclays Credit Card Reconsideration
- 866-408-4064. (credit analyst) 8am-5pm EST Monday to Friday
Chase Credit Card Reconsideration
- 888-245-0625 (personal credit analyst, 7am-10pm EST M-F; 8am-10pm EST Sat. and 9am-9pm Sun.)
- 800-453-9719 (business credit analyst, 8am-10pm EST M-F)
Citibank Credit Card Reconsideration
- 800-763-9795 (personal and business card application status/analyst) 7am-midnight EST 7 days a week