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Travel credit cards

With the right credit card you can avoid sneaky overseas card charges while spending abroad, or earn airline reward points before you go. Compare credit cards from seven companies that are useful for travel, holidays and frequent flyers.

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British Airways American Express® Premium Plus Credit Card

Award Winner
British Airways American Express® Premium Plus Credit Card
Award Winner
76% APR
Representative APR (variable)
2.99%
Foreign purchase fee
£195
Yearly fee
Apply
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a rate of 22.90% (variable) per annum, your representative APR is 76.00% APR (variable)

The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Award Winner
The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
Award Winner
39.7% APR
Representative APR (variable)
2.99%
Foreign purchase fee
£75
Yearly fee
Apply
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a rate of 22.90% (variable) per annum, your representative APR is 39.70% APR (variable)

Virgin Atlantic Reward Credit Card

Virgin Atlantic Reward Credit Card
22.9% APR
Representative APR (variable)
2.99%
Foreign purchase fee
No
Account fee
Apply
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a rate of 22.90% (variable) per annum, your representative APR is 22.90% APR (variable)

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Credit Card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Credit Card
63.9% APR
Representative APR (variable)
2.99%
Foreign purchase fee
£160
Yearly fee
Apply
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a rate of 22.90% (variable) per annum, your representative APR is 63.90% APR (variable)

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Frequently asked questions

About travel abroad credit cards

Get the most out of your holiday spending with a travel credit card. These cards can offer perks including:

  • No fees on overseas purchases
  • Travel rewards and discounts
  • Air miles on spending

You could save money and avoid your trip costing more than it needs to by choosing the best travel credit card for you.

What is a travel credit card?

Travel credit cards are cards designed to help make travelling cheaper. They can reduce your costs when spending abroad or reward you with travel benefits.

There are 2 types of travel card. Airline cards and no foreign transaction fee cards.

No foreign transaction fee cards

Avoid expensive fees when you're on holiday with these cards that are designed for using when you're abroad.

These travel credit cards will not charge you extra for making a purchase in a foreign currency when you're overseas. Or charge you a fee if you’re shopping from home on foreign websites.

Airline cards

An airline card is a type of reward credit card for travel. You can earn points, air miles or rewards when you spend on the card.

You could help reduce the cost of your travel by redeeming your rewards to pay for flights, hotels and other travel related items.

Often these cards will not offer free overseas spending so they might not be the best cards to use abroad.

A travel credit card is not the same as a travel money card

A travel money card, or a prepaid travel card is not a credit card. It works by loading on currency before you travel allowing you to spend or withdraw cash once you’re away.

It can be safer than carrying cash if you want to avoid taking your existing credit card abroad.

Be aware of the fees that exist on some travel money cards. They can include:

  • Application fees (around £10)
  • Cash withdrawal fees
  • Top-up charges
  • Fees for getting a replacement card

Should I apply for a travel credit card?

This depends on how you normally use your credit card.

Using a credit card abroad can be a good way to avoid carrying around large amounts of cash with you.

But using an everyday credit card when you're on a foreign holiday could cost you. Some credit cards charge foreign currency loading fees each time you use your card. This is the cost of converting to a foreign currency, usually around 2.75%.

You could save a lot of money in fees by getting a travel credit card if you plan to use a credit card abroad.

Things to consider before applying for a travel credit card for abroad

To avoid any unexpected fees, be aware of the fees your credit card provider might charge you when you're abroad.

Your credit card provider might still charge you for cash withdrawals.

If you withdraw cash on your credit card at a foreign cashpoint, you could find yourself paying an extra 3% on top of the amount you take out.

You could lose your interest free period by making a cash withdrawal

Most credit cards come with around 56 days of 0% interest on purchases. This means you will not pay any interest if you make your repayments during this interest free period.

But this will not apply on cash withdrawals. If you take cash out using your credit card you'll miss out on the usual 56 day interest free period you normally get to repay your balance. And will need to pay interest.