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Credit cards. We love them. We hate them. 0% introductory rates allow us to make a big purchases and repay over time without interest. A definite perk, but it’s easy to spend money before it’s earned and to lose track of spending. That my friends can be a recipe for disaster should you lose your job and main source of income before paying the balances off. Though, if used alongside budgeting and cash flow management tools you can earn cash back, travel points, and other rewards that will help you live your best life in 2019 and beyond.
Besides overspending and interest rate concerns, there’s a couple more fees to be mindful of when applying for travel rewards cards. Personally, I don’t like the idea of paying to have the card and look for cards with no annual fees.
If you plan to travel internationally (or even buy online from a non U.S. company) then you’ll also want a card with no foreign transaction fees. Foreign transaction fees are typically 3% of your purchases. For example, if your purchase is $100 the foreign transaction fee added is $3 (100 * 3%). Any time you swipe your card on vacation add 3% to the purchase price. Tallying the fees on your credit card statement will have you thinking of ALL the other ways you would rather spend that money. New clothes. Concert tickets. Dining out. ANYTHING instead of more fees to the bank.
Credit cards that also offer no currency conversion fees are a bonus. Nerdwallet cites Capital One as a bank that doesn’t charge these fees. The website recommends asking your card provider their fee before traveling and shopping around if the charge is more than 1% of your purchases.
Creditcards.com is a one-stop shop for comparing different credit cards. The site allows you to filter by category, type, and credit range. It also links you to the information and application page on the bank’s website. Below are three cards with no annual fee, no foreign transaction fee, and some pretty enticing travel or cash back rewards.
Capital One Venture One Rewards Credit Card 0% intro APR for 12 months
- $20,000 bonus miles when you spend $1,000 in the first three months of account opening, equal to $200 in travel
*Remember to pay your balances in full each month or before the introductory rate expires to avoid interest charges. $200 in travel is great, but interest charges will reduce your travel perks or end up costing you more than the rewards.
- Earn 1.25x miles on every purchase, every day
- Earn 10x miles on thousands of hotels, through January 2020 (hotels.com/venture)
- Transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
- No travel restrictions, limits on miles earned, or expiration dates
HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard 0% into APR for 12 months
- Intro bonus of 3% cash back on all purchases in the first 12 months (up to $10,000)
- 10% Anniversary bonus on all Cash Rewards earned once a year
- Unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on all purchases
- Other features like Auto Rental Insurance and Travel Assistance
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card 0% intro APR for 15 months
- Unlimited 3% cash back on dining, 2% at grocery stores, and 1% on all other purchases
- No expiration dates
- $150 one-time cash bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months