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If a trip to Europe this year is on the agenda, utilizing the best credit card for Europe travel can help defray your travel costs and enjoy other special benefits. While it may go without saying, you’ll want a card with no foreign transaction fees when traveling outside the United States. Fortunately, the cards on this list do not charge a foreign transaction fee. Additionally, many of these cards come with some great signup offers.
For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card rewards cardholders with the opportunity to earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Learn more: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.
Best Credit Card For Europe Travel
There are a number of cards on the market that, when used responsibly, can help you get more bang for your buck. The cards listed below are not only top travel cards, but they also come with some of the best credit card offers in 2023. Let’s take a look at our favorite options.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the best overall option as it’s easy to redeem your points for maximum value if you want to book an award flight, hotel, rental car, or expedition.
For example, your points are worth 25% more (1.25 cents) on travel redemptions through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. You can also transfer your points at a 1:1 ratio to United Airlines, Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, Air France Flying Blue, and Virgin Atlantic, just to name a few travel carriers.
Several 1:1 hotel transfer partners can help you book the best London hotels with points.
Other key benefits include:
- 10% anniversary points bonus
- Annual $50 statement credit for hotel booking through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- Trip cancellation/interruption coverage (up to $10,000 per person/$20,000 per trip)
- Primary auto rental collision damage waiver (includes many European rentals)
New Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Additionally, cardholders earn:
- 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards® (excluding hotel purchases that qualify for the $50 Anniversary Hotel Credit)
- 3x points on dining (including eligible delivery services, takeout, and dining out)
- 3x points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target®, Walmart®, and wholesale clubs)
- Also 3x points on select streaming services
- 2x points on all other travel purchases
- 1x point per $1 spent on all non-bonus purchases
The annual fee is $95, and there is a $0 foreign transaction fee with the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
The Platinum Card from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express is an excellent option if you foresee a visit to an airport lounge during your trip. For example, you may be able to visit Lufthansa Lounges when flying that airline, SWISS, or Austrian Airlines. Other partner networks include The Centurion, Priority Pass, and Delta Sky Club.
This card also has many 1:1 airline point transfer partners which make it easy to use your miles on a first-class flight to Europe. You can also redeem Membership Rewards® points for an award flight. Cardholders also get up to $200 in airline fee credits annually that can reimburse qualifying incidental charges.
This card also includes many other luxury travel and lifestyle benefits that include hotel statement credits, Uber Cash, Global Entry and CLEAR application fee credits, and earning up to 5x Membership Rewards on flights and prepaid hotels. This best credit card for Europe option is a great option for frequent travelers.
New The Platinum Card® from American Express cardmembers can earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $6,000 on purchases on their new Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership.
This card’s annual fee is $695 (See Rates & Fees).
Learn more: Johnny Jet Recommended Credit Cards
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is another top contender for the best premium credit card, although you won’t get as many luxury travel perks as the Amex Platinum (visit our Capital One Venture X Rewards vs. American Express Platinum Card post to learn more).
You will receive a $300 Capital One Travel statement credit that can reimburse your first travel purchases each year. Additionally, you can earn 10x miles on hotels and car rentals through Capital One Travel and 5x miles on flights through this travel booking site. All remaining purchases earn 2x miles.
It’s possible to redeem your miles as a travel statement credit on recent travel purchases or book upcoming trips through Capital One Travel. There are several 1:1 international airline transfer partners too.
The card also offers complimentary access to Priority Pass and Capital One Lounge networks. You will also receive a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit of up to $100, Hertz President’s Circle status, and 10,000 bonus miles on each cardholder anniversary.
The signup bonus is the ability to earn 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months.
The annual fee is $395, and the first four authorized users are free.
Related: Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card Review
Citi Premier Card
Travelers wanting flexible rewards can benefit from the Citi Premier® Card which balances airline and hotel rewards. It’s possible to redeem Citi ThankYou points for flights through the credit card portal and transfer at a 1:1 ratio to participating airlines, including Air France, Avianca Airlines (for partner flights), and Virgin Atlantic.
You can earn unlimited 3x miles on air travel, hotels, supermarkets, restaurants, and gas stations. All remaining purchases earn 1 mile per $1.
This card also has a $100 annual hotel savings benefit on a single hotel stay of $500 or more booked through thankyou.com (excluding taxes and fees).
The introductory offer is 60,000 bonus ThankYou points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months.
The annual fee is $95. The Citi Premier review has further information if you want to know more.
Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card
The information for the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
This best credit card for Europe option is also a cash back option. The Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card is an excellent option for foodies. You may also consider this card if you’re taking an extended European trip and a bulk of your budget is for meals and groceries as this card has a high cashback rate:
- 4% back on dining, entertainment, and popular streaming services
- 3% back at grocery stores
- 1% back on all remaining purchases
Through November 14, 2024, Uber and Uber Eats purchases earn 10% back. Cardholders can also enjoy a complimentary Uber One membership.
This card is better for dining rewards than travel rewards as you will receive your purchase rewards for cash back. Although, you can earn 5% back on hotels and car rentals booked through Capital One Travel.
The signup bonus is the ability to earn $300 after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.
The annual fee is $95.
Consider the X1 Card if you have less-than-perfect credit but love to travel. This card goes off of your income, not your credit score.
You may also find this card attractive as it is a no-annual-fee travel credit card.
Here are the rewards cardholders can earn:
- 2x points on every purchase regardless of category
- 3x points every time you spend $1,000 in a month
- 4x, 5x, and even 10x points for every friend who gets a card
- Up to 10x points at leading online stores such as Apple, Nike, and Sephora when you shop in the X1 App
You can redeem your points for travel credits through several travel providers such as American Airlines, Delta, United Airlines, Hotels.com, Uber, and Vrbo.
Like a few other cards on this list, it’s a metal credit card. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer a signup bonus.
Related: X1 Card Review
The Business Platinum Card from American Express
While business travel remains below pre-pandemic levels, in-person meetings are still necessary to finalize business negotiations. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is the most rewarding business travel credit card.
Cardholders will enjoy access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection for complimentary airport lounge visits.
While you may consider using the 1:1 airline transfer partners first, the Business Platinum Card also has a 35% airline bonus that gives back 35% of redeemed points on eligible flights booked through Amex Travel (up to 1,000,000 points back per year).
Other benefits include earning 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels through AmexTravel.com, up to $200 in annual airline fee credits, an annual $189 CLEAR statement credit, Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status, and Hilton Honors Gold status.
New The Business Platinum Card® from American Express card members can earn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $15,000 in purchases during the first 3 months.
The annual fee is $695 (See Rates & Fees).
There is plenty to do in Europe whether it’s exploring Rome, breathing in the Sevilla orange blossoms, or exploring less-traveled countries. Using the best travel credit cards unlocks many benefits that can open more doors while you’re abroad. Which of these best credit card for Europe options do you prefer?
- Q&A: Is The Chase Sapphire Preferred Still Worth It In 2023?
- What Are The Easiest Credit Cards to Get Approved For?
- Card Showdown: Capital One Venture X vs. Venture Rewards
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
And for rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.