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best credit card for those travelling abroad??

best credit card for those travelling abroad??

Jun 24th, 2004, 03:51 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,401
best credit card for those travelling abroad??

Hello Everyone,

I was wondering what is the best Visa/Mastercard for those who travel out of the U.S. often. I am tired of being ripped off by my Bank One Visa Card (3% total added charge for all foreign transactions!!).

Also, do your recommended credit cards charge an annual fee? Do they cover all car rental insurance (theft/collision/damage)? Much thanks!!
bettyo70 is offline  
Jun 24th, 2004, 03:59 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,079
My card is issued by MBNA and so far, no extra fees.
I have been told that other banks do the same.
This subject has been discussed before. A search on credit cards might be productive for you.
brookwood is offline  
Jun 24th, 2004, 04:00 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,079
PS go over to the European board for the search. It is more active usually than the Canadian board.
brookwood is offline  
Jun 25th, 2004, 05:22 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,401
Thanks, brookwood! It seems that the following credit cards are most popular with Fodorites: Capital One Miles card (for accumulating points for travel, etc.), MBNA and USAA.

Apparently none of these charge an additional percentage for foreign purchases other than the 1% that VISA/MC must charge. Also, non charge an annual fee.

If anyone has further comments on these cards, let me know. Thanks!
bettyo70 is offline  
Jun 25th, 2004, 09:51 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 223
If you have more than one card, call their toll-free customer service numbers and ask what is their percentage for foreign transactions. If you've only one card, it may not be worth the effort to obtain another just to get a lower precentage on foreign transactions. One of my cards comes with a 1%, the other with a 3%. While I use the lowest, the fees do not come to all that much unless you spend lots and lots of money. Also, be sure to use a debit card at ATMs and not your credit cards for currency exchanges since you'll pay the credit card's current interest rate (high). The ATMs in Canada to use are the larger bank ATMs, not the ATM's you'll often find in hotels or retail stores. These latter ones give you a poorer deal on the exchange rate and charge higher fees. Or, if you have US currency you want exchanged, go into a bank to do it if one is available, rather than a currency exchange. AGain, you're looking for the better exchange rates.
waltd is offline  
Jun 25th, 2004, 01:00 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 90
interesting discussion and ties intom something my husband and I were talking about last night....on our upcoming trip to Canada (from the U.S.) would we do better to pay hotels in cash or use a credit card? Is is easier to get the tax back if you have credit card receipts?
Garvin222 is offline  
Jun 25th, 2004, 01:21 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 223
Dear Garvin222: In fact, the Canadian government does not accept credit card receipts for refund of GST. For hotels, you'll need to submit the original lodging receipts which shows the GST paid. As for which is "better" for paying the lodging bill, while you'll save the added Visa charge by paying in cash, you'll need quite a bit of cash available, which is not recommended anywhere you go. You could use your debit card at a bank ATM to receive cash, but are restricted to a maximum amount of withdrawal each day, which may or may not cover your bill upon checkout. Either way, it's the lodging receipt which you'll need for GST reimbursement.
By the way, there are several private GST refund companies out there, and their refund forms are easily available at tourist sites. However, they charge a substantial commission. I always wait till I get home and then download the government's form from its website, attach the original receipts and mail it to Canada's refund centre in Summerside, PEI. I've never had trouble and always receive the refund in 3-4 weeks.
waltd is offline  
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