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CC for Europe trip/travel

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I'll be heading to Europe (Spain) soon for a couple weeks vacation.  Whats a good CC for travel while there (no transaction fees, etc)  Probably spend at least $2-3k initially on this trip through the CC.  

 

I currently have Cap1, Disco, Alliant.  Scores are high 700's to 800s.

 

Thanks

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At this time, assuming that you're otherwise a more moderate spender, I might suggest Citi Premier.

 

There's an annual fee of $95, but it's waived for the first year, giving you ample time to try the card on for size ... or simply milk the benefits/card bonus for the purposes of this trip and cancel at the end of your membership year.

 

Rewards are in the form of Citi "Thank You" points, and with a $4k spend in the first 3 mo, you get a 50000 point sign up bonus (SUB).

 

The initial bonus can be redeemed for $500 in gift cards.  You can also purchase travel through their own travel portal (with base pricing similar to Expedia, etc.), and you get a 25% bonus on redeemed points < in other words, the SUB is good for a $625 travel credit).

 

Standard purchases earn 1 point per $1 spent.

Restaurant/entertainment purchases earn 2 points per $1.

Travel (hotel, transportation, etc. - incl gas) earn 3 points per $1.

 

There are cards with stronger point earning, but typically a much higher fee (seldom waived for the first year).   If aside from this trip, you regularly put $2k+/mo on your charges, those cards might be a stronger value.  But for more moderate spends, this card hits a sweet spot (particularly in the first year).

Edited by hdporter

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48 minutes ago, hdporter said:

At this time, assuming that you're otherwise a more moderate spender, I might suggest Citi Premier.

 

There's an annual fee of $95, but it's waived for the first year, giving you ample time to try the card on for size ... or simply milk the benefits/card bonus for the purposes of this trip and cancel at the end of your membership year.

 

Rewards are in the form of Citi "Thank You" points, and with a $4k spend in the first 3 mo, you get a 50000 point sign up bonus (SUB).

 

The initial bonus can be redeemed for $500 in gift cards.  You can also purchase travel through their own travel portal (with base pricing similar to Expedia, etc.), and you get a 25% bonus on redeemed points < in other words, the SUB is good for a $625 travel credit).

 

Standard purchases earn 1 point per $1 spent.

Restaurant/entertainment purchases earn 2 points per $1.

Travel (hotel, transportation, etc. - incl gas) earn 3 points per $1.

 

There are cards with stronger point earning, but typically a much higher fee (seldom waived for the first year).   If aside from this trip, you regularly put $2k+/mo on your charges, those cards might be a stronger value.  But for more moderate spends, this card hits a sweet spot (particularly in the first year).

I probably should have mentioned that I'm not a big CC spender.  Aside from my vacations a few times a year ($3-5k), I don't use the CC very much.   I guess I could try this Citi Premier card for a year then cancel.  If there's an option without AF I'd like to know.

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I principally picked Premier because your planned trip spend, plus modest additional 1Q spend, would score you a very attractive SUB.  The added point bonuses on travel charges is a nice plus.

 

Yeah, you'll likely want to ditch the card before the annual fee hits next year.  But there's nothing wrong with that (especially if you can get them to convert you to a decent no annual fee card like Citi Div).

 

I'll be interested to see if someone comes up with another card yielding $500+ in cb/bonus on your planned spend.

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I've done many overseas trips, including 15 to Europe, and will repeat what I've mentioned before:

 

Unless you have some ongoing expenses in the foreign country, I would not get all wound up with what is the best exchange rate for a particular card or transaction. The differences are not that much. It won't make any difference over the course of your life. Just enjoy your trip.

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Most important is to use a CC that does not charge a foreign transaction fee.  I know CapOne cards do not have such fee, so I use those mostly when traveling overseas.  My Citi card does charge a 3% fee, so I leave that one at home.

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In case it wasn't clear, Citi Premier doesn't charge a foreign fx fee.  (And, yeah, I think this is a significant consideration -- on $3k spend that's $90 savings vs a 3% card.)

 

So, again, <for the sake of OP> is there a stronger card option I've overlooked?

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6 hours ago, cv91915 said:

Someone needs to talk about kiosks.

How much of a concern is that really, especially nowadays with contactless cards and Apple Pay/Samsung Pay? OP already has a Capital One card so likely already has a contactless card available in a pinch.

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If you're not interested in trying to meet a large sign-up bonus w/large spend with a mid-tier travel card like the Citi Premier, Chase Sapphire Preferred, or BoA Premium Rewards look at the Uber Visa.  No AF, no FTF, 4% cashback on restaurants, 3% back on airfare and hotels with a $100 signup bonus if you spend $500 in the first 90 days.  

 

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5 hours ago, ivymike said:

If you're not interested in trying to meet a large sign-up bonus w/large spend with a mid-tier travel card like the Citi Premier, Chase Sapphire Preferred, or BoA Premium Rewards look at the Uber Visa.  No AF, no FTF, 4% cashback on restaurants, 3% back on airfare and hotels with a $100 signup bonus if you spend $500 in the first 90 days.  

 

That Uber doesn't sound bad, better than some of my other CC.  For this trip I think the Citi Premier might be the way to go.  I can hit the SUB then cancel at end of trial.  That might prove useful.

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6 hours ago, ivymike said:

How much of a concern is that really, especially nowadays with contactless cards and Apple Pay/Samsung Pay? OP already has a Capital One card so likely already has a contactless card available in a pinch.

Not much of a concern at all, but someone usually brings it up.  

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