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Pandemic-era Travel Restrictions Relaxed, Favorable Exchange Rate Europe will be the top travel destination in 2023. Dollars (and points) can be used more abroad as rising inflation continues to increase travel costs.

Whether you travel in high season or take advantage of off-peak discounts, you can enjoy all the best Europe has to offer without breaking the bank.

>From covering airfare and hotel bills to protecting your biggest travel expenses, the right credit card can make your trip cheaper and more. Convenient. With so many options, it's easier said than done. Luckily, we've covered everything you need to know about choosing a credit card for your trip to Europe.

The following features are required for a card to be taken to Europe.

Widely Accepted

First and foremost, you need to make sure the credit card you use in Europe is widely accepted. Generally, Visa and Mastercard are more widely accepted than Discover and American Express.

You can of course bring your Amex and Discover cards, but it's a good idea to have a backup. That way you don't end up in a stressful situation where you can't pay something because your card isn't accepted.

Great Welcome Bonus

If you are heading to Europe, consider taking advantage of the new credit card welcome bonus. Whether you're covering part of your travel expenses or using your travel expenses to meet your credit card spending requirements, timing can be advantageous.

If you want to spend a few nights at a hotel, consider a hotel credit card. The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® credit card is a great choice that offers 3 free night awards (up to 50,000 points each) when you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months of account opening. The $95 annual fee for the card is reasonable. Especially when it comes to saving hundreds of dollars on hotel bookings.

An airline credit card welcome bonus can save you even more money by covering your airfare to Europe. For example, with the United℠ Explorer Card*, you can earn 60,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 within the first three months of account opening. This bonus is for one round-trip ticket to Europe.

Transferable rewards earned with the Capital One Venture Rewards credit card and Citi Premier® Card offer even more flexibility. Redeem your Venture Welcome Bonus for $750 worth of travel credits or transfer your miles to more than a dozen airlines to fly to Europe.

Citi Premier Bonus is up to 80,000 points after spending $4,000 within the first 3 months of account opening. These points can be used for flights to Europe through our transfer partners such as Aviana Lifemiles, Flying Blue, Turkish Miles&Smiles and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. In fact, Virgin Atlantic is he one of the cheapest award flights to Europe, starting at just 10,000 miles one way in economy class.

Bonus points on travel and dining

With favorable exchange rates from dollars to euros, you may be tempted to splurge a little while traveling to Europe.You will need a credit card that generously rewards these purchases.Travel and meals. is likely to be your biggest expense, so it's ideal to carry a card like the American Express® Gold Card. This card gives you 4x points at restaurants worldwide and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or

If you are looking for even greater reward potential, use the Capital One Venture X Rewards credit card. Earn 10x miles when you book your hotel or car rental through Capital One Travel. You'll also earn 5x miles on flights booked with Capital One and 2x miles on all purchases. So whether you plan to shop until you stop by or splurge on a hotel, you can get generous rewards with this card.

No Foreign Transaction Fees

Earn more points while you travelEuropean adventures should be a priority, but not when foreign transaction fees are 3% or more. Luckily, you can avoid these pesky fees by choosing a credit card with no foreign transaction fees.

Most travel rewards cards waive these fees so you can earn points and protect your purchases at no additional cost. Examples include Chase Sapphire Preferred® cards, Capital One Venture Rewards credit cards, Ink Business Preferred® credit cards and more.

Even cards with no annual fees, like the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards credit card, do not offer foreign exchange services. Transaction fees when using the card abroad

Most importantly, beware of popular credit cards that do not waive this fee, such as Citi® Double Cash Card and Chase Freedom Unlimited® That's it. The last thing you want is to be penalized for using your credit card abroad. So skip these cards and choose one that waives these fees.

Travel Protection

Most people who travel internationally, including Europe, take out travel insurance to protect their trip. It's a good idea, especially given the ongoing pandemic. If the trip is canceled or interrupted due to illness or other covered reasons, the insurance will reimburse non-refundable travel expenses. This layer of protection can save you thousands of dollars in an emergency.

But if you have the right credit cards in your wallet, you don't have to pay for this safety net. Many credit cards include travel protection such as trip interruption/cancellation coverage, trip delay reimbursement, travel accident insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, and major rental coverage. We offer the most comprehensive coverage when you charge your travel expenses to your card.

  • Emergency Evacuation and Transport Coverage: Up to $100,000 per trip
  • First Order Collision Damage Waiver for Car Rentals: Up to Theft or Collision Damage $75,000
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance: up to $10,000 per trip
  • Lost Baggage Refund: Up to $3,000 per person
  • Travel Delay Refund: Up to $500 per air ticket
  • Emergency Evacuation and Transportation
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    Chip and PIN Features

    If you use a credit card in Europe, you may be surprised to be asked for your PIN at the cash register. Chip and PIN credit cards are more popular in Europe and are considered more secure than the chip and signature cards used in the United States. But don't worry. Many popular US credit cards have this technology. This includes Chase Sapphire Preferred Cards, Citi Premier® Cards and Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Cards.

    To find out if your credit card supports chip and PIN, call your card company and ask if you can set up a PIN. Many rewards credit cards have this feature and also allow you to set a PIN during activation. But if you're not sure, a quick phone call will get you the answer. The last thing you want to do while traveling to Europe is have your card rejected due to lack of PIN functionality. Find out before your trip and set it up if possible.

    Global Entry Fee Credit

    Getting a Global Entry will make your return from Europe more comfortable. This Trusted Traveler program allows for expedited entry into the United States. While others wait in long lines at passport control, you can skip to Global Entry her kiosk to scan your passport and be through in minutes. If you have Global Entry, you will also be enrolled in TSA PreCheck. This puts her in the priority line for her security screening while wearing shoes and a light jacket.

    The Global Entry application fee is a great bargain at just $100 for 5 years. However, you can refund this fee with certain credit cards. This includes Capital One Venture, Chase Sapphire Preferred and United Explorer Card. The Global Entry application fee credit offsets the first year annual fee for these cards. These are not the only benefits to consider when choosing a credit card for traveling to Europe, but there are enough credit cards out there that are worth considering.


    Europe has become increasingly cashless, and credit card travel has become a necessity these days. Any credit card will work just fine, but choosing the right card will ensure that your card is accepted, earns points, and doesn't incur additional charges in the process. Taking it a step further can enhance your travel experience and completely offset your costs. Best of all, you can focus on enjoying your trip with peace of mind.

    All information regarding the *United℠ Explorer Card is collected independently by Bankrate and has not been reviewed or approved by Bankrate.