The best credit card for study abroad is either Journey Student Rewards from Capital One and the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students. Capital One Journey combines easy approval, no foreign transaction fees and great rewards, offering at least 1% cash back on all purchases. But BofA’s student travel card is quite enticing, too, offering a 25,000-point initial bonus, 3 points / $1 spent on travel and a few other perks. It doesn’t charge foreign fees, either.
If you’re going to spend most of your time in a foreign country in the near future, you definitely want a card that won’t charge you extra on international purchases. But there are actually several options that may be best, depending on your individual needs and wants.
Here are the best credit cards for study abroad:
Best Overall – Journey Student Rewards from Capital One. $0 annual fee. $0 foreign transaction fees. 1% cash back on all purchases, 1.25% when paying the bill on time. Higher credit line possible after 6 months. Available to students with limited or no credit.
Best for Travel Rewards –Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students. $0 annual fee. 0% foreign transaction fees. 25,000 points for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days. 3 points per $1 spent on purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center and 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases. Available to students with limited or no credit.
Best for Bonus Rewards – Discover it® Student chrome. $0 annual fee. 0% foreign transaction fees. 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants (up to $1,000 spent each quarter combined), and 1% back on all other purchases. Double rewards the first year. Available to students with limited or no credit. Bear in mind, however, that Discover is not as widely accepted abroad as Visa or Mastercard. You should be fine using a Discover card in India, Japan or China, for example. But you’ll definitely need a backup in Spain or France.
Best for Good Credit – Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. $95 annual fee. $0 foreign transaction fees. 60,000 miles for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. 5 miles per $1 spent on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, and 2 miles per $1 on all other purchases. Available to students who’ve already built good credit or parents who wish to make a child an authorized user.
All of these cards are strong contenders to be the best credit card for study abroad. That’s especially true considering they offer a lot more than rewards and low fees. You’ll also receive perks like travel insurance to give you even more peace of mind when you set out for your new home for the semester.
It really depends on where you're going. Generally, you can't go wrong with anything in the Visa/Mastercard network. As far as a specific credit card, something like Journey by Cap 1 is good, because they'll give you a good credit limit. You could also just become an AU for one of your parent's cards, if they have good credit.
The best credit cards for students studying in a foreign country should have low fees and no foreign transaction fees. I think some of the best are: Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card, which earns you 1.5 points per dollar spent on all purchases, and doesn’t have an annual fee; the Journey Student Rewards from Capital One, which earns 1% cash back on all purchases, and the Discover it Chrome for Students, also with cash back rewards.
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