The best credit card for travel in Europe is the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard because it offers 70,000 bonus miles when you spend $5,000 in the first 90 days, plus 2 miles per $1 on all purchases. An earning rate that high is hard to beat. And there are no restrictions on airlines or hotels, so you’ll be able to earn and redeem rewards wherever you travel in Europe. Arrival Plus also has only an $89 annual fee, which it waives the first year, plus a $0 foreign transaction fee. You’ll need good credit to get the card.
Another one of the best credit cards for travel in Europe is Capital One Venture, which offers 50,000 miles when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. It also gives 2 miles per $1 on all purchases with no booking or redemption restrictions. Venture charges a $95 annual fee. It has a $0 foreign transaction fee and requires good credit for approval.
If you’re looking to rely on a popular European airline, the British Airways credit card and the Lufthansa credit card are both good choices with big initial bonuses and fairly low fees. There are plenty of other cards capable of saving you lots of money on European travel, too.
Here are the best credit cards for travel in Europe:
- Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard – Best for European Travel Overall
- Capital One Venture Rewards – Best for European Hotel Rewards
- British Airways Credit Card – Best for Bonus European Airline Miles
- Lufthansa Credit Card – Best for Star Alliance Flights
- Norwegian Cruise Line Credit Card – Best for European Cruises
- Chase Sapphire Reserve – Best for European Travel Benefits
Each of the best credit cards for travel in Europe has its own unique perks. Let’s take a closer look at what they can add to your trip.
The British Airways Credit Card offers the best airline bonus for travel in Europe. It offers 50,000 miles for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, 25,000 more miles for spending $10,000 in the first year and another 25,000 for spending $20,000 in the first year. Plus, you get 3 miles per $1 with British Airways, LEVEL, OpenSkies, Aer Lingus and Iberia and 1 on all other purchases. You can redeem your miles with any Oneworld airline. This card requires good credit and costs $95 per year.
If you fly on Star Alliance more often, you can go for the Lufthansa Credit Card. It offers 20,000 miles after making a purchase and paying the annual fee, plus 30,000 more miles for spending $3,000 in the first 90 days. It gives 2 miles per $1 at Miles & More airline partners and 1 on all other purchases. And there’s also two Lufthansa business lounge vouchers and a companion ticket after a first purchase and every account anniversary. The Lufthansa card requires good credit and costs $89 per year.
The Norwegian Cruise Line Credit Card offers the best savings for European cruises. It offers 10,000 points for making a purchase in the first 90 days. It also gives 3 points per $1 on Norwegian Cruise Line purchases and 1 on everything else. There’s a $0 annual fee and the card requires good credit.
For cardholders searching for the most benefits possible, there’s Chase Sapphire Reserve. It offers 50,000 points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months and gives a $300 annual travel credit. It also offers 3 points per $1 on travel and dining and 1 on everything else. And it comes with a free Priority Pass Select membership and over $1,000,000 in travel insurance. There’s a $450 annual fee and Reserve requires excellent credit.
One thing’s for sure – the best credit card for travel in Europe will have no foreign transaction fees. You don’t want to be charged up to an extra 3% on all your European purchases. It’s also best to get either a Visa or Mastercard, as Discover and American Express have lower rates of international acceptance.