Studying abroad is an exciting opportunity for students to immerse themselves in a new culture, gain valuable life experiences, and broaden their horizons. However, the cost of living and traveling in a foreign country can be a major concern for many students. This is where travel credit cards come in handy. With the right credit card, students can enjoy budget-friendly adventures while studying abroad. In this article, we will explore the benefits of travel credit cards for students, discuss the key features to consider when choosing a card, and provide some recommendations for the best travel credit cards for students studying abroad.
The Benefits of Travel Credit Cards for Students
Travel credit cards offer a range of benefits that can make studying abroad more affordable and convenient for students. Here are some of the key advantages:
- Rewards and Points: Many travel credit cards offer rewards programs that allow students to earn points or miles for every dollar spent. These rewards can be redeemed for flights, hotel stays, and other travel expenses, helping students save money on their adventures.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees: When using a regular credit card abroad, students may be charged foreign transaction fees for every purchase they make. Travel credit cards, on the other hand, often waive these fees, saving students a significant amount of money.
- Travel Insurance: Some travel credit cards provide travel insurance coverage, including trip cancellation/interruption insurance, lost baggage insurance, and emergency medical coverage. This can provide students with peace of mind and protect them from unexpected expenses.
- Access to Airport Lounges: Certain travel credit cards offer complimentary access to airport lounges, where students can relax, enjoy complimentary food and drinks, and access Wi-Fi before their flights. This can be especially beneficial during long layovers or delays.
- Convenient Payment Options: Travel credit cards are widely accepted around the world, making it easy for students to make purchases and pay for expenses while studying abroad. They eliminate the need to carry large amounts of cash and provide a secure payment method.
Key Features to Consider When Choosing a Travel Credit Card
With numerous travel credit cards available in the market, it’s important for students to consider certain key features before making a decision. Here are some factors to keep in mind:
- Annual Fee: Some travel credit cards charge an annual fee for their services. Students should evaluate whether the benefits and rewards offered by the card outweigh the cost of the fee.
- Foreign Transaction Fees: As mentioned earlier, foreign transaction fees can add up quickly. Students should look for a card that does not charge these fees to avoid unnecessary expenses.
- Rewards Program: Different travel credit cards offer various rewards programs. Students should consider their spending habits and choose a card that aligns with their preferences. For example, if a student frequently travels by a specific airline, a co-branded credit card may offer more value.
- Travel Insurance Coverage: The extent and type of travel insurance coverage provided by a credit card can vary. Students should review the insurance benefits offered and ensure they meet their specific needs.
- Accepted Worldwide: It’s essential to choose a travel credit card that is widely accepted in the country where the student will be studying. Visa and Mastercard are generally accepted worldwide, while American Express may have more limited acceptance.
Best Travel Credit Cards for Students Studying Abroad
Now that we have discussed the benefits and key features to consider, let’s explore some of the best travel credit cards for students studying abroad:
1. Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is a popular choice among travelers due to its generous rewards program and travel benefits. With this card, students can earn 2x points on travel and dining purchases, making it ideal for those who enjoy exploring local cuisine. The points can be transferred to various airline and hotel loyalty programs, providing flexibility in redeeming rewards. Additionally, the card offers no foreign transaction fees and provides primary rental car insurance coverage.
2. Capital One Venture Rewards
The Capital One Venture Rewards card is another excellent option for students studying abroad. It offers unlimited 2x miles on every purchase, allowing students to earn rewards quickly. The miles can be redeemed for travel expenses, including flights, hotels, and car rentals. The card also provides no foreign transaction fees and offers travel accident insurance and 24/7 travel assistance services.
3. Discover it Miles
The Discover it Miles card is a great choice for students who prefer simplicity and flexibility. With this card, students earn 1.5x miles on every dollar spent, with no limit on the amount of miles that can be earned. The miles can be redeemed as a statement credit towards any travel purchase, making it easy to offset travel expenses. The card also offers no foreign transaction fees and provides free FICO credit scores.
4. Bank of America Travel Rewards
The Bank of America Travel Rewards card is an excellent option for students who already have a banking relationship with Bank of America. With this card, students can earn unlimited 1.5x points on every purchase, with no annual fee. The points can be redeemed for travel expenses, and the card offers no foreign transaction fees. Additionally, Bank of America customers can earn additional rewards through the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program.
5. Citi ThankYou Preferred
The Citi ThankYou Preferred card is a versatile option for students studying abroad. It offers 2x points on dining and entertainment purchases, making it ideal for students who enjoy exploring local cuisine and cultural activities. The points can be redeemed for travel, gift cards, merchandise, and more. The card also provides no foreign transaction fees and offers access to presale tickets and VIP experiences.
Travel credit cards can be valuable tools for students studying abroad, helping them make the most of their budget and enjoy budget-friendly adventures. By considering the benefits, key features, and the best travel credit cards available, students can choose a card that suits their needs and preferences. Whether it’s earning rewards, avoiding foreign transaction fees, or accessing travel insurance coverage, travel credit cards can enhance the overall experience of studying abroad. So, before embarking on your next adventure, make sure to explore the options and find the perfect travel credit card for your student journey.