Credit Cards

Which credit card for international travel?

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  • Feb 14th, 2019 10:37 pm
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Newbie
Feb 7, 2019
82 posts
28 upvotes

Which credit card for international travel?

To the cognoscenti out there - Which credit card would you recommend for international travel? Something that saves you on exchange rate charges and transaction fees.
16 replies
Newbie
Oct 22, 2012
21 posts
19 upvotes
Toronto
Stack for ATM withdrawal, Rogers WE for foreign purchase.
Deal Addict
Jul 26, 2018
1156 posts
1488 upvotes
Canada, eh?
+2 for Rogers WE for foreign purchases, or HSBC World Elite MC for no FX fee,.
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Jan 9, 2011
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Vancouver
Jyelong wrote: To the cognoscenti out there - Which credit card would you recommend for international travel? Something that saves you on exchange rate charges and transaction fees.
There's a thread for that. https://forums.redflagdeals.com/list-cr ... s-2122295/

I have HSBC World Elite and I will be cancelling it. Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite is a far better alternative to that card. Same 0% FX, better welcome bonus, lower annual fee, better redemption flexibility, 6 free airport lounge visits.
Newbie
Jan 10, 2005
77 posts
26 upvotes
Vancouver
+3 for Rogers WE no annual fee, easy cash redemptions and 1.5% net back on purchases
Sr. Member
May 11, 2008
773 posts
337 upvotes
Vancouver
+2 for the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite

For my backup I have the Rogers Mastercard WE and then for ATM withdrawals I have the Home Trust Preferred Visa and the Stack MC.
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Dec 20, 2004
5280 posts
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Toronto
tonykung7 wrote: Stack for ATM withdrawal, Rogers WE for foreign purchase.
This.
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Jan 4, 2011
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Montreal
Kiraly wrote: There's a thread for that. https://forums.redflagdeals.com/list-cr ... s-2122295/

I have HSBC World Elite and I will be cancelling it. Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite is a far better alternative to that card. Same 0% FX, better welcome bonus, lower annual fee, better redemption flexibility, 6 free airport lounge visits.
aznrsx1979 wrote: +2 for the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite

For my backup I have the Rogers Mastercard WE and then for ATM withdrawals I have the Home Trust Preferred Visa and the Stack MC.
+3 for the Scotia Passport Visa Infinite.
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Apr 24, 2017
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+4 for the Rogers WE. The best flat rate no fee card for global use.
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May 8, 2009
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Leask
  1. as others said, Rogers WE for the one-stop-shop, no-AF card with decent instant gratification. Not optimal for ATM withdrawals, and not quite up to snuff with AF cards for insurance coverage, though it provides one of the better ones for a no-AF card
  2. Already mentioned, but HomeTrust Preferred is a Swiss Army knife. Gives you A. No-FTF on a no-AF VISA (this is unrivalled) B. Your backup for ATM withdrawals after Stack MC or Koho C. Car rental insurance coverage D. The card you should use for forex deposits (hotels, car or sports equipment rentals, etc.) UNLESS you have a card in that currency (such as USD)
  3. Not mentioned yet, but...TD Cash. For the small hassle of setting up cross-border, you get no-FTF, USD native, 3/2/1% resto/grocery/else. This is unrivalled as well, and gives you extended warranty on purchases made in the US. Heck, use it on all forex resto, can even use it on CAD resto UNLESS you have Cobalt at AmEx-friendly resto. The welcome bonus alone will offset the hassle of setting this up (you break even on a single WB on a no-AF card)
  4. HSBC Travel WE & BNS Passport Inf are good options if: A. You're OK with an AF card B. You value their pts earn rate & other features (priority pass, FFP transfer partners) and will benefit from it
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Nov 2, 2002
1765 posts
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Toronto
Stack and Scotia passport for me as well. I also have the hometrust visa, but haven’t used it since I got the Scotia card and will probably cancel that card. Note that if you have a mortgage with Scotia , you can get the Scotia for a reduced fee ($79) and still get the 25000 welcome bonus points.

The Stack card was amazing when taking out cash in Asia. No ATM or cash advance fees whatsoever and the conversion was just pennies over the official rate on the XE app. I did have trouble with the Scotia card in a couple of restaurants while in Japan. They inserted it, but it never prompted me for a PIN (all was in Japanese), but they told me it was declined. I called Scotia and they saw the transaction come in, but it showed that the wrong PIN was entered. I didn’t have other cards with me (except my Stack card), but had cash, so used that instead. The only other time I used the Scotia card while in Japan, was in a store and it was swiped, therefore no PIN was prompted and it was approved. I later used the card in other countries with PIN and Apple Pay and never had any further problems..

Morale of the story, always have a backup plan and carry more than one card when travelling.
Celebrating 18+ years on RFD!
Newbie
Feb 4, 2019
24 posts
15 upvotes
Halifax
Kiraly wrote: There's a thread for that. list-credit-cards-foreign-currency-tran ... s-2122295/

I have HSBC World Elite and I will be cancelling it. Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite is a far better alternative to that card. Same 0% FX, better welcome bonus, lower annual fee, better redemption flexibility, 6 free airport lounge visits.
How exactly is it a far better alternative? Both have clear selling points but neither is a clear winner. Largely depends on the situation. If you travel once or twice a year then it is possible that the passport would be a better deal, as you would have enough lounge passes to cover your trips. However, if you travel frequently you will burn through 6 passes pretty quickly. You would get much better use of you the $100 TEC credit with HSBC. From a earnings standpoint they both win in certain situations. Base earn rate on HSBC but the only accelerator is travel. That being said it is 3% in that category. The Scotia card seems good if you want a card for your day to day spend as you would get a higher earn rate on gas, groceries, dining, and entertainment.

Also, how is it a better welcome bonus? HSBC right now is $150 in points + FYF. Scotia Passport infinite is $250 welcome bonus but you are paying $139 for the annual fee. Basically equal in terms of the welcome bonus.
CC: KOHO + HSBC World Elite
Preferred Airlines: Air Canada + ANA
Cell: Public Mobile + Keepgo (Roaming)
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Jan 9, 2011
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reggie309 wrote: How exactly is it a far better alternative? Both have clear selling points but neither is a clear winner. Largely depends on the situation. If you travel once or twice a year then it is possible that the passport would be a better deal, as you would have enough lounge passes to cover your trips. However, if you travel frequently you will burn through 6 passes pretty quickly. You would get much better use of you the $100 TEC credit with HSBC. From a earnings standpoint they both win in certain situations. Base earn rate on HSBC but the only accelerator is travel. That being said it is 3% in that category. The Scotia card seems good if you want a card for your day to day spend as you would get a higher earn rate on gas, groceries, dining, and entertainment.

Also, how is it a better welcome bonus? HSBC right now is $150 in points + FYF. Scotia Passport infinite is $250 welcome bonus but you are paying $139 for the annual fee. Basically equal in terms of the welcome bonus.
Point taken about the welcome bonus. My biggest beef with the HSBC card is the redemption amounts. You have to redeem minimum $125 worth, and then $50 increments on top of that, so $175, $225, etc. So if you redeem all of your points you need to spend between $4,167 and $8,333 before you can redeem any more, basically making the card a 0% earner until you hit those minimum spend levels. On top of that you can't redeem against any travel purchases made more than 60 days earlier. These restrictions are awful, IMO. Scotiabank gives you a year to redeem with no minimum.
Newbie
Feb 4, 2019
24 posts
15 upvotes
Halifax
Kiraly wrote: Point taken about the welcome bonus. My biggest beef with the HSBC card is the redemption amounts. You have to redeem minimum $125 worth, and then $50 increments on top of that, so $175, $225, etc. So if you redeem all of your points you need to spend between $4,167 and $8,333 before you can redeem any more, basically making the card a 0% earner until you hit those minimum spend levels. On top of that you can't redeem against any travel purchases made more than 60 days earlier. These restrictions are awful, IMO. Scotiabank gives you a year to redeem with no minimum.
It should be stated that there is a minimum for the Scotia Rewards as well, it is $50. You are still earning points with the HSBC card but the redemption limit could be a little high for some. I feel that it works though as most travels purchases (flights and hotels) are higher than $125 in my exsperience. I absolutely see where you are coming from though and I can see why the Scota CC works better for you. :) I don't like the $50 increments but if you spend a decent amount on travel each year there should not be an issue getting your points redeemed. Lets hope they ease up a little on the redemption rules soon.
CC: KOHO + HSBC World Elite
Preferred Airlines: Air Canada + ANA
Cell: Public Mobile + Keepgo (Roaming)

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