Top 5 credit cards for world travel

Is world travel on your horizon this year? Bringing the right credit card is as fundamental as packing the right wardrobe. While there are great benefits to using plastic abroad – such as travel assistance and fraud protection – the cards’ foreign transaction fees can eat into your travel budget. And traditional magnetic strip credit cards aren't universally accepted overseas anymore. Picking the right card for a foreign trip depends on the perks you’re looking for, the fees you’re willing to pay, and the kind of credit you have. Here are Credit Karma’s Top 5 credit cards for world travel:

1. Best no-hassle, no-fee card – Capital One Platinum Prestige Credit Card

Paul Sakuma/AP
Steve Wheelock holds up his Capital One Visa credit card and other cards in San Francisco June 22, 2011. With no foreign transaction fees, the Capital One Platinum Prestige Card stands out as a highly useful credit card for world travel.

Why we recommend it: Most credit cards have foreign transaction fees that add 1 to 3 percent to every transaction made abroad. If you plan to swipe often or for big ticket items, those fees quickly add up. The Capital One Platinum Prestige Card is a great choice for travelers, featuring no-hassle perks and no annual fee. Capital One is the only major issuer that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees and you'll see a few Capital One cards on this list. In addition to no foreign transaction fees, the Platinum Prestige card offers 0 percent interest until September 2012 on balance transfers and purchases, so you can save money on interest charges if you have a large balance after vacation. Plus, the interest rate resets to a low 10.9 percent APR, which makes its it an all-around good credit card for everyday spending at home as well as your go-to credit card for world travel.

Drawbacks: You need an excellent credit score to qualify for this credit card.

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