Sure, this might be a bold claim. But we are fairly confident that we have found the absolute best two cards you can bring for long term travel. One is for use as a credit card, and one is for getting cash from ATMs.
Getting cash in foreign countries is a pain. Often times you will get locked out of the account, and every time you withdraw, you face ATM fees, and frequently foreign transaction fees from your bank.
There’s one card, the Charles Schwab card, that will eat all ATM fees and charge no foreign transaction fees at all. So basically you can get out cash for free from any ATM worldwide with no issues. In order to get this card, you need to open up a brokerage account with Charles Schwab. You don’t need to use the brokerage account (although there’s no reason not to if you are investing), but it comes with an attached checking account for which they will send you a visa card that magically is able to extract money from any ATM for free.
As with any card, you should notify them about your travel plans beforehand. If you do get locked out, they have an online chat and great customer service that can un-freeze your card quickly. Also note that it takes about 2 weeks for them to refund the ATM fees, but they do consistently do so.
There are a million credit cards out there, which makes it very tough to choose which ones is best to bring for travel. Basically what you are looking for is a program that gives you points that you can use to book transportation and/or travel accommodations, gives you extra points for spending on the kinds of things you do when traveling (food, lodging, travel/transportation), has a chip and pin, and no international fees.
This card is the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. You can book travel with their reward points for 30% off everything. Their rewards points can be used to book flights on almost any airline, hotels, etc. No international fees, chip and pin for europe, and they have great customer service and offer a large point bonus when you sign up. We got many hundreds of dollars worth of flights through reward points on this card. You can also set it up to automatically pay the bills out of your bank account when they are due so you don’t have to worry about that. Finally, as an extra bonus , the card is made of metal and looks and feels really impressive.
I am not affiliated with either of these companies, nor am I being paid to write any of this, or making any money off of you clicking through to sign up (although maybe I should be, hah!). These are 100% genuine recommendations that we arrived at after hours of research, and have stood up to the test in the field after months of travel.