Looking at international travel in 2023: What are my best credit card options?

lady using tap and pay with a travel credit card on international holiday from australia

Aussies are well-known globetrotters. Now that international travel is back open, we're back in full flight, ready to see new corners of the planet in a big way.

To prepare yourself for that long-awaited trip abroad, you might want to consider finding a travel-friendly credit card.

So what is the best credit card to travel with?

It really depends on what you’re looking to get out of your card and how you’re going to spend while you travel.

You could be looking for a credit card with no foreign exchange rate or one that will let you earn points for flying and spending. It’s about doing your research and finding the best credit card for you to travel with.

No foreign exchange fee credit cards

If you want to take a shopping holiday but skip the foreign exchange fees, it would be best to find a credit card without this additional charge.

The majority of credit cards in the Mozo database have some foreign exchange fee, ranging between 1.50% to 3.65%. This means that with each overseas transaction, you are charged that percentage on top of the currency conversion. Although the percentage is small, the charges can stack up throughout an entire trip.

That said, there are credit cards with a 0% foreign exchange margin available, meaning that there is no fee when you spend abroad. If you’re looking for no foreign exchange fee when you travel, there are over 20 credit cards in the Mozo database, such as the HSBC Low Rate Card, Westpac Lite Card, Bendigo Bank Ready Credit Card and the Latitude 28 Degrees Global Platinum Mastercard

Travel rewards credit cards

If you’re more rewards-minded, then you might want to go with a card that has a good rewards program. Currently, the Mozo database has over 100 rewards credit cards to choose from - with over 80 of them offering points that can be used for international flights.

After you apply for a bonus points credit card, the points are made available after a period indicated by the credit card provider, not upfront, so it’s better to get an early start. Plus, some of these premium cards might also come with extra non-points benefits, such as complimentary travel insurance attached to them or passes to airport lounges, so it's worth keeping an eye out for that.

Check out some top rewards credit cards with extra non-points benefits:

Rewards credit cards with extra non-points benefits

HSBC Star Alliance Credit Card
  • 1 Star Alliance point per $1 spent up to $3,000 (0.5 points per $1 thereafter, uncapped)
  • Star Alliance points can be converted to frequent flyer points with 7 alliance member airlines
  • Spend $4,000 within first 90 days of approval to receive Gold membership status with alliance member airline of your choice
Find out more

If you're a frequent flyer who likes to move between airlines, you might see the benefit of the HSBC Star Alliance Credit Card. The first of its kind, Star Alliance points earned on this card can be used with any 1 of 7 participating member airlines, and swapped between them if required. Speaking of points, you can earn 1 Star Alliance point per $1 spent up to $3,000 and 0.5 points per $1 thereafter, uncapped. If you spent $4,000 within the first 90 days of approval, you'll receive fast-tracked Gold membership (or equivalent) for the first year with your choice of membership airline (T&Cs apply). These airlines include Singapore Airlines, Air Canada, United Airlines, Air New Zealand, EVA Air, Thai Airways and South African Airways. Other perks of this card include airport lounge access, some complimentary insurances and 6 months interest free on flight bookings (T&Cs apply). It's not without a cost, though - this card will run you a $450 annual fee (waived in the first year), and has 19.99% p.a. purchase rate to keep in mind. Foreign transactions will also attract a 3% exchange margin on top of currency conversion.

NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card
  • 1 point per $1.50 spent for the first $3,000 spent, 1 point per $3 spent for $3,001-$6,000 (T&Cs apply)
  • 70,000 bonus points (T&Cs apply)
  • Free Qantas Frequent Flyer membership
Find out more

The NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Card allows you to earn 1 point per $1.50 for the first $3,000 you spend, and then 1 point for every $3 you spend for $3,001-$6,000 (T&Cs apply). You can also receive 1 bonus point per $1 spent on eligible Qantas services. Plus, if you spend $2,000 on everyday purchases in the first 60 days and keep your card open for over 12 months, you could be eligible to get an extra 70,000 Qantas Points (T&Cs apply). Cardholders also gain Concierge access, international travel insurance, transit accident insurance, interstate flight inconvenience insurance, and complimentary membership to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program (annual membership normally costs $99.50). Although these perks come at a price; the card has a 19.99% p.a. purchase interest rate, a $250 annual fee (reduced to $150 in the first year) and a $15 late fee. Travellers will also want to keep in mind that the NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card does have a 3% foreign exchange fee.

Check out these offers below to start comparing travel credit card options. You can head to our credit card hub for guides, comparisons and credit card news!

Compare travel credit cards - last updated 3 December 2023

Search promoted rewards credit cards below or do a full Mozo database search . Advertiser disclosure
  • American Express Qantas Ultimate Card

    Qantas Frequent Flyer



    1.25 points uncapped

    Receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply online, are approved, and spend $3,000 on eligible purchases on your new Qantas American Express Ultimate Card within the first 3 months of your approval date. T&Cs apply. Available to new American Express Card Members only.

  • NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Card

    Qantas Frequent Flyer

    $250 $150 in the first year


    0.66 points up to $3,000/month, then
    0.33 points up to $6,000/month

    70,000 Bonus Qantas Points. Offer applies to a new NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Card when you spend $2,000 on everyday purchases within 60 days.

  • Apply By 30 Apr 2024
    St.George Amplify Qantas Signature

    Qantas Frequent Flyer



    0.75 points up to $250,000/year

    Earn 90,000 bonus Qantas Points - when you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of card approval (T&Cs apply)

  • American Express Qantas Premium Card

    Qantas Frequent Flyer



    1 point uncapped

    Receive 30,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply online, are approved and spend $3,000 on your new Card within the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. New Amex Card Members only. Credit Card Provider of the Year in the Mozo Experts Choice Awards 2021^.

  • NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card

    Qantas Frequent Flyer

    $395 $295 in the first year


    1 point up to $5,000/month, then
    0.5 points up to $20,000/month

    Earn up to 120,000 Bonus Qantas Points on a new NAB Qantas Signature Card. Min $3,000 spend on everyday purchases in first 60 days and keep your card open for 12 months.


^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Rewards Credit Card Awards

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