I disagree with the other person that Chip and Sign is worse than swiping. In Germany, I repeatedly got turned down because they did not know how to swipe. When you use the chip and sign, it tells them exactly what to do as far as printing and signing a receipt. This also helped in the UK. When you hand them a card without a chip they will look at you like you're an alien. It also works at automated kiosks. Ticket offices tend to close early for public transport. For example, in Germany everything closes early on Saturday and is completely closed on Sunday.
The BA card does not have a fee and is through Chase, but I am not sure if it is worth locking yourself in with one airline. If you don't have a preferred airline or hotel, you use heavily, then you should get the Chase Sapphire Preferred
. This will give you the ability to transfer to British Airways and several other travel partners notably Marriott, Hyatt, Southwest, and United. You also have other options for your points like gift cards, shopping, and cash back which almost all at a 1 point to 1cent basis. They've just completely changed the ultimate rewards travel and I don't like it. I know Amex gives you the market rate on conversions which is really good and the Platinum has no fee, but unless you travel a bunch it would not be worth the $450 annual fee. They also do not have a chip that I am aware of and Amex is not accepted as many places as Visa.
I believe Charles Schwab is the only bank that does not charge a foreign ATM fee and refunds fees still. Otherwise, you will be getting ripped off on that front as I did with my bank. Then I got a Capital One Checking, and now those do not exist for new signups because they bought their competition ING Direct which charges fees. I'm quite glad I have this account for foreign travel or any travel where I have to use ATM's with fees. Maybe the Schwab checking is just as good since it is the only comparable option.
A card with a chip and no foreign transaction fees and a checking account with no foreign atm fees that refunds other bank's fees will make everything a lot easier. I would be interested to hear if there are any comparable cards or checking for travelling abroad.