Moving to England for 3 years - should I get a travel card?

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Moving to England for 3 years - should I get a travel card?

Postby ccbak » Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:33 am

I'm in the military, have very good credit, and currently only have one actual credit card - a standard Discover with a $15,000 limit, standard cash back program, no balance. I use it frequently.

I'm going to be moving to England early next year, and will easily put $6000-$10000 on my credit card between now and then with our summer vacation, moving expenses, etc.

Would it be worth it to get a travel card, to offset the expensive cost of flying back to the states from the UK? We don't plan on flying home more than once or twice over the span of 3 years, unless there is an emergency need.

I've read where airline miles cards are good for frequent flyers, but might not be such a deal for infrequent usage. We won't fly a lot, but the cost per ticket is expensive...


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Postby PlatinumAMEX94 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:10 am

Since you already have a cash back card I assume you are looking for something that gives you points for each dollar spent, where you can then redeem those for free airline tickets, upgrades and so on, correct?

I would suggest going with a USAA Rewards card, Visa or MasterCard. I believe there is only a 1% for. ex. fee on the USAA cards. It also depends on what you want to do with those points. If you can, try to keep all your points on one card. American Express has been my point card for a long time.
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Postby DavidNY » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:33 am

If you're trying to avoid the exchange rate fee and will be using a US bank, Capital One bank does not charge an exchange rate fee on their credit or debit cards for purchases, so you could get one of their credit cards or get a checking account with them. They also do not charge a fee for international ATM withdrawals with their Interest Online checking account.

Bank of America is another option for free international ATM withdrawals, but only for Barclays bank in the UK. They are in the Global ATM Alliance, so you can withdraw money using a Bofa checking account from Barclays without a fee.

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Postby JCarter » Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:11 pm

My suggestion is for you to go ahead now and get an American Express card, and upon arrival have it transfered to a UK bank. In addition, you may wish to consider opening a "current" account with a larger bank over there. Such as Lloyds TSB, Barclays, Natwest or Royal Bank of Scotland.

A current account is very similar to our checking accounts here.

For other purposes, Capital One's Venture Rewards card offers no forex fee, so you could procure that for an actual credit card with a Visa/MC logo.

Good luck!

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