8 Best Credit Cards to Use When Traveling Abroad

These credit cards will help you earn air miles faster and will you give you the lowest foreign exchange conversions.

Not all credit cards are created equal. If you're a frequent flyer, the right credit card could be your best travel companion. Below, we round up the best cards to use when traveling, according to their most notable features.

Best For Lowest Foreign Exchange

BPI Visa Signature Card

Why It’s Better: One of BPI’s most premium credit cards, the BPI Visa Signature sets a standard for lower foreign exchange rates compared to other cards. Every time you swipe this card abroad, you are subject to a conversion rate of 1.85 percent, as compared to an average of 2 to 3.525 percent for other cards. Cardholders are also given special exchange rates when they purchase foreign currencies at BPI branches. 

Other Features: When traveling, you’re given special discounts for Visa airport limo transfers, airport lounges, and luxury hotel selections. You’re also given one Real Thrills Rewards Premium Point for every P20 spent, which you can use to redeem shopping credits, travel accommodations, and flights.

For more information, visit bpicards.com

Best For Collecting Air Miles 

Metrobank Travel Platinum Visa

Why It’s Better: Metrobank offers quite possibly the best exchange of amount spent to corresponding miles. Metrobank’s first credit card dedicated to the frequent flyer awards you one mile for every P17 spent on overseas purchases and on airline and hotel bookings.

Other Features: Cardholders of the Metrobank Travel Platinum Visa are awarded their first supplementary card for free. They’re also given the chance to avail of priority pass memberships to airport lounges, and are given free travel insurance of up to P5 million.


For more information, visit metrobankcard.com

PNB Mabuhay Miles World Mastercard

Why It’s Better: If you’re a Philippine Airlines loyalist, this PNB card in partnership with the country’s flag carrier lets you earn Mabuhay Miles quicker than other cards out there. Once you avail of this credit card, you’re automatically awarded 2,000 Mabuhay Miles as a welcome gift, and if you make a transaction of P100,000 within the first year, you’re given an additional 10,000 Mabuhay Miles. 

Other Features: Speed through check-in lines with priority check-in at PAL Business Class counters in NAIA Terminal 2. To earn regular miles, you're dealing with a conversion of one Mabuhay Mile for every P30 spent. And when you book a PAL flight online, you get an additional five percent off.

For more information, visit Pnbcards.com.ph

With the Most Establishment Partnerships 

CITI PremierMiles Visa

Why It’s Better: Citibank has a plethora of partner establishments that you can choose, from airline promos with Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines to discounted car rentals and chauffeur services. You can also use your miles as cash to pay for travel expenses. What’s more is that you can book through the Visa Signature concierge service.

Other Features: Enjoy airport lounge access for two every DragonPass membership year, regardless of your airline or ticket seat. You’re also rewarded one never-expiring travel mile for every P30 you spend with your card. 

For more information, visit Citibank.com.ph

Best for Shopping and Dining Rewards

HSBC Red Mastercard

Why It's Better: If you’re an avid shopper or a gourmand, then you can put your love for shopping and dining to good use by earning four times as many bonus points on overseas dining and shopping transactions with this piece of plastic from HSBC. You can then use your points earned to redeem rewards such as gift certificates from partner establishments, home items, or even more air miles.

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Other Features: Save on gas with a three percent rebate all year round. You can also use your credit card to withdraw from ATMs both here and abroad with its Cash Advance feature.

For more information, visit hsbc.com.ph

Best for Paying in Dual Currency

BDO American Express Platinum

Why It’s Better: If you consider the U.S. Dollar your second currency, then there’s no need to go through the hassle of converting your payments from peso to dollar with the handy Dual Currency Billing feature. BDO also offers other EasyPay installment options that allow its bank customers to convert purchases into installment in peso or dollar.

Other Features: Aside from being part of BDO’s award-winning membership program, which lets cardholders convert points to air miles from its six frequent flyer partners, you are also covered for up to P20 million in travel and accident insurance when you use your card to purchases your plane ticket. 

For more information, visit bdo.com.ph

Highest Cash Back

CITI Cash Back Card

Why It’s Better: If it’s credit card rebates you’re after, Citibank’s Citi Cash Back card is one of the most hard-working ones out on the market. Get up to a six percent rebate when you do your groceries and two percent one when you pay for your Meralco electricity bill with your card. All of your other expenses warrant an automatic 0.20 percent rebate. These rebates are easily redeemed through the Citibank website or through text.


Other Features: Cardholders are granted access to Citibank’s endless travel, shopping, and dining offers with partner establishments.

For more information, visit Citibank.com.ph

Best For Traveling to Japan and Other Asian Countries

BDO JCB Platinum

Why It's Better: Aside from the plethora of partnerships with Japanese establishments that give cardholders special offers when they use the BDO JCB Platinum, this card also offers the highest rebate of seven percent for its principal and supplementary cardholders when they use the cards in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan.

Other Features: Annual membership fee is free for the first year and cardholders are covered for up to P20 million in travel insurance. 

For more information, visit bdo.com.ph

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