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Credit Card Reward Programs For Non-Resident Indians

Updated on Oct 16, 2020
Credit card Rewards

A credit card by physical construction is just a piece of plastic, which is why it is also known as “plastic money”. This piece of plastic or metal becomes a medium of exchange when it is issued by a bank or financial services company, that allows the cardholders to borrow funds for payments. 

The cardholders pay back the borrowed money plus any applicable interest to the issuer at the end of the billing cycle or over a period of time. For people who use credit cards regularly, one of the advantages among others is earning rewards. A rewards credit card as the name implies rewards the cardholder for making purchases. Generally, the rewards are three types: cashback, points, or miles. The value of the rewards earned and the types of purchases that earn rewards differs depending on the issuer and the credit card type. 

  • Cash rewards are easiest to use and can help reduce your credit card balance. Or you can remit the cash to your family members or even invest the rewards earned. Depending on the reward programs, you may redeem your cash rewards only as a credit to your bank account or cash in for a check or direct deposit to your bank account. You also redeem the cash for gift cards with your card issuer’s merchant partners.
  • Point rewards will be based on how you spend your money. For every dollar spent on purchases, you may earn one reward point. As per the programs, you may be able to redeem your point rewards for gift cards, cash, or travel. 
  • Miles rewards let you redeem your rewards for airline tickets/travel purchases. This can be convenient for frequent fliers.

One caveat with credit cards is the foreign transaction fee. Most credit cards charge an average of 3% for purchases outside the United States, which can cancel out any potential rewards you could earn. You could also be charged with the foreign transaction fee when you make online purchases from a foreign merchant. Make sure you go through the terms and conditions. 

In this blog, we will go through some of the best credit cards that do not charge foreign transaction fees. Such credit cards will prevent you from spending extra money while you are traveling abroad or shopping online from an international e-commerce website. 

5 Best Credit Card Reward Programs With No Foreign Transaction Fees

Rewards program

  1. Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: Best for Hotels Booking

Sign Up Bonus: Earn up to 100,000 bonus miles after you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months of account opening or still earn 50,000 miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. 

Rewards Rate & Benefits

  • 5X points on hotels and car rentals booked via Capital One Travel
  • Earn 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • No expiration date on miles and no limit to how many you can earn 
  • Earn up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every 4 years (rare benefit for a mid-tier card)
  • You can transfer your miles to over 10+ travel loyalty programs
  • 5X points on Uber Eats through Jan 31, 2021

Annual fee: $95

Intro Annual Percentage Rate (APR): None

Regular APR: 17.24%-24.49% variable apr

Balance Transfer Fee: None

Foreign transaction fees: $0

2. Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Best for Luxury Travel 

Sign Up Bonus: Earn 50,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. This is worth up to $750 toward travel if redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

Rewards Rate & Benefits

  • 10X points on Lyft rides through March 2022
  • 3X points on travel worldwide (after earning the annual $300 travel credit)
  • 3X points on dining at restaurants worldwide
  • 1X point per $1 on all purchases 
  • Get up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every 4 years
  • Access to over 1000 airport lounges worldwide after one-time enrollment in Priority Pass Select membership
  • Get up to $60 credit in an annual statement on DoorDash through 2022, and at least 1-year Dashpass membership
  • Get 1:1 point transfer to top airline and hotel loyalty programs

Annual fee: $550

Intro APR: None

Regular APR: 16.99%-23.99% variable apr

Balance Transfer Fee: 5%, $5 minimum

Foreign transaction fees: $0

3. Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best for Cashback

Sign Up Bonus: One-time $150 cash bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening 

Rewards Rate & Benefits

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cashback on every purchase
  • No expiration date on the cashback & no limit on how much you can earn 
  • No rotating categories or no sign-ups required to earn cash rewards

Annual Fee: $0

Intro APR: 0% on purchases for 15 months

Regular APR: 15.49%-25.49% Variable apr

Balance Transfer Fee: None

Foreign transaction fees: $0

4. Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card: Best for Zero Annual Fee

Sign Up Bonus: Earn 20,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months (worth $200 in travel)

Rewards Rate & Benefits

  • 3X points on travel, dining out and ordering in, gas stations, rideshares and transit; flights, hotels, and car rentals; and popular streaming services
  • 1X points on every other purchase 
  • No blackout dates on air travel if redeemed through Go Far Rewards

Annual Fee: $0

Intro APR: 0% on purchases for 12 months

Regular APR: 14.49%-24.99% Variable apr

Balance Transfer fee: Introductory fee 3% (first 120 days), then 5% ($5 minimum)

Foreign transaction fees: $0

  1. American Express® Gold Card: Best for Dining & Takeout 

Sign Up Bonus: Earn 35,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months (worth up to $700)

Rewards Rate & Benefits

  • 4X points at the U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year; then 1X) and dining worldwide
  • 3X points on travel purchases booked through amextravel.com
  • 1X points on every other purchase 
  • Get up to $129 in dining credits throughout the calendar year
  • Get up to $100 annual airline fee credit

Annual fee: $250

Intro APR: None

Regular APR: 15.99%-22.99% variable apr

Balance Transfer Fee: None

Foreign transaction fees: $0

Using a credit card with no foreign transaction fees is a must if you are a frequent flyer to overseas destinations. You don’t want your rewards to get wiped out by the fee charged by the credit card issuer. 

Do keep the following things in mind if you are using credit cards abroad:

  • Inform your issuer beforehand that you will be using your card abroad so that the transaction doesn’t get flagged as fraudulent
  • While some cards such as cards from Discover or Amex are popular and widely accepted across the U.S., it may not be the case in other countries. Always have a mix of credit cards. Have a mix of Visa and Mastercard during your international travel since they are generally accepted worldwide. 
  • It’s a good idea to make any purchases in the local currency because you get a better exchange rate when you do the conversion through your credit card rather than relying on the merchant to do the conversion using its exchange rate.

Choosing the right rewards program enables you to earn travel perks, cashback, or points on your various credit card spending categories. Choose a credit card reward program that is in alignment with your goals. Using credit cards responsibly can be very rewarding besides the convenience they offer. That said, always be mindful of your purchases.

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