The right credit card for backpackers.

The credit card is an indispensable component on longer trips. It is required for flight booking, hotel reservations or for a rental car. Therefore, a suitable credit card is part of the standard travel equipment of every backpacker.

Backpacker: advantages of a credit card

Backpacker: advantages of a credit card

Of course you can take a large amount of money with you from home, but this poses an enormous security risk. One robbery and the entire travel fund is gone. You can already be robbed at the hotel without even realizing it.

Backpackers are also traveling in many countries. A trip through five countries can require five currencies, which is associated with high exchange fees. With a credit card, you can save yourself these costs and withdraw cash flexibly from the machine. You can also pay an invoice with the card in case you shouldn’t have any money on hand.

Backpackers often have several credit cards to get cheap cash as quickly as possible. Depending on the country of travel, a card company may have more acceptance points. Since some providers waive annual fees, different credit cards are a sensible option.

Travel credit card for backpackers

Travel credit card for backpackers

A globetrotter can choose between a “real” credit card or a credit-based card. The prepaid model is becoming increasingly popular because creditworthiness is irrelevant. Here you have to top up the credit with your current account. This requires secure internet access so that there are no unpleasant surprises. If cash is urgently needed and you cannot find a WiFi hotspot, you cannot pay the bill.

It is easier with the classic credit card with a credit line. You can overdraw the card up to a certain amount, which is extremely practical in urgent cases. How high this sum is depends on your creditworthiness and the Credit bureau information. If this turns out to be negative, the application is somewhat more complicated.

As a backpacker, a normal credit card is much more convenient. Another point is the additional insurance: prepaid credit cards are mostly limited to monetary transactions, special services are rarely offered. Travel health insurance can prove useful.

Services and conditions

Services and conditions

Those who travel a lot as backpackers do not want to waste their time on bills. Therefore, the credit card should be clearly structured and clearly list all sales in the online area. Since it is only used for private purposes, additional extras are not necessary. The main achievement of the card is the reduction of travel expenses. Of course, it should be widely accepted, because nobody wants to go to the next city to withdraw money.

Optimal credit card cost structure

Optimal credit card cost structure

No two credit cards are the same, as every financial institution has its own offering. In order for it to be useful, it has to meet some requirements.

Backpackers should pay attention to the following points when choosing a credit card:

  • no account and card fees
  • Withdraw cash free of charge worldwide !
  • free card payments
  • low minimum sales
  • cheap payment in foreign currencies

The provider should forego annual fees and not install hidden hooks. With prepaid credit cards, you have to consider the credit interest so that the money generates at least a small return.

Tip: The foreign currency could prove to be a cost trap. Therefore, the provider should not charge exchange rate surcharges or fees for payment in other currencies.

Additional services for globetrotters

Additional services for globetrotters

Whether insurance is necessary depends on the individual case. Anyone who travels to other EU countries every few weeks benefits from international health insurance. This saves you an expensive policy from your health insurance company.

But there are some practical insurances: The backpacker has a large backpack with him, in which his belongings are. If this is lost, the trip may end prematurely. Luggage insurance ensures that your utensils arrive safely – if not, they will be replaced in terms of value.

Special features of a credit card

Vending machine operators abroad may charge a fee. This does not apply to all countries, but it occurs in Thailand or the USA, for example. Some providers reimburse such expenses for third-party fees. To avoid such expenses, you should have a Visa and Mastercard with you. Any of the two credit cards is already accepted, which saves you any additional fees.

Tip: Some providers require a current account to be closed. Also pay attention to fair conditions and small print clauses!

Interest on cash withdrawals should only be calculated after a few weeks. If billing starts on the first day, this is not a good provider. In addition, there is no fixed minimum turnover.


Globetrotters prefer to enjoy the landscape instead of struggling with financial transactions. As a backpacker, you need the right credit card, which can be found quickly with a comparison. The application is often sweetened with a starting credit of 50 to 100 USD and further discounts or additional services.

Further tips on the subject:

  • The right credit card for frequent travelers and frequent flyers
  • Credit card with cancellation insurance
  • Credit card with rental car insurance: what to look for?
  • Credit card with Airport Lounge access (Priority Pass)

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