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Best Credit Card Offers for Travel to Asia

Jan. 29, 2015
Credit Cards, Travel Credit Cards
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We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

Headed to one of Asia’s beautiful locales? The Nerds have scoured our database of more than 1,200 cards to find two great cards for you to consider. From the Taj Mahal to the Great Wall of China, these credit cards will get you to the sites you want to see.

United℠ Explorer Card: Best for booking United and Star Alliance flights

If you’re a United and Star Alliance fanatic, the United℠ Explorer Card should be your card of choice. It offers 2 miles per $1 spent on purchases from United and at restaurants and hotels, plus 1 mile per dollar spent elsewhere. There’s also a sign-up bonus: 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Miles are redeemable for United flights or flights with Star Alliance partners — which include Air China, Asiana Airlines and Singapore Airlines.

The United℠ Explorer Card has no shortage of perks. You’ll get a free checked bag for you and a companion on your reservation, priority boarding and two one-time-use United Club passes each year.

The United℠ Explorer Card has an annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $95 and no foreign transaction fees.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Best general travel credit card

If cobranded credit cards aren’t for you, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of the best general travel credit cards. It offers 2X points on travel and dining, and 1 point on every dollar spent elsewhere. There’s a signup bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

You can use your Chase points for travel by booking through Chase Ultimate Rewards at a rate of 1.25 cents per point. To get a little more bang for your buck, you can also choose to transfer your points to Chase’s partner programs at a rate of 1.25 – 5 cents per point. Chase’s partners include Korean Airways and Singapore KrisFlyer.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has an $0 for the first year, then $95 and no foreign transaction fees. It has an EMV chip with chip-and-signature technology, so this is the best card for your spending in Asia.

›› MORE: NerdWallet’s Best Travel Credit Cards

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