Best Cards for Travel: bank cards with travel insurance in 2024

To help you find the very best card for travel abroad, today we’re going to detail everything you need to know about these incredibly useful banks cards! We’ll cover all the most popular cards, including prices, features and special benefits.

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  1. You will be redirected to the official Wise website.
  2. Click on “Start” and fill in the form with your details.
  3. Click on “Open an account”.
  4. Deposit at least €20 into the Wise account (you can withdraw this amount later).

All done! Your Wise account will be activated, and the Wise card will arrive at your home within a few days.

Best cards for travel

Do you want to travel and save at the same time? Do you want to free yourself from the bureaucracy and abusive taxes charged by traditional banks? If so, it’s time to open an account with a digital bank.

In this article, I’ll be sharing my experiences with a variety of alternatives to show you which is the best card for travelling overseas, and show you how easy it is to open an account abroad.

Best cards for travelling in 2024

N26 Metal

In addition to all the services of the N26 You card, the N26 Metal card offers plenty of discounts and premium benefits to its customers.

Perfect for frequent travellers, it includes a comprehensive travel insurance package, and 24/7 medical assistance, so you can ensure peace of mind as you travel the globe.

It costs €16.90.

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N26 Metal Card
The N26 Metal card is a “premium” World Elite card.

The N26 Metal Premium Card offers multiple benefits that will allow you to travel and save money every day, making it undoubtedly one of the best cards for travel.

With the discount program, you can even pay reduced prices for goods and services offered by N26 partners!

Just log in to the My Discounts section, and you can take advantage of the discount program on accommodation services such as, streaming services such as Tidal, or learning services such as Udemy.

Advantages of N26 Metal


  • 💳 World Elite MasterCard.
  • 💰 Up to 8 free withdrawals.
  • ✅ Fee-free payments in any currency.
  • 👑 Discounts and promotional offers with partners.
  • 💛 Access to exclusive experiences, such as VIP rooms.
  • 🚑 Comprehensive travel insurance included.
  • 👍 Exclusive customer service.
  • 💷 Multi-currency account with IBAN.
  • 💻 Account management via app and web page.
  • 💵 Integration with Wise for international transfers.


  • N26 is currently not available in the US or UK.

N26: the digital bank with the best card for travel

This comparative graph shows you exactly what N26 has to offer, and how its best cards for travelling will help you save on taxes and exorbitant fees charged by traditional banks abroad.

With this guide, you’ll be able to identify the best bank for travel for you, as there is not one-size-fits-all! The best option for someone else may not be the best for you, it all depends on your personal needs as a traveller.

To provide further insight into each card, I’ve included the most important positive and negative points of each one.

N26 Smart: the best card to save on bank charges

N26 Smart is the cheapest premium alternative from N26, and costs just €4.90.

It allows you to make unlimited payments and transfers abroad with your travel card, plus 5 free cash withdrawals.

If this seems like an intriguing option for you, take a look at the following article about the N26 Smart account.

Advantages of N26 Smart


  • 💳 World Elite MasterCard.
  • 💰 5 free and unlimited withdrawals.
  • 👍 Multi-currency account with an IBAN number.
  • ✅ Fee-free payments in any currency.
  • 👍 Direct customer service.
  • 👑 Discounts and promotional offers with partners.
  • 🛍 Purchases made with N26 are insured in case of theft.
  • 💵 International transfers with Wise.


  • N26 is currently not available in the US or UK.
  • Does not offer travel insurance.
n26 smart

N26 You: the best card for travelling safely and saving on fees

The N26 You card is another premium account that offers comprehensive coverage for travellers and digital nomads. You pay no fees for exchanging from one currency to another.

This travel card is an excellent choice if you are looking for a good compromise to save on all your expenses abroad. It also comes with comprehensive travel insurance.

It costs €9.90.

The N26 You card travel insurance offers full coverage for many countries. It covers medical expenses, lost luggage, and even delayed flights for up to 4 hours.

When an emergency arises, and you need insurance help, you can take care of everything through the app and their 24/7 assistance platform.

Another great advantage is that if you buy a mobile phone with your N26 You card, and it gets stolen, you can recover the costs!

Advantages of N26 You


  • 💳 World Elite MasterCard.
  • 💰 Up to 5 free and unlimited withdrawals.
  • 💷 Multi-currency account with IBAN.
  • ✅ Fee-free payments in any currency.
  • 👍 Priority customer service.
  • 👑 Discounts and special offers with partners.
  • 🚑 Medical travel insurance included.
  • 📱 Full refund of stolen mobile phone if purchased with N26.
  • 🛍 Purchases made with N26 are insured in case of theft.
  • 💵 International transfers with Wise.


  • N26 is currently not available in the US or UK.
N26 You Card
N26 You is perfect for travelling, and even includes travel insurance.

Best travel cards without extra fees

If you want to test out one of these digital banks to form your opinion on which is the best card for travel, it is possible. Each digital bank we’ve mentioned offers a free version of its travel card without any obligation to stay!

All of these offers are 100% free, without obligation, and opening an account only takes a few minutes. This way, you can see for yourself if an alternative works with your travelling and spending habits.

So, let’s take a look!

N26 Standard Card (Free)

N26 bank has positioned itself as one of the most used banks in Europe.

You can use it anywhere in the world without having to pay any surcharges. Plus, with their debit card, you can make up to 3 free cash withdrawals per month.

Opening a free digital account is very easy and requires no income verification, and you can do it all via your mobile phone.

Advantages of N26 Standard


  • Allows ATM withdrawals (3 free withdrawals per month).
  • Multi-currency account with IBAN number.
  • Free debit card with free delivery.
  • Account management via application and web page.
  • Free transfers (without fees).
  • Efficient support.
  • Integration with Wise for international transfers.


  • N26 is currently not available in the US or UK.
  • Does not offer a physical card.
  • Does not offer travel insurance.
N26 Standard Free
mondo seguros
Unos días antes de mi repatriación en Cambodia. Fui repatriado desde Vietnam.

Why do you need a card to travel?

Traditional banks increase fees for using credit and debit cards abroad, citing protection measures, and thus, using domestic cards is essentially like watching money go down the drain.

If you travel frequently, these extra fees can build up quickly.

On top of all the taxes, maintenance fees, ATM withdrawals, we also have to deal with very high exchange rates. Luckily, there are excellent travel cards that can help us solve these problems.

What is an international digital bank?

Digital banks allow you to withdraw, move, transfer, open accounts, and even receive your travel card in any country you are in.

Several countries already have digital banks, and they continue to provide revolutionary free benefits that are helping them to compete with the top traditional banks, and in many cases, surpass them.

A few years ago, this might have seemed unthinkable… But today, it’s a stark reminder of our rapidly evolving digital ecosystem.

What features do the best cards for travel offer?

The main features that all the best cards for travelling offer are:

  • The card is accepted worldwide for cash withdrawals.
  • Full account management available online (opening an account, blocking and unblocking cards, among others).
  • Account management should be free of charge, with no maintenance fees.
  • Low exchange rates.
  • Should include international travel insurance.

Wise Borderless

Wise is another great alternative, especially if you live outside of the European Union.

In fact, there are only a select few countries where Wise does not operate. To learn more, consider reading this article on Wise.

The Borderless account comes with a debit card that allows withdrawals and payments anywhere in the world at the real exchange rate (just like the N26 card). For this reason, I’ve found it to be the best card for travel.

The platform is not only much cheaper than traditional banks for making transfers, but it is also much simpler and faster to use. According to Wise, transactions take 48 hours to go through, but in my experience making international transfers, it is usually much less.

The biggest advantage of the Wise account is that it is multi-currency. In other words, it’s like having several different accounts all within one.

When you open a Borderless account with this bank you get:

  • An account number and a BSB code for Australia.
  • An account number and a sort code for the UK.
  • A European IBAN (Eurozone).
  • An account number and routing number for the USA.
  • An account number for New Zealand.

Wise was the true pioneer in offering multi-currency accounts, making it the ideal option for those who need this type of service, whether for personal or for business needs.

However, of the best cards for travel that we’ve mentioned, it is the one with the highest fees, and it does not offer an insurance option. Again, it’s important to consider your personal needs when reaching a decision.

Advantages of Wise Borderless


  • Free debit card.
  • Account management via the app.
  • Free transfers.
  • Efficient support.
  • Global reach.


  • No insurance option
wise borderless card

How does Wise work?

When you send your money, say, from the UK to Mexico, they simply take the amount from the UK account and send it to the Mexican beneficiary.

What does this mean? It means that the money you paid through your bank account will be transferred to a Mexican account. It’s as simple as that!

In short: “You pay here, and Wise transfers it there”. So the process becomes much faster and cheaper.

But, what’s the difference between a Wise transfer and a transfer with a traditional bank?

Why is Wise faster and cheaper?

When we send money to other countries with a traditional bank, it has to go through various legal, regulatory and intermediary structures, which results in longer waiting times with higher fees.

Wise, on the other hand, saves these formalities with two direct transfers: one from you to Wise, and one from Wise to the intended recipient.

If you’re still curious, have a read of our complete Wise Money Transfer Guide

My opinion on the best card for travel

Living abroad or travelling frequently, as I’ve said in this article, is an absolute nightmare if you use a traditional bank account.

These digital banks all offer excellent and convenient benefits with their various banking plans, with plenty of useful low-cost and free features.

n26 Smart

It’s worth noting that N26 and Wise can be used together, as the German bank uses Wise for international transfers.

With these accounts, there are no borders that prevent you from transferring, withdrawing cash, or spending your money as you please.

See the N26 travel cards

Frequently Asked Questions

Before we finish, I’d like to answer some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to the best cards for travelling.

Remember, it’s important to do your own research and carefully consider your own personal needs.

In how many countries does Wise operate?

Currently, you can make Wise money transfers in most countries in the world.

For this reason, it is much easier to make a list of where you will NOT be able to use or open a Wise account.

Take note!

  • Afghanistan
  • Belarus
  • Burundi
  • Chad
  • Congo
  • Cuba
  • Eritrea
  • Iraq
  • Iran
  • Libya
  • Myanmar
  • Crimea Region
  • Central African Republic
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Republic of South Sudan
  • Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
  • Russia
  • Syria
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Venezuela
  • Yemen

In how many countries does N26 operate?

The main disadvantage of N26 is, unfortunately, its global reach, as it is exclusively available within Europe.

Can I use cards to travel without paying fees?

With the N26 Standard account, you get many of the benefits of the N26 travel cards. However, if you want to enjoy more advantages, such as the insurance service, you will have to sign up for one of the premium accounts.

With Wise, you can open an account for free, receive money for free, and hold 40+ currencies in your account, for free!

Are there any conditions attached to the travel cards?

The best thing about the cards we have reviewed in this article is that there are no special terms or conditions attached to their use.

Signing up is very quick and easy, and you don’t need to present as many documents as with a traditional bank.

What are the benefits of travel cards?

Travel cards offer many benefits if you are abroad, such as the ability to make payments or withdraw cash without having to pay fees.

With Wise it is also possible to make instant transfers to other countries and in other currencies, at a much better exchange rate than with traditional banks.

Do travel cards offer discounts?

The best cards for travel offer discounts when you make purchases with affiliated partners of the bank, so it’s always a good idea to do some research to find out what these are!

Do travel cards offer insurance services?

The N26 You and N26 Metal cards offer health insurance and travel insurance included in your subscription. So if you’re looking to insure your next trip, N26 is probably the best card for travelling abroad.

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Michaël Louis

I am a digital nomad with a passion for new technologies and travel. We created Planet Nomad to help you on your way to geographical freedom: digital nomadism and online entrepreneurship.

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