Friday, July 18, 2008

IcelandAir MasterCard

We have found that a few places in Europe take MasterCard but not Visa. (We think that’s probably because those places take Maestro, MasterCard’s debit card.)

If you’ve been looking for a no-annual-fee MasterCard for international travel that charges less than the standard 3% rip-off foreign-exchange fee, take a look at the IcelandAir MasterCard from Juniper (Barclays). The card offers 5,000 initial IcelandAir points (miles) and 1 point per $2 of spending. The forex fee is a slightly better 2%. (There is also an annual-fee card available offering better mileage.)

No, that’s not as good as Capital One’s 0% forex fees, but Capital One has only one MasterCard in their line, which carries a $39 annual fee. All their no-annual-fee cards are Visas. (American Express charges 2% but is less widely accepted overseas. Discover charges 0% but is not accepted in Europe. The JCB card charges 1% but isn’t widely available to U.S. residents.)

If you’re interested in IcelandAir’s credit card, make sure you first sign up for an IcelandAir frequent flyer account through their current contest (ends July 29) – 120,000 points are up for grabs in the contest, with a 1,000-point sign-up bonus for new frequent-flyer program members.

Ahh. That sure tastes 3 percent better. (Vienna Woods, Austria)