Last updated on March 7th, 2020 at 07:17 pm
If you’re a frequent traveler and you’re wondering what is the best travel credit cards in South Africa. Whether you qualify, how to apply and what you should know before getting a Travel Credit Cards In South Africa, you’ve come to the right place.
Over the years I have shared many financial tips like how to save for long term travel or the best online bank for digital nomads. After attending the launch of Standard Bank World Citizen Credit Card, I decided to research Travel Credit Cards in South Africa and find out if we have benefits like free travel and hotel stays like most European and American banks. Here’s what I found.
Why you should get a Travel Credit Cards In South Africa
What is a Travel Credit Card
Travel credit cards are rewards cards that help you earn free travel, achieve elite member status with hotels and airlines, and enjoy many other travel-related perks. Every traveler has unique priorities for travel rewards, so think about what’s most important to you when choosing a travel rewards credit card.
The purpose of a travel credit card is to bring your next trip a little closer every time you use it!
In some countries, Banks, and airlines offer Travel Credit Cards with sign-on cash bonuses, cash rewards every time you spend. Some don’t offer rewards in cash but in miles. Some travel credit cards abroad even have 0 annual fees, 24/7 customer service. There are travel credit cards for students, small-business who spend a lot of time on the road, or the air.
Breakdown of Travel Credit Cards in South Africa
Perks of the Capitec Credit Card in South Africa
- The travel insurance covers you and your immediate family instead of most that only covers the card owner.
Cons of the Capitec Credit Card in South Africa
- Capitec’s Basic Insurance only covers emergency medical and related expenses. this means extra benefits such as trip cancellation, hijacking, and wrongful detention, lost or stolen baggage and legal expenses will not be covered.
- International travel insurance does not cover domestic travel, even if you purchase and pay with your credit card
FNB doesn’t offer Travel Credit Cards for South Africans but they have a Global Account. This account enables you to save and transact in nine foreign currencies without having to leave South Africa – giving you access to your US Dollar, Euro and British Pound savings for an annual card fee of $20 per card**.
Perks of the Standard Bank Travel Credit Card in South Africa
- Up to *35% off on Emirates flights (T&Cs apply) when you book through Leisure Desk
- Get 10% off at Hotels.com when booking with your credit card.
- Access to over 100 local and international lounges.
- Get 15% off when you pay for your AA subscription with the card.
- Up to 25% off your next Car Rental & Chauffeur Service, if you book with AVIS.
- Buy 1GB of AlwaysOn Wi-Fi for a once-off fee of R19 and get 11GB FREE. 1GB per month, valid for 12 months
- Get complimentary more stay at over 200 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels across the Middle East and Africa.
- One complimentary night when booking two nights
- One complimentary night when booking three nights
- Two complimentary nights when booking six nights
Cons of the Standard Bank Travel Credit Card in South Africa
- Earn 4.50% per year on a positive balance.
- Standard Bank has not partnered with any airline so you don’t earn miles every time you use the card.
The SAA Voyager Credit Card comes in a Gold or Premium
Perks of the Nedbank Travel Credit Card in South Africa
- Unlimited access to SAA-owned lounges for premium cardholders only.
- Premium check-in when flying on SAA-operated flights.
- Earn 1 mile for every R1.60 spent when you spend at the Voyager partners like car rental partners, such as AVIS, Bidvest Car Rental, and Europcar or at Nedbank’s lifestyle partners, such as Uber rides, Uber Eats, NetFlorist, FlySAA Dutyfree, Wine-of-the-Month and Health Spas Guide.
- Double Miles for the first month on eligible spend**
- Up to 19 000 bonus Miles on first SAA flight purchase.
- Earn 15 000 bonus Miles when reaching the spend threshold.
- Get one SAA Continental Companion Ticket per calendar year (1 January – 31 December) when you achieve a spend threshold of R100 000, or a Global Companion Ticket when you reach a spend threshold of R200 000 on a Premium Card.
- Promotional flight discounts of up to 40%.
Cons of the Nedbank Travel Credit Cards in South Africa
- You only have access to SAA lounges. SAA only has lounges in Johannesburg (O.R Tambo International Airport), Cape Town, Durban (King Shaka International Airport), East London and Port Elizabeth as well as 2 lounges in Harare and Lusaka.
Compare Travel Credit Cards in South Africa
|Do they offer a Travel Credit Card for South Africans||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Annual Fee||N/A||Not specified on the website.||N/A||R700 (Gold Card) and R2 040 (Premium)||Not specified on the website.|
|Monthly Fee||N/A||R35||N/A||R19 (Gold Card) | R25 (Premium)||R264.00|
|Travel Insurance Benefit||N/A||Yes, R10 mil for emergency medical and related expenses ONLY||N/A||Basic travel insurance of R4 million (USD 266K) , with the option to top up at a 10% discounted rate.||Travel Insurance: Up to USD 500K for medical emergencies, lost luggage and more.
Purchase Protection: USD 3000 per occurrence | ATM Robbery: USD 500 per occurrence
|Can I apply for a Schengen Visa with this Insurance||N/A||Yes||N/A||Yes||Yes|
|Interest Rate||N/A||9.75% – 20.25% (based on your credit profile)||N/A||Personalised||Personalised|
|55 days interest-free period||N/A||Yes||N/A||Yes||Yes|
|Currency Conversion Fees (Overseas Payments)||N/A||0%||N/A||Not specified on the website.||Not specified on the website.|
|Do you earn Miles||N/A||No||N/A||Yes||No|
|Do you get free hotel stays||N/A||No||N/A||Yes|
|How much do I have to earn to qualify?||N/A||R3000||N/A||R80,000 for Gold Card | R300,000 for Premium.||Not specified on the website.|
Conclusion on Best Travel Credit Cards for South Africans
I am disappointed in the offering for Travel Credit Cards in South Africa. I believe our banks can do better especially FNB since they are perceived as the “innovative” brand. Based on the research I have conducted, my conclusion for the best travel credit cards in South Africa:
- Ultimate Best Travel Credit Card in South Africa: Capitec Global One Card
- Credit Card with best rewards program in South Africa: Standard Bank World Citizen Credit Card
- Best Travel Credit Card in South Africa for frequent travelers (domestic): Nedbank SAA Voyager Credit Card
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Best Travel Insurance for International travel
Use travel insurance while exploring the globe so you are covered for theft and medical expenses. There are a lot of adventurous activities to do, and it’s best to have peace of mind while diving, hiking and trying some of the best food in the world.
Find out why I recommend World Nomads, check out my World Nomads Insurance review.
Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. This means that if you make a booking after clicking on a link, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you!