Roamad Finance

No matter where we roam, we all have many of the same financial issues to manage: Using the right credit card; insuring our health and adventures; moving money around efficiently; and making banking as simple as possible when we’re on the go. 

This is a curated list of the best ways I’ve found to accomplish all of those tasks in the most-cost-effective manner…

How To Choose the Best Travel Credit Cards

How To Avoid Getting Screwed With Currency Exchange

How To Buy Travel Medical Insurance

Virtual Banks: A Bank Branch In Your Back Pocket

Money Transfer Apps: How to Move Money Globally

The Best Roamad Credit Cards

Though seemingly a gazillion travel-related credit cards exist, Digital Roamads have specific needs the vast majority of credit cards don’t meet. For a better understanding of those needs, take a look at this report. Otherwise, these are the cards I’ve found to be the best because of the collection of benefits they offer. All, by the way, offer a business-card version – and if you’re a Digital Roamad, a business card is essential.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Best all-around, low-cost credit card for Roamads. Offers trip cancellation/interruption and trip delay reimbursement; lost luggage insurance and baggage delay reimbursement; auto rental collision damage waiver; $0 foreign transaction fee; and more. All for $95 a year.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

One of the best Roamadic credit cards available today – albeit at a cost. Same benefits as Sapphire Preferred, but adds: $100 Global Entry / TSA PreCheck statement credit every four years; $300 annual travel credit; emergency medical, dental, and evacuation coverage; complimentary Priority Pass airport lounge access; roadside assistance; and more. You pay $550 annually, so this card is not cheap. But if you’re truly Roamadic, the benefits pay for themselves.

United MileagePlus Explorer

The best airline-specific credit card. Same benefits as Chase Sapphire Preferred, but adds: $100 Global Entry / TSA PreCheck statement credit; a wide-variety of United Airlines benefits (priority boarding, free checked baggage, 2 United Club annual passes, etc.); and benefits from Luxury Hotel Resorts Collection. Annual fee: $95.

No other airline-specific credit card is this complete.  

United CLub Infinite

Same benefits as Chase Sapphire Reserve, along with the same United Airlines benefits as the MileagePlus card, but adds: United Club access (which also typically provides access to Star Alliance partner lounges);  Premier Access travel services to ease your path through check-in and security screening; two checked bags for free; Membership in Hertz Gold Plus Rewards President’s Circle. The annual fee is $525, but club membership alone is $650 a year, so for United fans who travel a great deal, particularly internationally, this is a top-notch card.

American Express Platinum

A near-equal to Chase Sapphire Reserve. The list of benefits is long and particularly useful for anyone who travels often: $200 annual airline fee credit; $100/$85 credit for Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application; trip cancellation/interruption insurance; lost-baggage insurance; global lounge access, including AmEx’s own high-end Centurion Lounges; elite status with Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton; auto rental loss/damage insurance. The annual price is steep at $550, but for frequent Roamads, this card pays for itself. Its one, slight weakness is the absence of baggage-delay reimbursement.

American Express Delta Skymiles Platinum

Similar to the AmEx Platinum card, but with caveats: $100/$85 credit for Global Entry/TSA PreCheck; trip delay reimbursement (no interruption/cancellation coverage); auto rental loss/damage insurance; lost-baggage insurance; $0 foreign transaction fee; first checked bag free; one annual companion certificate for domestic travel; various Delta Air Lines perks. The annual price is $250. A good card if you’re a Delta/SkyTeam Alliance fan.

American Express Delta Skymiles Reserve

All the benefits of the American Express Platinum card, and all the same benefits of the Delta SkyMiles Platinum card, plus: Delta Sky Club and AmEx Centurion Lounge access; upgrade priority as  Delta Medallion member, or access to complimentary upgrades if not a Medallion member; a variety of other Delta-specific benefits. The annual price is steep at $550, but you get all the benefits of the AmEx Platinum card, plus all the Delta benefits, making this a great card for the Roamad Delta/SkyTeam Alliance fan.

The Best Roamad Travel Insurance

As a Digital Roamad, travel medical insurance is critical. A bad wave, a TukTuk accident, sprains and breaks while jogging or stepping off a curb, the common cold and the flu and other mad microbes that invade the body. Travel medical coverage is quite inexpensive, if traveling outside the U.S. While many travel-medical insurers exist, I rely on three that I think are quite good in terms of coverage and customer service.

World Nomads

Allianz Global Assistance

World Nomads

The Best Roamad Money Transfer

Moving money around efficiently and cost-effectively is paramount when you’re a Roamad. Lots of options exist, but through trial and error and lots of personal experiments with the various methods, I will tell you that these are the only two I use because of cost and quickness. And take a look at this report so that you don’t get ripped off when exchanging currencies.

TransferWIse

The fastest, cheapest, and efficient way to transfer money from here to there. The primary money-transfer app I use.

OFX

Every Roamad needs a backup money transfer app, just in case your primary app is down for whatever reason. OFX is mine.

The Best Roamad Virtual BankS

When you’re a Digital Roamad moving around frequently outside your home country, a bank branch in your back pocket offers a convenient way to manage financial obligations on the road and back home. Revolut and N26 are the best at that. Read more about it here.

Revolut