Considering fees, ease of use, and % back on purchases, what is the preferred credit card ?
Not sure of a specific brand, but many cards seem to be in a phase of eliminating Foriegn Transaction fees which were about 3%, so look for that. Also several companies, Citi for example, are issuing cards with chips, making transactions a bit easier. These are not full Chip and Pin cards (though a very few US companies are issuing those) but the card is more universally accepted in their readers...though you still sign a receipt.
My wife used her mag strip card in a store and the young clerk was clueless what to do with it. Another clerk knew the process, but it could have been/was a delay. At restaurants, if the tableside portable reader is not able to take mag strip, then they usually have to take the card to a reader by the cash register. You can always get your transaction done (except for debit style point of sale) just may take some time or figuring out on their end.
Capital One has no foreign transaction fees. I have a Capital One Visa credit card which I've been very happy with.
Use what you already have. Nothing else is worth the bother.
It takes a while to get one but if you have a few weeks before you leave Andrews Federal Credit Union is the answer. You can get a chip and pin Visa card that will work any where and has zero foreign transaction fees. The rewards system is points to get stuff which are not my first choice but having a card that will work anywhere and not getting hit with 3% fees makes up for it. If you want to put some cash into a savings account you can get their ATM card that also has zero foreign transaction fees.
We use the Southwest Airlines premier card. No foreign transaction fees. We had no problems on our trip last month. We've been using that card for a few years now...
We use the Bank of America Visa with the chip in it. Is really not chip and pin, but the US version so far. It has no fee's. Also Discover Card has no fees, you just have to find the Dinner Club sticker where you want to use it and also Capitol One. If you have time to get one it would be great not to pay the 3%, but in the past when we have added it all up it is not that much. Getting a card with no fee is cheaper than the ATM, if we use Barclays bank on our trip to England than we don't get charged the $5.00 service fee but still have the 3% rate. So we will try and charge as much as we can at no fee.
FYI, Wells Fargo is now issuing chip-and-PIN cards by request. You have to call them and ask but there's no extra fee or anything.