A U.S.-based credit card gives Canadians more than the convenience and safety of not having to carry large amounts of cash while traveling. You’ll also gain the ability to avoid foreign exchange fees on your U.S. purchases. What’s more, many cards also provide extensive travel insurances such as travel accident, trip cancellation, and lost luggage coverage. And for Canadians who are planning to move south, having a U.S.-based credit card also can be even more important because it allows you to create a U.S. credit history.

In searching for a card that fits your needs, look for the ability to pay your bill online by transferring funds from your U.S. checking account, so you can avoid those foreign exchange fees. It’s even more convenient if you can pay your credit card bill by auto-pay from your U.S. checking account. You’ll also want to be able to tie your credit card to a U.S. address. That way, you can pay at the pump for fuel by entering your zip code.

You’ll most likely want to choose a credit card that earns rewards points toward travel, merchandise, gift cards, and cash back. Security is an important feature, too. Choose a card that protects you from liability if your card is lost or stolen, or if someone uses your card number fraudulently. 

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