Not all passports are created equal, and a strong passport makes traveling around the world a whole lot more breezy. On the other hand, if one has a weaker passport from a certain country, he may find himself inevitably chalking up a lot of visa fees and experiencing delays.

Recently, the Nomad Passport Index released its findings for 2017, and there are very few surprises. The index uses a weighted approach, and it considers a host of factors to come up with rankings, including visa-free travel; taxation; perception; dual citizenship; and overall freedom.

Interestingly enough, visa-free travel and taxation account for 70 percent of the ranking. With visa-free travel, Germany scored the highest as citizens of the country can visit 177 countries without a visa, and the United States scored well too as its citizens can visit 174 countries without having to obtain a visa before arrival.

With that being said, both Sweden and Belgium offer plenty of visa-free travel opportunities too, in addition to having a fairer taxation system for its citizens. And that's the reason why Sweden and Belgium's passports have been ranked at number one and two respectively. Here are the top ten passports in the world for this year:

  • #1 Sweden
  • #2 Belgium
  • #3 (tie) Italy
  • #3 (tie) Spain
  • #5 Ireland
  • #6 (tie) Finland
  • #6 (tie) Germany
  • #8 (tie) Denmark
  • #8 (tie) Switzerland
  • #8 (tie) Luxembourg

Meanwhile, the United States came in at the 35th spot – tied with Slovenia. And while U.S. citizens can travel to 174 countries without needing to get a visa in advance, the country still scored low when it came to its perception overseas and its taxation rules. At the bottom of the list are Afghanistan, Iraq, Eritrea, Pakistan and Libya.

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    Why we like it
    • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
    • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
    • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
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    • No foreign transaction fees
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    Regular APR

    16.49% - 23.49% Variable

    Annual Fee

    Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95

    Credit Required

    Excellent
    APPLY NOWAt Chase's secure website
    Why we like it
    • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel.
    • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs.

    Regular APR

    16.49% - 23.49% Variable

    Annual Fee

    Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95

    Credit Required

    Excellent
    • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
    • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
    • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
    • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
    • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
    • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
    APPLY NOWAt Chase's secure website
  • 20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days - that can be a $200 statement credit toward travel purchases

    Why we like it
    • 20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days - that can be a $200 statement credit toward travel purchases
    • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire
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    Intro APR

    See Terms

    Regular APR

    See Terms

    Annual Fee

    $0

    Credit Required

    Excellent
    Why we like it
    • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases.
    • With no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire.

    Intro APR

    See Terms

    Regular APR

    See Terms

    Annual Fee

    $0

    Credit Required

    Excellent
    • 20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days - that can be a $200 statement credit toward travel purchases
    • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire
    • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want – you’re not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions
    • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees
    • Comes with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals
    • Get an additional 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when you have an active Bank of America® checking or savings account
    • If you’re a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25% - 75%.
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    Why we like it
    • Get a $100 cash rewards bonus after you spend $500 in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening. Every time you redeem, get a 5% cash rewards redemption bonus to use toward your next redemption.
    • Get a $100 cash rewards bonus after you spend $500 in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening
    • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on every purchase
    • Every time you redeem, get a 5% cash rewards redemption bonus to use toward your next redemption
    • Redeem your cash rewards for a deposit into your bank account, a statement credit or gift cards. Redemptions start at $50
    • Cash rewards do not expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
    • 0% introductory APR for 15 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that a variable APR will apply, 15.24%, 20.24% or 25.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
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    Intro APR

    0% on balance transfers for 15 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening)

    Regular APR

    15.24%, 20.24% or 25.24% Variable

    Annual Fee

    $0

    Credit Required

    Excellent
    APPLY NOWAt Barclaycard's secure website
    Why we like it
    • Get a $100 cash rewards bonus after you spend $500 in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening.
    • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on every purchase.

    Intro APR

    0% on balance transfers for 15 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening)

    Regular APR

    15.24%, 20.24% or 25.24% Variable

    Annual Fee

    $0

    Credit Required

    Excellent
    • Get a $100 cash rewards bonus after you spend $500 in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening. Every time you redeem, get a 5% cash rewards redemption bonus to use toward your next redemption.
    • Get a $100 cash rewards bonus after you spend $500 in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening
    • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on every purchase
    • Every time you redeem, get a 5% cash rewards redemption bonus to use toward your next redemption
    • Redeem your cash rewards for a deposit into your bank account, a statement credit or gift cards. Redemptions start at $50
    • Cash rewards do not expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
    • 0% introductory APR for 15 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that a variable APR will apply, 15.24%, 20.24% or 25.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
    • Please note, there is a fee for balance transfers
    • No annual fee
    APPLY NOWAt Barclaycard's secure website
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    Why we like it
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    • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
    • Miles don't expire and there's no limit to how many you can earn
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $59 after that
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    Regular APR

    13.74% - 23.74% (Variable)

    Annual Fee

    $0 intro for first year; $59 after that

    Credit Required

    Good
    Why we like it
    • Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day.
    We least like
    • No low introductory APR period.

    Regular APR

    13.74% - 23.74% (Variable)

    Annual Fee

    $0 intro for first year; $59 after that

    Credit Required

    Good
    • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months of approval, equal to $400 in travel.
    • Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
    • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
    • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
    • Miles don't expire and there's no limit to how many you can earn
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $59 after that
    • Limited Time Offer: Get a metal Venture Card when you apply today