In some embodiments a ternary electrocatalyst is provided. The electrocatalyst can be used in an anode for oxidizing alcohol in a fuel cell. In some embodiments, the ternary electrocatalyst may include a noble metal particle having a surface decorated with clusters of SnO.sub.2 and Rh. The noble metal particles may include platinum, palladium, ruthenium, iridium, gold, and combinations thereof. In some embodiments, the ternary electrocatalyst includes SnO.sub.2 particles having a surface decorated with clusters of a noble metal and Rh. Some ternary electrocatalysts include noble metal particles with clusters of SnO.sub.2 and Rh at their surfaces. In some embodiments the electrocatalyst particle cores are nanoparticles. Some embodiments of the invention provide a fuel cell including an anode incorporating the ternary electrocatalyst. In some aspects a method of using ternary electrocatalysts of Pt, Rh, and SnO.sub.2 to oxidize an alcohol in a fuel cell is described.