- If you travel internationally for business, there are business credit cards that can do more than just allow you to purchase goods and services while traveling.
- Finding the right small business credit card for international travel means considering issues like foreign transaction fees, global acceptance, and annual fees.
- Business credit cards can offer travel rewards, bonus points, cash back, and other perks in business categories to make them even more attractive.
- Learn more about how to find the best business credit card for international travel in this article from Nav’s experts.
Is Your Business Credit Card Accepted Around the World?
The number one quality you want in a business credit card for international travel is that it be accepted around the world. Imagine finally making it to a hotel in Hong Kong after a long flight from San Francisco only to find that they won’t accept your credit card to pay for your room. Or wanting to cover a dinner for your clients in Paris only to find out the restaurant doesn’t take Discover.
If you travel internationally, it’s a good idea to research which cards will be accepted in the destinations you frequent the most. Mastercard and Visa are typically widely accepted around the globe, while American Express and Discover may not be as readily accepted. If you use Capital One, Brex, Citibank, or USAA, you should double check that they are accepted overseas before you travel with them. Or you could find a new business credit card that meets your international travel needs.
Choose a Business Credit Card With No Foreign Transaction Fees
The second-best quality to look for in a business travel credit card is making sure they won’t charge you foreign transaction fees. These fees are how many banks handle currency exchanges, and they can add up quickly. The best business credit cards for foreign travel won’t tack on a percentage charge every time you use the card abroad.
There are other fees that a business credit card may charge, such as an annual fee. But these may be offset by other cardmember perks, such as those listed below. You may also be able to earn a fee credit by spending a certain amount in the first year or first billing cycle.
What Are the Perks?
Once you’ve found a business credit card that is accepted in the countries you visit and won’t charge you a foreign transaction fee, it’s time to start comparing membership rewards and find out what kind of rewards program your card offers. Travel benefits can make your trips that much easier. The best business rewards credit card for you will all depend on how you travel, what kind of business you do, and your personal preferences.
Many have an exciting sign-up bonus or welcome offer including rewards points. Some offer free employee cards, good balance transfer rates, an intro APR, or other perks.
Many business credit cards have deals with hotels to help make you a loyal customer. For instance, a credit card may have an offer where you can get upgrades or better status at a chain of hotels. You may be able to earn extra points when you use your credit card to pay for a hotel room, or earn a free night after spending a certain amount at the hotel. If you stay at hotels frequently, you may find a business rewards credit card that is associated with a particular hotel group, like Marriott Bonvoy Business or the Hilton Honors American Express business card.
International travel usually means flying, and many business credit cards offer ways to make flying less of a headache for business owners. Some airlines like Southwest, Delta, or United offer their own credit cards so you can earn miles and free flights, plus other perks like free drinks, upgraded seating, elite status, or lounge access at airports around the world. You can get priority boarding, a free checked bag, and airport lounge access with cards like the Delta Skymiles or United Club cards. Some business credit cards offer global entry or TSA pre-check, priority pass, and other flight-related perks. They may also give you bonus miles for using the card to shop for everyday business needs like office supplies or cell phone bills.
Ways to earn
How you earn perks and rewards can be just as important as what those travel perks are. If you frequently entertain clients, having a card that gives you rewards on dining out or entertainment can be a great idea. If you have to drive often on your international business trips, a card that gives rewards at gas stations can be ideal as well. If you use rideshare services like Uber or Lyft, many travel rewards cards will give you points for every ride you take. You may also be able to use the card on local transit to earn rewards. Find a card whose reward system matches your business spending and watch the rewards pile in.
Cash back rewards
Cash back rewards are an easy way to make a credit card work for you. Depending on the card and the rewards rate, you may get cash back rewards after you spend a certain amount using the card, or when you spend it on eligible purchases at certain merchants, like hotels, airlines, restaurants, or gas stations. You may have to request the cash back as a statement credit, use it to pay for previous purchases, or receive a gift card. In some instances, it will automatically appear as a statement credit after a certain amount of time, which makes it easy to earn rewards.
A good business credit card for international travel will give you bonus points on travel purchases, like hotel stays, flights, car rental, rideshare trips, and more. They may also give you a welcome bonus for your account opening. Keep a look out for offers of 1x points, 3x points, or 5x points on the business expenses you use most, such as qualifying purchases made at office supply stores.
How Are Travel Emergencies Handled?
No matter how well you plan, travel emergencies may happen. A good travel rewards credit card for business travelers will cover a number of emergencies and have phone services available to deal with customer emergencies.
Lost or stolen card
Your business travel card should have a local and international phone number to call if the card is lost or stolen. They should also provide purchase protection in case someone steals your card and makes fraudulent purchases so you don’t have to cover those costs.
Many business credit cards will offer a virtual card number that you can use in case your physical card is lost or stolen. This can help with making online purchases like airfare or pre-booking hotel stays. You can also load that number into digital wallets like Apple Pay or Google Pay to use.
If you have a medical emergency abroad, it’s important to have a business travel card that will help you with any issues that may arise. Many cards offer travel insurance for issues like emergency medical evacuation or other problems. Cardholders may also have access to a toll-free international phone to help direct you to the nearest hospital or medical provider.
What Travel Insurance Benefits Does the Credit Card Provide?
Travel insurance can cover a host of unexpected issues. The best business credit cards for international travel will automatically cover these cases so you don’t have to purchase extra insurance.
Some common travel insurance that your card should cover includes:
- Common carrier or travel accident insurance
- Emergency medical evacuation insurance
- Canceled or rescheduled flight insurance
- Medical cancellation
- Cancellation for any reason
Recommended Business Credit Cards for International Travel
Here are some of the best business credit cards for international travel, specifically international travel cards with no foreign transaction fee.