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- Foreign transaction fees typically make overseas purchases cost 2.7 percent to 3 percent more, yet these fees are avoidable if you have the right credit card.
- The best business cards without foreign fees may come with perks like rewards for spending, annual statement credits and airport lounge access.
- To find the best business card for your needs, you’ll want to think over how your business spends, as well as the rewards and benefits you want the most.
Having a dedicated business credit card can make your life easier in so many ways. Not only can you keep business purchases separate from personal spending and simplify your finances for tax purposes, but you can also earn rewards for your business-related purchases and enjoy the perks and benefits that come with them.
Some business credit cards also waive foreign transaction fees, which means you can use them to make purchases outside the United States without paying added fees for the privilege. If you’re planning to travel abroad in the future and you want a business credit card that will let you spend without an additional charge, read on to find out the best options available right now.
- Best for flexible travel rewards: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
- Best for its bonus categories: American Express® Business Gold Card
- Best for earning cash back: Capital One Spark Cash Plus
- Best for frequent flyers: CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
- Best for travel perks: The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
- Best for fair credit: Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card: Best for flexible travel rewards
Why we picked it: The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card comes with a huge welcome bonus of 100,000 bonus points (worth $1,250 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards) when you spend $8,000 within three months of account opening. It also earns 3X points on up to $150,000 spent each year on combined travel, shipping, Internet, cable and phone services and select advertising purchases (then 1X points), plus 1X points on all other purchases.
The business card’s real draw is its flexible rewards. Ink Business Preferred redemptions include cash back, statement credits, gift cards, experiences or travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. You’ll also get 25 percent more value for your points when you redeem them for airfare, hotels and other travel through Chase.
Further, you can transfer these points to Chase travel partners at a 1:1 ratio, allowing you to convert Chase points to airline miles or hotel points with World of Hyatt, Marriott Bonvoy, Southwest Rapid Rewards, United MileagePlus and plenty of other programs.
This card comes with no foreign transaction fees, and you’ll also receive trip cancellation and interruption insurance, purchase protection against damage or theft, extended warranties, cellphone protection and other cardholder perks. A $95 annual fee applies.
- Low annual fee
- Generous welcome bonus
- Complimentary employee cards
- Points are worth 25 percent more when redeemed for travel through Chase
- High spending requirement for the welcome bonus
- Bonus reward categories are capped
Who should apply? Business owners who travel frequently and want to earn flexible rewards on business spending.
Who should skip? Businesses whose annual spending exceeds the card’s $150,000 annual bonus spending cap.
American Express Business Gold Card: Best for its bonus categories
Why we picked it: The American Express® Business Gold Card really shines when it comes to its bonus categories and how much in rewards the average business owner can earn. Essentially, this card earns 4X points on up to $150,000 spent per year in two select categories your business spends the most in each billing cycle (then 1X points) and 1X points on other spending. New cardholders can also earn 70,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $10,000 on eligible purchases within three months of account opening.
This Amex business credit card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees and also earns flexible travel points that fall within the American Express Membership Rewards program. This makes it a solid business credit card for those who travel fairly often, especially since the card comes with perks like a baggage insurance plan and car rental loss and damage insurance. A $375 annual fee.
- Large welcome bonus
- Bonus reward rates in your highest business spending categories each billing cycle
- Flexible redemption options
- Higher $375 Annual Fee
- Annual spending cap on bonus rewards
- Few luxury travel benefits
Who should apply? Frequent business travelers and businesses with varied spending habits.
Who should skip? Business owners whose spending and travel habits aren’t enough to offset the card’s $375 annual fee.
Capital One Spark Cash Plus: Best for earning cash back
Why we picked it: The Capital One Spark Cash Plus is a top no-foreign-transaction-fee business credit card due to its incredible rewards rate. This charge card offers a flat 2 percent cash back on all purchases and 5 percent cash back on hotels and cars booked through Capital One Travel. The card also comes with a cash bonus of up to $3,000 ($1,500 once you spend $20,000 in the first 3 months, and an additional $1,500 once you spend $100,000 in the first 6 months).
- Huge cash bonus offer
- No preset spending limit
- Free employee cards
- The annual fee is waived when you spend at least $150,000
- $150 annual fee
- It’s a charge card, which requires paying your balance in full each month
Who should apply? Business owners with big annual budgets who want to earn simple, flat-rate cash back for business spending.
Who should skip? Small business owners who spend considerable money in specific categories or with annual budgets below the card’s spending requirements to earn the welcome bonus or waive the annual fee.
CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard: Best for frequent flyers
Why we picked it: The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®* starts new customers off with 65,000 miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within four months of account opening. From there, cardholders can earn 2X miles on eligible American Airlines purchases, gas stations, cable and satellite providers, select telecommunications merchants and car rentals, plus 1X miles on all other purchases.
The CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select comes with airline benefits like a first checked bag free on domestic American Airlines flights for you and up to four travel companions and preferred boarding on American Airlines flights. The card also waives the $99 annual fee for the first year.
- Large welcome bonus offer
- Cardholders can earn a companion travel certificate after spending $30,000 within one year and renewing the card
- First checked bag free on American Airlines domestic itineraries
- Preferred boarding on American Airlines flights
- $99 annual fee is waived the first year
- Annual fee after the first year
- No 0 percent intro APR offer
- Requires excellent credit
Who should apply? Frequent business travelers, especially those that prefer to fly with American Airlines.
Who should skip? Business owners who don’t fly American Airlines enough to justify the annual fee.
The Business Platinum Card from American Express: Best for travel perks
Why we picked it: While its rewards structure is great, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is really all about the perks, which include — but are not limited to — no foreign transaction fees, a $200 airline fee credit with a select airline each year, airline lounge membership with access to more than 1,400 lounges worldwide and a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership.
The card earns rewards within the American Express Membership Rewards program, which lets you redeem points for gift cards, merchandise or travel through AmexTravel.com. Amex Membership Rewards points can also be transferred to an array of airline and hotel partners, ranging from Hilton Honors to the Delta SkyMiles program.
- Massive welcome bonus
- Flexible redemption options
- Offers hundreds of dollars in annual credits
- Airport lounge membership
- Elite hotel status
- $695 annual fee
- Some perks are hard to use
Who should apply? Luxury business travelers who want to earn flexible rewards for business spending.
Who should skip? Small business owners who won’t utilize the card’s perks to a sufficient degree to make up for the high annual fee.
Capital One Spark Classic for Business: Best for fair credit
Why we picked it: Consider the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business* (also known as the Capital One Spark 1% Classic) if you’re looking for business credit cards with no foreign transaction fees but you only have fair credit (including FICO scores that fall between 580 and 669).
This business credit card is easier to qualify for than many other top options on the market today, yet it still comes with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. The Capital One Spark 1% Classic also offers a flat 1 percent cash back on all purchases and 5 percent back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One.
- No annual fee
- No foreign transaction fees
- Access to helpful business tools
- High regular APR
- Low cash back rate
Who should apply? Small business owners with fair credit who want to earn cash back rewards while building their credit.
Who should skip? Business owners with a good to excellent credit profile who qualify for better business credit cards.
What to look for in a business credit card with no foreign transaction fees
When looking for a business credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, there are other card aspects you’ll want to consider as well. Here’s everything you should take into account as you compare your options.
Focus on rewards structures relevant to your travel style
Compare rewards programs and make sure you’re earning rewards toward the type of spending you do most often. While some business credit cards let you earn airline miles or hotel points, others offer flexible points or cash back.
Compare credit card fees
When comparing cards, see how each stacks up in terms of credit card fees and annual fees. If you’re considering a business credit card with a high annual fee, make sure the perks and benefits more than make up for it.
Aim for perks you can use
Finally, make sure the cards you’re considering offer benefits you actually want, whether that includes airport lounge access, airline fee credits or myriad other popular credit card perks.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Foreign transaction fees are fees that are added to your purchases when you use a credit card to pay overseas. If your credit card charges a 3 percent foreign transaction fee on a purchase that would normally cost $100, for example, you would ultimately see a $3 charge for that purchase on your credit card statement.
Foreign transaction fees typically include both an issuer and card network fee. The total cost of these fees is usually between 2.7 percent to 3 percent depending on the card issuer. If you’re curious about your credit card’s foreign transaction fee, you can find the details in your cardholder agreement. While this may not seem like a big charge, keep in mind that foreign transaction fees can add up fast. If you travel often and spend thousands of dollars overseas each year, you should strive to minimize foreign transaction fees or avoid them altogether.
While Visa and Mastercard are accepted virtually worldwide, American Express and Discover are accepted on a more limited basis. Make sure to check whether the credit card issuers you’re considering are likely to be accepted where you travel most often. Also, consider carrying more than one type of business card when you travel so that you’ll have a backup should your first option not be accepted.
The bottom line
Business credit cards with no foreign transaction fees can help business owners and entrepreneurs avoid overpaying for overseas purchases. Many of these cards also offer rewards for spending, an array of benefits and perks and the opportunity for businesses to build up their business credit profiles.
That said, the right business credit card can be different from one person to the next. Consider all the cards that made this ranking, as well as their benefits and fees, before you decide.
*The information about the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® and Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business has been collected independently by Bankrate. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.