Using your credit cards while traveling abroad for business can be a convenient and safe way to pay for international goods and services, but not all are created equal and some may charge extra fees. While there are many highly rated business credit cards, some of the best ones for travelers have competitive points programs and don’t charge foreign transaction fees.
Chase Ink Business credit cards could be a worthwhile option when it comes to earning rewards points. But depending on which one you have, the foreign transaction fees can add up quickly.
What foreign transaction fees entail
Foreign transaction fees are additional charges applied by card issuers on purchases outside of the U.S. For example, you may be charged a foreign transaction fee when using your card at restaurants and hotels during a trip abroad. These fees can also apply to online purchases processed by an international bank, even if you were physically in the U.S. when you made the transaction.
If your credit card charges a foreign transaction fee, it will typically cost you about 3% per transaction. That fee breaks down into two parts: a 1-2% fee from the card issuer and a 1% from the card network (such as Visa or Mastercard).
One way to avoid foreign transaction fees is by converting U.S. currency before your trip and using local cash only. However, this requires you to budget your expenses ahead of time and doesn’t give you the convenience and protection of using a credit card. Fortunately, there’s a Chase Ink Business card that charges zero foreign transaction fees.
What Chase Ink Business cards don’t charge a foreign transaction fee?
The Chase Ink Business Preferred, on the other hand, is the only product in the Chase Ink Business lineup that charges no foreign transaction fees. That means transactions made with this card both in the U.S and internationally won’t incur any additional costs.
Chase Ink Business Preferred benefits
Aside from avoiding foreign transaction fees, you’ll earn one point per $1 spent on the Ink Business Preferred. You can also triple rewards by earning three points per $1 for the first $150,000 spent annually in the following categories:
- Phone services
- Advertising purchases for social media and search engine ads
The rewards program is even sweeter for new cardholders. Chase currently offers an 80,000 sign-up bonus after spending $5,000 within the first three months of opening the account. Plus, since accrued points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, the value of your sign-up bonus to stretch to upwards of $1,000.
You also have the option to redeem rewards points for gift cards to popular retail stores, such as Staples and Home Depot. If you prefer to shop for your business online, you can pay with Chase Ultimate Reward points on Amazon. But if hard cash speaks more to you, Chase gives you the option to redeem points as cash back toward your statement balance.
You keep all of the points you earn since points don’t expire on the Chase Ultimate Rewards program.
Other useful card benefits for frequent business travelers include trip cancellation insurance, emergency roadside assistance, primary rental car insurance, cell phone protection, purchase protection, and extended warranty protection.
Who the Chase Ink Business Preferred is best for
This card is a worthy contender if you’re looking to avoid foreign transaction fees and if your business spending justifies the annual fee.
It’s also helpful if you need to issue individual business cards to your employees and establish spending limits for each card. The flexibility of adding card users to the account while restricting spending is available on the Ink Business Preferred at no additional cost.
Lastly, this is one of the few credit cards that offers cell phone protection. So if you’re prone to damaging your cell phone or if it gets stolen, the Ink Business Preferred could get you up to $600 per claim in cell phone protection.
How to qualify for the Ink Business Preferred
To qualify, you’ll need to provide your business information, including your tax identification number. You’ll also want to keep in mind that transactions on the card should be for business-related purchases.
The Chase Ink Business Preferred card is subject to the unofficial 5/24 rule, which stipulates that if you’ve opened five credit card accounts within the past 24 months, your application will likely be declined.
Although the Chase Ink Business Preferred isn’t the only card on the market with zero foreign transaction fees, its sign-up bonus value compared to the card’s relatively low annual fee make it a worthwhile addition to consider for any business traveler looking to avoid extra fees.