Guide to Getting a Business Credit Card (with No Foreign Transaction Fees)

As a remote entrepreneur, the right business credit card with no foreign transaction fees can help streamline your business from saving on costs to receiving rewards and cashback.
September 25, 2023
Guide to Getting a Business Credit Card (with No Foreign Transaction Fees)

In the age of digital, remote entrepreneurship, the right business credit card with no foreign transaction fees can facilitate and streamline your business in unexpected ways. For one, as a founder and or CEO of your own globally-minded business, you'll no longer be confined by the complexity of foreign transactions (or their high fees).

This guide will give you a quick and neat intro to the world of business credit cards with no foreign transaction fees.

What are the Trends Behind Remote Business Owners and Founders?

The rapid evolution of the workplace is forcing businesses to adapt, not only to survive but also to seize new opportunities. Let's delve into the key trends that fuel this transformation among businesses across the globe.

Better high-speed internet

The global internet bandwidth market witnessed an impressive 28% surge throughout 2022. This increase in high-speed connectivity not only empowers remote entrepreneurs with seamless communication but also opens doors to a broader pool of global talent.

Expect the rise in bandwidth availability to lead to an upswing in:

  • Video conferencing
  • Cloud-based collaboration tools
  • Virtual team management platforms

Freelancing

Entrepreneurs are increasingly turning to freelancers to fill workforce gaps efficiently. A whopping 78% of business owners are leaning towards using freelance talent in the future.

This trend will keep fueling the rise of freelance platforms, project management tools, and online marketplaces connecting entrepreneurs with skilled professionals.

Flexible work

According to the EHRC, the majority of today's workforce (54%) embraces part-time or flexible roles, with 63% of full-time employees already working flexibly.

This shift towards flexibility empowers remote business owners to curate diverse, on-demand teams. This will lead to a surge in demand for scheduling and productivity apps, as well as tools facilitating remote team collaboration and monitoring.

Better business tools

The average business is already using over 130 SaaS apps to help navigate complex operations, like Global HR and Employer of Record.

These solutions simplify international hiring, compliance, and payroll management. This allows remote business owners to more effectively expand their global footprint and manage a borderless workforce.

Why Get a Business Credit Card for Your Remote Business?

Running a remote business comes with unique challenges, but a business credit card can be a trusted ally. Here are some of the reasons why businesses, and startups in particular, should consider it:

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees: Business credit cards can save you an average of 3% to 5% on international transactions compared to personal cards, thanks to waived foreign transaction fees.
  • Expense Management: Simplify bookkeeping with detailed monthly statements, categorized spending, and the ability to set individual spending limits for employees.
  • Rewards and Cashback: Earn rewards or cashback on your everyday business expenses. Some cards offer up to 2% cashback on all purchases.
  • Travel Perks: Perks like travel insurance, airport lounge access, and travel credits, can significantly reduce business travel-related expenses.
  • Credit Building: Build a separate credit history for your business, which can be beneficial when seeking financing or loans for expansion.
  • Employee Cards: Issue multiple employee cards with individual spending limits, making it easier to manage expenses for your remote team.
  • Introductory Offers: Many business credit cards offer introductory 0% APR on purchases, providing a temporary financial cushion for business expenses.
  • Business Financing: Some cards offer low-interest rates for financing larger purchases, helping you maintain cash flow.

A good business credit card is not only a major convenience but can have a positive impact on your business’s bottom line.

Business Credit Card Use Cases

The main advantage of a business credit card is the versatility it offers in managing various expenses, especially for remote businesses. Here are some typical use cases to consider:

International Business Trips

For instance, an international business trip will typically involve expenses like flights, hotels, and dining. A business credit card, like the American Express Platinum, e.g., simplifies these transactions and comes with perks like airport lounge access, which can improve your experience. Not to mention airline points and other incentives, which can help you save on future trips.

Marketing Spend

Marketing campaigns involve a variety of (sometimes unpredictable) costs for advertising, social media promotions, and analytics tools. A business credit card can give marketers more freedom to make the necessary transactions on the fly while also providing a clear audit trail.

Some, like the Chase Ink Business Cash card, actually give cashback rewards on advertising purchases.

SaaS Software

Your remote business may rely heavily on subscription-based SaaS software. However, managing recurring payments and rewards or discounts on software subscriptions across multiple accounts can be a headache.

A business credit card allows you to unify and simplify these payments. Also, most offer cashback on all purchases, including software subscriptions.

Office Supplies/Furniture

Whether you have a small company HQ, or work from a home office - a business credit card streamlines these purchases, and may offer rewards or cashback on office-related spending.

For instance, there are a variety of business credit cards that offer cashback incentives, specifically on office supply store purchases.

Where Can I Find Good Business Credit Cards?

Finding the right business credit card depends on various factors, including your business's location and financial standing.

Let's explore the options available to businesses both internationally and in the United States.

Country Where You Incorporated Your Business and Have a Bank Account

Typical Requirements:

  • Business incorporated in the same country
  • A local business bank account
  • Proof of revenue and creditworthiness in the respective country

Depending on your country, you may also need a physical business address, meet minimum bank balance or annual revenue requirements, or show proof of having an operational presence in the country.

In many countries, having a strong credit history, stable business revenue, and a legal business entity is a common theme. However, local nuances and regulations may affect eligibility criteria.

United States

Typical Requirements:

  • A US-based business entity (e.g., LLC or corporation)
  • A US business bank account
  • A Social Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
  • A credit history in the US

In general, US-based businesses have a broader range of options, with higher credit limits, more rewards and perks, and tax benefits. However, it also has a relatively strict regulatory environment, with an emphasis on your credit score as an eligibility factor.

While getting a US business card for foreign-owned businesses is not impossible, it can be exceedingly challenging and complex. It often requires establishing a US-based subsidiary or branch.

In most cases, it will make more sense to consider alternative payment solutions like a Wise International Business Debit Card.

Key Considerations for Remote Entrepreneurs for Business Credit Cards

Not all business credit cards are equal, and you’ll be able to find ones that better align with your business’s goals and needs if you shop around and know what to look for. Here are key factors to weigh:

Foreign Transaction Costs

  • Look for cards with no foreign transaction fees
  • Save an average of 3% to 5% on international transactions

Travel and Business Expense Rewards

  • Earn travel points, cashback, or miles on business expenses
  • Access to travel benefits like airport lounge access and travel insurance

Credit Limit

  • Ensure the card's credit limit suits your business spending needs
  • Consider cards that offer credit limit increases as your business expands

Annual Fees

  • Weigh annual fees against rewards and benefits
  • You can find cards that waive the first-year annual fee, but consider how the fees will affect you in the future

Employee Cards

  • Manage employee spending with individual card limits
  • Access detailed spending reports for better expense tracking

Payment Flexibility

  • Evaluate interest-free grace periods for expenses
  • Understand minimum payment requirements to avoid interest

Integration with Accounting Software

  • Choose cards that integrate with your accounting software
  • Simplify expense tracking and reconciliation for your remote team

Types of Business Credit Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees

Here is a quick rundown of different options that might help you find the best business credit card with no foreign transaction fee for your needs:

AMEX Business Platinum AMEX Business Gold Capital One Spark (Cash Select) Chase Ink Business Wise International Business Debit Card
Best for: Best corporate business credit card with no transaction fee Best SME business credit card with no transaction fee Best small business credit card with no transaction fee Flexible selection of business credit cards for various needs Best international debit card
Fees: $695 annual fee
0% foreign transaction fee
19.49% (Prime Rate + 10.99%) to 27.49
$295 annual fee
0% foreign transaction fee
19.49% (Prime Rate + 10.99%) to 27.49
$0 annual fee
0% foreign transaction fee
0% intro APR for 12 months; 20.99% - 28.99% variable APR after that
$95 annual fee
0% foreign transaction fee
21.24%–26.24% variable APR
No annual fee
First card free
2% account funding fee
Benefits: Earn up to 120,000 reward points
5x points on flights, hotels
Access to 400 airport lounges across 140 countries
Up to 25 days to pay interest-free
4x points on qualifying purchases
Travel insurance
Hotel experience credits
1.5% cashback on all purchases
5% cashback on qualifying travel purchases
Up to 100,000 bonus points in first 3 months
3X points on first $150,000
25% more points for travel expenses
None
Pros: Great travel benefits
No limit
High reward points
No limit
0% APR intro offer
High travel cashback
No fees
Free employee cards
Low annual fees
Easy to use
No requirements
Cons: Expensive fees
Hard to get
Fewer travel rewards High normal APR Strict credit limits Not credit facility
Funding and withdrawal fees
Requirements: 18 years or older
Credit score of ~740
18 years or older
Credit score of ~700
18 years or older
Credit score of ~670
18 years or older
Credit score of 670 – 850
n/a

Summary

In the ever-evolving world of business, choosing the right business credit card can be a game-changer. From avoiding foreign transaction fees to unlocking travel perks and rewards, these financial tools empower remote founders to navigate global markets with ease. Select wisely; enjoy the various benefits of a business credit card and see your ventures sail through.

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Dexter Zhuang
Dexter Zhuang

Dexter is the founder of Money Abroad, an online education platform helping high-performers design their independent money path. He has 10+ years of experience building products and teams at public companies (Dropbox) and scaling startups (Xendit) across the US, Asia, and Latin America. His work has been featured in global outlets like Business Insider, CBS, US News & World Report, and Tech in Asia. He graduated from Dartmouth College.

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