Approval for any credit card will depend on your status. The representative APRs shown represent the interest rate offered to most successful applicants. Depending on your personal circumstances the APR you're offered may be higher, or you may not be offered credit at all. Fees and rates are subject to change without notice. It's always wise to check the terms of any deal before you borrow.
Compare business credit cards with no foreign transaction fee
Avoid punishing fees for foreign transactions with these business credit cards.
Compare business credit cards for spending abroad
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About business credit cards with no foreign fees
Overseas business travel can get expensive, especially when you factor in the cost of currency conversion. Most company credit cards will charge currency-conversion fees of around 3% for spending in other countries, and some may also charge a higher interest rate on these transactions.
Thankfully, there are some business credit cards which help you to minimise these costs. If you’d like the flexibility and convenience of using a company credit card on overseas business trips, it’s a good idea to use one of these specialist cards.
Credit card jargon explained
- APR. The annual percentage rate (APR) is a benchmark of the annual cost of your card. As well as the interest, the APR also takes into account any compulsory fees or charges. However, providers only have to award the advertised APR to 51% of those who take out the credit card and the other 49% could get a higher rate. That’s why it’s often referred to as the representative APR.
- Fixed rate. A fixed-rate will not change for an agreed amount of time, even if market conditions mean that bank interest rates generally are increasing or decreasing. A fixed-rate can be a popular option for some borrowers, and it allows them to budget with more certainty.
- Foreign usage charge. This is normally a percentage fee charged on any purchases you make using your card outside the UK.
- Variable rate. A variable rate is the opposite of a fixed rate and can increase or decrease over time at the lender’s discretion. Typically, variations occur as market conditions generally shift – for example an increase or decrease in the Bank of England base rate.
Which UK business credit cards have no foreign transaction fees?
What fees can you incur when using a business credit card abroad?
- Foreign transaction fee (charged by your own bank). This is also sometimes referred to as a “load fee” or “loading fee”. You could be charged a foreign loading fee for every purchase you make overseas. This fee is usually charged as a percentage of the transaction (typically 2-3%). However, you can avoid these fees entirely by choosing one of the specialist overseas business credit cards listed above.
- Merchant currency conversion fee (charged by the merchant’s bank). Sometimes merchants will offer you the chance to pay in pounds instead of the local currency. In this situation, it will be the merchant’s bank (rather than your own) whose fee structure will apply. Often it will use the mid-market rate with a mark-up added on top. To avoid this, choose a decent travel credit card and then always choose to pay in the local currency. Cash machines may also offer this facility, in which case the same advice applies.
- Credit card surcharge (charged by the merchant). Credit card surcharges have been banned across the EU for personal Mastercards and Visa cards, but business credit card transactions could still incur a surcharge at the merchant’s discretion: ask before you pay.
- Cash advance fee (charged by your own bank). If you withdraw cash from an ATM, arrange cashback from a merchant or use your credit card to buy foreign currency, you’ll be charged a cash advance fee. This is often higher than the fees you’d pay back in the UK. You’ll also begin paying interest on these transactions immediately and on a daily basis, so it’s best to avoid doing this if possible.
- Cash machine fees (charged by the cash machine owner). Some ATM owners will charge you to withdraw cash, although this is becoming rarer across the globe.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that some cards may charge a different interest rate and/or have a shorter grace period for non-sterling transactions.
What other features do I need to consider?
Free currency conversion is a huge bonus if you do a lot of spending abroad, but it’s not the only consideration. Here are some other things you should think about:
- Eligibility. Each card is likely to come with its own requirements, typically involving the number of years of trading, turnover or number of staff.
- Perks and rewards. Some business credit cards reward you for spending, perhaps via cashback or a rewards points scheme. Many specialist overseas credit cards offer air miles as a reward for spending.
- Interest rates. A lack of foreign loading fees might not count for much if your credit card has an uncompetitive interest rate, so check to see how this compares to other cards. To avoid interest charges completely, pay off your balance in full every month. However, if, like a lot of business owners, you’re planning to keep one card specifically for overseas use and another for your day-to-day spending in the UK, then the interest rate may not matter to you too much.
- Introductory bonuses. Some credit cards will offer you 0% interest on card transactions for an initial period after your account has been opened. This deal may or may not include overseas transactions. The interest rate will shoot up after this bonus period has ended, so you should aim to clear your balance before this point.
How to choose the right business credit card for foreign usage
- Work out what you want to get out of your credit card. Do you want the ability to earn rewards or cashback, or multiple cards for employees?
- Compare cards to find the one that best suits you.Look at things like APR, earn rates, and fees.
- Check you meet the eligibility criteria for the specific card you want.
- Apply for the card.
How do I avoid foreign transaction fees?
- Use a specialist overseas card whenever you’re abroad.
- Pay off your balance in full to avoid interest charges.
- Let your bank know you’re heading abroad.
- Check the small print before you travel.
- Pay in pounds, if offered the opportunity.
- Use your credit card to withdraw cash, unless it’s an emergency.
Frequently asked questions
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