So, you’re on the hunt for the best business credit card for international travel? You’ve come to the right place. This guide will run through a handful of products that stand out from the rather large crowd, highlighting a range of the top options for everyone from the most casual business traveler to the dedicated corporate globetrotter with head offices on five continents.
Our focus has been to whittle down the pack to reveal the credit cards that offer the very best in travel bonuses. That means there’s a good showing of airport lounge access, some top hotel booking platforms and perks, and plenty in the way of insurance for baggage, trips, car hire – you name it.
Our picks for the best business credit card for international travel also homes in on the cards that let you earn more from travel. That means hefty welcome bonuses but also tempting points multipliers for transactions relating to airfare and accommodation, food and fuel. You’ll be traveling like CEO in no time…
The AMEX Platinum
You don’t get a name like Platinum without being one of the leaders of the pack. And so it is that this edition of the AMEX business range comes up trumps as arguably the overall best business credit card for international travel. And we don’t just mean in 2022 – it’s been that way for some years now, with this reigning as the go-to option for serious corporate travelers who want perks, perks, and more perks.
So, what’s on offer? LOADS. Let’s start with the most obvious one: Lounge access. Arguably bonus numero uno that would-be travel credit card holders look for, the AMEX platinum checks the boxes by offering coveted Priority Pass membership. That means gratis access to over 1,300 of the finest airport lounges around the planet, including the deluxe Centurion Lounges found in North America (they even sometimes have spas!). Oh, and it’s not just for you – cardholders also get a plus one.
Here are just a few of the other top travel bonuses you’ll get with the AMEX Platinum:
- Fine Hotel & Resorts – This program from AMEX is a bit like a hotel booking loyalty program in that it gives users some great additions like free breakfast and late checkout in stays reserved through the system.
- Travel insurance – Platinum cardholders get worldwide travel insurance for all trips of up to 90 days total. It’s got $2 million+ cover for medical and even in-built car hire cover.
- Dining credits – Users will get a hefty dining credit for use in one of 1,000 fine-dining establishments around the globe.
Earning loyalty points is simple. You’ll get one point per $1 spent. However, there are some welcome caveats for regular biz travelers here: You get 5X points when spending on travel and 5X points with pre-paid hotel bookings. Oh, and there are some hefty welcome bonuses in the offing for first-time AMEX users to boot – think 125,000 points when you spend $6,000 on the card in the first six months of ownership.
The downside? That’s got to be the yearly fee. You’ll be paying nearly 700 big ones per annum to score this one!
The Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business
If simplicity and price are your two main selling points, then the Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business could be what you’ve been searching for. The card strips down the usual complex travel offering to give something that’s easy to use and doesn’t come with the high annual surcharges of some of the other leading products on the market.
There’s plenty to like for the corporate globetrotter here. First, you get no foreign transaction fees – that’s 0% on any POS or transactions made abroad. Second, it’s a Mastercard, now one of most widely accepted formats going. Third, users get access to the Capital One booking portal that guarantees their “best prices on travel.”
Adding to all that is the fact that the overarching aim of the rewards program here is airmiles (look -the clue is in the name). Based on an example monthly spend of $30,000, businesses making use of the Spark could accumulate a whopping 540,000 miles. You also get 1.5X miles rewards as standard and 5X on hotel and car hires.
Starting offers include a whopping 20,000 bonus miles if you spend just $3,000 in the first three months, and a 0% purchase rate for the initial nine months of card ownership. Loyalty rewards can be spent with over 15 partners in the travel space, including major airlines like Air Canada and BA, and big hotel providers like Choice Privileges and Accor.
The AMEX Business Gold Card
Look at the AMEX Business Gold Card as a sort of simplified and more casual version of the Platinum (the product that we list as perhaps the overall best business credit card for international travel). A reduced annual fee of $295 per year makes this a more reachable target for small- and medium-sized businesses. Plus, there’s still great earning potential on travel spends with the loyalty rewards to match. Let’s take a closer look…
Users will accrue a mega 4X points on the first $150,000 spent on flights directly with carriers, US purchases at gas stations, shipping purchases, and advertising spends (both TV and online). That’s a well-rounded array of point-making transactions that should appeal to a broad cross-section of the corporate market.
Now to the rewards side. You’ll benefit from no-fee foreign transactions with the AMEX Gold, along with access to the dedicated Global Assist Hotline – a sort of cure-all travel pal that can sort out everything from medical referrals to assistance with lost luggage. There’s also in-built trip delay insurance, car rental insurance (apart from in Australia, New Zealand, and Italy), and free room upgrades on selected hotel bookings.
The welcome bonus sweetens the deal with a mega 70,000 extra points added to your account when you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months.
Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard
The Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard is really strong on two fronts: Its points earnings and its insurance offering. You’ll accrue a healthy three points per dollar spent on travel through the official Bank of America portal with this one, which can really help put rocket boosters under the loyalty numbers you have to spend at the end of a trip. On top of that, the included insurance packages cover baggage loss and travel accidents, along with all the basics.
When it comes to spending points you can look to a whole host of travel partners, including major hotel chains and airlines. That includes a whopping 200,000 accommodation options and resorts around the globe, plus over 200 carriers that offer flights both long and short haul, all of which are members of the Bank of America Travel Center.
In other good news, there’s a zero annual fee attached to the Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard. Plus, newcomer users can access a healthy array of bonuses, including 0% sign-on APR for a limited period, 30,000 gift points when you spend a certain amount in the first three months, and 75% more points if you also sign up with a BoA checking account.
Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card
For regular guests of Marriott and Marriott-associated hotel brands, the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card could be one of the very best options out there. Its major flagship perk is a free night at any participating hotel up to a value of 35,000 points once per year. That’s backed up by a fast-track Marriott elite status registration, plus a whole host of other accommodation-related bonuses to use on those hotel lodgings at the next conference or board meeting.
For a relatively modest $125 yearly fee, guests can score a very generous 125,000 points bonus on the first $5,000 they spend on the card, so long as that’s all within the first three months of ownership. Outside of the bonus period, you’ll also earn 25% extra points when buying hotel pluses like late checkout and internet connections, along with a 7% reduction in the cost of standard room rates.
Talking of earning points…users will garner a good six points per dollar spent at Marriott hotels, four at participating restaurants and US gas stations, and two points per dollar on everything else – a touch higher than many of the other products currently on the market. And it’s not ONLY for hotel regulars. It’s also possible to transmute Marriott Bonvoy points into airmiles at a 3:1 ratio, with 5k bonuses attached to every 60k points you convert.
The best business credit card for international travel – our conclusion
There are now plenty of options out there if you’re looking for the best business credit card for international travel, most of which come with excellent perks that include lounge access, bonus miles, and money off travel booking. From well-known card products provided by leading bank names like Bank of America to tried-and-tested corporate accounts with global brands like AMEX, there’s a particularly good showing of high-profile options. But you’ll also find some more niche travel card offerings from the likes of Marriot Bonvoy, which champion hotel bonuses over airlines and whatnot.