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Traveling for business can be stressful, so it’s good to know that your corporate credit card is there to take care of unexpected expenses that pop up along the way. But if your corporate card doesn’t have an EMV chip or is only chip-and-signature, you should be aware that some overseas retailers won’t accept cards without chip and PIN.
With that in mind, the Nerds have a few backup card suggestions for when you’re traveling overseas for work. All of them offer chip-and-PIN technology, plus some other pretty cool perks to boot. Assuming your company allows you to use a personal credit card for business travel when needed, any of the cards below is a good choice to bring along. Better safe than sorry!
Best overall: Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
If you’re looking for a travel credit card that will score you a sky high rewards rate, look no further than the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®. With it, you’ll earn 2 miles for every dollar you spend. Since each mile is worth $.01, you’re getting a 2% return every time you swipe. Plus, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® gives you 5% of your miles back when you redeem them. Pretty great, right?
As with the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® credit card, you can use the miles you earn with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® on nearly any type of travel purchase. Book your getaway with the card, then redeem your rewards for a statement credit. Again, this layer of flexibility is valuable when you’re trying to find the best deal on your trip. You can even shop through discount travel sites and pay yourself back with your miles.
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® also offers a hefty sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $500 travel statement credit. It doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee, but keep in mind it does charge an annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $89.
Best for big airline spenders: Wells Fargo Propel World American Express
If you book a lot of flights with your credit card, you’ll want to pay special attention to the Wells Fargo Propel World American Express. This card provides a rare 3 points per dollar spent on airline, 2 points per dollar spent on hotels, and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Each point is worth $.01, so you’re getting a whopping 3% back when you book a flight. That’s hard to come by.
What’s more, the card provides an annual $100 credit toward incidental airline costs, including checked-bag fees. And the best part is that you don’t have to lift a finger to get the credit: Wells Fargo will scan your statements for these types of purchases and give you the credit automatically.
The Wells Fargo Propel World American Express will be especially valuable to Wells Fargo banking customers, because those with qualifying accounts will receive an annual points bonus of 10%, 25% or 50%. The bonus amount depends on what kind of account you have and how much you keep in it, but even 10% is a nice boost.
When you’re ready to redeem your points, you have a few options. You can cash them in for gift cards, merchandise, cash back, or travel through Wells Fargo Rewards. Unlike many other travel cards, the points you’ll earn with the Wells Fargo Propel World American Express will hold their value no matter how you decide to use them. In other words, you’ll still be getting a value of $.01 per point if you redeem for a gift card versus travel.
The Wells Fargo Propel World American Express carries a sizable sign-up bonus: 40,000 points when you spend $3,000 in net purchases in the first 3 months. It charges no foreign transaction fee and its annual fee is waived the first year and $175 every year thereafter. But remember that the airline incidentals credit will partially make up for this.
Remember, all work and no play makes for a dull business trip. Even if you don’t need to use one of the cards above as a backup, they might come in handy when it’s time to go sightseeing or buy a souvenir!
Business travel image via Shutterstock