The best credit cards for business travel


Are you interested to know the best business travel credit cards to take with you on your next trip?

It's worth doing your research into which credit card best suits your travel needs. Image credit: filadendron/iStock
It’s worth doing your research into which credit card best suits your travel needs. Image credit: filadendron/iStock

If you travel often, you know there’s no shortage of options when it comes to business travel credit cards. While all credit cards will help you cover all your bills as you travel from A to B, some also come with valuable perks.

From travel insurance and airport lounge access to hotel upgrades and air miles you can turn into currency, there are a host of added-value offerings that could help improve your journey and the way that you like to travel.

We’ve highlighted just some of the options out there for you in 2019.

The best credit card for booking hotels

If you spend most of your waking hours in a hotel, conducting business or working while on the road, you deserve more than a complimentary fruit bowl as a perk. That’s why the Capital One Venture Rewards credit card has joined with Hotels.com to offer its clients 10 miles for every 1 USD spent on Hotels.com.

Fans of the hotel booking site will already know you receive a free night for every tenth hotel you book through the site, adding to the credit card’s incentive. The first year’s annual membership fee is free and then it’s 95 USD thereafter.

Additional perks with this credit card include 10 Venture miles for every 1 USD spent on hotels booked through Hotels.com and 50,000 bonus miles if you spend 3000 USD within the first three months of opening your account.

With this card, you can also transfer Venture miles to its partner airlines such as Etihad, Emirates and Cathay Pacific.

If you’re a luxury hotel lover, another credit card to look at is the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card, which links you to St Regis, Ritz-Carlton, Bulgari Hotels, W Hotels, and the JW Marriott among others.  One of the perks of this card, with an annual fee of 450 USD, is that you can claim free nights at more than 6,700 Marriott Bonvoy hotels.

The best credit card for collecting travel miles

If you love to fly, you should look for a card that celebrates the amount of mileage you clocked up on travels. The United MileagePlus Club Card does just that.

The annual fee is 450 USD and for that, you get to enjoy myriad benefits, including receiving 50000 bonus miles when you spend 3000 USD on purchases during the first three months after opening your account.

When you buy your flight ticket with United, you earn two miles for every 1 USD spent, and these miles don’t expire, they remain active for as long as your account is open. You can even gain miles without flying; if you use the card you’ll be given 1.5 miles per 1 USD that you’ve spent on purchases.

The card also gives you MileagePlus Premier status, which means bonus miles, upgrades, and discounts when traveling.

On top of this, the card offers access to United Club lounges, two free checked bags, as well as insurance against trip cancellation, lost luggage, and car rental. The card also comes with no foreign transaction fees and a complimentary concierge who can make sure your trip runs smoothly, from making restaurant reservations to arranging tickets to sports events.

The best credit card with airport lounge access

When you spend more time at the airport than anywhere else, you need a home from home. We created a great list of credit cards with great airport lounge access, which includes the Business Platinum Card from American Express, a credit card that’s hard to beat. For 595 USD per year, you can check into any The Centurion Lounge, International American Express lounge, Delta Sky Club (when flying Delta), Priority Pass, Plaza Premium Lounge, Airspace Lounge, and Escapes lounges, often times with a guest.

If knowing you have somewhere to relax en-route isn’t enough, you can also earn membership rewards on flights and hotels, have global access to WeWork for access to an office on the road, as well as no foreign transaction fees, Hilton Honor Gold Status, and travel accident insurance.

Plus, if you have a little downtime, you can also use the Business Platinum Travel Service to create a custom itinerary.

planes travel Image credit: gerenme/iStock
Travel often? Airport lounges can be a haven of calm on those busy days. Image credit: gerenme/iStock

The best credit card with travel insurance

Chase Sapphire Reserve seems to be the granddaddy for travel insurance when it comes to business travel credit cards. The list of what it covers is lengthy. For 450 USD per year, you are can receive trip cancelation or interruption insurance up to 10,000 USD per person and 20,000 USD per trip, an auto rental collision damage waiver up to 75,000 USD, up to 3000 USD for lost luggage reimbursement, 500 USD per flight ticket for any trip delays and up to 100,000 USD for emergency evacuations.

Let’s face it, this seems less like a credit card and more like a travel insurance document, which could come as a bit of a relief if you never seem to remember to take out insurance before a trip.

The best credit card for car rentals

Road trip fans should take a peek at the United Explorer Business Card, it rewards those with a sense of adventure. In fact, they are so keen to help you on your journey, they don’t charge a fee for the first year.

If you charge the entire rental cost to your card, you will receive coverage for your trip. It will reimburse you for the actual cash value of the vehicle for theft and collision damage for most rental cars in the U.S. and abroad.

If you spend 5000 USD in the first three months your account is open you will receive 75000 bonus miles.

Apart from the perks for car hire, cardholders are given priority boarding on United flights, the ability to check a bag in for free, get insurance for any trip cancellations, lost luggage, or trip delay, and access to a free travel concierge.

When you book a flight with miles you also don’t have to worry about any restrictions or blackout dates. There are also no foreign transaction fees, which is great to know when you are topping up your tank with petrol.

The best credit card for international travel

The Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card is the perfect travel buddy. It removes all the bumps from your journey and spoils you with perks. For 95 USD per year, cardholders can enjoy no fees, travel insurance, and Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection perks, if you book your stay using your Premium Rewards Credit Card.

The card also gives access to the Visa Signature Concierge service, which can help with travel planning, restaurant recommendations, and reservations, as well as up to 200 USD in travel credits to put towards seat upgrades, baggage or lounge fees, or help pay for airport security TSA pre-check.

Cardholders can earn two points for every 1 USD spent on travel and dining, which can be redeemed as a cashback that you can credit into your Bank of America account.

Pair up your airport trips with fast-track immigration service Blacklane PASS to make international travel a breeze.

That morning coffee could go towards earning you points. Image credit: shapecharge/iStock
That morning coffee could go towards earning you points. Image credit: shapecharge/iStock

The best credit card for booking flights

A majority of cards offer you perks for booking flights, but The Platinum Card from American Express really seems to pull out all the stops. For the 550 USD annual membership fee, you can expect 5 x points on any airfare booked through an airline or Amex Travel, an annual airline fee credit of 200 USD, access to Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta), and lounge access to Priority Pass and Centurion Lounges.

Cardholders can also enjoy Gold status with Hilton and Marriott. With Hilton Honors Gold status you get discounts and upgrades and with Marriott Gold Elite you can upgrades, discounts and premium internet.

The card also provides elite status with Avis, Hertz, and National Car Rentals, an 85 USD credit to put towards TSA pre-check application and 100 USD credit towards Global Entry, allowing you to clear U.S customs in a matter of minutes.

There are no foreign transfer fees, you get 10 Gogo inflight Wi-Fi passes, and you can also use the Amex Concierge to assist you with restaurant bookings. Plus there’s the Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts program for room upgrades, late checkouts, and an occasional free night.

The best business travel credit card overall

It’s not a case of what this business travel credit card offers, it’s a case of what doesn’t it offer. From annual travel credits and lounge access, to trip delay reimbursement and auto rental collision damage waiver, Chase Sapphire Reserve truly offers a smorgasbord of travel perks.

For the annual membership fee of 450 USD a year, you can expect the following (deep breath now) – 50000 bonus points when you spend 4000 USD on purchases within the first three months, no foreign transaction fees, complimentary airport lounge access, insurance on a range of fronts and hotel and dining perks, including complimentary room upgrades.

When it comes to business travel credit cards, the Chase Sapphire Reserve seems to be the MVP. But let’s face it, any card, where you don’t receive an apologetic call from the bank saying, “You didn’t tell us you were traveling”, is worth its weight in gold.

The prices and benefits listed above have been sourced from each credit card website at the time of publication. The information has not been reviewed or edited by any of the listed companies.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Claire Turrell

Freelance journalist Claire Turrell has lived and worked in London, Dubai, and Singapore. When she’s not busy writing, she is riding motorbikes off-road in Cambodia, diving in Oman or learning Muay Thai in Thailand.