I ran an article last week on the best credit card options when travelling abroad this Summer with a focus on those which minimise the 2.99% foreign exchange fee added to most credit and debit card transactions.
One reader raised a fair point, though – when she is travelling for work, her credit card bills are reimbursed by her employer. There is no incentive for her to use a 0% fee card. Her only goal is on maximising her rewards.
I won’t focus on credit card spend bonuses here because those don’t change whether you are spending in the UK or abroad. I just want to look at cards which increase your earning rate for FX transactions.
Here are your options:
American Express Gold – double points abroad, so 2 per £1. That translates into 2 Avios or other airline miles, 4 Hilton points, 1 Starwood point or 6 Club Carlson points amongst other things. The card is free for the first year.
TSB Avios American Express and MasterCard – double points abroad, so 2 Avios per £1 on the Amex and 0.4 Avios per £1 on the MasterCard. The card is free. Representative APR 17.9% variable.
TSB Premier Avios American Express and MasterCard – double points abroad, so 2.5 Avios per £1 on the Amex and 0.5 Avios per £1 on the MasterCard. £50 annual fee. Representative APR 23.7% variable including fee based on a £1200 credit limit.
IHG Rewards Club MasterCard – double points abroad, so 2 IHG Rewards Club points per £1 which I value at 0.8p – 1p. The card is free. Representative APR 18.9% variable.
IHG Rewards Club Premium MasterCard – double points abroad, so 4 IHG Rewards Club points per £1 which I value at 1.6p – 2p. £99 annual fee. Representative APR 41.5% variable including fee based on a notional £1200 credit limit.
HSBC Premier Mastercard – double points abroad, so 1 Avios or other airline mile. The card is free but you must have a HSBC Premier current account which has strict eligibility criteria. Representative APR 18.9% variable. The World Elite version of this card, with a £195 fee, also earns double points abroad and is worth 2 Avios per £1.
As you can see there are some good options here that can get you a return of around 2% on your spending. That is less than the 2.99% foreign fee you are incurring, of course, which is why these are not attractive deals for personal use, just for business expenditure.
To be honest, I was surprised to see that the TSB Premier is – at 2.5 Avios per £1 on the Amex – the best option available. That said, it is unlikely to be worth paying the £50 fee purely to have this card for reimbursable business expenses.
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Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history. By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker. Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.