Business Traveller

from Reuters Money:

Why U.S. credit cards fail overseas

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For comedian Dan Nainan, who has traveled to 10 countries already this year, trying to use his U.S. credit cards to buy train tickets in Hong Kong or rent a bike in Toronto was no laughing matter. Each time he swiped his card, the transaction could not be processed.

"The machine has no idea that any country would be so stupid as not to have the same kind of credit card the rest of the world does," he says. "It's really, really frustrating."

Having a credit card when you were traveling outside the U.S. used to mean you'd be able to get something you needed, no matter where you were. Sure, you might face steep transaction fees, or find a mysterious exchange rate. Now it's a crapshoot whether your card will get accepted.

That's because the rest of the world has moved away from the magnetic strip which provides the guts of most U.S. cards to a technology dubbed chip-and-PIN. Those magnetic strips rely on the information carried through a network to authorize the sale. Not so with the chip-and-PIN smart cards, which uses a microchip embedded in the card containing all the relevant information for a purchase and are generally used with a PIN, which has reduced fraud significantly.

Ten best credit cards for business travel

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By Grace Nasri at FindTheBest

Any business traveller, or anyone for that matter, wants to have a credit card that offers the best perks, the lowest APR and no – or low – annual fees, yet nobody has the time to comb through the pages of fine print detailing the sometimes shocking terms of agreement.

Everyone wants to find “the perfect card”, but the best card ultimately depends on the specific person’s needs. For the typical cardholder, analytics from FindTheBest’s Credit Cards Comparison shows that the two most important factors when selecting a credit card are annual fee and ongoing purchase APR rate; 36 percent of users sort by annual fee and 21 percent sort by ongoing purchase APR, while other key factors, including balance transfer APR and rewards type, are only sorted on by less than 10 percent of users. But the typical card user has different needs than the business traveller.

The corporate card game

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You work for a boutique-sized firm. For want of a better term, you’re in middle-management. You don’t have a corporate credit card but are on the road quite a bit. Sometimes you’re away for over a fortnight and need to shell out a couple of thousand pounds for flights and hotel rooms and rental cars and expensive dinners. That all goes on your personal credit card.

You have access to a whizzy online expense tool, but repayments are not instant. Your credit card direct-debits your current account and your overdraft function can’t take that kind of hit. Your credit card company hits you for interest.