Sunday, April 30, 2017

5 Tips For Using A Business Credit Card When Dining Around The World

By: Finance Foodie, in partnership with HSBC

As serious foodies know all too well, there is almost no greater joy in life than dining out at a delicious and distinctive restaurant. In addition to being a culinary experience, dining at a restaurant can be a welcome break from the tiring routine of cooking and cleaning when at home, and a necessary adventure when traveling abroad.

However, enjoying these experiences comes with a price. And when you are spending extra money, you might as well attempt to reap the benefits (benefits that stretch beyond your tastebuds!). For people who enjoy dining out on the regular — both close to home and abroad — the right credit card can bring massive rewards and elevate your travel and culinary experience.

Here are 5 strategies (and lots of tips) that you can use next time you find yourself traveling the world for a great meal.

1. Hungry for More? Consider a Business Credit Card

If you are a small business owner (or are thinking of becoming one), opening a business account and applying for a corporate credit card is a very useful thing for you to do. Not only will a corporate credit card work as a tool for growing your business and organizing capital management, but it may also provide you with great sign-up bonuses and the opportunity to earn points, miles, or cash back.

You don’t necessarily need a large business to obtain one, although different credit card companies have varying thresholds for how big it must be and how much information they require to grant you one.

That being said, if you have a small business and want to keep your personal expenses separate, a business credit card is the way to go. For that reason, your business line of credit sits separately from your personal line of credit. 

2. Savor The Tasty Benefits

Not all credit cards offer the same benefits, but most of them grant some, and as a foodie traveler you want to make sure that you are getting the tastiest benefits around.

A corporate credit card unlocks a whole menu of appetizing advantages — for example, free breakfasts and late checkouts, concierge services, discounts on rental cars, free or discounted medical travel insurance, emergency evacuation insurance, complimentary airport lounge memberships, rewards points that can be transferred to travel partners, fee refunds for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi, and fine dining and shopping rewards, are all current benefits.  

3. The Appetizer: Pre-Travel Tips

Before you leave, remember to let your credit card provider know that you are voyaging out of your normal locale and take this opportunity to ask them all the essential questions. First and foremost, double-check that your card will actually work where you are going and also inquire whether or not it is commonly accepted. Then verify if your card has a daily spending limit or daily ATM withdrawal limit. Some cards do, some cards don’t, but this is definitely something you want to be prepared for.

You might not realize it, but you are able to change your monthly billing date. Having all your card payments due on the same day makes it a lot easier to juggle multiple accounts and can save you a lot of stress. Nobody wants to have a credit-card induced panic attack while eating Peking Duck in Beijing!

Even if you only use one credit card at home, make sure to take a back-up with you, especially from a different bank. This ensures that if one particular issuer isn’t accepted somewhere, or if one card cuts you off, you aren’t stranded without funds.

Set-up your online and mobile banking! Many cards have their own apps, so make sure all that is good to go before you leave. Online and mobile banking allows you to ask a question through chat, update your travel itinerary (so cards aren't shut down for fraud), or block a lost/stolen card immediately.

4. The Main Course: During-Travel Tips

This applies in every scenario, but especially when you are on the road: Remember that even though you are using plastic, it still is real money! Every time you pay with your business credit card, think of that amount coming out of your account. Stick to your budget and don’t go too crazy — you want to be able to eat at the new restaurant down the street when you return home!

As you are touring around unfamiliar destinations, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for any peculiar behavior when using your card and around the ATMs. Just as you do when at home, take every precaution when it comes to your personal and financial safety. That being said, using a credit card instead of a debit card when you travel offers you and your loved ones a lot more protection, as when you dispute transactions on a credit card, you are disputing a line of credit rather than actual cash.

Whenever you are on the road, don’t keep all your credit cards in the same place! If they are all in your bag and your bag gets stolen, how are you going to pay for tonight’s seafood dinner? Similarly, keep your card replacement information separate to make it easier to replace them when you return home. Keeping your belongings in money belts or travel purses can certainly help give you peace of mind when traveling.

5. The Dessert: Post-Travel Tips

When you arrive back onto your home turf, before you edit all your photos and upload your travel videos to YouTube, take some time to reflect on the finances of your trip. If you used a business credit card to pay for meals, cabs, museum tickets and other entertainment, you can use those records to budget for your next trip. Hey, there are a lot more cuisines for you to try!

If you frequently go abroad and are looking for ways to continue that lifestyle, make sure to check out business credit cards that eliminate any extra fees for overseas charges. In addition, look for benefits that complement your travel preferences, from getting points for your favorite hotel brands to free medical insurance, identify the card that was made for you. Cheers to your next adventure!

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