Low-fee FX business cards

Discover how FX business cards can help your team buy what they need abroad – and how you can stay in control every step of the journey with Soldo.

“Soldo has really been a life saver for us, for sales reps and staff, giving flexibility and allowing for control of spending very easily.” Abigail

“Fast payments, amazing customer service, cards accepted all over and great for budget management!” Marina

What is an FX business card?

A forex business card is one of the safest ways to carry money abroad.

It’s a prepaid card you can load with as much money as you like, and use to make payments in different currencies. This means, whenever employees go on business trips, they’re able to buy whatever they need – fuel, food, train tickets – as well as withdraw cash from ATMs.

With Soldo, you’ll get more than a low-fee forex business card. Your team members will discover a card they can use both at home and abroad, while you’ll be able to add unique conditions to limit their spending wherever they are.

FX business cards: how do they work?

If you use a debit or credit card abroad, you may have to pay significant fees for transactions or cash withdrawals. But fees are much lower with the right FX business card, meaning your staff can spend money abroad just as they would at home.

The transactions fee on Soldo cards, for example, are very competitive. But Soldo also comes with a host of other features that other FX cards don’t: real-time oversight of every transaction, for example, and advanced spending controls. It isn’t exclusively for use abroad, either. Your team can use it to make a payment no matter where they are, and submit proof of purchase in a snap.

FX business cards: what are the benefits?

  • Employees can spend money abroad: Team members won’t have to use their own money when they’re abroad and claim it back when they’re home.
  • You can limit access to funds: Team members only have access to the balance that’s on the card, unlike credit and debit cards where there’s no limit.
  • There’s no need for a credit check: If you’re a new business that hasn’t built up a credit history, you’re still eligible for a prepaid business card.
  • There’s no maximum circulation: You can have as many prepaid cards in circulation as you like.

And when you use Soldo cards, you’ll also get access to a variety of extra benefits:

  • Low transaction fees: You’ll pay competitive transaction fees on payments you make abroad.
  • Complete oversight: You can manage them all centrally, from a single interface.
  • Simpler expenses: Your team can submit photos of receipts using the Soldo app, and you’ll be able to track who spends what to make reconciliation easy.
  • No more overspending: With daily, weekly or monthly limits, your team can only ever spend what you allow them to. You can even set rules that define how and where they can make payments.
  • Real-time insights: You can view active transactions on your live dashboard, or when you log out, you can still receive notifications to let you know if there’s a payment there shouldn’t be.
  • No credit checks: Even if you’re new on the scene and haven’t had a chance to build a credit score, you’ll be eligible for a forex business card.

Frequently asked questions

What is an FX fee?
A foreign exchange transaction fee, or an FX fee, is the extra cost of making a transaction in a different currency. It might also be incurred when a purchase goes through a foreign bank.

Most cards, even FX business cards, incur some level of a fee because of costs incurred to the provider. For credit and debit cards, this can be particularly high, but even for most FX cards, it is usually around 3% of the value of the transaction.

What is the difference between credit/debit cards and a business FX card?

With a business debit card, the balance on the card is directly linked to the account itself. So there’s no way to limit a cardholder’s spending: in theory, they’re able to use the card until the account is empty.

Business credit cards are even less prohibitive. Team members can essentially spend what they like (up to the credit limit), and you’ll need to pay off the debt at the end of the month. If you don’t, you risk having to pay lots of interest and damaging your business credit score.

Both come with high FX fees, though these vary depending on which provider issues the card. This makes them impractical for business trips. But forex business cards are made for overseas travel, and provide a much smarter alternative or addition to credit and debit cards.

A Soldo card gives you the best of both worlds, and with none of the drawbacks. Not only can you use it abroad with a lower fee than most FX cards (1%), and not only can you use it on home soil, you also have significantly more control over how much cardholders can spend

Is an FX business card right for my business?

An FX business card is well worth having if your team travels for business a lot. Otherwise, fees will start to add up.

They’re particularly useful for startups and SMEs because there’s no need to establish a strong credit score before you apply. And they’re particularly useful for large businesses because you can also have lots of cards in circulation at once without giving up any control, which means you can hand them out to individual departments, contractors and freelancers.

Do FX business cards work with accounting software?
Most forex cards don’t have the data management capabilities needed to integrate with popular accounting software.

But Soldo isn’t strictly speaking an FX business card, which means it has more extensive functionality – including accounting integration. In practice, this means you can export and import transaction data to Quickbooks and other accounting apps. Soldo’s payment console also seamlessly integrates with Xero, including its automatic bank feed and accounting APIs.

Do I need a credit check with an FX business card?
No – FX business card providers will ask you for a few business details when you sign up, but not for your credit history.

So if you haven’t had a chance to establish one, or if you’ve had problems in the past, it won’t matter. Just remember that you also can’t improve on your existing credit score with an FX business card.

What are the alternatives to FX business cards?

Credit and debit cards
Credit and debit cards are a way for your team to buy what they need. But they come with substantial fees and charges for foreign payments, and because there’s no option to set rules and limits, they’re also difficult to manage.

Out-of-pocket payments
Traditionally, staff will cover their own expenses and claimed the money back at the end of the month. But this can be expensive in the short term, and problematic for those who can’t afford it. And when it comes to claiming back, it can be hard to make sure they’re getting recompensed for transaction fees, too.

Petty cash
You can use petty cash to cover small ticket items. But in reality, it won’t go very far on a business trip – and since you don’t know who’s spending what and where, you’ll likely lose track of it, too.

Related articles

What is Soldo?

Learn more about Soldo, and what it can do for your business.

What’s the best way to track company spending?

It’s easy to keep an eye on company spending. Find out how.

How can I transfer money to employees in other countries?

Find out more about overseas transfers and the costs you might incur.

Go beyond FX business cards with Soldo

With Soldo, you’ll be in control of your team’s spending wherever in the world they are.

With our prepaid cards, mobile app and web console, you’ll save time and money at every step of the expense management process. Together, they reveal every payment your team makes, eliminate paperwork along the way, and bring disparate data into focus.

The Soldo card

The Soldo card enables team members to buy what they need, and lets the financial team check in on them while they do it.

We offer competitive fees on purchases in different currencies (which you find out more about here). You can give cards out to as many members of your team as you like, and apply unique spending conditions to each card, from payment limits to geographical rules, to stop anyone from spending more than they’re allowed.

The mobile app

Rather than hang onto receipts, your team members can take photos at the point of purchase using the mobile app.

They don’t need to spend time uploading the details of your transaction, or looking for receipts when you get to expense claim time at the end of the month. What’s more, they will be able to keep up to date on how much they have left on their card, and can enable in-app updates to let them know when they’re running low.

The payment control console

Our feature-rich web console shows you every angle of your company’s spending habits, and reveals how you can make things run a little more smoothly.

With your console, you’ll be able to see every transaction your team makes in real time, and then filter them according to different criteria. You can also make free and instant fund transfers, add spending conditions to limit spending, and instantly block cards if you notice anything unusual.

You’ll also be able to integrate your web console with Xero’s APIs and bank feeds. With the added insight this gives your accountant, they’ll be able to do more to advise you, creating detailed reports and plans for improving cash flow in the future.