Is the APEC Business Travel Card Worth It?

By Robert Palmer

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Travel Card (ABTC) is a travel document issued to business people who frequently travel within the Asia-Pacific region. The card allows holders to enter and exit countries more quickly at designated ports of entry and to skip long queues at immigration checkpoints. The card also allows businesses to save on visa costs and receive benefits such as duty-free shopping, reduced hotel and car rental rates, and access to priority lanes for customs clearance.

The ABTC is available to citizens of 18 APEC economies, including Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the United States. To obtain an ABTC, applicants must be affiliated with a business organisation that is registered in one of the 18 APEC economies. They must also meet certain criteria such as having no criminal record or being involved in illegal activities.

The ABTC is valid for three years from the date of issue and can be used an unlimited number of times during this period. Applicants will also have access to exclusive benefits such as visa-free entry into some countries in the region, special discounts on hotels and car rentals in other countries, and priority access at airports.

However, there are some drawbacks associated with obtaining an ABTC. For example, it can be expensive – applicants must pay a fee for each country they wish to visit as well as a one-time application fee. It can also take several weeks or even months for applications to be processed.


The APEC Business Travel Card provides many advantages for those who frequently travel in the Asia-Pacific region. However, there are some drawbacks associated with obtaining an ABTC such as cost and processing time that should be taken into consideration before applying for one. Ultimately it is up to each individual traveller whether or not they think the APEC Business Travel Card is worth it for them.