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Compare Charge Cards

Charge cards let you manage your personal or business spending differently to credit or debit cards - and earn rewards for spending - but you need to clear the full balance each month

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How to get a charge card

Compare cards

See what's on offer, what rewards you can get and the annual card fees at a glance

Check requirements

Make sure you meet the requirements for the card you or your business is interest in

Apply and start earning rewards

Click through to the provider and fill out a few details to apply for the card

Compare charge card deals

CHARGE CARDS ARE NOT THE SAME AS CREDIT CARDS, WHILE NO INTEREST APPLIES YOU WILL INCUR FEES AND DEBT COLLECTION COSTS IF YOU FAIL TO PAY YOUR BALANCE BACK IN FULL AND ON TIME EACH MONTH

3 results found, sorted by annual fee. How we order our comparisons.
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American Express® Business Gold Card
Annual fee
£0 in the first year, £175 thereafter
Benefits
Rewards on your business spends
American Express® Business Gold Card
Earn 20,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points when you spend £3,000 in the first 3 months of Cardmembership. Terms apply. 18+ subject to status.
This is not a credit card.
Additional information
  • Earn 20,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you spend £3,000 in the first 3 months of Cardmembership
  • Earn 1 Membership Rewards point for almost every full £1 spent on the Card, plus earn an extra 10,000 points when you spend £20,000 per quarter
  • Over £600 off at essential business retailers
  • Up to 99 complimentary Supplementary Cards
Eligibility
  • be 18 or older
  • have a current UK bank or building society account
  • have a permanent UK home address
  • have no County Court Judgements
  • You will not be eligible for any Welcome Bonus award if you currently hold or have held any Membership Rewards enrolled American Express Card in the past 13 months
  • additional criteria for acceptance from the lender may apply
Barclaycard Business Charge Card
Annual fee
£42
Benefits
Purchase Protection, Cardholder Misuse Insurance, Business Rewards
Barclaycard Business Charge Card
Be in control of all your business spending.
This is not a credit card.
Additional information
  • No additional cardholder fees
  • Benefits: Purchase Protection, Cardholder Misuse insurance, Business Rewards (discounts from leading suppliers and retailers, plus pre-sale tickets), up to 38 days to pay in full and on time.
Eligibility
  • be 18 or older
  • UK-based businesses only
  • business turnover or new business plan exceeds £10,000 per year
  • existing financial commitments are not overdue, and have been managed well over the last 12 months
  • you and your business are not bankrupt, or in bankruptcy proceedings
American Express® Business Platinum Card
Annual fee
£595
Benefits
Rewards on your business spends
American Express® Business Platinum Card
Earn 40,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points when you spend £6,000 in the first three months of Cardmembership. Subject to status, 18+ only. Terms apply.
This is not a credit card.
Additional information
  • Premium travel benefits. Enjoy complimentary hotel and car hire benefits and access to more than 1,200 airport lounges across 130 countries around the world, including The Centurion® Lounges
  • Earn 1 Membership Rewards point for almost every full £1 you spend on the Card
  • Plus earn one additional point for every £1 spent when you book your flights, hotels, car hire or experiences through American Express Travel
  • Up to 54 days payment period on purchases
  • Complimentary annual digital subscription to The Times and The Sunday Times
Eligibility
  • be 18 or older
  • have a current UK bank or building society account
  • have a permanent UK home address
  • have no County Court Judgements
  • You will not be eligible for any Welcome Bonus award if you currently hold or have held any Membership Rewards enrolled American Express Card in the past 13 months
  • additional criteria for acceptance from the lender may apply
Credit card illustration phone transfer woman man 4:3

What are charge cards?

Charge cards look similar to credit cards, but they work in a different way. 

You can spend on a charge card in just the same way as a credit card, but they differ because you pay off your card balance in full every single month. You cannot carry over a balance from month to month.

Are charge cards the same as credit cards?

No. Charge cards don't let you borrow money over several months or spread the cost of purchases. You have to repay the entire balance owed in full each month.

Credit cards are more flexible and only ask for a fraction of the outstanding debt each month - though you are free to pay more than that. If you don’t clear your balance in full, interest will usually be charged.

In comparison, charge cards aren't advertised with interest rates - or even spending limits in some cases - because your balance should never roll over into the next month.

Where can you use charge cards?

Charge cards are not as widely accepted as credit cards, so you’ll need to check or make sure you have an alternative payment method with you. You may be able to use your card:

  • In certain shops, restaurants or other businesses

  • Online

  • In cash machines

  • Over the phone

  • In other countries (fees may apply)

  • Using mail order services

Who offers charge cards?

The charge card market isn’t huge, but you’ll be able to find options with certain banks and card providers, particularly if you’re an existing customer. One of the biggest charge card providers is American Express.

Credit cards - How to get a credit card for bad credit - image asset

Do charge cards offer any benefits? 

Many charge cards offer a range of rewards, although those with the most rewards tend to have highest annual fees. Rewards can include:

  • Travel insurance

  • Reward schemes like shopping vouchers

  • Breakdown cover

  • Discount schemes

  • Cashback

  • Access to events

  • Concierge services

  • Airport lounge access

Charge cards do not offer the Section 75 protection that credit cards offer, but they may offer their own purchase protection or extended warranty cover instead. 

How much do charge cards cost?

Although charge cards do not have an interest rate, they can sometimes charge fees for use. These include: 

Annual fees

These can cost hundreds of pounds each year, but some offer lower fees or no fee for the first year.

Cash withdrawal fees

 A percentage of the amount you withdraw, often with a minimum charge of around £3.

Fees for spending abroad

A percentage of what you spend, and they sometimes come with a minimum charge of around £3.

Penalties for late payment

If you do not repay your balance in full by its due date you could be charged:

  • A fixed late payment fee of around £12

  • A percentage of the amount due (eg 3.5%), charged every month until you pay it off

  • Interest charged at a rate higher than most credit cards

  • A fee of around £20 if your payment bounces

  • A fee of around £10 every time the card company write to you to chase a missed payment

Your card could also be cancelled and your credit record will be affected if you miss any repayments. Ultimately, if you fail to make payments, you could face legal action and potentially even bankruptcy proceedings.

People using cards and computers

Who can get a charge card?

Charge cards are primarily aimed for those with a high income or for businesses charging the company account. 

Many charge cards will only accept you if you earn more than their minimum amount (e.g. £60,000) and have a strong credit record.

Businesses can issue several cards to their employees and keep track of what each one has spent when they pay them off each month. As long as repayments are made in full there will be no interest charges and debts on the card.

Some cards even offer detailed management information, which includes reports, patterns and statistics on spending.

How to get a charge card

To find the best deal you’ll need to shop around and compare your options. This includes checking the annual fee and looking at the  benefits each card offers. You’ll need to work out if you would use the benefits and if they are worth the fee the card charges.

If you think you could ever miss a repayment or would want to use the card to borrow, a credit card could work out much cheaper. This guide explains how to choose the right type of credit card.

What are the pros and cons of charge cards?

Before choosing a charge card, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons:

Pros

  • No interest to pay 

  • There is usually no credit limit

  • Little chance of getting into debt

  • Many offer reward or discount schemes

  • They can help businesses monitor spending

Cons

  • Your balance must be repaid in full each month

  • Most have high annual fees

  • There is no Section 75 protection

  • Fees apply for missed payments

  • Not accepted everywhere

Salman Haqqiquotation mark
Charge cards can be a great way to earn rewards or manage your business' spending, but remember they need to be paid back - in full - every month.
Salman Haqqi, Personal Finance Editor

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Last updated: 25 February, 2022