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Earn rewards and save money with a business credit card

A business credit card can help you to manage regular spending and expenses

Business credit cards

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Last updated
February 14, 2024

What is a business credit card?

A business credit card works in a similar way to a personal credit card, and they can help businesses with cash flow or unexpected expenses. 

This type of credit card is specifically built for businesses so they often come with perks like bigger rewards and higher credit limits. Plus, as they are held by a business rather than an individual, banks will take into account your business’ credit profile and it should not affect your personal credit score


Any registered business in the UK can use a company credit card."

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How does a business credit card work?

If you decide to get a business credit card, then your business can use it for purchases and then you’ll receive a monthly bill with how much money you need to pay off. 

Business credit cards have different interest rates, so it’s important to understand how much interest you could be paying if you don’t pay off the balance immediately. Some business credit cards also include an annual usage fee, so always check the terms and conditions.

There is also the option to explore business charge cards, as this will help with bigger monthly expenses as there is normally no set credit limit. However, you’ll need to pay off the card in full each month. 

Why should I get one? 

A business credit card is worth looking into as it can help with the running of your business. This credit card will also keep company transactions separate from personal ones and you won’t need to wait for funds to arrive if you have a business expense. 

This credit card also offers a range of benefits and perks for your business including cashback, discounts, rewards like air miles and 0% interest deals. 

Whether you need one for your business can depend on the size for your business, the number of employees you have or the type of your business. For example, for small businesses and startups, managing cash flow is crucial. Business credit cards can offer a flexible way to cover expenses and manage finances, especially when incoming revenue is unpredictable.

However they might not be immediately necessary for freelancers or sole proprietors, but could prove useful to separate personal and business expenses, which simplifies accounting and tax preparation.

Companies with employees who travel frequently can benefit from business credit cards that offer travel rewards, such as airline miles, hotel points, and travel insurance.

It's important for any business considering a credit card to carefully evaluate the terms, fees, and benefits of the card to ensure it aligns with their financial needs and goals.

% of businesses that took out business credit cards in 2022[1]
12%

Am I eligible for a business credit card?

There are different types of business credit cards available and these do come with specific eligibility rules. For example, some cards will only be for businesses that don’t exceed a turnover of a certain amount or you’ll need to have been trading for a specific number of years. 

That being said, as there are so many cards on the market you should be able to find a suitable one for your business. Just remember that your business will need to be registered and you can be a sole trader or a director of the business to apply for a business credit card. 

The size and financial strength of your business could determine what kind of card and deal you get.

Compare credit cards to find the right fit for your business' needs."

How to choose the best business credit card

The key to choosing the right business credit card is to think about how you’ll use the card.

Spreading payments

If you're planning to borrow money and spread the repayments over several months, a company credit card with a low APR (annual percentage rate) could be worth investigating.

Regular spending

On the other hand, if it will be used for spending, a purchase card with an interest-free period may be a better bet.

Paying off the monthly balance

If you plan to pay off your balance in full every month, you won't be charged interest. In this case, you're better off looking for business credit cards with a low annual fee or a good rewards scheme. Some include benefits such as free insurance or cashback.

Our best business credit card

Our editors have picked out our top business credit card with the lowest annual fee.

Editor’s pick

With no annual fee and a competitive APR, it's a very attractive option. This business credit card also includes 1% uncapped cashback on eligible business spending, so this would work well if you plan on using it for big purchases.

Author image
savings expert
Card
Barclaycard Select Cashback Business Credit Card
Purchase
27.5% p.a. variable
Annual fee
£0
Representative APR (variable)
27.5% APR

Representative example: The standard interest rate on purchases is 27.5% p.a. (variable), so if you borrow £1,200 the Representative APR will be 27.5% APR (variable).

Editor’s pick
Card
Barclaycard Select Cashback Business Credit Card
Purchase
27.5% p.a. variable
Annual fee
£0
Representative APR (variable)
27.5% APR

Representative example: The standard interest rate on purchases is 27.5% p.a. (variable), so if you borrow £1,200 the Representative APR will be 27.5% APR (variable).

With no annual fee and a competitive APR, it's a very attractive option. This business credit card also includes 1% uncapped cashback on eligible business spending, so this would work well if you plan on using it for big purchases.

Author image
savings expert

What other types of business credit cards are there?

Purchase cards

Purchase cards

With purchase cards, you can often enjoy extended periods of interest-free borrowing when you first get the card. This can allow you to conveniently make significant purchases using your credit card and divide the cost over multiple months. As long as you clear the entire balance by the conclusion of the interest-free period, you will not incur any interest charges.

Balance transfer cards

Balance transfer cards

Balance transfer cards let you move debt from one or more credit cards to a new one and pay that debt off at a lower interest rate. Many offer lengthy interest-free periods, so all your repayments go towards paying off your debt rather than interest, helping you to pay off your balance quicker and save interest at the same time.

Rewards cards

Rewards cards

Rewards credit cards offer a valuable incentive for your spending. The specific rewards may differ depending on the card, but popular options include earning air miles, receiving vouchers or in-store points for your preferred retailers and supermarkets, and even earning cashback with every card purchase. It's important to note that some of these cards may come with annual fees and higher APRs, so it's essential to diligently pay off your balance each month to avoid accruing unnecessary costs.

What other types of business credit cards are there?

Purchase cards

Purchase cards

With purchase cards, you can often enjoy extended periods of interest-free borrowing when you first get the card. This can allow you to conveniently make significant purchases using your credit card and divide the cost over multiple months. As long as you clear the entire balance by the conclusion of the interest-free period, you will not incur any interest charges.

Balance transfer cards

Balance transfer cards

Balance transfer cards let you move debt from one or more credit cards to a new one and pay that debt off at a lower interest rate. Many offer lengthy interest-free periods, so all your repayments go towards paying off your debt rather than interest, helping you to pay off your balance quicker and save interest at the same time.

Rewards cards

Rewards cards

Rewards credit cards offer a valuable incentive for your spending. The specific rewards may differ depending on the card, but popular options include earning air miles, receiving vouchers or in-store points for your preferred retailers and supermarkets, and even earning cashback with every card purchase. It's important to note that some of these cards may come with annual fees and higher APRs, so it's essential to diligently pay off your balance each month to avoid accruing unnecessary costs.

Pros and cons

Pros

Higher credit limits for businesses
Rewards and perks
Greater caps on spending
Easier to track spending

Cons

Annual or monthly fees
Higher interest rates
Accumulating debt if you don’t pay it off monthly
You need to have a good credit score

Alternatives to business credit cards

Business charge card

Business charge cards provide a convenient way to make purchases and manage expenses, but unlike credit cards, they require the full payment of the outstanding balance each month. 

Business bank account

A business current account is specifically designed for businesses to manage their finances. It provides banking services such as receiving and making payments, managing cash flow, and keeping business and personal transactions separate.

Business loans

A business loan is a way to get extra funds to run or grow your business successfully. The loan could cover rent for your business’ property, employee salaries or opening new offices. 

Alternatives to business credit cards

Business charge card

Business charge cards provide a convenient way to make purchases and manage expenses, but unlike credit cards, they require the full payment of the outstanding balance each month. 

Business bank account

A business current account is specifically designed for businesses to manage their finances. It provides banking services such as receiving and making payments, managing cash flow, and keeping business and personal transactions separate.

Business loans

A business loan is a way to get extra funds to run or grow your business successfully. The loan could cover rent for your business’ property, employee salaries or opening new offices. 

Business credit cards provide essential financial leverage, allowing companies to manage expenses efficiently, access credit quickly, and benefit from rewards and incentives tailored to corporate spending patterns.

FAQs

How long does it take to get a business credit card?

Depending on the provider, it could take a few days or a couple of weeks for the business credit card to arrive in the post. Once you submit your application it will need to be reviewed by the card issuer but that is normally approved quickly.

Is a credit record checked for a business credit card?

Credit card providers usually check your business's finances and credit record when you apply for a business credit card. 

Does using a business credit card affect my personal credit record?

No. How you use your business credit card should not affect your personal credit record.

Can I get a business credit card with rewards?

Yes. You can get business credit cards that give you back a percentage of what you spend back as cashback. Others offer air miles or other rewards, such as shopping vouchers.

Can several employees have their own card?

Yes, you can get several credit cards for one account, meaning selected employees can have their own card with the business paying just one bill.

Do I need a business current account to apply?

No. Having a business current account isn't necessary to get a business credit card, but having one could make paying your bill and handling your finances easier.

About the author

Lucinda O'Brien
Lucinda O'Brien has spent the past 10 years writing and editing content for regional and national titles. She applies her industry knowledge to ensure readers can make confident financial decisions.

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References

1. UK business statistics and facts 2023 Our report on UK business statistics for 2023, such as growth and borrowing across various sectors, the impact of the cost of living crisis, and how the UK business landscape compares to previous years.