Taking out a business credit card can be a great solution for businesses wanting help both managing and preserving their cash flow. They can also help a business to keep on track with its outgoings, providing details of all expenses the credit card was used for in a clear and concise monthly bill. It can also help businesses to develop a healthy credit profile, which can be crucial for success with future borrowing.
Business credit cards can be taken out by businesses of all shapes and sizes. Before deciding on a credit card, it’s important to first explore the best options out there that best suit your business’s financial requirements. How a business credit card can impact on your business’s finances will be entirely dependent upon the provider, and their financial product. Below is a list with 10 of the top business credit cards available in the UK.
|Max. Credit Limit||Min. APR||Min. For Annual Card|
|Capital on Tap||£50,000||9.9%||Free for basic|
|Barclaycard||Not stated||24.9%||Free £0|
|HSBC||Not stated||22.0%||1st year free, then £32|
|NatWest||Not stated||24.5%||From £32|
|Yorkshire Bank||Not stated||22.4%||£28 per card|
|Lloyds Bank||£10,000||22.4%||£32 per card|
|TSB||Not stated||22.4%||£32 per card|
|Royal Bank of Scotland||£10,000||24.5%||£32 per card|
|American Express||Not stated||Not stated||Free £0|
Each of these credit cards, whilst sharing the same basic function, will all come with a range of different benefits and requirements. Therefore, when considering one of these accounts, it’s important that you have explored further into the product, and your responsibilities as a cardholder.
Number 1 – Capital on Tap, Business Mastercard
Capital on Tap is a provider that offers business credit cards and loans of up to £50,000 to help support the future success and growth of small businesses. Since its creation, Capital on Tap have lent more than £1 billion to its clientele of over 65,000 UK businesses.
- Credit limit of up to £50,000
- Instant decision
- Funds are available online in minutes
- 56-day interest-free period
- Rates from 9.9% APR
- 10 to 20 free additional cards
- Limited companies, freelancers and sole traders
In order to be eligible for a business credit card with Capital on Tap, businesses must have a monthly turnover of £2,000 or more. The application process is also quick and simple, and can be completed in a matter of minutes.
Number 2 – Barclaycard, Flex Credit Card
Barclaycard’s Flex Credit Card has an interest-free period of up to 3 months. After this period, an APR of 24.9% representative variable will be applied. The Barclaycard Flex Credit Card is great for those who need occasional support with maintaining their cash flow (i.e startups).
- Interest-free for up to 3 months
- Flexible borrowing
- Available for startups
- Variable APR from 24.9%
This type of card is also great for those who are not experienced with credit cards, introducing businesses into this type of borrowing simply and effectively. There is also no annual fee charged with this credit card.
Number 3 – HSBC, Commercial Card
HSBC offers a credit card that is also great for handling a business’s day-to-day expenditure. It can help with both this and also with maintaining a healthy cash flow, to keep business running smoothly. With this type of card, businesses will also not be held liable if any fraudulent transactions occur.
- £32 annual fee
- 56 days interest free period
- 33% Representative APR
Similar to Capital on Tap, HSBC also offer an interest-free period of up to 56 days, however after this will charge 33% APR representative. In addition to this, there is no annual fee for the first year, however after this period HSBC will apply a £32 annual fee for holding the account.
Number 4 – NatWest, Business Credit Card
This type of card is available to sole traders, clubs and societies, partnerships, limited liability partnerships and limited companies. There is no annual fee for the first year of the account. After this first year NatWest will apply an annual fee of £30, however, businesses who spend £6,000 and above a year through this card will not be charged the £30 annual fee.
- Free for the first year
- £30 annual fee thereafter
- Free if you spend £6,000 per year
- 56-day interest free period
- 24.3% Representative APR
- £500 minimum credit limit
- Require minimum annual turnover of £2 million
The credit card also comes with a 56-day interest free period, and after this can charge 24.3% representative APR. This card also comes with a £500 minimum credit limit, and requires cardholders to make monthly minimum payments.
In order to be eligible for a NatWest business credit card, businesses will be required to have an annual turnover of £2 million or under. Cardholders must also have an active business bank account with NatWest in order to open up a credit card account with them.
Number 5 – Yorkshire Bank, Business Credit Card
Yorkshire Bank also offers a credit card for businesses, helping them to build up their credit report whilst maintaining a smooth-running cash flow. Yorkshire Bank business credit cards have anti-fraud technology in addition to offering an accounting system.
- No fees in first year
- £28 annual fee thereafter
- 59-day interest free period
- 22.4% Variable APR
There are no annual fees for the first year of this account, however, after this year a £28 annual fee will be applied. There is also a 59 day interest-free period available for purchases made on the card, with a representative 22.4% variable APR being applied after this.
Number 6 – Santander, Business Credit Card
With a Santander Business Credit Card, users can get multiple cards at no cost and an interest-free period of 56 days on purchases. This credit card also offers flexible payment options, and cardholders can make their monthly payments not only through Direct Debit, but can also pay via other online methods or by post.
- £30 annual fee
- 56-day interest free period
- 1% cashback on all purchases
There is a £30 annual fee charged for holding the account open, and cashback of 1% is available for all business purchases. Additionally, this business credit card will not charge any fees on all transactions made abroad, so long as they are in the local currency of where the transaction has taken place.
Number 7 – Lloyds Bank, Business Credit Card
Lloyds Bank offers a business credit card with an interest-free period of up to 45 days; after this, an APR of 22.4% variable will be applied. The credit card also has flexible repayment options for its users along with monthly statements of each card. A limit of 20 supplementary cards can be issued to the business. There is an annual fee of £32 charged per card, with cardholders able to take out £500 or under a day so long as this keeps within their limit.
- £32 per annum per card
- 45-day interest free period
- 22.4% Variable APR
- 20 supplementary cards available
- £10,000 credit limit
This business credit card is offered not only to limited companies but is also available to sole traders, with businesses able to apply for anything up to £10,000. In order to be eligible for a business credit card, businesses must already hold a current account with Lloyds.
Number 8 – TSB, Business Credit Card
TSB offers a business credit card with an interest free period of up to 45 days. This interest free period is only available if purchases are made in Sterling, and the balance on these purchases is paid off fully by set due date. After this 45 day period, an APR of 17.6% representative variable will be applied. This credit card also allows businesses to take out additional cards for its employees (provided they are over the age of 18), able to set personalised card limits for each card.
- £500 withdrawals per day
- £32 per card per annum
- 45-day interest free period
- 17.6% Variable APR
This type of credit card also allows businesses to make cash withdrawals of anything up to £500 per day as long as cardholders stay within their limit. To be eligible for a business credit card with TSB, businesses must already hold a current account with the bank. A Direct Debit from this TSB Business Current Account will also have to be set up in order to keep up with the credit card’s monthly repayments.
Number 9 – Royal Bank of Scotland, Business Credit Card
Those who are eligible for a business credit card from the Royal Bank of Scotland include limited companies, sole traders, charities, limited liability partnerships, and clubs and societies. Cardholders are required to keep up with at least the minimum payments on their card, and have an interest-free period of 56 days on business purchases. After this interest-free period is up, a representative APR of 24.3% variable will be applied.
- £30 per annum
- Free if you spend £6,000 per annum
- 56-day interest free period
- 24.3% Variable APR
- Minimum annual turnover of £2 million required
There is also no annual fee charged for the first year that the account is open, and £30 charged per annum after this period. An exception to this is if businesses spend £6,000 or over every year with the credit card; in this instance, no annual fee would be applied. This business credit card is only available to businesses who make a turnover of up to £2 million. Cardholders must also hold a business bank account “in the same legal entity name with Royal Bank.”
Number 10 – American Express, Business Gold Card
With an American Express Business Gold Card, businesses will not be charged an annual fee for the first year, however after this will be charged an annual fee of £125. This business credit card also offers a maximum of 54 days credit on purchases in addition to a reward programme, enabling business to earn a set amount of points for making purchases.
- £125 per annum
- 54-day interest free period
- 99 supplementary cards available
- Huge rewards plans available
American Express Business Gold Card holders can also request a maximum of 99 complimentary Supplementary Cards for their employees to use. In order to be eligible, cardholders must also be a business registered in the UK.
What Is a Business Credit Card and How Does It Work?
A business credit card is a type of credit card a company uses to make business-related purchases and withdrawals. It is advised that a business credit card should only ever be used for business-related purchases and cash withdrawals, as this is one of its main purposes – to help separate business expenses from personal expenses.
Business credit cards provide access to a set limit of credit. This limit will vary depending on such features as the provider, the company’s own personal details, and its financial situation. Business credit cards also often come with annual fees, however many offer a fee-free period to begin with.
Similar to a consumer credit card, if a company does not repay the required amount before the end of the billing cycle, interest may be charged on the outstanding balance left to repay.
Is It Worth Having a Business Credit Card?
A business credit card can be very useful for companies, offering numerous different benefits. Business credit cards can help businesses to better manage their finances, reducing the risk of shortages in cash flow occurring, and making it easier to manage everyday expenses. As seen in the list above, some of these accounts provide cards for members of staff, which can help to make it even easier for a company to complete business-related purchases.
Business credit cards can also offer rewards for their users, some providing Avios and other bonuses when spending over a certain amount in a set period of time. These rewards will vary depending upon the provider.
A business credit card can also help companies to build up a good history with borrowing credit, which can improve their chances of success when applying for credit in the future.
How Do I Qualify for a Business Credit Card?
Your eligibility for a business credit card will very depending on the provider and the features of the credit card. Business credit cards are available not only for limited companies, but can also be taken out by freelancers and sole traders, helping them to separate their personal expenses from those of their business.
There are various different types criteria you might have to meet in order to be eligible for a business credit card. Many providers will only accept applicants with a certain annual turnover, for example the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Business credit card requires a minimum annual turnover of £2 million. Providers may also offer different credit cards with varying required annual turnovers.
It’s always best to check the criteria when applying for a business credit card, improving your chances of success in an application and saving time and energy on ones you aren’t eligible for.