The Best Business Credit Cards

Updated: 17th April, 2019.

With a wide variety of business credit cards and charge cards available, it can be challenging to find the card that’s right for your business. We’ve dug in and reviewed the top cards on the market to help you make the best decision possible for your business.

Here are MyWalletHero’s picks for the best business credit cards.

Great for: Premium charge-card experience
4.5 stars question mark
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On American Express's Secure Website

This card is the jewel in American Express’s Business Charge Card crown. As expected, it has benefits such as its Membership Rewards programme and purchase protection, but it also has a plethora of more exclusive perks such as airport lounge access, hotel upgrades and a dedicated concierge service. Just make sure you can afford the price tag attached, an annual fee of £595.

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CREDIT RATING req:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent
  • 40,000 bonus Membership Rewards points after spending £6,000 in first 3 months
  • Access to 1,200+ airport lounges
  • Access to Platinum Business Service and dedicated concierge and travel team
  • Up to 99 supplementary cards for employees
  • 1 additional Membership Rewards Point per £1 spent through American Express Travel for flights, hotels and car hires
  • Travel Accident and Travel Inconvenience insurance
  • Purchase protection for up to £2,500 on items purchased on card and stolen or damaged within 90 days, plus refund protection up to £300

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Not applicable. This is a charge card, so there's no credit offered.

what we like

  • 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent
  • 40,000 bonus Membership Rewards points after spending £6,000 in first 3 months
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges
  • ANNUAL FEE:

    £595
  • REPRESENTATIVE APR:

    N/A
  • INTRO OFFER:

    40,000 bonus Membership Rewards points (after spending £6,000 in first three months)

KEY SCORES:

  • 5/5 Perks
  • 1/5Fees
  • 5/5APR

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent
  • 40,000 bonus Membership Rewards points after spending £6,000 in first 3 months
  • Access to 1,200+ airport lounges
  • Access to Platinum Business Service and dedicated concierge and travel team
  • Up to 99 supplementary cards for employees
  • 1 additional Membership Rewards Point per £1 spent through American Express Travel for flights, hotels and car hires
  • Travel Accident and Travel Inconvenience insurance
  • Purchase protection for up to £2,500 on items purchased on card and stolen or damaged within 90 days, plus refund protection up to £300

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Not applicable. This is a charge card, so there's no credit offered.

Great for: Simple, no-fee business card
4 stars question mark

This card sells itself on its simplicity, getting back to basics in the form of a competitive APR and no annual fee. While this means you won’t receive anything in terms of cashback and rewards, you will get the same APR for cash advances as for purchases, along with no foreign transaction fees for Europe.

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CREDIT RATING req:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

HIGHLIGHTS

  • No annual fee
  • No non-sterling fees in most of Europe
  • Comparatively low APR (subject to status)
  • Note that you must have a Business Current Account or Commercial Current Account with Metro Bank in order to apply

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative 14.9% APR (variable)
Purchase rate 13.97% p.a. (variable)
Assumed credit limit £1,200
Annual fee £0

 

what we like

  • No annual fee
  • No non-sterling fees in most of Europe
  • Comparatively low APR (subject to status)
  • ANNUAL FEE:

    £0
  • REPRESENTATIVE APR:

    14.9%
  • INTRO OFFER:

    N/A

KEY SCORES:

  • 2/5 Perks
  • 5/5Fees
  • 5/5APR

HIGHLIGHTS

  • No annual fee
  • No non-sterling fees in most of Europe
  • Comparatively low APR (subject to status)
  • Note that you must have a Business Current Account or Commercial Current Account with Metro Bank in order to apply

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative 14.9% APR (variable)
Purchase rate 13.97% p.a. (variable)
Assumed credit limit £1,200
Annual fee £0

 

Great for: Earning rewards while charging business expenses
4 stars question mark
Apply Now!

On American Express's Secure Website

The American Express Gold Business Charge Card offers a fuller package than the basic charge card, with a payment period of up to 54 days on purchases, the Membership Rewards programme, travel insurance, purchase protection, and refund protection. However, you do have to pay for these benefits in the form of a £125 annual fee.

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CREDIT RATING req:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Earn 1 Amex Membership Rewards point per £1 spent
  • 20,000 rewards points bonus (after spending £3,000 in first 3 months)
  • No annual fee for the first year
  • Up to 99 supplementary cards for employees
  • 1 additional Membership Rewards Point per £1 spent through American Express Travel for flights, hotels and car hires
  • Travel Accident and Travel Inconvenience insurance
  • Purchase protection for up to £2,500 on items purchased on card and stolen or damaged within 90 days

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Not applicable. This is a charge card, so there's no credit offered.

what we like

  • Earn 1 Amex Membership Rewards point per £1 spent
  • 20,000 rewards points bonus (after spending £3,000 in first 3 months)
  • No annual fee for the first year
  • ANNUAL FEE:

    £125 (£0 in first year)
  • REPRESENTATIVE APR:

    N/A
  • INTRO OFFER:

    20,000 rewards points bonus (after spending £3,000 in first 3 months)
    £0 Annual Fee in First Year

KEY SCORES:

  • 3/5 Perks
  • 1/5Fees
  • 5/5APR

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Earn 1 Amex Membership Rewards point per £1 spent
  • 20,000 rewards points bonus (after spending £3,000 in first 3 months)
  • No annual fee for the first year
  • Up to 99 supplementary cards for employees
  • 1 additional Membership Rewards Point per £1 spent through American Express Travel for flights, hotels and car hires
  • Travel Accident and Travel Inconvenience insurance
  • Purchase protection for up to £2,500 on items purchased on card and stolen or damaged within 90 days

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Not applicable. This is a charge card, so there's no credit offered.

Great for: Getting cashback for spending on your business
4 stars question mark

While the card does carry an annual fee of £30, it offers 1% cashback on all business spending, additional cards at no extra cost and no fees for foreign transactions. If you can resign yourself to the annual fee then you could be opening the door to enticing offer.

Read full review >

CREDIT RATING req:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 1% cashback on all business spend
  • No additional fee for extra cards
  • No foreign transaction fees

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative 23.7% APR (variable)
Purchase rate 18.9% p.a. (variable)
Assumed credit limit £1,200
Annual fee £30

what we like

  • 1% cashback on all business spend
  • No additional fee for extra cards
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • ANNUAL FEE:

    £30
  • REPRESENTATIVE APR:

    23.7%
  • INTRO OFFER:

    N/A

KEY SCORES:

  • 3.5/5 Perks
  • 1/5Fees
  • 5/5APR

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 1% cashback on all business spend
  • No additional fee for extra cards
  • No foreign transaction fees

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative 23.7% APR (variable)
Purchase rate 18.9% p.a. (variable)
Assumed credit limit £1,200
Annual fee £30
Great for: No-hassle business card
3 stars question mark
CAPITAL ON TAP BUSINESS CREDIT CARD

The Capital On Tap Business Credit Card has no sign-up, monthly or annual fees. Add to that no fees for non-sterling transactions or ATM withdrawals, and you are looking at a business card that is more about lending money than charging you for using it. The initial APR is relatively high (although the rate you receive will be based on your business profile), but the card does offer the chance to bring this down with good account management.

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CREDIT RATING req:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

HIGHLIGHTS

  • No annual fee
  • No non-sterling transaction fees
  • Access up to £50,000 in credit

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative rate 39.4% APR (variable)

what we like

  • No annual fee
  • No non-sterling transaction fees
  • Access up to £50,000 in credit
  • ANNUAL FEE:

    £0
  • REPRESENTATIVE APR:

    39.4%
  • INTRO OFFER:

    N/A

KEY SCORES:

  • 2.5/5 Perks
  • 5/5Fees
  • 1/5APR

HIGHLIGHTS

  • No annual fee
  • No non-sterling transaction fees
  • Access up to £50,000 in credit

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative rate 39.4% APR (variable)
Great for: Easy, no-fee business charge card
2.5 stars question mark

The American Express Basic Business Charge Card is basic in name and basic in nature, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to like about it. With no costly annual fee and no preset spending limit, the card can ease your business cashflow without you shelling out to do so. It also offers a little breathing room with an up to 42-day payment period on purchases, plus up to 99 supplementary cardmembers.

Read full review >

CREDIT RATING req:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

HIGHLIGHTS

  • No annual fee
  • Up to 99 additional cardholders
  • No pre-set spending limit

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Not applicable. This is a charge card, so there's no credit offered.

what we like

  • No annual fee
  • Up to 99 additional cardholders
  • No pre-set spending limit
  • ANNUAL FEE:

    £0
  • REPRESENTATIVE APR:

    N/A
  • INTRO OFFER:

    N/A

KEY SCORES:

  • 1/5 Perks
  • 5/5Fees
  • 5/5APR

HIGHLIGHTS

  • No annual fee
  • Up to 99 additional cardholders
  • No pre-set spending limit

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Not applicable. This is a charge card, so there's no credit offered.


About Business Credit Cards

It’s easy enough to say that a “business credit card” is a credit card… for businesses. But it’s important to understand the differences between a business credit card and one designed for individuals, because a business credit card offers practical benefits that appeal to – and in many cases are extremely helpful to – business owners. A business credit card can help you manage business cash flow, spread the cost of pricey items or keep an orderly record of your expenses. Top that off with the fact that some offer the opportunity to earn rewards or cashback on all of your business spending.

Do I need a business credit card?

Business credit cards are available to sole traders, start-ups and those spending money or buying items for a larger company. If running a small business, it’s too easy to get your personal finances muddled up with your business ones. A dedicated business credit card can help you keep the two separate.

Business credit cards can also help you manage your cashflow better, especially if you have irregular income and expenses. If you’re waiting for a customer to pay a large bill, a credit card means you can still buy the stuff you need in the interim. If you work all for a larger firm, you can spend money on company business without dipping into your own pocket then tediously filling in an expenses form later.

So whether you are paying for equipment, travel, technology, office furniture or entertaining clients, you can cover it on your card. There are plenty more benefits too.

  • Multiple cards. Many business card providers will grant firms several credit cards in different names, so different staff can each have a card of their own. These can usually be linked to the same account, so there is only one monthly bill to pay. Staff can even have different credit limits.
  • Itemised statements. The monthly credit card statement will help you keep tabs on all your business expenses. Multiple cards will let employers see how much different staff are spending, and on what.
  • Easier accounting. Business cards can help you keep track of receipts and cut the time you spend completing spreadsheets, as you can use the monthly card statement as an expense monitoring tool.
  • Higher credit limits. How much you can borrow will depend on the size of your business and its turnover. This means you may get a higher credit limit than on your personal plastic.
  • Interest-free credit. Many cards offer an interest-free period on purchases for up to 56 days. And of course, you don’t have to worry about interest at all if you clear the entire balance in full every month.

So what perks do you get with a business credit card?

Business credit cards also offer freebies and special deals, although I’m sorry to report they’re often not as generous as personal credit cards. Still, they’re worth looking out for. Some cards have zero overseas usage charges, enhanced travel insurance benefits or Avios air miles. All of these could tempt those who travel overseas regularly for business. One or two offer 1% cashback on spending. Or waive fees for transferring a balance from an existing card. A word of warning though. Cards with extras often have higher APRs, so make sure they are worth the cost.

What don’t I get on a business credit card?

Here’s a bit of bad news. Those juicy 0% introductory rates you find on balance transfers and purchases are rare on business credit cards. One or two cards do charge zero interest on purchases for the first six months, while several offered 0% purchases at specified builders’ merchants, aimed at those in the trade. Did you fancy a business credit card charging zero interest on balance transfers or purchases for the first two or three years? You should probably forget it.

In addition, while personal credit cards give you protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, for spending between £100 and £30,000. Sadly, this does not extend to business credit cards, although some may offer their own fraud protection scheme. Because of the lack of cover under Section 75, the latter is a more important benefit to look out for in business cards.

Are there any other charges?

You will typically have to pay a minimum amount towards your balance every month, but should always aim to clear your entire debt in full as those hefty double-digit APRs quickly rack up. As with every type of credit card, you need to avoid incurring penalty fees for misdemeanours such as making late payments or busting your credit limit. You will pay interest from day one on ATM cash withdrawals and many cards charge overseas transaction fees.

Qualifying for a business credit

You must typically be 18 years old or older with a UK-registered business. Sole traders, start-ups and larger businesses can all get cards, although they may be offered different deals. Your turnover might be the deciding factor here.

You may have to submit two years of accounts, while some providers only accept certain types of business. With some deals you will also have to sign up to the provider’s current account to qualify, so check that also meets your needs. The financial strength of your business and its credit profile will also determine which card you can get, and the APR you pay. Even if your business is accepted it may not qualify for the headline APR, as card providers are only obliged to give the advertised rate to 51% of applicants. You could pay more.

Online applications are the order of the day, although some providers will also let you apply over the phone or by post. Assemble all relevant information beforehand, which might include your company name, contact details, income and turnover, when your business started, how many employees you have, and so on.

What does a business credit card cost?

Brits often don’t realise how lucky we are when it comes to personal credit cards, as most do not charge an annual fee. This is not the case with business credit cards as many charge from £30 to £199 a year, or more. These may be waived for an introductory period, such as three or 12 months, but always check the long-term cost. Note that in exchange for higher annual fees on a business card, you can sometimes score some pretty mouth-watering perks. However, make sure that the value of the benefits outweigh the annual cost before shelling out for it.

APRs are typically slightly higher too, between 22% and 25%, while one or two charge up to 40%. However, I did find long-term APRs as low as 13% to 16%. This does not matter so much if you plan to clear your credit card on time and in full every month, and are confident you have the discipline to stick to that. However, your handy piece of business plastic could cost you dear if you don’t. Providers know many of their customers will fail to do that. It’s how they make their money.

Or maybe you’d prefer a business charge card?

Some might prefer to take out a business charge card instead. These have two major advantages over a business credit card. First, you can use them to make major purchases without worrying about exceeding your credit limit. Second, they typically offer more freebies.

The key difference is that you cannot actually borrow money on a charge card. Instead, you have to clear your entire balance every month. You will never see an APR quoted on a charge card, because there isn’t one. The provider does not make money from charging interest. Instead, it is more likely to impose a monthly or annual fee.

If you fail to clear your spending in full you will face an immediate penalty fee, plus a hefty APR until the entire debt is cleared. The provider may also cancel your card – and all of this will hit your credit rating. You typically need a squeaky clean credit record to qualify in the first place.

The real beauty of charge cards is that many often tempting rewards, such as travel cover, vouchers, motor breakdown, cashback, airport lounge access and concierge services. That makes charge cards well worth a look if they meet your businesses’ needs.


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