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Compare Our Top-Rated Business Credit Cards for Startups 2022

By The Motley Fool Personal Finance Team | Updated: 18th January 2022

A business credit card can be helpful for new businesses just starting to build credit. The best card for your startup will depend on your business needs and objectives, but this page will show you our list of top-rated startup business cards to help you make the best choice for your company.

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Discover a list of credit cards you may be eligible for. Only takes a few minutes and will not affect your credit score.

Here are The Motley Fool’s top-rated business credit cards for startups

Credit Card Great For Star Rating
British Airways American Express Accelerating Business Card * Collecting Avios and On Business Points
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Credit Card * Rewards on business spend
Barclaycard Select Cashback Business Credit Card * Online account management and Business Rewards.

Credit card offers from our affiliate partners appear first and are ordered from highest rating to lowest, followed by other top-rated offers. You can read more about our ratings and page sort here. Offers from affiliate partners are marked with a *.

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Great For: Collecting Avios and On Business Points

British Airways American Express Accelerating Business Card *

5 stars ?
Apply Now!

On American Express's Secure Website

96.7%

£250

  • New cardholders can earn 45,000 bonus Avios Points when they spend £5,000 in the first 3 months (subject to approval, T&Cs apply)
  • Tiered Avios annual bonus: earn up to 30,000 bonus Avios Points each calendar year. T&Cs apply
  • 2 On Business Points for every £1 of eligible spend with British Airways and 1.5 Avios for every £1 of eligible everyday spending

Apply Now!

On American Express's Secure Website

CREDIT RATING REQUIREMENTS:

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

OUR BOTTOM LINE

This card offers reward points – and lots of them! With it, you gain access to the On Business Points reward scheme and the Avios rewards scheme. The card allows you to earn points at an accelerated rate: 2 On Business Points for every eligible £1 spent with British Airways and 1.5 Avios for every eligible £1 of everyday spending. On top of that, American Express is offering new cardholders a welcome bonus of 45,000 Avios Points when they spend £5,000 in the first three months of card membership (subject to approval, T&Cs apply). Plus, this card’s tiered Avios annual bonus means you can also earn up to 30,000 additional Avios Points every calendar year! Do note that these benefits don’t come for free. The card carries an annual fee of £250.

Read full review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • New cardholders can earn 45,000 bonus Avios Points when they spend £5,000 in the first 3 months (subject to approval, T&Cs apply)
  • Tiered Avios annual bonus: earn up to 30,000 bonus Avios Points each year. For every £20,000 spent on the card, receive 10,000 bonus Avios, up to 3 times each calendar year
  • 2 On Business Points for every £1 of eligible spend with British Airways
  • 1.5 Avios for every £1 of eligible everyday spending
  • No cap on points earned
  • Travel accident and travel inconvenience insurance (subject to enrolment)
  • Refund and purchase protection

KEY SCORES

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

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative APR 96.7% APR variable
Annual fee £250
Credit Limit Assumed credit limit of £1,200
Purchase Rate 22.2% variable for purchases

* This is an offer from one of our affiliate partners. For more information on why and how we work with partners, click here.

Ready to apply? You can Apply Now!
on American Express's Secure Website

Great For: Rewards on business spend

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Credit Card *

5 stars ?
Apply Now!

On Capital On Tap's Secure Website

22.9%

£99

Welcome award of 10,000 bonus points or 10,000 Avios when you spend £5,000 in the first 3 months

1% cashback or 1 Avios point for every £1 of card spend

Apply Now!

On Capital On Tap's Secure Website

CREDIT RATING REQUIREMENTS:

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

OUR BOTTOM LINE

What makes Capital on Tap business credit cards stand out is their facility to transfer cash fee free directly to your high street bank account. And with the Business Rewards card, not only can limited companies benefit from this easy source of short-term funding, but you can also earn yourself rewards. The card offers 1% cashback or 1 Avios point for every £1 spent, and you stand to receive 10,000 bonus points if you spend £5,000 in the first three months. However, it’s important to be aware that the card comes with an annual fee of £99.

Read full review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 1% cashback or 1 Avios point for every £1 of card spend
  • Welcome award of 10,000 bonus points or 10,000 Avios when you spend £5,000 in the first 3 months
  • Ability to make fee-free cash transfers to your bank account
  • No foreign exchange or ATM withdrawals fees
  • Up to 20 free supplementary cards
  • Available to limited companies

KEY SCORES

Perks 5/5
Fees 2/5
APR 4/5

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative 22.9% APR (variable)
Purchase rate 22.9% p.a. (variable)
Assumed credit limit £1,200
Annual fee £99

* This is an offer from one of our affiliate partners. For more information on why and how we work with partners, click here.

Ready to apply? You can Apply Now!
on Capital On Tap's Secure Website

Great For: Online account management and Business Rewards.

Barclaycard Select Cashback Business Credit Card *

4.5 stars ?
Apply Now!

On Barclaycard's Secure Website

21.9%

N/A

Earn double cashback on spend for the first three months after signup if you apply by 31st March 2022

Apply Now!

On Barclaycard's Secure Website

CREDIT RATING REQUIREMENTS:

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

OUR BOTTOM LINE

This card allows you to control your purchases and employee benefits while offering you protection on purchases and cardholder misuse insurance. Meanwhile, the card enables you to keep a handle of your spending with online servicing and its MyControls portal. Here, you can manage your employees cards and control your business expenses. It carries no annual fee and you can earn 1% cashback on eligible business spend. This is in addition to access to the Barclaycard Business Rewards scheme, which includes rewards from leading brands such as Amazon Business and Avis. If you apply by 31st March 2022, cardholders can earn double cashback on their spend. Offer runs from 10 January 2022 to 31 March 2022, and is valid for three months after signup. T&Cs apply. 

Read full review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 2% cashback on eligible business spend for the first three months after signup if you apply by 31st March 2022. Thereafter reverts to 1%. T&Cs apply
  • Up to 56 days interest-free credit on purchases when paid in full & on time
  • Comes with insurance benefits

KEY SCORES

Perks 4/5
Fees 5/5
APR 4/5

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative 21.9% APR (variable)
Purchase rate 21.9% p.a. (variable)
Assumed credit limit £1,200
Annual fee £0

The approval of your application depends on financial circumstances and borrowing history, so do the terms you may be offered. T&Cs apply.

* This is an offer from one of our affiliate partners. For more information on why and how we work with partners, click here.

Ready to apply? You can Apply Now!
on Barclaycard's Secure Website


Advantages of business credit cards for startups

There are several benefits of having a business credit card if you’re just getting started with your small business:

1. Build business credit

A business credit card for startups can build business credit if payments are paid on time and handled responsibly. Having business credit can widen your loan options and allow for better interest rates in the future.

2. Keep business and personal finances separate

It can be beneficial to keep your business and personal finances separate to make managing your expenses easier. With business credit cards, typically multiple members of your staff can have sub-accounts on the card, so you can track individual usage or set individual limits.

3. Manage cash flow

Cash flow is especially important to a new business. A startup business credit card can offer a low rate if you need to carry a balance and help even out your cash flow if you’re having a less-than-ideal month.

What is the best business credit card for startups?

Unfortunately, there isn’t one “best” business credit card for startups. The best startup card for you may be totally wrong for someone else. It’s all dependent on your type of small business, your business goals, and how you plan to use the card.

Here are a few features to consider when determining the best startup credit card for you:

  • Annual fee – this is the yearly cost of the credit card. Whether you use it or not, annual fees are required payments if the card has them, so it’s important to factor into the overall cost of the card.
  • Multiple cards – some cards charge you for adding additional employees onto the account. Be sure to check that if you’re planning on sharing the card.
  • Interest rate – think of this rate as the cost of borrowing money with a credit card. Interest rate is important to consider because if you don’t make your payments on time, your startup is responsible for paying the extra interest.   
  • Rewards – these are additional benefits you get for using the card. If a startup plans to spend a good amount on a card, rewards can be a great bonus to look out for.
  • Intro offers – some cards will offer benefits for signing up as a new cardholder. For startups getting their first credit card, this could be a great bonus benefit.

To see more options, check out our full list of top-rated business credit cards in the UK to find a fit for your company.

Is my startup eligible for a credit card?

Your business eligibility will depend on your specific circumstances. It’s a good idea to check your eligibility before you apply for a credit card so you don’t hurt your credit score with denied applications. Eligibility checkers will only run a soft search on your credit report, so it shouldn’t impact your credit score.

Do new businesses have credit scores?

New businesses will likely not have much of a credit history if they’re just getting off the ground. Therefore, in order to have a credit score, a business would need to build business credit over time.

In the meantime, it’s possible for credit card issuers to use a personal credit score to determine creditworthiness of a startup. They may also ask to see your estimated turnover, business plans, and bank statements before they determine you’re a reliable borrower.

Be cautious about personal guarantees, which mean that if your business can’t repay the debt it’s accrued, you’ll be personally responsible for paying it. It is possible to get a business credit card without one, but it’s less likely if you have a new business.

How to get a business credit card for a new business

Here are 5 steps to apply for a startup credit card:

1. Think about how your business will use the card

As discussed above, it’s best to spend some time thinking about how you’ll use the card in order to pick the best one for you.

For example, if your employees will travel often, a card with hotel or flight rewards might be the best card for your small business. However, if you’ll use your card like a startup business loan, a card with a longer 0% introductory offer may make the most sense for you.

However you’ll use the credit card, it’s best to know ahead of time so you can find the best match for your business.

2. Choose the right card for you

This is where you’ll want to start comparing! After determining how you’ll use the card and what features your startup should prioritize, you’re ready to pick the best startup business credit card for you.

Remember to pay attention to the fees, interest rates, and bonus offerings.

3. Check your eligibility

As mentioned above, checking your eligibility ahead of time can save you time and the potential of hurting your credit score by being rejected.

4. Gather your application materials

To apply for a startup business credit card, you’ll need to provide some basic information like:

  • Your name
  • The business’s name
  • The legal structure or entity type
  • Revenue (if you’re just getting started, this might be £0)

Some issuers may also require a Social Security number and an employer identification number.

5. Apply for the card

Finally, you’re ready to apply for the card. Most sites allow you to do this online by inputting your application materials. If you get approved, you’re ready to start spending responsibly.


Frequently Asked Questions

Am I personally responsible for the debt on my new business credit card?

If you sign a personal guarantee, you are personally responsible for the debt. However, there are some business credit cards that don’t require a personal guarantee, so you can be intentional about choosing a card without one if you choose.

Can I apply for a startup business credit card online?

It will depend on what startup business credit card you apply for, however, most cards allow online applications these days.

How can I build business credit fast?

One of the best ways to build business credit is simply to make monthly payments on time and stay within your credit limit. Doing this consistently over time will build your business’s record of responsible borrowing.

Learn more


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