The Best Business Credit Cards & Alternatives To Consider

Euan Robb
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Content Manager at Equals Money
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10
min read
Publish date
23/04/24

The importance of choosing the right business credit card or alternative

For effective financial operations and business expense management, selecting the right business credit card or alternative is important. A carefully selected payment card or expense management solution in general, can provide numerous benefits for businesses and employees such as sign-up bonuses, annual fee perks, travel perks or rewards, and more.

When choosing a business credit card or alternative for your organisation, several factors need to be considered. These can include the associated annual fees, the minimum spend (especially if required for any introductory offers or sign-up bonuses), bonus categories, or additional rewards, but should align with the organisation's spending habits and operational aims.

By carefully evaluating these factors, businesses can select the right business credit card or alternative that offers the most benefits, rewards potential, and fitness for purpose.

 

Overview of different options available

Similar to personal credit cards, there are a multitude of various options available for companies when it comes to selecting business credit cards or alternatives, each with features and benefits to meet the specific needs and requirements of the intended businesses or organisation.

The most common types of business credit cards include:

  • Cashback cards: These cards can allow businesses to earn a percentage of their purchase amounts and business spend as cashback rewards. These cards can often be a preferred option for businesses that make frequent and substantial purchases.
  • Travel rewards cards: Designed for businesses that frequently travel for work, these cards can offer rewards in the form of airline miles (or equivalent rewards systems) or hotel points, which can be redeemed for flights, hotel stays, or other travel-related expenses.
  • Balance transfer cards: Businesses that carry a balance on their credit card can benefit from balance transfer cards. These cards allow businesses to transfer their existing balance to a new card with a lower interest rate, helping by leading to potential savings on interest charges.
  • Low-interest cards: These cards can offer a low ongoing interest rate, making them a right choice for businesses that anticipate carrying a balance on their credit card.
  • Rewards cards: These cards offer rewards in the form of points, which can be redeemed for various rewards including cash back, gift cards, or merchandise. This can be a flexible option for businesses looking to earn rewards on their purchases.

As mentioned, when choosing a business credit card or alternative, it's important to compare the features and benefits of all relevant options to find the card or platform that best suits the needs of the intended organisation.

 

Factors to consider when choosing a business credit card

When beginning the process of choosing the right corporate credit card or alternative, there are several factors that organisations must consider.

The right business credit card can provide convenience, financial flexibility, and access to various rewards programs or benefits. However, it's crucial to weigh up factors such as interest rates, any fees required, customer service, and more, making sure that the chosen card or alternative answers the specific needs and objectives of the company.

 

Interest rates

Choosing a business credit card with an acceptable interest rate that aligns with the spending habits and operational goals of an organisation is extremely important. The interest rate charged on a credit card will directly impact the overall cost of borrowing, so businesses should carefully consider if they expect to carry a balance on the card, and if so, how large of a balance.

Fees

Similar to personal credit cards, business credit cards often come with a range of various fees that can affect both the cost of owning the card itself, but also the overall cost of borrowing.

When decision-making, organisations should carefully consider any annual fees, late payment fees, foreign transaction fees (especially if they're a business that engages in global trading), and balance transfer fees. By thoroughly understanding the structure and terms of any fees they may incur, companies can make informed decisions and chose a card that best suits their spending habits and minimises any unnecessary expenses.

Customer service

Being able to access reliable and responsive customer service is vital when dealing with any issues or questions relating to a credit card. Before selecting a credit card for business use, companies should look into the reputation and availability of any customer support from each individual card issuer. By doing this, organisations can ensure any problems that may arise can be resolved in a timely manner.

Card acceptance

Businesses should also consider the acceptance of the card(s) they're considering. Evaluating whether or not the corporate card is widely accepted by their suppliers, service providers, and outlets associated with their business operations is key to ensuring the card can be used effectively and conveniently.

Rewards

Lastly, many cards for businesses offer rewards programs that can provide significant benefits for the company, such as cashback, travel rewards, and more.

Businesses should consider their spending patterns and preferences when evaluating the rewards offered by different credit cards.

By carefully considering these factors, businesses can make informed choices when selecting a business credit card or alternative, ensuring it aligns with their financial goals and provides valuable benefits for their operations.

 

Capital on Tap Business Credit Card

The Capital on Tap Business Credit Card offers a range of benefits and features that make it a top choice for businesses. Firstly, it does not have any annual fees, making it a cost-effective option for businesses. 

With this Capital on Tap card, businesses can also benefit from the ability to issue unlimited additional cards (and therefore, additional cardholders) for employees and partners. This facilitates seamless expense management and provides businesses with better control and visibility over their spending.

Another attractive feature of the Capital on Tap Business Credit Card is the ability to earn 1% (uncapped) cashback on purchases. This allows companies to effectively earn money back on their everyday business spending, which can help offset future credit card bills, or even be reinvested back into the business itself.

When looking at the associated fees with the Capital on Tap Business Credit Card, there are no (0%) foreign usage charges for spending within the EU and the rest of the world. This is well suited for businesses that operate globally or those that often have employees travelling abroad for business purposes.

However, to be eligible for this Capital on Tap card, Businesses must be registered as a private limited company (Ltd) or limited liability partnership (LLP) with a minimum turnover of £2000 per month. This combined with their list of ineligible business types (charities, public limited companies (PLC), and Sole trader), might make the Capital on Tap Business Credit Card an unsuitable choice.

Overall, the Capital on Tap Business Credit Card offers a comprehensive range of benefits and features, including the ability to earn cashback, unlimited company cards, and more, making it a great choice for organisations, if they meet the eligibility requirements.

 

Barclaycard Select Cashback Business Credit Card

The Barclaycard Select Cashback Business Credit Card offers a rage of features and benefits that make it a sought option for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

One of the main features and benefits that stand out of this credit card is the 1% cashback uncapped it offers on all eligible purchases, with every purchase made using it, employees and staff can earn cashback rewards. This provides companies and organisations with many key opportunities to earn money back on their everyday expenses and business spend, which, similar to the Capital On Tap Business Credit Card, companies can use to offset their credit card balance in the future or reinvest back into the business.

In addition to the mentioned cashback, the Barclaycard Select Cashback Business Credit Card also comes with the added benefit of no annual fees and the ability to connect to Apple Pay. This means that businesses can enjoy the perks of having a credit card without having to worry about any monthly or annual fees, with the added convenience of employees being able to pay using their smart devices.

To be eligible for this card, applicants must be a business owner or director, and they must have a minimum turnover of £10,000 per year.

However, the Barclaycard Select Cashback Business Credit Card applies a 2.99% charge for each foreign transaction in both the EU and the rest of the world. This additional fee for foreign spending might make the card an unsuitable choice for some businesses, particularly those with a global footprint or often have staff travelling abroad for business operations.

 

British Airways American Express Accelerating Business Card

The British Airways American Express Accelerating Business Card is a top choice for those looking for a business credit card, offering a range of benefits and features well-suited for companies that travel often for their business operations.

The stand out feature of the British Airways American Express Accelerating Business Card is it's rewards program. For every eligible purchase made, cardholders can earn Avios points (the modern American Express equivalent of air miles), with accelerated earning rates on British Airways flights, as well as purchases at select partner merchants. Avios points can be redeemed for British Airways flights, flight upgrades, hotel stays, car rentals, and more.

Another advantage of the British Airways American Express Accelerating Business Card is the interest-free period. Cardholders can benefit from up to 56 days of interest-free credit, allowing for better cash flow management and flexibility in paying off business expenses.

However, unlike other business credit cards discussed, The British Airways American Express Accelerating Business Card has an annual fee of £250, which must be considered when deciding if the card is suitable for the intended business.

 

HSBC Commercial Credit Card Visa

The HSBC Commercial Credit Card offers businesses a flexible way to manage their day-to-day employee expenses with a range of features and benefits.

Firstly, this card provides businesses with the convenience and global acceptance of the Visa network, allowing them to make purchases at millions of locations worldwide. Along with 24 hour customer service support for lost and stolen cards, ensuring you'll always get help when your business needs it.

One of the key advantages of this card is the absence of any annual fees for the first year. This allows businesses to enjoy the benefits that a business credit card can provide such as boosted business cash flow, without additional costs. However, it's important to note that from year 2 onwards, there will be an annual fee of £32.

Furthermore, this card provides an interest-free period on purchases of 56 days, which allows commercial cardholders to settle their outstanding balance within a designated timeframe without incurring any interest charges, aiding in cash flow management and payment flexibility.

However when it comes to eligibility requirements, this company card is only available for existing HSBC Business Customers. To be eligible to apply for a HSBC Commercial Credit Card, you must have an HSBC Business Account and set up a Direct Debit from that account to make repayments.

 

Equals Money - a great alternative to a traditional business credit card

Of course, a business credit card isn’t the only way to empower spending for employees and simplify business finances.

If you're looking for an alternative, Equals Money prepaid cards might be right for your organisation. Equals Money cards aren't credit cards, but enable real-time oversight and offer custom spending limits, making business spending simple for companies of all shapes and sizes.

Tried and trusted, we’re already helping over 20,000 companies stay on top of team spending with our employee cards and an easy-to-use online platform.

  • Total visibility: With real-time transaction data and separate budgets, get complete visibility over business-wide spending and improve cash flow visibility.
  • Complete control: Know exactly what your team are spending and stay on budget with customisable spending and transaction limits for each individual card.
  • No credit checks: Increase staff autonomy with no individual credit checks for employees (regardless of credit history or credit record) and unlimited users. Identity and residence verification may be required.
  • ATM blocks: Limit or prevent cash withdrawals with ATM blocks, removing the logistical and security problems associated with cash spending.
  • Instant-issue virtual cards: Instantly activate unlimited virtual cards and empower your employees to start spending straight away with extra cards and Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay compatibility.

 

With your own dedicated account manager and access to our in-house currency expertise, we’ll be on-hand to answer any questions, explain processes, and work to understand your business needs.


Sources used for this article:

  1. Capital on Tap - Capital on Tap Business Credit Card
  2. Barclaycard - Barclaycard Select Cashback Business Credit Card
  3. American Express - British Airways American Express Accelerating Business Card
  4. HSBC - HSBC Commercial Credit Card Visa
  5. Finder - Compare the best business credit cards for 2024

Sources checked on 03/05/2024


This publication is intended for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal, tax, or other professional advice from Equals Money PLC or its subsidiaries and affiliates.

It is recommended to seek advice from a financial advisor or other professional. We do not make any representations, warranties, or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, regarding the accuracy, or completeness of the content in the publication.

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