Published: 21 Apr 2020
Last updated: 26 May 2023
There are several credit cards available for small businesses offering different terms and rewards, and it can be hard to choose the best one. It’s worth remembering that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all card since all businesses are unique and have different needs. Still, there are simple rules you can follow to help you make your decision.
Does your business qualify for a credit card? Make sure to check the minimum eligibility criteria and a recommended credit score. Most credit card providers will require a minimum annual turnover and a good credit history. If you decide to apply, make sure the issuer offers ‘soft-search’ function, so your application doesn’t leave a footprint on your credit score.
If you want to check your credit record before applying for a credit card, click here to get your free Experian Credit Score.
Credit cards come with fees including late payment fees, foreign transaction fees (FX) and cash withdrawal charges. Be aware of your spending habits - if you are planning to use your card abroad or require occasional cash withdrawals, try to find one that doesn’t charge you FX or ATM fees.
Cards offering additional benefits or rewards can also have an annual fee which can range anywhere from £30 up to £595 per annum. Do your maths and make sure the additional perks and rewards justify the extra charges. For example, if the annual fee is £99 and the card gives you 1% cashback on all purchases, you’ll need to spend at least £9,900 per year to break even — otherwise, the fee will be more than the cashback.
APR – Annual Percentage Rate is the interest rate you will pay on all purchases after your introductory grace period ends. Always review the APR of available cards and make sure you find a competitive rate in case you ever need to carry a balance.
Business credit cards often come with an interest-free period which is the window between ‘statement balance’ and ‘payment due’. This can range from 2 weeks to even up to 56 days (8 weeks). If you are planning to make big purchases and don’t want to pay off immediately, the grace period can be a great asset for your business.
Sign up bonuses
Most credit cards come with attractive rewards that you get when you sign up and spend a certain amount of money within a specified period. Welcome bonuses can really boost your earnings, so it’s always worth checking what different card providers offer.
Business credit cards often come with great rewards including cashback or Avios. It’s worth looking into your options as with big business spending, it can be easy to rack up large amounts of points and redeem for shopping vouchers, flight or hotel discounts and cabin upgrades. Just be aware that rewards cards often come with an annual fee, so make sure that you can earn enough rewards to justify the extra charges.
Additional benefits and perks
Many cards offer additional perks, so it’s worth reviewing all options and finding one which provides you with the most value. For example, if you are planning to use your credit card to keep track of your business expenses, it may be worth looking out for cards that offer free integration with account management tools. Or if you think you may require additional cards for your employees or partners, try to find a provider which can easily issue supplementary cards at no extra cost.