Business credit cards

A business credit card can help you manage your business expenses better, fund short-term expenses and build your credit history. This article will guide you through the different types available, how they work and how to start an application.

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Business credit cards

What is a business credit card?

A business credit card is a short-term business finance solution that enables you to manage your company’s expenses. Like personal credit cards, business credit cards come with a preset limit. You can use your business credit card to fund any business-related purchases, from office supplies to travel expenses. 

How does a business credit card work?

You, as the business owner, apply for your card, and if you’re successful you’ll receive a credit limit based on your business’s financial health and creditworthiness. 

Your monthly statements will include your transaction history and the minimum payment required. Unless you repay in full, interest will apply. Using a credit card responsibly can help you to build your business’s credit history and make it easier to get funding in the future. 

Business credit card fees 

As well as the APR (annual percentage rate) – the rate of interest charged for borrowing – you may also have to pay the following fees:

  • Monthly or annual fee 

  • Late or missed payment charges

  • Charges for cash withdrawals

  • Charges for going over your limit

  • Foreign transaction fees

Who can get a business credit card?

You might qualify for a business credit card if you’re over 18 and operate as a sole trader, limited company or partnership in the UK. Eligibility criteria varies. For instance, some lenders will want to see two years of accounts, while others require a minimum monthly revenue of £5,000. 

Does a business credit card affect your personal credit score?

As the account holder, you’ll be liable for the repayments. Missed or late payments can affect your personal score, and potentially make it harder to get personal credit. 

Is my credit history checked for a business credit card?

Credit card providers will check your business's finances and credit profile when you apply for a business credit card. However, they may also review your personal credit history, especially if you’re a sole trader or have a short trading history. 

If your business has bad credit, a specialist lender may be able to take a more holistic view of your business. They’ll want to see a business plan and evidence of how you’ve repaid other types of debt on time. 

What types of business credit cards are available?

There are a few different types of business credit card to choose from. Understanding how each credit card type works can help you choose the best one for your business’ needs. Here are some options to consider:

  • Rewards business credit cards – Some business credit cards offer cashback on specific purchases or other rewards. However, keep in mind that rewards cards may also come with a fee after an initial period. 

  • 0% or low-interest business credit cards – Other credit cards offer low/no interest on purchases for an introductory period, e.g. one month. It’s important to know how much interest you’ll pay after this introductory period. 

  • Travel business credit cards – If you travel abroad for work, you may want to find a credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. (Foreign cash withdrawal fees may apply.) Business travel credit cards that offer perks such as reward points, lounge access, or travel insurance are also available.

  • Balance transfer credit card – A balance transfer enables you to move your debt to another business credit card provider. You might do this to take advantage of a 0% interest introductory offer, for example. 

What perks can I get with a business credit card?

The perks that come with your credit card will depend on the credit card provider and product you opt for. Potential perks include cashback on purchases, no or low interest for a set period, air miles, free insurance or discounts at retailers. 

What are the pros and cons of business credit cards?

As with any type of business finance, there are a few advantages and disadvantages to consider before signing up for a business credit card. 


  • Convenient for day-to-day expenses 

  • Separates personal and business purchases

  • Provides a cash flow boost

  • Improves the administration of employee expenses

  • Makes it easier to spend on business trips abroad

  • May come with perks to suit your business

  • Doesn’t affect your personal score (if repayments are met)


  • You’ll have to pay interest on missed repayments

  • You may have to pay a monthly or annual fee

  • Missed repayments can damage your business and personal credit score

  • Your credit limit might be low

  • Costs can build up if you don’t repay the balance in full each month

How do I choose the best business credit card for my business?

When comparing credit cards, pay attention to the APR, any interest-free periods, rewards and discounts, and any additional charges (such as cash withdrawal fees). 

The best business credit card for your business will depend on your company’s needs and the industry you operate in. If you’re planning to purchase an item of equipment, for instance, and want to spread the repayments over a few months, a credit card with a low APR could be more suitable. 

In contrast, if you’re planning to use the card for daily spending, a business credit card with an interest-free period might be worth considering. Funding Options can help you find what you’re looking for. We work with over 120 finance providers and can match you with the best business finance options for your needs. 

What are the alternatives to a business credit card?

If a business card isn’t the right funding solution for your company, there are lots of business credit card alternatives to choose from, including:

Merchant cash advances

Designed for businesses that take customer card payments, a merchant cash advance enables you to borrow money and pay it back through a percentage of your customers’ card transactions. You’ll pay interest for as long as that money is owed.

Revolving credit facilities

A revolving credit facility lets you withdraw money, make purchases for your business, repay the borrowed amount and then withdraw it again when you need it. It’s one of the most flexible funding solutions on the business finance market today. 

Invoice finance 

If you run a B2B business that sends invoices, invoice finance allows you to use your unpaid invoices as security for funding. So instead of waiting weeks or months to get paid, you can release up to 90% of the value of your invoices almost immediately. 

Asset finance

If you’re looking to purchase equipment for your business, take a look at asset finance. It allows you to spread the cost of the purchase, or lease instead of buying. From machinery to kitchen equipment, there are a range of leasing options out there. 

Bridging loans

If you need some short-term funding to cover an expense while you wait for long-term funding to come through, a bridging loan could help. Bridging finance is usually associated with property purchases, but it can be used to fund things such as  time-sensitive inventory deals or to cover expenses during an equity round.   

How do I apply for a business credit card?

You can apply for a business credit card online or at a business bank branch. You’ll need to provide information about your turnover, as well as other details relating to your business. Approval is usually quick and your card should arrive within a few working days. 

At Funding Options, we can match you with credit card options from our panel of over 120 lenders. Start by telling us how much finance you need, what it’s for and how quickly you need it, and we’ll match you with options that are suitable for your needs. It’s free to apply and doesn’t affect your credit rating. 

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Thomas Boyd
Thomas Boyd

Head of Commercial

Thomas Boyd is the Head of Commercial at Funding Options. Thomas started his career in the finance sector at LendingCrowd. His work over the past five years has focused on supporting the vibrant and growing community of SMEs across the UK.

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