Choosing the right business credit card for small businesses in the UK

These days you can apply for a business bank account online. Find out what you’ll need to do and how our prepaid cards could help you to manage expenses.

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Choosing the right corporate credit card can have a hugely positive impact on the day-to-day running of your business.

From simplifying the expenses management process to offering helpful membership rewards, and even building a better business credit history,  applying for a business card could be your best decision yet.

Before you can do that, you’ll need to find out more about the best business credit cards for small companies. Here, we recount all the information you’ll need to make the right choice for your business – and why that may not be a credit card product after all.

What are business credit cards and how do they differ from personal ones?

Business credit cards are pretty much what you’d expect them to be – a credit card for businesses. It might seem simple – and it is – but there are some key differences when comparing corporate cards to the personal cards sitting in your wallet.

For one thing, the eligibility criteria for personal and corporate credit cards can be completely different. Rather than basing their decision on personal credit scores, providers are more likely to look at the financial status of the business. There are also differences between the major consumer credit bureaus and business credit bureaus.

All of this means that even if you have been rejected for a personal credit card, you may be able to get one for business purposes – and business credit scores are often entirely separate from those of individual directors.

Credit cards for small businesses also frequently come with higher credit limits than personal credit cards. This can be helpful since running a business isn’t exactly cheap, which is also why many providers offer different card membership perks and rewards.

How do corporate cards work?

Business credit cards work much in the same way as their personal card counterparts. The main difference is that they are held by a company – not an individual.

By using a business credit card to pay for expenses, you can separate your organisation’s finances from your own – making it easier to build up your company’s credit score.

Benefits of using a credit card for your business expenses

The right business credit card could make it much easier to run your small business. Without even factoring in membership rewards, corporate cards come with their own set of benefits that simplify business spending and support growth.

Other benefits of corporate credit cards include:

  • Managing cash flow – by providing businesses with spending power while they’re waiting for money to come in from clients.
  • A replacement for petty cash – by providing employee credit cards that do away with the need for an office float.
  • Easier accounting – since it’s a lot easier to work with business credit card statements than paper receipts and handwritten records.
  • Quick access to money –  that can be used in an emergency or just to pay off your office supplies invoice.

Above all, business credit cards make for flexible payment options that can make it much easier to handle spending than petty cash and other solutions.

What are the requirements for business charge cards?

All credit card issuers have their own set of eligibility criteria. Generally, applicants must:

  • be aged 18 or over.
  • be a UK resident.
  • have a registered UK company.
  • have a sufficient credit history.The good news is that many limited companies are eligible and can get approval along with all the business perks that go with it.

What is the best credit card for companies?

With so many options available, it can be hard to know which provider to approach with a credit card application. The best choice for your organisation will depend on its individual needs, and it’s important to find a corporate credit card that ticks as many of the right boxes as possible.

To make the right call, you’ll need to spend some time working out what it is that your business needs. It could be that you’re trying to improve your cash flow, or perhaps you need to separate your personal and business expenses. Some firms even choose between credit card providers based on the perks that they offer, and for them it makes sense to seek out a card with rewards.

Either way, there are lots of credit card options available to businesses. The important thing is to opt for the one that most closely meets your needs.

Are fees and credit card spending tax deductible?

That’s the million pound question – but put simply, yes! Many business credit card fees can be tax deductible. Fees and eligible purchases that are charged to your business accounts can be claimed as business expenses – and so getting a corporate credit card could make your company more efficient when it comes to taxes.

Another key benefit of business credit cards is that they make life a lot easier when it comes to submitting a tax return. When you’ve put your common business expenses through a credit account, it’s easy to see how money has been spent over the course of the year.

All your card transactions will be right there, and some credit card providers even prepare detailed payment history reports.

Choosing the right option for your business spending habits

There are scores of Business Platinum Card providers and travel credit card companies out there. They may try to lure you in with luxury travel perks, airport lounge access, or other rewards – but the package itself may not be suitable for your firm. These features may seem great, but they could come at an additional cost that travel rewards just don’t justify.

This is why it’s so important for firms to understand the pros and cons of various business cards before they start making applications.

Here are just some of the key questions to consider before making a decision:

What do you need from a business credit card?

From business purchases at office supply stores through to paying an allowance for miles travelled and even corporate hospitality, it’s important to decide what you want from a charge card.

For many small businesses, the draw of being able to give individual employee cards out to multiple users is enough. For others, a clear and feature-rich spending control platform might be one of the factors that seals the deal.

Does it suit your business spending habits?

Some businesses get by with a single credit card taken out in the name of one of the partners. Others need to issue company credit cards to all employees who are then tasked with handling their own personal expenses.

Either way, it’s essential to find a small business credit card that strikes the right balance. Whether it’s one-off card purchases or regular travel expenses, it’s important to make sure that your choice of card can handle your businesses spending categories.

Can you keep tabs on individual spending limits?

Keeping track of staff spending can be a major challenge for finance teams. Information about employee expenses often factors into major business decisions, and it’s hard to run an SME without a clear picture of the money that’s flowing out.

Many companies also find that they need to closely monitor how much is being spent, by whom, and on what. This is especially true when multiple employee cards are issued.

What does the card cost?

As with any commercial decision, cost is a major factor when it comes to deciding on a corporate credit card. It’s natural to try to avoid limit exposure to debt, and everything from foreign transaction fees through to interest rates and service charges should factor into your choice.

Be sure to look beyond any introductory period discounts or current sign-up bonuses, and try to get a feel for how much the line of credit will cost in reality.

Simplify your spending with prepaid cards

Amidst all the business gold cards and rewards credit cards available, there is another option. Soldo’s prepaid cards offer all the benefits of a corporate credit card without exposure to the risks.

Never overspend again with our digital payment options and physical prepaid Mastercard corporate cards. With Soldo you can empower employees to handle their own expenses without ever going over budget. Everything can be handled from our innovative easy-to-use spend management platform, and expenses are automatically logged on one simple dashboard.

It’s the easiest way to take control of your business spending, and you won’t even be subject to the fees imposed by other credit providers.

Access lower fees while saving time spent on accounting by joining Soldo today.

Choose a smarter company expenses card

Control spend on prepaid cards

Empower employees to spend; set budgets and track spending in real time, from anywhere.

Automate all expense admin

Send transactions, receipts, and other data to accounting software through smart integrations.

Capture receipts and VAT fast

Prompt employees to photograph receipts, add VAT and categories on the Soldo mobile app.

What our customers say

“Since we started using Soldo, it’s been such a relief not to have to regularly email or phone the banks to ask for our credit card limits to be raised. I love Soldo’s flexibility – it’s so easy to maintain and everything is in real time.”

Dennis Koehler
Head of Payments and Fraud at GetYourGuide

“We’re a caring company and always look after each other. With Soldo I know I’ve always got my drivers’ backs and the best bit is that I don’t need to do loads of work (or miss out on VAT claims) at the end of the month.”

Karen Green
Operations Manager at Titans Group

“Petty cash and reconciling credit cards took a total of 6 days a month. Now it takes me half a day. It’s saving us time! It’s got great flexibility and it makes my life a lot easier”

Sandra Curran
Purchase Ledger Coordinator at Making Space

FAQs

How does Soldo work?

Soldo is a multi-user expense account that helps you control business spending and, thanks to the integration with your accounting software, makes it easy and quick to manage and reconcile all company and petty cash expenses. Soldo is not a business account and we’re not trying to replace yours. We’re here to complement the traditional business account offering with more advanced and innovative financial services.

You can give Soldo cards to some or every employee, to entire teams or even contractors, deciding who can access company money and the rules they need to follow to spend it. With intuitive tools like the mobile app and web console, you’ll be able to track spending real-time, instantly transfer funds to all card holders (for free), establish budgets and rules, and much more. Click here to explore Soldo features in depth.

Can you use Soldo cards abroad?

Yes – Soldo prepaid corporate cards can be used internationally. With a foreign exchange fee fixed at just 1%, you won’t ever have to worry about forgetting your travel money on a business trip again.

Does Soldo work with accounting softwares?

Our helpful spend management platform is packed with features to help make expense management and accounting easier. It’s even compatible with Xero and QuickBooks, so you can export the data you need in just two clicks.