Business debit and credit cards
Types of debit and credit cards available for your business
There's a wide range of plastic payment cards on the market, offering an array of different terms and conditions and ways to pay off your balance.
- allow purchases up to a specified limit
- offer an interest-free period
- allow a minimum repayment each month, but charge interest on the balance
- incur no interest if the bill is paid in full by the specified date
- can be issued to employees, with an approved spending limit
There are numerous credit card providers - most are Visa or MasterCards issued through a bank or building society.
- allow a period of credit - but must be paid off in full each month
- can be issued to employees
- allow you to set spending limits
- may charge an annual fee
- are issued in conjunction with a business current account
- might be cheaper than cheques
- can only be used by signatories
- may offer a greater degree of control - you can only spend what's in your account
- have less flexibility than other cards
- enable businesses to manage and monitor spending
- can be provided pre-loaded to employees to pay expenses
- are available in different currencies as an alternative to travel cards
- usually come with fees and charges - such as issuing costs, management fees, and transaction or ATM withdrawal fees
- offer a convenient way of paying business travel expenses when travelling
- operate in the same way as other business credit or charge cards
- offer additional benefits, such as travel insurance or currency facilities
- are generally restricted to big businesses or public-sector bodies
- are issued by banks and companies such as Barclaycard and American Express
- cut down on paperwork and the need for purchase orders
You could use a personal debit or credit card instead of a business card for business expenses, however this means you will be mixing personal debts with business debts.
It also makes it more difficult to track business expenditure - see using payment cards for your business.