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

When you need funding on the fly, who can you turn to?

Business credit cards are a type of business finance that provide your business with a convenient source of short-term funds to cover expenses like travel and boost your immediate cash flow. As you gear up to apply for a business credit card, knowing what options are available to you is vital. 

What is a business credit card?

A business credit card provides your business with a short-term financial solution for funding business-related expenses. Similarly to personal credit cards, business credit cards have a set credit limit that determines the amount of money you can spend before requiring total repayment. 

Business credit cards allow you to separate personal and business expenses, simplifying your accounting processes. Ensuring your business’s financial health and creditworthiness before applying for a business credit card is crucial for receiving a higher credit limit. 

Like a standard personal credit card, interest is applied to your remaining balance until you make a full repayment. Otherwise, you’ll accrue interest on a monthly basis and have a regular monthly payment. 

What types of business credit cards can I get?

When applying for a business credit, understanding the different types is vital for choosing the best option for your business. The four main types of business credit cards include:

  • Rewards business credit cards: These cards offer rewards like cashback for specific purchases, such as business meals at restaurants. Keep in mind that rewards credit cards can come with additional fees.

  • 0% or low-interest business credit cards: Zero percent or low-interest business credit cards provide an introductory period where you do not accrue interest (typically for around one month).

  • Travel business credit cards: Travel cards help you cover business-related travel costs (flights, hotels, etc.), as well as provide you with extra perks like lounge access and travel insurance. 

  • Balance transfer credit cards: Balance transfer credit cards enable you to move debt to a different business credit card provider, potentially helping you avoid higher interest rates. 

Who can get a business credit card?

In the UK, you must be over 18 and must generally be a sole trader, limited company, or partnership to obtain a business credit card. The eligibility criteria can vary depending on the business credit card provider and can include requirements such as account records or a minimum monthly revenue. 

Most business credit card providers will check your business’s creditworthiness, and some will review your personal credit history as well. Once you have the card, missed or late payments can negatively impact your business’s creditworthiness. 

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 can I use a business credit card for?

Business credit cards can be used for a wide range of purposes, including:

  • Operations: A business credit card can be used for running costs including office and inventory expenses and business meals. 

  • Sales & Marketing: Travel costs, including flights, hotels, and car rentals, and marketing costs, including advertising can be paid for with a business credit card. 

  • Emergencies: Surprise emergency costs can be covered using a business credit card, for example, repairs or equipment replacements. 

When comparing different business credit cards, pay attention to details like APR, rewards, additional fees, and interest-free periods. These factors help you find the best card for your business’s current needs. 

What fees do I need to pay for a business credit card?

Along with knowing the different types of business credit cards, it’s also important to be aware of the fees that come with these cards. Aside from your annual percentage rate (APR) – aka, your rate of interest – you may also face 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

What are the benefits of a business credit card?

The main benefit of a business credit card is easy access to extra funds. However, there are several other potential perks to consider when applying for a business credit card, such as:

  • Simplified business expense management

  • Boosted cash flow

  • Improved employee expense management

  • Card-specific rewards (cashback, reward points, miles, etc.)

Are there any drawbacks? 

As with any funding solution, there are pros and cons to consider. Potential risk factors include: 

  • Interest is charged on any missed payments 

  • Missed payments can damage your business creditworthiness, impacting your ability to borrow in the future

  • If you don’t make regular payments, your credit limit may be decreased 

  • Some business credit cards come with a recurring fee

Always try to make your minimum monthly payments to avoid any unexpected consequences. 

What are the alternatives to a business credit card?

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

  • Merchant cash advances: This enables you to borrow money and pay it back through a percentage of your customers' card transactions.

  • Revolving credit facilities: This lets you withdraw money, make purchases for your business, repay the borrowed amount and then withdraw it again when you need it.

  • Invoice finance: This allows you to use your unpaid invoices as security for funding. allows you to use your unpaid invoices as security for funding.

  • Asset finance: This allows you to spread the cost of the purchase, or lease instead of buying.

How to apply for a business credit card in the UK

Funding Options by Tide helps connect UK businesses to their ideal business credit card providers. 

Through the Funding Options platform, we match you with business credit card options from our panel of more than 120 lenders. All we need from you is three pieces of information – how much financing you need, what you need it for, and how quickly you need it. 

Please note that the information above is not intended to be financial advice. You should seek independent financial advice before making any decisions about your financial future.

It’s important to remember that all loans and credit agreements come with risks. These risks include non-payment and late-payment of the agreed repayment plan, which could affect your business credit score and impact your ability to find future funding. Always read the terms and conditions of every loan or credit agreement before you proceed. Contact us for support if you ever face difficulties making your repayments.

Funding Options, now part of Tide, helps UK firms access business finance, working directly with businesses and their trusted advisors. Funding Options are a credit broker and do not provide loans directly. All finance and quotes are subject to status and income. Applicants must be aged 18 and over and terms and conditions apply. Guarantees and Indemnities may be required. Funding Options can introduce applicants to a number of providers based on the applicants' circumstances and creditworthiness. Funding Options will receive a commission or finder’s fee for effecting such finance introductions.

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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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