Business credit cards vs. personal cards | finder.com

Business credit cards vs. personal cards

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Each card type offers advantages based on your spending volume, business size and expense categories.

You’re a small business owner, and your operation is growing. At this time, you might be wondering whether you should stick with your personal credit card or get a business card. Both card types have advantages and disadvantages and — depending on your business — one could work far better than the other.

5 differences between a business credit card and personal card

  • Credit limit.

    A business credit card will probably have a higher credit limit than you’d get with a personal card. When expenses are high, you might prefer not to strain your personal credit line.

  • Can a business card affect my personal credit?

  • Earn rewards for different types of spending.

    Personal credit cards tend to offer accelerated rewards for categories like groceries, dining and entertainment. Business credit cards also offer accelerated rewards, but usually for business categories — think shipping, advertising, office supplies, travel and more.

  • Spending controls.

    Many business cards are designed to have employees added to your account. For that reason, your provider will probably give you extensive tools to manage spending, including downloadable purchase records, spending summaries, expense controls and more.

  • Build business credit.

    Usually, you won’t build business credit through a personal credit card. Business credit could be helpful down the line, as it can help you obtain loans, insurance and other products.

  • Different benefits.

    You’ll find more business-oriented benefits with a business card. One typical example is free employee cards, which makes it easier to distribute spending privileges and control expenses.

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Can I use my personal credit card for business expenses?

You can use your personal credit card for business expenses, but you might find it more beneficial to use a business card. The latter will help you build business credit, and it’ll probably come with a higher credit limit and rewards for business categories.

Consider a business credit card for …Consider a personal card for …
Building business credit.Consumer protections.
Higher credit limits.Rewards for everyday categories.
Rewards for business categories.A sole proprietorship with very low expenses.
Expense-management features.

Compare business credit cards

Updated November 13th, 2018
Name Product APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases Introductory Purchase APR Annual Fee
None (Charge Card)
$450
New cardholders can earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® bonus points by spending $10,000 on purchases for the first 50,000 points and then another $10,000 for the next 25,000 points on their new card in the first 3 months.
None (Charge Card)
$0 annual fee for the first year ($250 thereafter)
This charge card gives you the option to pay in full each month or to carry a balance for up to 60 days with no interest.
16.24%, 20.24% or 24.24% variable
$295
Earn Membership Rewards® points after you spend in qualifying purchases on the card within your first months of card membership.
14.24%, 19.24% or 21.24% variable
0% for the first 9 months (then 14.24%, 19.24% or 21.24% variable)
$0
Save on interest with a 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months; after that your APR will be 14.24% - 21.24% variable.
15.24% to 21.24% variable
0% for the first 12 months (then 15.24% to 21.24% variable)
$0
$500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.
17.99% to 22.99% variable
$95
80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel rewards when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
17.99% to 24.99% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 thereafter)
75,000 Bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from your account opening with your Marriott Rewards Premier Business credit card.
24.74% variable
$0
Get the credit you want for your business, and unlimited 1% cash back on every purchase, every day.
14.74%, 18.74% or 22.74% variable
0% for the first 9 months (then 14.74%, 18.74% or 22.74% variable)
$0
Unlimited 1.5X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day.
18.74% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Unlimited 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day.
14.74%, 18.74% or 22.74% variable
0% for the first 9 months (then 14.74%, 18.74% or 22.74% variable)
$0
Unlimited 1.5 cash back on every purchase, every day.
18.74% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Unlimited 2% cash back from Spark Cash could mean thousands of dollars each year going back into your business. No minimum to redeem.
17.99% to 24.99% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
17.99% to 24.99% variable
0% for the first 9 months (then 17.99% to 24.99% variable)
$99
Earn 2x points on Southwest® purchases and 1x point on all other purchases. Plus 6,000 anniversary bonus points.
17.99% to 25.99% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 thereafter)
For a limited time, earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening.
13.24% to 23.24% variable
0% for the first 9 billing cycles (then 13.24% to 23.24% variable)
$0
Earn up to 3% cash back on business purchases with the Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card.

Compare up to 4 providers

Some consumer protection laws don’t apply to business credit cards

Here’s one reason you might use a personal credit card over a business card: Personal cards have more consumer protections from the Credit CARD Act of 2009. These are a few advantages they have that business cards don’t:

  • Notifications for interest rate increases. With a personal card, your provider must notify you at least 45 days in advance if it will increase your interest rates. With a business card, it can increase your interest rates at will.
  • Minimum grace period. If a personal card has a grace period on interest, the period must be at least 21 days. With business cards, the period can change each month.
  • Caps on late fees. For personal cards, there are caps on late fees. These caps don’t exist for business cards, meaning providers can charge heavy fees if you pay late.

If you want a business card, gauge your ability to pay off your debt. The better prepared you are, the more likely you’ll be able to roll with the punches if your provider changes your card terms.

Bottom line

Pick a business credit card if you need a higher credit limit, want to build business credit or want rewards for specific categories. At the same time, you might have very few expenses or not need robust expense-management features. In the latter case, pick a personal credit card.

Frequently asked questions

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US Credit Card Offers

Important Information*
Deserve® Classic Card
Deserve® Classic Card

APR

24.49
variable

Annual fee

0 For the first year
More info
Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™
Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™

APR

16.74
variable

Annual fee

995 For the first year
More info
First Access Visa Card®
First Access Visa Card®

APR

29.99
variable

Annual fee

75 For the first year
More info
Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card
Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card

APR

23.9
variable

Annual fee

75 For the first year
More info

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US Credit Card Offers

Important Information*
Deserve® Classic Card
Deserve® Classic Card

APR

24.49
variable

Annual fee

0 For the first year
More info
Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™
Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™

APR

16.74
variable

Annual fee

995 For the first year
More info
First Access Visa Card®
First Access Visa Card®

APR

29.99
variable

Annual fee

75 For the first year
More info
Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card
Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card

APR

23.9
variable

Annual fee

75 For the first year
More info
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