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Business credit cards vs. personal cards

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 and a personal credit 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.
  • Earn rewards for different types of spending. Personal credit cards tend to offer accelerated rewards for categories like groceries, gas, dining and entertainment. Some business credit cards also offer accelerated rewards, but usually for business categories — think recurring bill payments, office supplies, travel and more.
  • Spending controls. Many business cards are designed to have employees added to your account. For that reason, your provider may give you access to business tools to manage spending, view summaries and more.
  • 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.
  • Build business credit. You won’t build business credit through a personal credit card, however you can with a business credit card. Business credit could be helpful down the line, as it can help you obtain loans, insurance and other products for your business.

Can a business card affect my personal credit?

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 typical business spending categories.

Consider a business credit card for …Consider a personal card for …
Building business creditBuilding your personal credit score
Higher credit limitsLower credit limits
Rewards for business categoriesRewards for everyday spending categories
Access to business toolsA sole proprietorship with very low expenses
Separating business and personal expensesKeeping your expenses together

Compare business and personal credit cards

Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Purchase Interest Rate Annual Fee Min. Credit Score Description
EXCLUSIVE
Neo Financial Credit Card
Get $25.00
Average 5% cash back
19.99% - 24.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Get $25.00 when you apply for the Neo Financial Credit Card. Plus, earn an average 5% cashback at thousands of partners and at least 1% cashback guaranteed.
Finder Award
OFFER
HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard®
30,000 Points
2x points per $1 spent
11.9%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($25 thereafter)
Min. recommended credit score: 630
Get 30,000 Points (up to $150 in value) when you spend $2,000 in the first 6 months. Plus, get the 1st year annual fee waived for the primary cardholder ($25 value). Apply by January 31, 2022.
BMO CashBack Mastercard
5% cash back
Up to 3% cash back
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get 5% cash back on all eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership (up to max. spend of $2,500). Plus, get a rate of 1.99% on balance transfers with a 1% balance transfer fee for nine months.
Tangerine World Mastercard
15% cash back
Up to 2% cash back
19.95%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Earn an extra 15% cash back (up to $150) on up to $1,000 of everyday purchases in the first 2 months Until January 31, 2022. Plus, get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months (valid within the first 30 days of account opening, 1% transfer fee applies).
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
15% cash back
Up to 2% cash back
19.95%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Earn an extra 15% cash back (up to $150) on up to $1,000 of everyday purchases in the first 2 months Until January 31, 2022. Plus, get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months (valid within the first 30 days of account opening, 1% transfer fee applies).
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Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Welcome Offer
American Express Business Edge Card
19.99%
21.99%
$99
N/A
Earn up to 57,000 Membership Rewards points in your first year. Earn 45,000 Welcome Bonus points when you charge $5,000 in purchases to your Card in your first three months, and earn 1,000 Membership Rewards points each month (a total of 12,000 annually) when you spend a minimum of $3,000 on eligible purchases.
American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card
16.99%
21.99%
$599
N/A
Earn up to 90,000 Aeroplan points and a bonus Buddy Pass.
BMO Cashback Business Mastercard
19.99%
22.99%
$0
N/A
Get 10% cash back on gas, office supplies, cell phone bills and internet bills for 3 months.
BMO World Elite Business Mastercard
17.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($149 thereafter)
N/A
Get up to 70,000 BMO reward points. Get 50,000 points when you spend $5,000 in the first three months and an additional 20,000 points when you spend $35,000 in the first twelve months. Plus, get the $149 fee waived for the first year.
BMO Air Miles No-Fee Business Mastercard
19.99%
22.99%
$0
N/A
Get 1,000 AIR MILES Bonus Miles (over $100 towards your purchases with AIR MILES Cash).
BMO AIR MILES World Elite Business Mastercard
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($149 thereafter)
N/A
American Express AIR MILES for Business Card
N/A
N/A
$180
N/A
Earn a Welcome Bonus of 2,000 AIR MILES when you spend at least $5,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months
Business Platinum Card from American Express
N/A
N/A
$499
N/A
Earn a Welcome Bonus of up to 100,000 Membership Rewards points ($1,000 in statement credits that you can reinvest into your business).
Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card
19.99%
21.99%
$150
N/A
Earn a Welcome Bonus of up to 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. Plus, earn 5 points for every $1 spent on eligible gas, dining & travel (excluding lodging) for the first 3 months.
American Express Business Gold Rewards Card
N/A
N/A
$199
N/A
Earn a Welcome Bonus of up to 110,000 Membership Rewards points. If redeemed for statement credit, this is $1,100 that you can reinvest in your business.
American Express AIR MILES Gold Business Card
19.99%
21.99%
$0
N/A
Earn a Welcome Bonus of 150 AIR MILES when you spend at least $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months
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Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

Pick a business credit card if you need a higher credit limit, want to build business credit or would like to receive rewards for specific business related spending categories.

If you have very few business expenses or you don’t need access to robust expense-management features, a personal credit card may better suit your needs.

Just remember that using a personal credit card for your business expenses will impact your personal credit score – for better or for worse. That said, most small business credit cards require you be personally liable for your business card, meaning whether you choose a personal or a business card, you’ll likely be left on the hook personally for any unpaid balances.Back to top

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