From personal assistants to CEOs, there’s a wide range of people that can benefit from employee credit cards.
Employee credit cards help keep track of work expenses, simplify accounting, keep track of spending across different departments and ultimately streamline accounting processes. With benefits for both individuals and businesses, this type of credit card allows employees to separate their work and personal spending.
What types of credit cards are available for employees?
Most employee credit cards are business or corporate credit cards assigned to specific employees. We’ve outlined the key differences between these cards below:
Business credit cards
Business credit cards are linked to the main account and can be assigned individual spending limits from a centralized system. Providing employees with business credit cards reduces the need for expense reports and reimbursement processes, as only business funds are being used.
Business credit cards can also be linked to rewards programs, giving employers and employees the opportunity to earn points or frequent flyer miles for their spending. Additionally, business credit cards can provide a range of extras including liability insurance, spending reports and compatibility with popular accounting software programs such as Microsoft Excel.
Personal credit cards
Employees may choose to use a personal credit card for their work expenses and the main benefit of this is that you can decide on the features that are most important to you. If you want to save money on spending, you may choose a low rate or a low fee option. If you want additional benefits, a rewards or frequent flyer card might suit your needs.
If you use a personal credit card for work spending, you will also be responsible for keeping your account in order by submitting statements or expense reports to your employer in order to claim reimbursement for spending on your card.
There could be annual fees and interest charges that your employer won’t cover. In some cases, you may be able to claim tax deductions for these costs, but you will have to prove that you only used the card for work expenses and that you were not reimbursed for what you claim.
Comparing employee credit cards
- Keeps work and personal expenses separate.
- Allows businesses to track and manage work-related payments for staff.
- Potential tax deductions.
- Personal liability and business liability account options available.
- Reward options.
- Restrictions on what you can use the card for.
- Personal liability options could leave you accountable for any issues.
- You may not be able to choose the business credit card you want.
- Interest rates and fees may apply for personal credit card options.
What to consider when choosing employee credit cards
If you’re in a position to choose a business credit card or a personal credit card for employee spending, it’s important to compare a range of factors to find the right option. We’ve outlined the key details to consider below.
- Standard rates and fees. It’s important to consider the standard variable interest rates for purchases, cash advances and balance transfers, as well as the card’s annual fee (both for primary and additional cardholders). Ideally, the benefits of the account should outweigh the potential costs of an annual fee or interest charges.
- Grace periods. Many personal and business credit cards offer up to a certain number of interest-free days for each statement period, as long as you pay your balance in full by the due date on your statements. This gives you a window of time when you can use the card without being charged interest, for example, when you’re waiting to be reimbursed for work expenses.
- Rewards programs. There’s a wide range of personal rewards credit cards that employees could use if they want to earn points for their spending. Many business credit cards also come with rewards programs, although employees may need to request that they be included in the program to earn points.
- Complimentary extras. Travel insurance, car rental accident insurance and even business liability insurance can add a lot of value to a card, as long as you can actually use them. In the case of business credit cards that offer additional cards for employees, some of the perks may only be available to the primary account holder.
- Security features. Credit cards for employees often include 24/7 fraud monitoring services and liability insurance to help cover the cost of unauthorized transactions.
- Other fees. Credit cards may apply a range of other fees including late payment and overlimit charges, cash advance fees, foreign transaction fees, emergency card replacement fees and printed statement fees.
Always check the terms and conditions before you apply so you can learn if you’re subject to fees, eligible for rewards and promotional offers, or if there are any complimentary extras.
Tips for using an employee credit card
Keep the following tips in mind to make sure that this type of card works for you.
- Stick to work spending. It’s essential that you only use your card for business expenses. Otherwise, there could be legal implications and other issues if it’s misused.
- Check what transactions are approved. Ask your boss or the appropriate work colleague before you use your card so that you know the cost will be covered.
- Take note of the statement due date. Even if you’re not responsible for paying the balance of the account, make sure you check the due date to help reduce the risk of late payments and additional charges.
- Track your spending. Keep an eye on your account spending so that you can make sure you have enough credit available for all your transactions. If you find you’re regularly maxing out the card, you may want to request a credit limit increase.
- Provide your frequent flyer details. If you’re an employee with a business frequent flyer credit card option, you will need to provide your membership details for the frequent flyer program so that you can earn rewards points for your spending.
Before you start using an employee credit card, make sure you read through its terms and conditions and any work documents that could impact on your card use. This will help ensure that you follow the correct processes and get the most out of the card.Now that you know more about employee credit cards, you can compare a range of options and find one that really suits your needs.