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Basic business credit cards
Find out how basic business credit cards work to see if they could suit your business needs.
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If you run your own business, using a business credit card can be a flexible way to manage your cash flow.
There are a number of different business credit cards to choose from, all with different benefits and perks. But if you’re after a basic, no frills option, here’s what you need to know.
What is a basic business credit card?
A basic business credit card is a straightforward business credit card that charges no annual fee, has a low rate of interest and offers a decent credit limit. A basic business credit card could suit you if you’re looking for a fuss-free option that can help you manage your cash flow and keep your business finances separate from your personal accounts.
Business credit cards work in a similar way to personal credit cards, but the account will be in your company name, not your own. Business credit cards give you access to funds up to a specified limit, and enable you to spend what you need when you need to, and then pay back what you owe in flexible monthly repayments.
As with personal credit cards, you must pay at least the minimum payment each month to avoid late payment charges. Paying off the balance in full will ensure you don’t get charged interest – unless your card comes with a 0% promotional offer.
To be eligible for a basic business credit card, you’ll need to be over the age of 18 and a UK resident. Some lenders will also require your business to have a minimum annual turnover.
You’ll also need to have registered your business and started trading. Some credit card providers will offer different rates and credit limits depending on the size of your business and its financial strength.
If you’re approved for a basic business credit card, it should arrive within 5–10 business days. You then need to activate it before using it.
Benefits of a business credit card
Some of the main benefits of a business credit card are outlined below:
- Separate finances. A business credit card can help you to keep personal and company finances separate, making it easier to track expenses and prepare accounts.
- Establish a credit history. If your business is just starting out, it’s unlikely to have much of a credit history. Using a credit card can help build up your business credit score, and enable you to get accepted for better deals in the future.
- Manage cash flow. A business credit card gives you access to a revolving line of credit which will typically give you up to 56 days before interest is charged. Credit limits are generally much higher on business credit cards compared to personal credit cards.
- Interest-free purchases. Some business credit cards charge no interest on your purchases for a few months, allowing you to spread the cost of an expensive item without paying interest. Just make sure you clear your balance before the 0% deal ends and interest kicks in.
- Multiple users. You may be able to obtain additional cards for your employees at no extra cost and then set spending limits for each card, which you can track through your online account. This can help you to better manage employee expenses.
- Rewards and benefits. With some business credit cards you might be able to take advantage of cashback or travel perks, for example, or enjoy fee-free spending abroad.
Drawbacks of a business credit card
Of course, there are also some downsides to using a business credit card. Even if you choose a business credit card that does not charge an annual fee, unless your card offers an introductory 0% period, you will be charged interest on any balance you do not pay off in full each month. Further fees could be charged if you don’t make your payments on time or if you exceed your credit limit.
Your business will also need a good credit history to qualify for the best deals. If it doesn’t, your application could be rejected or you might be offered a much higher interest rate and lower credit limit. Note that if you’re a new business or a sole trader, some lenders may look at your personal credit history instead to help them establish whether to let you borrow.
Example of a basic business credit card
Capital on Tap offers a standard business credit card designed for small businesses that have an annual turnover of at least £24,000per year. The card offers the following benefits and the option to upgrade to its Business Rewards plan:
- Credit facility of up to £250,000
- No annual fee
- Up to 42 days interest-free on card purchases
- Representative purchase rates of 34.3%
- No foreign exchange or UK ATM charges
- 1%cashback on your business spending
- Unlimited cards for your company
- Redeem points for Avios with optional Business Rewards plan
You can find out more about the Capital on Tap business credit card in our review.
Frequently asked questions
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