Business credit cards vs personal cards

What's the difference between a personal and a business credit card? And with which can you get a better deal?

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.

The answer is that as your business grows, a business credit card will usually become more necessary to fulfil some specific needs. But there are a few downsides to be aware of.

Compare business credit and charge cards

Table: promoted then other popular deals
Name Product Finder score Purchases Annual / Monthly fees Rewards earn rate Representative APR Link Key benefit Representative example
Finder Award
CASHBACK
Capital on Tap Business Credit Card
4.0
★★★★★
35.15%
£0
1 point per £1 spent
35.2% APR (variable)
Go to siteCard details
Earn 1 point for every £1 of card spend. Redeem 1 point for 1p (1% cashback)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 35.15% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 35.2% APR (variable).
Barclaycard Payments Select Cashback Business Credit Card
4.0
★★★★★
27.5%
£0
1% cashback uncapped*
27.5% APR (variable)
Go to siteCard details
*Get 1% uncapped cashback on all your business spend. T&Cs apply.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 27.5% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 27.5% APR (variable).
Finder Award
CASHBACK
Capital on Tap Business Credit Card (+optional Business Rewards)
4.0
★★★★★
35.15%
£99 per annum
1 point per £1 spent
35.15% APR (variable)
Go to siteCard details
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 35.15% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 35.15% APR (variable). Optional upgrade to Business Rewards (£99 per year).
Barclaycard Select Charge Card
3.5
★★★★★
N/A (this product is a charge card).
£42 per annum
N/A
3.6% APR (variable)
Go to siteCard details
Access exclusive offers through Barclaycard business rewards. Including, but not limited to, exclusive pre-sale tickets plus discounts on hotel bookings, dining out and car hire. Terms apply.
British Airways American Express® Accelerating Business Card
4.0
★★★★★
28.5%
£250 per annum
1.5 points per £1 spent
108.4% APR (variable)
Go to siteCard details
Earn 1.5 Avios for every eligible £1 spent on purchases. Plus, for every £20,000 spent on the card, receive another 10,000 bonus Avios points, up to 3 times per year. Terms apply.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 28.5% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £250 per annum, your representative rate is 108.4% APR (variable).
American Express Business Gold Card
4.0
★★★★★
N/A (this product is a charge card).
Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £195
1 point per £1 spent
N/A (this product is a charge card).
Go to siteCard details
Earn 20,000 bonus Membership Rewards® points when you spend £3,000 in the first 3 months. Terms apply.
American Express Business Platinum Card
3.5
★★★★★
N/A (this product is a charge card).
£650
1 point per £1 spent
N/A (this product is a charge card).
Go to siteCard details
Earn 40,000 bonus Membership Rewards® points when you spend £6,000 in the first 3 months. Terms apply.
Barclaycard Premium Plus Business Credit Card Mastercard
4.0
★★★★★
20.2% (variable)
£150 per annum
0.5% cashback
56.8% APR (variable)
Go to siteCard details
2 complimentary airport lounge passes annually, worldwide travel cover, discounted forex rates plus 0.5% cashback on eligible spend with a cap of 400 per year. T&Cs apply.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 20.2% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £150 per annum, your representative rate is 56.8% APR (variable).
CASHBACK
Funding Circle FlexiPay Business Credit Card
4.0
★★★★★
Flat fee per transaction
£0
1.25% cashback
33.4% APR (variable)
Card details
Get 1.25% cashback on all card spend with Flexipay for the first 3 months. Terms apply. Always 0% interest, no annual or set up fees, one flat fee per transaction from 3.9%.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 with a fee of 4.9%, your representative rate is 33.4% APR.
Moss Business Card
3.5
★★★★★
N/A (this product is a charge card).
Subject to plan
N/A
N/A (this product is a charge card).
Card details
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Approval for any credit card depends on your status. The representative APRs shown represent the interest rate offered to most successful applicants. Depending on your personal circumstances, the APR you're offered may be higher, or you may not be offered credit at all. Fees and rates are subject to change without notice. It's always wise to check the terms of any deal before you borrow.

6 differences between a business credit card and a 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.
  • 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.
  • Purchase protection. A noticeable downside of business credit cards is that, unlike personal credit cards, they aren’t covered by Section 75, so you won’t get protection on your purchases.
  • Cost. This very much depends on the card, but in general, business credit cards tend to feature higher annual fees and interest rates than personal credit cards.

Can I use my personal credit card for business expenses?

Yes, it is possible to use a regular credit card for business expenses. However, as your business expenditure grows, it may be more beneficial to get a business credit card to keep your personal and business finances separate and build up a business credit score. You’re also likely to get a higher credit limit and additional cards for your employees for their expenses.

Can I use my business credit card for personal expenses?

Yes, but we don’t advise it. A top benefit of a business credit card is organising your business spending. When it comes time to work out accounting and taxes, you’re a step ahead with business spending on a designated card.

Putting your personal expenses on your business credit card can also impact your business cash flow. Even if your business is small and it can sometimes feel like your personal and business finances are closely intertwined, you should always keep them separate. It will allow you to plan and budget more accurately and safeguard your personal finances if something goes wrong with your business.

Finally, you most definitely can’t do it if you are an employee who’s been assigned a company credit card. You could lose your job and face legal consequences, among other things.

Pros and cons of business credit cards compared to personal credit cards

Pros

  • A higher credit limit may be available.
  • Use it regularly to improve your business credit score, which can then give you access to better rates on future cards or business loans.
  • You can get additional cards for the rest of your team if you need to.
  • It allows you to neatly organise your business finances and keep them separated from your personal ones.
  • You might be able to connect it directly to your accounting software.
  • You can get rewards and benefits that are targeted to your business.

Cons

  • You may still be personally responsible for the debt on a business credit card if you sign a personal guarantee.
  • There’s no purchase protection.
  • You have less credit card deals to choose from.
  • A business credit card can be more expensive.

The bottom line

Ideally, you want to be using a business credit card for your business expenses and a personal credit card for your personal use. The advantages of a business credit card include a higher credit limit, the opportunity to build up a business credit score and better tools to manage your business finances (such as additional cards and accounting software integration).

However, you also need to be aware of the catches. With a business credit card you won’t get protection on your purchases. There aren’t as many business credit cards to choose from and in many cases they feature higher fees or interest rates.

All in all, using a personal credit card can be okay while your business is small and you don’t have to provide your employees with additional cards. However, as your business grows, getting a business credit card will probably become a much more practical and money-savvy solution.

How satisfied are credit card holders with their card issuer?

A greater proportion of personal credit cardholders say they're very satisfied with the service from their card issuers. At the other end of the scale the proportion of dissatisfied customers is broadly similar whether you look at business or personal cardholders.

ResponsePersonal credit card holders (%)Business credit card holders (%)
Very satisfied46.36%37.75%
Reasonably satisfied36.69%45.25%
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied12.32%12.50%
Moderately dissatisfied3.36%3.25%
Highly dissatisfied1.26%1.25%
Source: Finder survey by OnePoll of 1,150 Brits

Frequently asked questions

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.

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