Best prepaid cards for business in the UK 2022

A prepaid business card, also known as a business expense card, can be used to spend money with any retailer that accepts debit or credit cards.

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If you’re a business owner, you may be investigating the easiest way to facilitate employee spending. A prepaid card can do just that, so you can place your trust in the service rather than the person, removing risk and temptation by using enforceable spending limits instead.

Compare prepaid business cards

Name Product Account fee Non-Sterling transactions Overdraft Accounting integrations Account management Key benefits
Pleo
£6
No fee
Fortnox, Sage, Xero
App, Online
Soldo
£5
Per card
a flat 1% FX fee for any transaction in the non-domestic currency
QuickBooks, Xero
App, Online
Spending limits, real time notifications, company cards
Equals Business Expense Card
£50
+ VAT per year
A 1.5% currency fee applies when a transaction is made in a currency other than GBP, EUR, USD, CAD, AUD, NZD, DKK, HKD, NOK, PLN, ZAR, SEK, CHF, HUF, JPY
N/A
App, Online
ANNA
Free
Free up to a max. balance of £5,000 (or up to £500 paid in per month)
Free
Xero
App
Earn 1% cashback for paying with your ANNA card in selected categories. Get a 6-month free trial
Cashplus Business Bank Account
Free
2.99%

On invitation
Clear Books, FreeAgent, KashFlow, QuickBooks, Sage, Xero
App, Online
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Compare up to 4 providers

Latest prepaid card reviews

Finder's pick: Pleo


Automatic categorisation

Insights and analytics

Digital receipt capture
Pleo aims to make it easier for businesses to control their spending and see where their money is going. Pleo’s smart company cards can be issued to employees and individual spending limits can be set for each. Pleo works from an app from your smartphone which keeps track of your cards, your business’ budget and where it is being spent, helping you to make better business decisions. You can also integrate your accounting system with Pleo, freeze cards whenever needed, and manage and pay bills with ease. There are three different pricing structures with Pleo, with the most expensive plans offering the biggest benefits, including a dedicated account manager and dedicated training. The free plan could be more suitable for those looking for a simple option for their small business.
  • Range of pricing structures
  • Multiple cards can be used on the same account
  • Easy to document expenses and manage business finances
  • Fee applies to some plans
  • Additional fees on withdrawals and transactions
  • Extra fees for using your card abroad
Account fee £6
UK ATM Charge £4
Account software integration platforms Fortnox
Sage
Xero
Additional cards Up to 5 users / cards
Additional card fee £10

Finder's pick: Soldo


Prepaid company cards

Employee expenses app

Accounting integrations
Soldo Uno has no monthly fee and comes with just one virtual or plastic prepaid Mastercard. The card is linked to the mobile app and allows you to set spending controls, including limits, rules and budgets. It also allows you to export transaction data to all major accounting software, and send expenses to Xero and QuickBooks Online. Further benefits include on-the-spot receipt capture, enabling you to document receipts by simply taking a photo. There are no fees for using your card in the UK, but you will pay a 2% fee for foreign transactions. You’ll also be able to add funds to your account whenever you need, free of charge, and funds will be available instantly. Should you need any help with using your card, the customer service team will be on hand to offer support via email or chat.
  • No monthly fee
  • Useful tracking features
  • Data can be exported into your accounting software
  • It comes with both an app and a web interface
  • Foreign transaction charges apply
  • Comes with only one card
  • £5 card issuance fee
Account fee £5
UK ATM Charge £1
Account software integration platforms QuickBooks
Xero
Additional cards 20 additional cards
Additional card fee Plastic = £5 Virtual = £1

Finder's pick: Equals Business Expense Card


Expert account manager

Cashback rewards

Safe and secure
Equals Spend cards can be used in more than 190 countries, with competitive fees and rates. By linking them to Equals Money’s expense management system, you’ll have control over what your team is spending, helping you to stay on top of budgets. There’s no limit on the number of cards you can give to your team, and you can simply add money, manage top-ups or pause or resume cards from the app. Users can also review transactions with receipts and categories, as well as customise access permissions for individual users depending on their role and responsibilities. There’s also the opportunity to earn cashback at certain high street brands. However, costs are relatively high - there is an annual platform fee of £50 +VAT (which is waived for non-profit organisations), plus a card issue fee of £10 +VAT. Foreign purchases are free in certain countries, but not in others, while a £1.50 ATM fee also applies.
  • Unlimited cards
  • Can be used across the world
  • Opportunity to earn cashback
  • Useful tracking features
  • High annual platform fee
  • Fees apply for some foreign transactions
  • Card issue fee
Account fee £50

Finder's pick: ANNA

ANNA

★★★★★

Go to site Read review

Get set up right now

Ditch the spreadsheets

24/7 chat support
With ANNA, every partner or employee can have their own card and make payments directly from your ANNA business account without the need to ask permission. Every time an employee makes a payment, they will be prompted to take a photo of the receipt so that it's stored digitally. The ANNA app also scans receipts, identifies the merchant and automatically assigns it to an expense category, so that you can keep track of what has been spent where, ready for your tax return. What's more, you'll be able to set individual spending limits on your team's cards, and freeze cards whenever required. Additional benefits include the opportunity to earn cashback on selected business expenses, plus the option to give team members access to your account so that they can pay bills, create invoices, and view statements to lighten your load. There are three pricing plans to choose from, including a free option.
  • Ability to connect other provider accounts to the ANNA app through Open banking
  • 24/7 support through the app aiming to give a response within 10 mins
  • Fast set-up
  • Invoice and expense services within the app
  • No seperate fees for account activities solely the monthly fee
  • No credit or overdrafts available
  • Still require a traditional bank account for majority of your business financial needs
  • No cash and cheque deposits
  • Cannot be used in web browser
Account fee £0
UK ATM Charge Free up to £100 per month
Account software integration platforms Xero
UK transfer charge £0
Additional cards 1
Credit check Soft search with no impact on credit score

Finder's pick: Cashplus Business Bank Account

Cashplus Business Bank Account

★★★★★

Go to site Read review

Real time data available

Up to 20 additional cards

Deposit money by electronic transfer
The Cashplus Expense Card offers a wide range of benefits and features for your business. For a start, you'll be able to order up to 20 additional cards and set individual spend limits for each one. There are no monthly account fees for each card, just one low annual fee on the primary account. You can deposit your own money by electronic transfer and see real time data for each card. All transactions can be monitored with a single online account view for the primary account holder, with the ability to see the primary account and all additional card accounts. What's more, Cashplus is integrated with most major accountancy software providers, including Clear Books, FreeAgent, QuickBooks, Sage and Xero, to make your life a little easier. You can open an account online in just four minutes.
  • Have account up and running in 5 minutes
  • Overdraft option "Cashplus iDraft" once you're eligible
  • Currency cards to use overseas
  • Online services in addition to the mobile app
  • Charge to have your bank card issued
  • Traditional bank still needed for majority of your business finance needs
Account fee £0
UK ATM Charge £2.00
Account software integration platforms Clear Books
FreeAgent
KashFlow
QuickBooks
Sage
Xero
UK transfer charge £0.30
Additional cards Up to 20 additional cards
Additional card fee £5.95
Credit check No credit checks to apply

What is a prepaid card for business?

A prepaid card can help business owners provide employees with access to money so they can pay for expenses.

It can be linked to your bank account and quickly loaded with funds online, or using a mobile app. Some cards will also allow you to load funds with cash at PayPoints, a banking branch or other locations, such as the Post Office.

However, you can’t set up direct debits or standing orders, like you would be able to do with a traditional bank account. You are unable to go overdrawn either.

Business owners might choose to use a prepaid card if they’re unable to apply for a traditional business bank account or a business credit card.

How do prepaid business cards work?

You will usually have to apply for a prepaid card online, as a lot of providers don’t have branches. In many cases, you can complete the application by downloading the associated app onto your smartphone and entering a few basic personal and financial details. The application usually only takes a few minutes and you won’t need to pass a credit check to be eligible for a card.

Once you’ve successfully applied for a card(s), you’ll have to wait a few days for it to be delivered to you. However, most providers will give you a “virtual card” with all the details you need to make online purchases in the meantime. You could also link a virtual card with mobile payment services like Apple Pay or Google Pay.

The prepaid card will be powered by a payment processor like Visa or Mastercard. You’ll be able to use this card with any retailer that accepts card payments from these processors. You can also withdraw cash at any ATM, although fees may apply.

Either way, the transaction will only go through if you have enough money loaded onto your card. If your balance is too low, the transaction will be rejected.

In what situations would prepaid business cards be used?

Prepaid business cards are a useful tool for splitting your business’s funds between multiple people. If each individual had their own prepaid card, the account holder could easily control and ensure they stick to their budgets.

It’s particularly useful if you want to give employees a means of spending, as you may not trust them with full access to your account via a debit card. Prepaid cards also make it easier to track who is spending your business’s money and where.

If your prepaid card offers better overseas spending rates than your bank account, you may choose to only use this while you’re abroad.

How to compare prepaid cards for business

  • Fees. You may be charged a delivery fee for receiving the card, plus a monthly account fee. Some cards charge ATM withdrawal fees too, so make sure to compare the potential costs of each card.
  • Card limits. Each card will have daily limits on ATM withdrawals. There may also be a daily spending limit, although this tends to be very high.
  • Top-up methods. Some cards may let you top up by cash at PayPoints, or online by linking one of your bank accounts. Other accounts may only support a few of these options.
  • Overseas rates. A key advantage of prepaid cards is that they tend to offer more reasonable rates for overseas spending. If you plan to use your card in different countries, make sure to compare how much it will cost you to do so.

Pros and cons of using prepaid business cards

  • Keeps costs under control. Using prepaid business expense cards can be a great way to prevent your employees overspending on expenses.
  • No credit check needed. Prepaid cards can be an easy alternative for business owners who aren’t eligible for standard business bank accounts.
  • Split expenses between different employees. If each of your employees has their own prepaid expense card you’ll be able to split your business funds between them.
  • No direct debits or standing orders. Prepaid expense cards don’t usually allow you to set up direct debits or standing orders to cover recurring expenses.
  • No overdraft features. If there isn’t enough money on the prepaid card, transactions will be declined.

The bottom line

Prepaid cards may not have all the functions of debit and credit cards, but that can be useful for business owners in various scenarios. No wonder more prepaid cards for business are popping up. The costs can vary wildly though, so make sure to shop around for the best deal.

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