Secured business credit cards

Unfortunately you can't usually get a secured business credit card in the UK, so we've put together a list of alternatives.

While fairly common across the pond, lenders don’t usually offer secured credit cards to businesses in the UK.

So, what are your options if your business’s credit score is less than ideal?

What are secured business credit cards anyway?

Secured business credit cards work just like regular credit cards, but require you to put down an initial cash deposit, which will then become your credit limit.

As this takes away pretty much all the risk for lenders, you’re often able to get one even if your business is very new or your credit score isn’t great.

At the same time, using a secured credit card helps you grow your business credit score and lets you earn rewards on your spending.

Alternatives to secured business credit cards

But let’s not dwell too much on what we can’t get. Even though a secured credit card is not an option, there are other types of business finance that could be available to you.

Unsecured business credit cards

This will sound very obvious, but are you sure you can’t get a standard unsecured business credit card? Some lenders may have looser criteria than others and may be willing to accept your application.

Just make sure you check your eligibility before proceeding with a complete application, so that there’s no impact on your credit score. Initially, you might have to settle for a low credit limit and a high interest rate, but if you pay off your bill in full every month, your business credit score will gradually improve and you will become eligible for a more competitive deal.

Our tips to get a business credit card with bad credit

Business line of credit

A business line of credit is the flexible version of a business loan. You can borrow what you need and when you need it up to your credit limit, and you’ll only pay interest on what you actually borrow.

Some lenders offer secured lines of credit, which may be a good solution if you don’t qualify for the unsecured version of it. Unfortunately, unlike with a credit card, you won’t usually benefit from any interest-free days.

What’s a business line of credit and how does it work?

Merchant cash advance

This could be a good idea for borrowing one-off. It’s quite similar to a business loan, so you get a lump sum from the lender at the very beginning, but instead of paying it back in fixed monthly instalments, you pay it back as a percentage of your card sales. This way, how much you have to pay back depends on how much you actually earn.

You’re charged a flat fee and no interest, so it doesn’t really matter how long it takes you to pay back the loan. As repayments are taken directly from your card terminal (before they even reach your account), your business credit score is less of an issue. Borrowing this way will definitely be more expensive than using a credit card, so you have to weigh the pros and cons carefully.

Compare merchant cash advance providers

Invoice financing

Invoice financing allows you to borrow money using your unpaid invoices as collateral. In practice, the lender advances the money your clients owe you in exchange for a fee, which gives you some financial breathing space and can help with cash flow issues.

Again, as it’s a secured form of finance, your credit score won’t matter as much. However, it is quite expensive, so you should see if you can qualify for a cheaper solution first.

What’s invoice financing and how does it work?

Compare business credit cards

Table: promoted then other popular deals
Name Product Purchases Annual/monthly fees Rewards earn rate Representative APR Link Key benefit Representative example
£200 BONUS
Allstar Plus ‘All-in-one’ Business Credit and Fuel Card
N/A (this product is a charge card).
Year 1 - £0.99 per card per month,
Year 2 onwards - £3.99 per card per month
N/A
N/A (this product is a charge card).
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Earn an introductory bonus of £200, up to 44 days interest free on purchases (subject to status), savings on fuel at 1,500 Discount Diesel sites plus a 10% saving on vehicle servicing, repair, tyres and car washes at venues nationwide.
Capital on Tap Business Rewards Credit Card
26.4%
£99 p.a.
1 point per £1 spent
29.9% APR (variable)
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Earn 1 point for every £1 spent. 1 points can be redeemed for either 1 Avios or 1p in cashback. 10,000 bonus points when £5,000 spent in first 3 months. Up to 20 free supplementary cards available.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 26.4% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 29.9% APR (variable).
CASHBACK
Barclaycard Business Select Cashback Credit Card
21.9%
£0
1% cashback
21.9% APR (variable)
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Earn 1% cashback on eligible spend. T&Cs apply
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
£100 GIFTCARD
Amazon Business American Express Card
21.9%
£50 per annum (first year waived – limited offer)
1.5 points per £1 spent with selected partners
1 point per £2 spent elsewhere
32.6% APR (variable)
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Earn 1.5% Amazon Rewards on the first £120,000 in purchases each calendar year, 1% thereafter at Amazon.co.uk, Amazon Business UK and Whole Foods Market UK, or 60 day extended payment terms on such purchases. Earn 0.5% Amazon Rewards on all other purchases.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £50 per annum, your representative rate is 32.6% APR (variable).
American Express Gold Business Card
N/A (this product is a charge card).
Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £175
1 point per £1 spent
N/A (this product is a charge card).
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New Cardmember offer: Earn 20,000 Membership Rewards® points when you spend £3,000 in first 3 months of Cardmembership. Earn 1 Membership Rewards® point for every £1 spent thereafter. Earn 10,000 extra Membership Rewards® points when you spend £20,000 per quarter.
Capital on Tap Business Credit Card
26.4%
£0
1 point per £1 spent
29.9% APR (variable)
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Earn 1% cashback for every £1 spent. Upgrade to Capital on Tap Business Rewards Card for £99 pa to choose between earning cashback or Avios and receive 10,000 bonus points when you spend £5,000 on your card in your first 3 months.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 26.4% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 29.9% APR (variable).
£100 GIFTCARD
Amazon Business Prime American Express Card
21.9%
Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £50 per annum
2 points per £1 spent with selected partners
1 point per £2 spent elsewhere
32.6% APR (variable)
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Earn 2% Amazon Rewards on the first £120,000 in purchases each calendar year, 1% thereafter at Amazon.co.uk, Amazon Business UK and Whole Foods Market UK, or 90 day extended payment terms on such purchases. Earn 0.5% Amazon Rewards on all other purchases.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £50 per annum, your representative rate is 32.6% APR (variable).
Barclaycard Business Premium Plus Credit Card
0% for 6 months reverting to 14.9%
£150 per annum
0.5% cashback
49.4% APR (variable)
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Earn 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 14.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £150 per annum, your representative rate is 49.4% APR (variable).
Finder Award
OFFER
British Airways American Express Accelerating Business Card
22.2%
£250 per annum
1.5 points per £1 spent
96.7% APR (variable)
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Limited time offer: Earn 60,000 bonus Avios when you spend £5,000 in your first three months. Earn 1.5 Avios for every eligible £1 spent on card and 2 On Business Points for every £1 spent with BA on eligible flights. 10,000 bonus Avios for every £20,000 spent (max £60,000 pa) per calendar year.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.2% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £250 per annum, your representative rate is 96.7% APR (variable).
Barclaycard Select Business Charge Card
Barclaycard Select Business Charge Card
N/A (this product is a charge card).
£42 per annum
N/A
3.6% APR (variable)
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Compare up to 4 providers

What about a personal guarantee?

If you’re the owner of a small business, you may be able to get a business credit card even if your business credit score isn’t great (for example, because you’ve only been in business for a few months) by signing a personal guarantee.

With a personal guarantee, you agree to personally take responsibility for any debt accumulated on your business credit card. It isn’t an ideal solution, because if something goes wrong with your business, it will impact your personal finances and your personal credit score.

On the other hand, it may be cheaper than other forms of business finance and can allow you to build up your business credit score. You can always switch to a business credit card with no personal guarantee later on.

Compare business credit cards that don’t require a personal guarantee

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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