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.

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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: sorted by interest rate on purchases.
Updated February 18th, 2020
Name Product Purchases Annual/monthly fees Rewards earn rate Rep. APR Incentive Representative example
British Airways American Express Accelerating Business Card
22.9%
£210 per annum
1.5 points per £1 spent
81.6% (variable)
Earn 1.5 On Business Points for every £1 spent with BA on eligible flights and 1.5 Avios for every eligible £1 spent on credit card. Earn an extra 3,000 On Business Points annually when £20K or more spent by card anniversary.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £210 per annum, your representative rate is 81.6% APR (variable).
Capital on Tap Business Credit Card
39.9
£0
N/A
39.9% (variable)
Upgrade to Capital on Tap Business Rewards Card for £99 pa to earn 1 point for every £1 spent. 1 point 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 39.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 39.9% APR (variable).
Capital on Tap Business Rewards Card
39.9%
£99 p.a.
1 point per £1 spent
39.9% (variable)
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 39.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 39.9% APR (variable).
American Express Gold Business Card
N/A (this product is a charge card).
£125 (£0 in first year)
1 point per £1 spent
N/A (this product is a charge card).
Earn 20,000 bonus Membership Rewards® points when you spend £3,000 in first 3 months of Card membership. Earn 1 Membership Rewards® point for every £1 spent thereafter.
American Express Platinum Business Card
N/A (this product is a charge card).
£595 p.a.
1 point per £1 spent
N/A (this product is a charge card).
Earn 40,000 bonus Membership Rewards® points when you spend £6,000 in first 3 months of Card membership. Earn 1 Membership Rewards® point for every £1 spent thereafter.
Barclaycard Business Flex Credit Card Mastercard
0% for 3 months reverting to 24.9%
£0
N/A
24.9% (variable)
Business Rewards - giving a range of discounts and rebates (up to 66% off AA membership, save 20% on B2B marketing sites and access to 99 UK business credit reports for £75, 5% Avis rebate, 15% off Ryman's stationary, up to 15% off with APH, £60 driving credit and first year membership free with Zipcar, first year of FSB registration free, 20% off bPay by Barclaycard device, up to 15% off ecommerce website with cloudBuy, 5% rebate on online advertising spend with Bing, 10% off selected hotel reservations for business trips with booking.com, 4% rebate at over 5,000 hotels and 10,000 restaurants and 1% rebate at petrol stations at selected locations with the USA and Canada with Mastercard, 3% off business flights with flybmi and 25% off first £200 spend at Amazon Business).
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 24.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 24.9% APR (variable).
Toolstation Trade Card Mastercard
0% for 3 months reverting to 24.9%
£0
N/A
24.9% (variable)
Apply for a card and spend on it between 11.11.19 and 31.3.20 and receive one prize draw entry to win 1 of 3 van wraps, maximum 10 entries.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 24.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 24.9% APR (variable).
Travis Perkins Trade Credit Card Mastercard
0% for 3 months reverting to 24.9%
£0
N/A
24.9% (variable)
0% for 60 days on purchases made at Travis Perkins and participating group companies.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 24.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 24.9% APR (variable).
Barclaycard Business Premium Plus Credit Card Mastercard
0% for 6 months reverting to 14.9%
£100 per annum
N/A
36.2% (variable)
0.5% after £1 of yearly spend. Maximum of £400 cashback paid per year. Cashback paid Anniversary into Card Account. If less than £10 Cashback earned in any Cashback Year, it will not be credited to the account and will not be carried forward to the following year.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 14.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £100 per annum, your representative rate is 36.2% APR (variable).
Barclaycard Business Select Credit Card Mastercard
0% for 6 months reverting to 19.9%
Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £32 per annum
N/A
26.4% (variable)
Business Rewards - giving a range of discounts and rebates (up to 66% off AA membership, save 20% on B2B marketing sites and access to 99 UK business credit reports for £75, 5% Avis rebate, 15% off Ryman's stationary, up to 15% off with APH, £60 driving credit and first year membership free with Zipcar, first year of FSB registration free, 20% off bPay by Barclaycard device, up to 15% off ecommerce website with cloudBuy, 5% rebate on online advertising spend with Bing, 10% off selected hotel reservations for business trips with booking.com, 4% rebate at over 5,000 hotels and 10,000 restaurants and 1% rebate at petrol stations at selected locations with the USA and Canada with Mastercard, 3% off business flights with flybmi and 25% off first £200 spend at Amazon Business).
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £32 per annum, your representative rate is 26.4% APR (variable).

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

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