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.

Updated

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.
Data indicated here is updated daily
Name Product Purchases Annual/monthly fees Rewards earn rate Rep. APR Link Incentive Representative example
Amazon Business American Express Card
21.9%
£50 per annum
1.5 points per £1 spent with selected partners
1 point per £2 spent elsewhere
32.6% (variable)
Go to site
More Info
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 £50 per annum, your representative rate is 32.6% APR (variable).
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% (variable)
Go to site
More Info
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).
Capital on Tap Business Credit Card
39.41%
£0
N/A
39.9% (variable)
Go to site
More Info
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 39.41% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 39.9% APR (variable).
Capital on Tap Business Rewards Credit Card
39.41%
£99 p.a.
1 point per £1 spent
39.9% (variable)
Go to site
More Info
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 39.41% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 39.9% APR (variable).
British Airways American Express Accelerating Business Card
22.2%
£210 per annum
1.5 points per £1 spent
80.3% (variable)
Go to site
More Info
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 22.2% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £210 per annum, your representative rate is 80.3% APR (variable).
American Express Gold Business Card
N/A (this product is a charge card).
Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £125
1 point per £1 spent
N/A (this product is a charge card).
Go to site
More Info
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).
Go to site
More Info
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.
Metro Bank Business Credit Card Mastercard
14.9%
£0
N/A
14.9% (variable)
More Info
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 14.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 14.9% APR (variable).
HSBC Commercial Credit Card Visa
15.9%
Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £32 per annum
N/A
22% (variable)
More Info
Identity Theft Assistance helpline and online tool. Liability Waiver for companies who have two or more cardholders. 24 hour customer service support.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 15.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £32 per annum, your representative rate is 22% APR (variable).
Bank of Scotland Business Credit Card Mastercard
17.57%
£32 per annum
N/A
22.4% (variable)
More Info
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 17.57% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £32 per annum, your representative rate is 22.4% 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

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