Top 10 Business Credit Cards for 2021
A credit card is often essential for small business owners, as it enables them to purchase items quickly without having to be secured against business assets. In 2021, as businesses look to get back on their feet following global COVID-19 disruption and country-wide lockdowns, a business credit card may be a helping hand for a company looking to recover.
Many credit card companies offer new and existing businesses the opportunity to get a corporate card with great offers and fast approval. You can apply for your card even if you have bad credit as a sole trader. Keep reading below to see the best deals available in 2021.
Business Credit Card Offers and Comparison
While the economy recovers from the effects of the pandemic, it's wise to keep your personal and business expenses separate for VAT and accounting purposes. That's why it's advisable to get a business credit card even if you're trading as a sole trader or in a Limited Liability Partnership. If, however, you have a limited (LTD) company, then your business credit card should be registered in the name of your company.
There are few offers on the marketplace at the moment, but when comparing credit cards, you should look out for the following:
- Does it charge an annual fee?
- What is the annual APR if you don't pay the balance off in full?
- Are there any introductory rates such as 0% for purchases for a year?
- Are there any balance transfer rates similar to those offered by personal cards?
Summary of Small Business Credit Cards
Click the links to jump to the relevant section, or read the full list below.
All figures below are taken from the listed provider’s websites and are correct as of May 2021.
|Name||Annual Fee||Purchases||Representative APR %||Interest-free Period|
|Capital On Tap||£0||39.41%||39.9% (variable)||56 Days|
|American Express (British Airways American Express Accelerating Business Card)||£210||22.2%||80.3% (variable)||56 Days|
|Santander||£30||18.9%||23.7% (variable)||56 Days|
|Barclaycard Cashback Credit Card||£0||21.9%||21.9% (variable)||56 Days|
|Royal Bank Of Scotland||£0 first year, £30 p.a after||16.9%||24.3% (variable)||56 Days|
|Natwest Business Credit Card||£0 first year, £30 p.a after||16.9%||24.3% (variable)||56 Days|
|Metro Bank Business Credit Card||£0||13.97%||14.9% (variable)||56 Days|
|Lloyds Bank Business Credit Card||£32||17.57%||22.4%||45 Days|
|Clydesdale Bank Business Mastercard||£0 first year, £28 p.a after||16.9%||22.4%||59 Days|
|HSBC Commercial Credit Card||£0 first year, £32 p.a after||15.9%||22.0%||56 Days|
Capital on Tap Business Credit Card
Capital on Tap offers a new kind of business credit card, which is effectively an unsecured business loan spent using a credit card. It boasts low-interest rates, no card fees and a credit limit of up to £25,000. Capital On Tap also offers a Business Rewards Credit Card with a £99 annual fee and 1% cashback rewards.
You can apply for this card on Capital On Tap’s website.
- Interest rates between 9.99% and 39.9%, depending on your credit history.
- No annual card fees.
- No foreign exchange fees on overseas purchases.
- Up to £25,000 credit limit to expand your business.
- Free cash withdrawals at UK ATMs.
American Express British Airways Amex Accelerating Business Card
American Express, or ‘AMEX’, is more suited to larger businesses ready to pay an annual fee. Their basic card has no fees but doesn’t offer anything that makes it worth recommending to new firms.
Instead, businesses who want an AMEX card should opt for the British Airways Amex Accelerating Business Card, which costs £210 annual and has a fairly significant 81.9% APR. However - this comes with a 56-day interest-free period and a huge rewards system, global assistance and travel insurance.
- Comprehensive suite of rewards - earn 2,200 On Business Points with this card
- 56 calendar days of interest-free payments
- Global 24/7 support.
Santander Business Cashback Credit Card
This card offers a generous 1% cashback on all business spend, becoming lucrative over time. To be eligible, you’ll need to be a sole trader in a partnership or be a private limited company with no more than two partners/directors. Click here to apply.
- 1% cashback on all purchases but a £30 p.a fee
- Purchase rate 18.9% (variable)
- No transaction fees on purchases abroad when using local currency
Barclaycard Select Cashback
One of Britain’s most well-known banks, Barclays offers a generous cashback card that has no annual fees and a relatively stable rate of 21.9% APR. The main draw of this card is the 1% cashback reward offer on all eligible business spend.
- 1% cashback on all eligible business purchases
- No annual fees
- 56-days interest-free credit when paid full and on time
- Purchase protection and cardholder misuse insurance for peace of mind
Royal Bank of Scotland Business Credit Card
Scotland’s premier bank offers existing business bank account owners a great business credit card option. Their Business Credit Card boasts zero fees first year, 56 days of interest-free credit, access to their ClearSpend app that helps you track card activity and a 5* Moneyfacts rating to help reassure businesses.
- 5* Moneyfacts rating
- 56 days of interest-free credit and a minimum credit limit of £500
- Have to have an existing business bank account with RBS
- Useful ClearSpend app to track spending
Natwest Business Credit Card
Natwest’s business credit card requires an existing business bank account to take advantage of. The card is virtually identical to the RBS card (both banks are part of the Natwest Group) - so it’s essentially just another opportunity for readers who may hold one or the other business account to use their business credit card.
- Identical to the RBS card but for Natwest customers
Metro Bank Business Credit Card
A bank that prides itself on customer service, Metro Bank’s Business Credit Card is a transparent option for businesses that want a clear, concise credit agreement that allows them to borrow with confidence. Most European countries offer free transactions, and the card itself offers a clear 14.9% APR rate.
- No annual fees
- Simple 14.9% variable APR rate
- Great customer service
Lloyds Business Credit Card
Lloyds is an established UK bank with a long history of business support. Their Business Credit Card, unfortunately, offers a shorter interest-free period than many options on this list at just 45 days. However, the card does come with the Business Savings By Mastercard, which provides cashback rebates on qualifying purchases.
- £32 annual fee
- 22.4% representative APR
- 45-day interest-free limit
Clydesdale Business Credit Card
Clydesdale bank’s business credit card is a Mastercard offering with some valuable features. It offers one of the longest interest-free periods on any card, with up to 59 days of interest-free credit on purchases. The card has no initial annual fee and comes loaded with anti-fraud features, making it a safe bet for your business.
- 22.4% variable APR on a £1200 credit amount
- 59 days of interest-free credit, the most on our list
- No annual fee in the first year
HSBC Commercial Card
HSBC UK’s commercial card is fairly standard compared to most on this list - but offers the reliability and security associated with such a large banking house. Their card provides a good 22% APR variable rate and an established suite of online banking tools to track spending.
- No first-year fee
- Full security protection with HSBC’s PrivacyCard
- 56 days of interest-free credit
Business Credit Card FAQs
Having looked over our recommendations of the best business credit cards in the UK, are you feeling more equipped to choose one? You have the flexibility to select options with more extended interest-free payment periods, those that offer great cashback rewards and packages with more significant credit limits. Ultimately, your choice will come down to what your business needs most.
If you’ve still got questions about large or small business credit cards, read the FAQ’s below to see if we can help you understand the world of business lending even further.
What is a business credit card?
Like a personal credit card, a business credit card gives a business a line of credit with a bank that you can use to purchase goods and services. Business credit cards give you immediate funds, so for example, you could pay an invoice using the card without having money in your business bank.
Business credit cards are also useful to manage cashflow and spending within the business. You can issue multiple cards to employees who all use the same account, and you can also use the cards for work expenses for easier accounting.
What’s the difference between a business and a personal credit card?
The main difference between the cards is the name of the person listed and therefore, who the debts are liable to. With a personal credit card, you’ll be the named holder and responsible for payments and debts etc. However, with a business card, the focus is instead on your business name - although many lenders will add personal guarantees into credit agreements that make you personally liable for business debts.
What can I use a business credit card for?
- Buying business equipment
- Paying invoices
- Paying for expenses
- Office furniture
- Client entertainment fees
You can essentially use a business credit card as you would any other credit card, but the purchases should be specifically for your business in order to avoid any accountancy issues.
Do I need a business credit card in the UK?
If you have a good amount of cash in capital in your business account and have a reliable source of income, you likely don’t need a business credit card. However, the advantages they offer come with minimal downsides, provided you pay your credit bills on time and comply with the rules set by the lender. To add flexibility and control to your business spending, a company credit card can be a real bonus.
How do I get a business credit card?
Business credit card offers are open to many different types of business. From small startups to large corporations, there are credit cards available at every tier. Most banks offer different levels of card with increased credit limits and perks depending on your turnover.
You must register your business in the UK, and you must be at least 18 years old to apply for a business card. You might also need to have a business bank account with the credit lender - but this isn’t always the case as with the Capital On Tap credit card we’ve already mentioned.
How much do they cost?
As we’ve shown in this article, business credit cards vary in cost - they can range from free for life to having small annual fees. Some companies offer a free first year and an annual fee following that.
What if I can’t pay a business credit card?
If you fail to make repayments on purchases on your card, you’ll be eligible to begin paying interest after the initial interest-free period. The majority of business cards have significant APR rates, so failing to make repayments on time can lead to heavy financial repercussions.
In conclusion, the best business credit card is the one that most suits your business. It will come down to the size of your organisation, the amount you may need to borrow and the amount of interest-free days you’re comfortable with. We have done our best to list the providers we would recommend above - but the final decision rests with you and your business. Remember: you don’t have to have one; a business credit card is simply a convenient resource that you can leverage with care.