Best Business Charge Cards

Explore the benefits of business charge cards.

Updated: May 21, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

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How do you pay for expenses in your business? Instead of using a traditional petty cash box that is difficult to manage and vulnerable to fraud, opt for a business charge card with a specified credit limit.

Similar to a business credit card, you can purchase business expenses and pay at a later date. However, charge cards will cost your business less in fees but the balance must be paid in full each month.

In this article, we will explore the benefits of business charge cards and present you with the best options available for your business.

Card NameScoreDetails
1. American Express Business Platinum Card★★★★★Click Here
2. Bank of Scotland Business Charge Card★★★★★Click Here
3. Barclaycard Select Business Charge Card★★★★★Click Here
4. American Express Business Basic Card★★★★Click Here
5. Lloyds Bank Business Charge Card★★★★Click Here
6. Allstar Plus Card★★★★Click Here

What Is a Business Charge Card?

A business charge card allows the employees of a business to pay for expenses and other purchases when working. 

Business charge cards work like a traditional credit card. The individual will present their charge card when making a purchase and will either tap the card to make a contactless transaction or insert the card into a card reader. 

There will be a spending limit that you must adhere to, also, although this limit is usually higher than limits for credit cards.

However, unlike credit cards, the credit limit balance of a business charge card must be paid in full at the end of every month. This is different to a credit card where instalments can be paid as long as the minimum repayment is made. You might also need to pay an annual fee or monthly fee.

Who Can Get a Business Charge Card?

A range of businesses are eligible to get a business charge card although you typically need a business bank account. This includes sole trader businesses, as well as partnerships and limited companies

However, your credit score and financial situation will ultimately determine whether you can get a business charge card.

Do Business Charge Cards Cost Money?

There are some fees charged when using a business charge card, although these fees and the condition associated with the account will differ from lender to lender.

Your lender may charge you an annual or a monthly fee, or you could be charged an interest rate on purchases made on the charge card.

Where Can I Use Business Charge Cards?

Business charge cards can be used in most retailers and food premises, as well as online for online purchases. You can use some charge cards for ATM withdrawals or to make purchases over the phone. However, this will depend on the charge card provider.

Before using a business charge card, it is imperative that you check the locations where your card will be accepted. 

What Are the Advantages of Using a Business Charge Card?

Using business charge cards in your business can offer several benefits:

1. Manage Expenses

Understanding the expenses that your business spends is important. Using charge cards can ensure that you know where your business money is being spent and what the money is being spent on. 

2. Spending Limits

Some charge cards can allow you to set spending limits so your employees cannot spend frivolously. This feature helps you to manage your finances further and prevent overspending.

3. High Credit Limits

Charge cards can allow recipients high credit limits in contrast to lower credit limits provided by credit cards.

4. Charge Card Rewards

Depending on the provider you choose, you could receive rewards or incentives. For example, you could receive cashback on purchases made or accumulate points and other benefits.

5. Responsible Spending

With expenses and other purchases monitored and managed, charge card recipients can achieve responsible spending and think before purchases are made.

What Are the Disadvantages of Using a Business Charge Card?

There are some disadvantages of using a business charge card for expenses and other purchases:

1. Paying the Balance

The balance spent on a business charge card must be paid in full every month. You cannot pay part of the balance and may incur fees if you are late paying the balance.

2. Late Fees

If you cannot make the repayments, late fees are typically charged. Such fees can be substantial and may accumulate if you are unable to clear the amount of money you owe.

3. Monthly or Annual Fees

Additional fees could be charged each month or each year, depending on the provider you choose.

4. Suitability

Some businesses may not be suited to using charge cards if their cash flow is irregular. As the balance of the charge card must be paid every month in full, businesses with irregular cash flow management may struggle to pay the amount.

5. Surveillance

Monitoring your employees and the expenses they pay for with your business money may make individuals feel as though they are under continuous surveillance.

At a Glance, Pros and Cons

Check out this section for a succinct list of pros and cons of business charge cards:

Pros

✔️ Money management — Set a credit limit and manage your employees’ spending.

✔️ Limits — Add a spending limit to each charge card to tailor spending.

✔️ Rewards — Unlike credit cards, you could receive rewards for every purchase made by employees.

✔️ High credit limits — Once you have proven to the lender that you will pay the balance in full each month, you could gain a high credit limit for your charge card account.

Cons

❌️ Payment — You must pay the full balance every month.

❌️ Late fees — Late fees may be charged if you do not pay the balance in full every month.

❌️ Monthly or annual fees — Some providers charge fees each month or each year to use their charge cards.

❌️ Employee satisfaction — Employees may not like using charge cards as their spending is monitored and sometimes prohibited.

Best Business Charge Cards — Reviews

Which business charge card would benefit your business?

Here is our expert review of the best business charge cards available:

1. American Express Business Platinum Card — Best for Long Repayment Periods

American Express Business Platinum Card

American Express Business Platinum Card
Credit Limit
None
Representative % APR (variable)
None
  • Annual fee £650.
  • Membership Rewards® points.
  • Business Premium Services.

Enjoy a world of premium business benefits.

Features:

  • Annual fee: £650
  • Earn Membership Rewards points
  • Receive 1 point for every £1 spent on your charge card
  • 54 days to pay for purchases

Eligibility:

  • Aged 18 or over
  • Permanent UK address
  • Business UK bank account or building society account

The American Express Business Platinum Card is the best charge card for long repayment periods. You will receive 54 days to repay the balance on the charge card, a much longer timeframe than most charge card providers.

There is an annual fee of £650 for the American Express Business Platinum Card, although a substantial Membership Rewards scheme is available. You can earn 1 point for every £1 spent on the card and redeem your points balance for your benefit.

To apply for this charge card, you must be aged 18 or over and you must have a permanent UK address. In addition, you must possess a UK bank account or building society account for your business.

2. Bank of Scotland Business Charge Card — Best for Small Business

Bank of Scotland Business Charge Card

Bank of Scotland Business Charge Card
Credit Limit
Variable
Representative % APR (variable)
None
  • Up to 45 days interest-free credit on Sterling purchases.
  • Manage and track your business expenses online.
  • Withdraw up to £500 cash per day.

Credit limits vary based on your individual circumstances and the number of cardholders is subject to your total credit limit.

Features:

  • Annual fee: £32 per card
  • 45 days to pay for purchases

Eligibility:

  • Aged 18 or over
  • Permanent UK address
  • Business UK bank account or building society account

The Bank of Scotland Business Charge Card is a great choice for small businesses. You can receive a spending limit of at least £1,000, with the maximum credit limit determined by your circumstances.

You can withdraw up to £500 cash each day with the Bank of Scotland Business Charge Card, charged at a rate of 2.5%.

Each charge card will result in a fee of £32 per year, whilst balances on the charge card must be paid in full within 45 days.

To apply for this charge card, you must be aged 18 or over and you must have a permanent UK address. In addition, you must possess a UK bank account or building society account for your business.

3. Barclaycard Select Business Charge Card — Best for Contactless Purchases

Barclaycard Select Business Charge Card

Barclaycard Select Business Charge Card
Credit Limit
Minimum £1,000
Representative % APR (variable)
3.6% APR
  • Up to 38 days interest free on purchases.
  • Ideal for controlling business spend.
  • Purchase protection and cardholder misuse insurance.

The approval of your application depends on your financial circumstances and borrowing history, so do the terms you may be offered. The interest rates may differ from those shown.

Features:

  • Annual fee: £42
  • 38 days to pay for purchases
  • Link to Apple Pay

Eligibility:

  • Aged 18 or over
  • Permanent UK address
  • Business UK bank account or building society account
  • Business turnover: Over £10,000 per year

The Barclaycard Business Charge Card is the best charge card for contactless purchases, being able to link the charge card to Apple Pay for easy management and convenience.

The annual fee for this charge card is £42, and you will have 38 days to pay for the purchases. 

To apply for this charge card, you must be aged 18 or over and you must have a permanent UK address. In addition, you must possess a UK bank account or building society account for your business. You must also evidence a turnover of at least £10,000 per year.

4. American Express Business Basic Card — Best for Zero Annual Fee

American Express Business Basic Card

American Express Business Basic Card
Credit Limit
None
Representative % APR (variable)
None
  • No pre-set spending limit.
  • No annual fee.
  • No interest charges.

You pay no interest fees with American Express Charge Cards if you pay your balance in full each month.

Features:

  • Zero annual fee 
  • 42 days to pay for purchases

Eligibility:

  • Aged 18 or over
  • Permanent UK address
  • Business UK bank account or building society account

If you are looking for a business charge card that requires zero annual fees, the American Express Business Basic Card could be the choice for you.

You will receive 42 days to pay for the purchases made on your card, a very reasonable amount of time. However, there is no reward scheme applicable to this charge card.

To apply for this charge card, you must be aged 18 or over and you must have a permanent UK address. In addition, you must possess a UK bank account or building society account for your business.

5. Lloyds Bank Business Charge Card — Best for Unlimited Cards

Lloyds Bank Business Charge Card

Lloyds Bank Business Charge Card
Credit Limit
Variable
Representative % APR (variable)
None
  • Easy Card Management.
  • Withdraw up to £500 cash per day.
  • Up to 45 days interest-free credit on Sterling purchases.

Credit limits vary based on your individual circumstances and the number of cardholders is subject to your total credit limit.

Features:

  • Minimum limit: £1,000
  • Annual fee: £32 per card
  • 45 days to pay for purchases

Eligibility:

  • Aged 18 or over
  • Permanent UK address
  • Business UK bank account or building society account

The Lloyds Bank Business Charge Card is a great choice for unlimited cards. Each card you issue to employees will possess its own credit limit that can be adapted according to needs, with a minimum limit of £500.

Balances on your business charge card must be paid within 45 days, with all purchases being interest-free during this period. The balance must be paid in full via Direct Debit.

The annual fee payable for the Lloyds Bank Business Charge Card is £32, with this sum payable for every card issued by your account. 

To apply for this charge card, you must be aged 18 or over and you must have a permanent UK address. In addition, you must possess a UK bank account or building society account for your business.

6. Allstar Plus Card — Best for Fuel Purchases

Allstar Plus Card

Allstar Plus Card
Credit Limit
£1k-£100k+
Representative % APR (variable)
None
  • Fuel & business payments made simple.
  • Up to 44 days interest-free credit on all your business purchases.
  • 7,700 fuel sites.

Fees and interest may apply.

Features:

  • Fuel and expense purchases
  • 44 days to pay for purchases

Eligibility:

  • Aged 18 or over
  • Permanent UK address
  • Business UK bank account or building society account

The Allstar Plus card is the best charge card for fuel purchases. You can use your fuel card at over 7,700 fuel sites in the UK and you can apply for credit limits between £1,000 to £100,000. This company fuel card is designed to pay for fuel purchases as well as other expenses.

You will receive 44 days to pay the balance on your Allstar Plus fuel card, during which time you will not be charged any interest.

To apply for this charge card, you must be aged 18 or over and you must have a permanent UK address. In addition, you must possess a UK bank account or building society account for your business.

Leading Charge Cards for Business: The Verdict

Our favourite charge card for business is the American Express Business Platinum Card, offering your business 54 days to pay the full balance on the charge card. 

The annual fee of £650 is substantial, although the Membership Rewards scheme is very beneficial and can result in ongoing benefits to mitigate the annual cost.

Related Guides:

FAQs

Are there any alternatives to business charge cards?

Can a business charge card be used for personal finance expenses?

Are business charge cards covered by the Consumer Credit Act?

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