Has bad credit been an issue for your company?
Best Business Credit Cards for Bad Credit in 2024
Business credit cards are a useful tool when used correctly and can help when managing the finances of a small (or big) company.
Whatever size your company is – be it a small business, of which there were 5.5 million at the start of 2023, or a big global firm, business credit cards can be a convenient and adaptable way of borrowing money and earning rewards.
There are lots of business credit cards to choose from, but the best tend to be reserved for people with good or excellent credit scores. However, there are options if your credit score isn't perfect but you need a business credit card, this article will help you understand how they work and which we think are best.
|1. Barclaycard Select Cashback Business Credit Card
|2. American Express Business Gold Card
|3. Santander Business Cashback Credit Card
|4. RBS Business Plus Credit Card
|5. Metro Bank Business Credit Card
The pros and cons of business credit cards
There are lots of options when it comes to business credit cards and it's important to compare cards to find the best one for your firm. Here we take a look at the pros and cons of some of the best business cards for those with poor credit scores.
✅ Buy without interest: some business credit cards offer periods of 0% interest to help you spread the cost of new items
✅ Allow you to monitor employee spending and set credit limits
✅ If your credit score improves because of cards being used correctly and repayments being made on time, borrowing in the future will be simpler (and cheaper).
✅ You can take advantage of rewards including cashback or air miles
✅ If you travel for work you could benefit from cheaper transaction fees while out of the UK
❌ Credit cards are an expensive way to borrow if you don't clear the card (and there isn't 0% or a low interest rate)
❌ If you or your business have poor credit, you can expect to pay a high interest rate
❌ Your credit record will take a hit if you do not make repayments on time or you exceed the credit limit
❌ If you have a poor credit record and you're in debt already, taking on more debit through a business credit card might not be a good idea
❌ Credit cards can tempt you into making purchases when you normally wouldn't
Top business credit cards for bad credit: reviewed
If you have poor credit, you can still apply for a business credit card, but you may have fewer alternatives available to you than someone with better credit.
You also need to give it some serious thought, as taking on more debt may not be the best option and if you won't be able to pay it back, you could end up in even more debt.
You may also find that some card issuers refuse to provide credit in any form, while others extend it but charge you a higher interest rate than the typical APR or grant you a smaller initial credit limit.
Company credit cards have requirements like a certain amount of yearly revenue or length of time in business. It is possible that you will additionally need to have an existing business bank account with that service before you can open a credit card.
Some commercial credit cards will also be restricted to applicants with spotless credit histories free of bankruptcy or County Court Judgments. Furthermore, certain credit card firms will not provide credit to single proprietors but only to limited liability businesses.
1. Barclaycard Select cashback business credit card — best bad credit card for businesses earning at least £10,000/yr
Barclaycard Select Cashback Business Credit Card
Up to 56 days’ interest-free credit when you pay in full and on time.
No annual fees for your card and account.
Get 1% cashback uncapped on all your business spend.
Representative Example – If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 27.5% p.a. (variable) your representative APR will be 27.5% APR (variable). Your APR and credit limit may vary depending on your circumstances.
All business purchases made with this card qualify for an unlimited 1% in cash back.
Additional cards may be ordered at no extra cost and there are no yearly fees associated with the account. From now until June 30th, both BT and EE customers may get a further 10% cashback on all purchases but after that time, it falls to 2%.
Even though the typical APR for this card is 27.5% (variable), transactions made within the first 56 days of establishing your account will not accrue interest (if they are paid in full within that time frame).
Despite not having a points system, this card offers a variety of benefits, such as bonus cash back on certain purchases including business medical insurance, hotel stays, and restaurant meals at participating establishments.
To qualify for the card, a company's yearly revenue must be at least £10,000. Your credit and company history will determine the terms and conditions of the loan.
✔️ A flat 1% cashback level
✔️ Additional cashback rewards
✔️ A free bookkeeping program
❌ High rate of interest
❌ Currency conversion costs
❌ No point system in place
2. American Express business gold Card — top bad credit card for rewards points included
Turn business purchases into rewards and keep your cashflow flowing.
The AMEX Business Gold card might be an excellent choice for anybody who wants to earn points on business expenditures.
You will earn one Membership Rewards point for every pound spent on the card. You will earn one extra point for every pound you spend on airfare, hotel rooms, and vehicle rentals booked via American Express Travel.
In addition, you will earn an extra 10,000 Membership Rewards points for every £20,000 you spend each quarter. You may redeem your points for things like gift cards, airfare, and room upgrades, as well as meals at restaurants. Request more cards at no extra cost and you can monitor spending with the AmexExpense app.
There is no annual fee or minimum amount required for this card, but you must pay off your debt in full each month or be charged a finance charge. The £175 yearly charge for the card is waived for the first year.
Tip 💡: When you spend at least £3k on your new card during the first three months, you will get a bonus of 20k Membership Rewards points (this is only for those who have not signed up in the last year).
✔️ 20,000 Membership Reward points for new customers
✔️ Spend £1 and get 1 point
✔️ Quarterly point bonuses
✔️ Employee ID cards available at no additional charge upon request
✔️ Spending is interest-free for up to 54 days
❌ £175/yr (after the first year)
❌ Every month, the whole balance is due
❌ Fines for late payments
3. Santander business cashback credit card — excellent credit card for poor credit & cashback
Santander Business Cashback Credit Card
Subject to status
1% cashback on all business spend with no cap.
No foreign transaction fees on purchases abroad when paying in the local currency.
No interest charged if balance paid off in full and on time each month.
Representative Example – If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 18.9% p.a. (variable) your representative APR will be 23.7% APR (variable). Annual fee £30. Your APR and credit limit may vary depending on your circumstances.
This card goes above and above by offering a substantial cashback bonus on all transactions, making it ideal for small and medium-sized enterprises seeking flexibility.
This card is great for startups and expanding companies due to its cheap annual fee and the option to add up to three other cardholders at no additional cost. You can't have more than two partners, members, or directors in your firm to qualify.
The primary cardholder may set spending limitations for any authorized users. The £30 yearly charge is cancelled out by the unrestricted 1% cash back on all business purchases, provided that you spend at least £3,000. To apply for the card you will need a Santander Business current account.
Special Tip 📓: The cashback you earn on all purchases is the icing on the cake of this card. Just remember to only buy things you can afford and repay the card to avoid interest charges.
✔️ A flat 1% cashback
✔️ Free to add three more cardholders
✔️ No currency-conversion fees
❌ Yearly fee of £30
❌ No points system
❌ To qualify, you must be a current account holder with Santander for your company
4. RBS business plus credit card — great credit card for poor credit scorers and international transactions
Representative Example – If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 13.9% p.a. (variable) your representative APR will be 29% APR (variable). Your APR and credit limit may vary depending on your circumstances.
The RBS Business Plus credit card comes with a significant cashback reward of up to 2%, depending on the kind of transaction made.
Up to £400 per year is available in cash back rewards, with a minimum 1% back on qualifying fuel and lodging, of 0.5% back on all purchasesand 2% back on qualified business or trade suppliers.
Customers with an RBS Business account get cash rewards on everyday purchases and incur no costs for international transactions.
Each cardholder is charged £70 annually, therefore your expenses should be substantial enough to more than cover the amount.
Because there are no foreign transaction fees associated with using this card, it may be an excellent choice for regular travellers. Also included is RBS's ClearSpend mobile app for monitoring and controlling spending across many cards.
Overall, there is cashback on all purchases, no foreign transaction fees, and a low standard purchase interest rate of 13.9% in exchange for an annual fee of £70 (for each cardholder).
✔️ Get a cashback level of up to 2%
✔️ No hidden costs associated with foreign exchange
✔️ ClearSpend is an expense tracking and management tool for helping you to pay off your debt
❌ Cardholders pay £70 annually
❌ No accumulated points system
❌ Business banking with RBS is required
5. Metro Bank business credit card — low credit and no fees
Representative Example – If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 14.9% p.a. (variable) your representative APR will be 14.9% APR (variable). Your APR and credit limit may vary depending on your circumstances.
Metro Bank‘s Business credit card may be worth considering if you are searching for a card that does not have annual fee.
If you already use this bank as a business client, with the card you can get fee-free transactions throughout Europe and a single low interest rate of 14.9%.
There aren’t any cashback bonuses, but there is a moderate 14.9% APR for all applicants, no annual fee, and a grace period of up to two months days on purchases if the debt is paid in full during that time.
This card is a great option for frequent business travelers to Europe since there are no foreign transaction fees. You must open a business or commercial current account first.
Why use this provider? Metro Bank, a “challenger bank”, operates a bit differently, focusing on “stores” on the main street that are open every day of the week. With no annual charge, no special introductory rates, and a flat rate for all purchases, its business credit card is refreshingly simple.
You will not get access to airport lounges or the chance to earn cash back, for instance, so if you are looking for incentives and privileges, this is not the card to go for.
However, if your company already uses Metro Bank (or you are considering a move), this card might be useful.
✔️ All approved applicants charged the same
✔️ No yearly charge
✔️ Currency conversion is free in Europe
❌ No rewards
❌ No accumulated points system
❌ Business or commercial current account with Metro Bank required for application
Britain’s top business credit card for bad credit — buying guide
The best business credit card for you will depend on your business and the amount of money you're looking to borrow. It will also depend on your credit rating, with the best cards only available to those with good or excellent credit scores. Of those listed, we chose the Barclaycard business select card as our favourite and you can read more about it below.
Barclaycard Business Select Cashback Card: Expert Review
Although the Barclaycard Business Select Cashback Card's fees and perks are quite typical, the card's cash-back earn-rate is exceptional. This card gives double the standard earn rate for cards with no annual fee, with no limits and payments made every month.
You can earn cashback on most of your everyday purchases with this card (with some exceptions like items purchased and refunded after, cash withdrawals, insurance premiums, etc.), whereas many other banks' “cashback” offers are really just discounts negotiated with a small number of certain partners.
Barclaycard also provides brand-specific discounts, including on airport parking, auto rentals, office supplies, restaurants, and it also gives access to a company's credit report.
2. Team rewards
Put as much of your usual spending as possible on the card and pay off the debt in full every month to maximize your cashback rewards. If you do not pay off your amount in full every month, interest will accrue and your rewards will be less than the cost of carrying the debt.
3. Interest-free period
You can get up to 56 days of 0% interest on business purchases with this card but if you do not pay off the card you will be charged a variable purchase rate of 27.1%, a higher cash withdrawals rate of 33.4%, and a purchases rate of 2.99% made in foreign currency.
Should those with terrible credit apply for a business credit card?
When it comes to financial management, business credit cards can be useful but only if you make the repayments on time, and you can afford to pay them back.
A credit card can be a far more affordable alternative to other short-term lending options, and you can earn rewards and cashback with many of them.
If used responsibly, a corporate credit card may also boost a company's credit rating, opening the door to lower interest rates and other perks in the future. However, used incorrectly and it can damage your credit rating and cost you more in interest and fees.
Will my personal credit be checked?
When evaluating whether or not to provide credit to a firm, financial institutions will look at the borrower's personal credit history.
However, if you have formed a limited liability company, you will need to maintain separate credit profiles for your business and yourself.
These two things are distinct, although they accomplish comparable goals. Business credit scores are used by lenders in the same way that personal credit scores are used when deciding whether or not to provide credit when applying for a credit card for a company.
How good is your business record?
Interest rates, loan amounts, and even approval for credit are all impacted by a company's credit score. Your chances of being approved, the amount you may borrow, and the interest rate you will be given all depend on your credit score.
Lenders may consider both your personal and corporate credit histories when making a decision about lending to you. If your company is just starting out, it may take some time before it has established a solid credit history.
Before deciding whether or not to lend to you, a lender may also request financial records, a business plan, and projections of future revenue.
Top tip 💡: Keep in mind that if your firm has numerous directors, any one of them might have an impact on the company's creditworthiness.
Leading business credit cards for bad credit: the verdict
If your company has a bad credit history, you should work to improve it before applying for a business credit card, but you should also keep your personal credit score in mind.
Before applying for anything that might affect your credit, be sure you meet all of the qualifying requirements. After getting a credit card, it is important to make payments on schedule and never go over your limit. In the long run, responsible credit card use may help your company's credit standing improve.
Limited credit vs. poor credit
There is a significant difference between having terrible credit and having restricted credit, both of which might hinder a company's ability to get financing.
Your company may not have much of a credit history if it is just starting out and has never borrowed money before.
Bad credit, on the other hand, indicates that your company has established a credit profile with blemishes. Negative credit may result from late or missed payments, missed credit repayments, late business account filings, or exceeding available credit limitations.
If your company has bad credit, it may be best to take efforts to enhance your credit score before applying for credit again.
Top-rated business credit cards for bad credit — FAQs
How do I go about getting a company credit card?
Shopping for a company credit card is the same as shopping for a personal one. You will need to compare things like these to achieve your goal:
- Borrowing costs
- Other fees
- Gains and advantages
- Caps on borrowing
- Accounting and budgeting tools
- Eligibility requirements
The availability of online eligibility checkers for corporate credit cards is much lower than it is for consumer credit cards. Although no credit card company can guarantee your approval, eligibility checkers may help you determine which cards you have the best chance of being approved for.
This is due to the fact that they just need a “soft” inquiry into your credit history. Contrast this with a loan application, when the lender will do a thorough “hard” investigation of your credit history. Applying for a business credit card is often done online, over the phone, or in person at a bank.
How do personal credit cards differ to those issued to businesses?
They work in much the same manner, and are conceptually quite similar. Your company credit card, however, will be yours to keep and use just for legitimate business expenditures. Business credit cards often have greater credit limits than personal credit cards.
What is a personal guarantee and should I use it?
Some credit cards may need a personal guarantee from the business owner if the company has little to no trade experience or credit history. You accept personal responsibility for any charges made with your business credit card.
In general, it is not a good idea to involve your personal funds in business dealings, thus it is best to avoid giving a personal guarantee. But sometimes they have to be done when it is for the best. As long as you use the card properly, a personal guarantee should not show up on your credit report or have any effect on your credit score.
How can I rebuild my credit so that I may apply for a business credit card?
You can increase your chances of approval even if you have bad credit by doing any of the following:
- Do not flood the market with credit card applications. Your credit score is likely to drop even worse as a result of this. Keep your credit card applications to one that you know will be approved. If you are turned down, give it a few months and then try again. The majority of “hard” credit checks, such as those performed during an application for credit, remain on your report for 12 months.
- Take steps to raise your credit rating. Improve not just your personal but also your company’s credit rating. Paying bills and invoices on time and requesting that vendors report your payment history to credit bureaus are two easy ways to work toward this goal.
- Consider applying for a card that requires a personal guarantee. Once your company’s credit score has improved, it may be worthwhile to apply for a business credit card that does not need a personal guarantee.
- Think about getting a credit-building card. If you want to improve your credit score, you may do it with the help of some business credit cards. However, due to high interest rates and minimal credit limits, paying off your bill in full every month is essential. If used wisely, a poor credit credit card may help your company build credit and qualify for better financing options in the future.
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