Business Credit Cards [UK Company Options]

Business credit cards UK companies can obtain will vary depending on the business, credit profile, desired benefits, and more.

In this article, weโ€™ll explore the most important criteria business owners need to consider. Of course, we will also answer a number of questions that we receive from our members on the topic.

This article is part of our free series on how to open a European business bank account online and access business credit cards, which you can access by clicking here right now.

Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.

Table of Contents

  1. Business Credit Cards UK
  2. Benefits of UK Business Credit Cards
  3. Who Can Apply For Business Credit Cards in the UK?
  4. How to Apply for a UK Business Credit Card
  5. Frequently Asked Questions
  6. Do You Want Help Opening Bank Accounts?

Business Credit Cards UK

Business Credit Cards UK companies can obtain include a wide range of offers from major financial institutions like Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, and others. Importantly, not all UK businesses will be able to obtain all of the available cards. Instead, they will need to find cards that they can realistically be approved for based on their businessโ€™ client profile.ย 

Likewise, business owners should consider the specific objectives they are trying to achieve. This includes the benefits they want to obtain, the support they require, the fees they are comfortable paying, and more.

Importantly, if a business is planning to use a credit card outside of the UK on a regular basis, the owners should be looking for credit cards that offer low (or no) foreign transaction fees. This is important because foreign transaction fees can add between 1% to 3% of the total cost to every purchase made outside of the country where the card is issued.

Benefits of UK Business Credit Cards

Benefits of UK business credit cards can range from strengthening a businessโ€™ credit history to providing access to short term capital for business expenses. It can also include protection against fraudulent card use, lost or stolen cards, and more.

Here is a closer look at the benefits of credit cards that businesses can access in the UK.

Benefits of UK Business Credit Cards

  • Immediate access to short-term capital
  • Easier expense account management
  • Build credit history for your business
  • Purchase protection against fraud and lost cards
  • Card management solutions for large businesses
  • Lower fees on international purchases compared to sending wires

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Who Can Apply For Business Credit Cards in the UK?

Anyone with a registered business can apply for business credit cards in the UK. However, there are a few important nuances that prospective applicants will need to consider. These nuances include how long the business has been operating, whether the business has established credit history, existing banking relationships of the business, and more.

Business Types That Can Apply for Business Credit Cards in the UK

Business types that can apply for a business credit card in the UK include all registered entities. In other words, if you have a business that is registered with Companies House that is in good standing, has paid all related fees, and has met its filing obligations, then the business can apply for a credit card.

With this in mind, all of the popular entities in the UK can apply (and potentially be approved) for a business credit card in the UK. This includes the two most popular structures used by foreigners and non-residents, which are UK Limited Companies and UK Limited Liability Partnerships.

Do I Need a Business Credit Card?

No, you do not need a business credit card. In fact, many businesses are able to operate without any payment card at all. Instead, they can send and receive money to suppliers and from customers through bank transfers and cheques.

However, a business credit card can make it much easier to make payments and operate your business. This is especially true if you need to make online payments on behalf of your business on a regular basis.

How to Apply for a UK Business Credit Card

How to apply for a UK business credit card will ultimately depend on the card that you are applying for. In certain instances, you can apply for a UK business credit card online. However, other banks may require you to apply in person. Likewise, phone applications are also possible, though these are being phased out in favor of online applications.

With this in mind, you may want to consider your preferred application process before you choose the card that you want to obtain. That way you choose a card that actually matches your goals and streamlines the application process for you.

Requirements for Obtaining a Business Credit Card in the UK

Requirements for obtaining a business credit card in the UK will vary from bank to bank and card to card. In fact, one financial institution may have very easy to obtain credit cards for UK businesses while also offering cards that only a very small number of businesses can access.

That said, there are a few general requirements that all businesses should expect to meet when applying for credit cards in the UK. This includes having a reasonable credit history for the business, having a business that is registered and operating in good standing, and the person applying for the card typically needs to be a manager or director of the company.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Business Credit Card in the United Kingdom?

How long it takes to get a business credit card in the United Kingdom will ultimately depend on the card that you are applying to. Generally speaking, it can take between a few days up to a month.

Not surprisingly, if you are applying for a card from a financial institution where you have an existing relationship, it will take less time to get approved. In fact, when applying at a financial institution where you have a relationship, itโ€™s common for the bank to initiate the process by offering a card.

On the other hand, if you are applying for a card at a financial institution where you have no existing relationship, then it could take several weeks to complete the application process and receive your approval.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are three of the most common questions that we receive from people looking into business credit cards in the UK. If you have further questions you would like answered, donโ€™t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.

How Do I Find the Best Business Credit Card for My Business?

You can find the best business credit card for your business by reviewing the many review sites available on the internet. However, itโ€™s important to keep in mind that all of these sites are paid by the credit card companies. So, you may want to consider whether there is a conflict of interest in which cards are being promoted over others.

An alternative approach is to look at all of the available credit cards and come up with a list of priorities that you have for your business. These priorities may include low fees, no foreign transaction fees, the ability to earn rewards, and more. Not surprisingly, the specific priorities that you list will result in certain cards being more appropriate than others.

Am I Eligible for a Business Credit Card?

Whether you are eligible for a business credit card will ultimately depend on the credit card that you are applying for and the status of your business. For example, in the United Kingdom, you will need to have a registered business that is in good standing with Companies House. This means all outstanding fees have been paid, all of the necessary annual filings have been submitted, and the entity is not dormant.

If you have a business that matches this criteria, then you may be eligible for a credit card. However, you will still need to find a card that accepts businesses with your credit history and caters to clients like you and your business.

Why Should I Get a Business Credit Card?

Why you should get a business credit card will ultimately depend on your specific situation and business requirements. For example, if you have a business that is making frequent international purchases, you may find that credit cards offer a more cost-effective way to make payments.

Alternatively, if your business needs access to lower levels of short-term working capital, credit cards can offer an easy way to finance these purchases. Likewise, if your business needs to meet financial obligations in the short term while waiting for accounts receivable to arrive, credit cards can offer a fast solution to accessing capital.

Of course, proper management of a business credit card is also required. This means that business owners need to continue meeting their monthly payments and be comfortable with any interest that may accumulate on the business credit card.

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GlobalBanks Team
GlobalBanks Team

The GlobalBanks editorial team comprises a group of subject-matter experts from across the banking world, including former bankers, analysts, investors, and entrepreneurs. All have in-depth knowledge and experience in various aspects of international banking. In particular, they have expertise in banking for foreigners, non-residents, and both foreign and offshore companies.

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