Also referred to as a “corporate card,” a credit card for business is a credit card intended exclusively for work-related purchases. A credit card for business offers many conveniences to both the business as a whole and the individual employees who use it. For self-employed individuals, it can serve as an efficient method of keeping business expenses and personal expenses separate, which is particularly helpful when making expense claims at tax time. For businesses with several employees, a credit card for business can serve as a convenient means of eliminating the time and hassle spent tracking petty cash in the office. Corporate credit cards also relieve employees of the burden of paying for work expenses such as business travel costs with their own money and then waiting to be reimbursed once their expense report and receipts have been submitted.
A company can apply for a business credit card with one of the major credit card companies, such as MasterCard®, Visa®, or American Express®. Many of the same regulations that apply to individuals who receive a new credit card also apply to companies with a new credit card. These regulations may include an initial period in which a relatively low limit is placed on the card, and is not raised until the cardholder shows a consistent pattern of paying the card on time. However, unlike a personal credit card, there are sometimes duplicate copies issued of a credit card for business which are all linked to the same corporate account. This enables more than one employee to charge office expenses to the same corporate account without the need to keep lending the same card.
In addition to the major credit card companies, certain major office suppliers also allow companies to carry an account with them. These suppliers then issue a credit card for business featuring their own supply company logo, which can only be used at all of their retail locations. These credit cards for business sometimes also offer an automatic discount on every product charged to the account. Staples, for example, also offers additional incentives with some of its corporate cards, including no annual fee and free delivery on certain orders.