Compare the Best (Top 10) Business Credit Cards

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A business credit card is one of the simpler ways to get access to short-term funding to grow your business.
71% of Australian small business owners use credit cards.

You can use a business credit card to supplement your working capital when income fluctuates, and it makes buying business supplies easy and convenient. And over time, as you make timely repayments on your credit card, you’ll build up a credit rating for your business that can make it easier to apply for other small business loan products as your funding needs grow. But credit cards come with major pitfalls, too. If you’re going to use one as part of your financial strategy, you need to understand when and how to use it.

Click here to view the Top 10 Business Credit Cards

What is a business credit card?

A business credit card is an unsecured, short-term facility provided by a bank or other lender. It is similar to an overdraft facility, in that it gives your business instant access to funds up to an agreed limit. It’s an ‘at call’ facility, which means you can use, repay and reuse those funds as often as you like while you have the facility. The main advantage of your credit card is the convenience and flexibility it brings you – but you’ll pay handsomely for that flexibility, with interest rates that are generally much higher than you could expect on a unsecured business loan. You will receive a statement each month showing the balance you owe on your facility, and you’ll have to repay a minimum amount each month, calculated by your lender. Any interest you owe will be calculated daily on the credit balance, and added to the balance on your monthly statement.

The 2 Types of Business Credit Cards

Business credit cards come in many different forms, and of course each individual card will have different features, costs and benefits. The 2 most popular cards are;

Low-cost business credit cards
Low-cost business credit cards

are the most basic type, and are likely to be the most appealing to start-up businesses with limited resources. They usually offer some combination of lower annual fees, lower interest rates and more interest-free days on purchases than other cards – but no perks or rewards.

Rewards business card
Rewards business card

are generally aimed at bigger businesses with higher spending power, and tend to have higher fees and interest rates, which can be offset by the valuable rewards provided that you use the card enough. Rewards can be in the form of points, frequent flyer points, discounts and cashback offers, and free services like travel bookings and emergency assistance.

In addition you may also be offered a “Charge Card”.
Charge cards are NOT actually credit cards, because there are no interest payments and there is no ongoing credit facility attached to them. However, you can use them in much the same way to make purchases in stores and online. The main difference with a charge card is that you are required to pay off the full balance every month, and you’ll be charged a fee if you fail to do so.

Features of business credit cards

There are lots of different features to look out for when comparing credit cards. The value and importance of these to you will depend on the nature of your business and how you intend to use your business credit card (more on this later). Here are some of the features and offers you can expect to come across.

Our Top 5 Tips: Making The Most Of Your Rewards

Comparing credit cards day-in day-out makes you something of a whiz. Just ask founder Roland Bleyer. With more than 15 years in the industry, he has picked up more than his fair share of credit card tips and tricks, some of which he is going to share with you today. Want to make the most of your rewards? Read on for Roland’s top tips on how you can do just that.

Roland Beyer
Understand what you want

Rewards are awesome, right? Wrong. Rewards are only awesome when you pick the right rewards for you. According to research commissioned by American Express*, less than half of people do not research the rewards on offer before choosing a card – and unsurprisingly, around one third of those cardholders later regret their decision.

Think about what you want from your rewards. Maybe you want to jet off on an adventure with your significant other. Perhaps you use one airline above all others and want to earn points as you travel. Or maybe you want to earn points on your business spending to reward employees with bonuses from your rewards program.

Whether you want to earn points to get money off your supermarket shop or fly round the world exploring sights unseen, you need to choose the rewards program that actually lets you do that.

Explore the pros and cons of each rewards program

There’s no denying rewards programs come with small print as standard. While wading through that small print may be tedious, it’s the only way you’re going to be able to choose the right rewards card for you – and then make the most of everything it has to offer.

By looking closely at the way in which each card works, you can see how to maximise points on your spending. For example, you may be able to earn more points per $1 when you visit retailer partners via the rewards portal, or you may be able to earn bonus points when flying with certain airlines but only when you book with the airline direct.

Calculate your expected spend

Rewards cards are tiered to suit different levels of spending. Classic cards tend to have a lower annual fee and a lower earn rate, whereas platinum cards offer a higher earn rate for a higher annual fee. While you may be tempted to choose the card with the higher earn rate, it may not offer value for your spending.

Before choosing a card, work out your estimated annual spend. This will allow you to calculate how many points you will earn on each card – and therefore the value of that spend. You may find that you do not earn enough points to make the annual fee worthwhile. If that’s the case, a lower earning card with a lower annual fee may offer more value.

Be sure to take into account points caps (the maximum number of points you can earn each month or each year), points shaping (the maximum number of points you can earn each month before the earn rate drops), and the value of the points you earn within your rewards program.

Consider the flexibility of your points

While some rewards cards offer a direct earn onto one rewards program, others will offer the opportunity to transfer points earned onto other programs. While a direct earn can offer simplicity, it may not offer the flexibility you need.

For example, if you want to use your points to fly to a particular destination on a particular day, you may find you are unable to do this on your rewards program. However, if you have the option of transferring your points to another program, you open up a whole range of other possibilities.

You may also find some rewards programs offer more value when redeeming points on flights to certain destinations. In booking a flight using points, you may redeem fewer points in one program compared to another, allowing you to get more back on the same flight.

Learn how to make the most of your points

Understanding how to make the most of your points covers both earning points and redeeming them. It’s no secret rewards cards reward bigger spenders – so become a bigger spender. Use your card for everything, from your morning coffee to your gym membership to your car payments. Every purchase racks up points. The only caveat: pay it all off before it attracts interest.

If it’s a personal rewards card, think about adding an additional cardholder to earn points faster. If it’s a business card, look at how many cards you want to add to the account to boost spending power.

As for points redemption, it pays to know your program. Understand which redemption options offer the most bang for your buck. You will usually find redeeming points for flights and upgrades offers more value on a point-for-point basis than say, cashback or gift vouchers. Consider how much you would pay in real money for the reward, and use those points wisely.

What's the best way to use a business credit card?

What's the best way to use a business credit card?

The key to using your business credit card successfully is to never forget it’s a short-term option. Your lender will usually have the right to withdraw your credit facility at any time, for any reason, which is why you should never use it to finance the purchase of long-term assets (not to mention the extremely high interest charges you’ll incur if you carry a large balance on your credit card). If you need to make capital purchases, it’s vital that you organise separate finance that will allow you to spread your repayments over the lifetime of the asset, so that you won’t risk being left in the lurch because your lender decides to withdraw credit.

So what should you use your business credit card for?

So what should you use your business credit card for?

Basically, the day-to-day expenses of your business, like consumables, office supplies and travel. You can also use it for expenses like utility bills, helping you to keep on top of your obligations if your cash flow is suffering during a quiet sales period. To avoid hefty interest charges, it’s important to repay the balance on your card as quickly as possible. With many cards you’ll be given an interest-free period on your purchases, so you can avoid paying interest altogether if you pay off your balance in full at the end of that period. Remember that credit card interest rates are generally between 10% and 20% (and sometimes even higher), while the interest you earn on any cash you have in a bank account probably be less than 4% – so it makes much more sense to pay off your credit card balance than to have cash sitting around in the bank if you don’t need it. Having said that, there are some expenses you won’t be able to pay by credit card – or that will incur a fee if you choose to pay that way – so it’s useful to have at least some real cash available. Drawing cash from an ATM or transferring cash from your credit account into another account is known as a ‘cash advance’, and will almost always incur both fees and instant interest, often at a higher rate than you’ll pay on purchases, so it’s best avoided.

Business credit card interest rates and fees

Business credit card interest rates and fees

As with personal credit cards, interest rates on business credit cards vary from bank to bank and card to card. Most lenders offer a range of business credit cards aimed at different types of business, and some of these cards have specific eligibility criteria, such as minimum turnover. When it comes to choosing which card to apply for, interest rates are not the only costs you have to consider. Most cards have an application or an annual fee, and some may charge extra fees for additional cards, late payments etc. – although these fees may be tax deductible as a business expense. Be sure you’re informed about all the fees and charges before you decide. On the flip side, many cards offer spending rewards which can be a valuable incentive if you use the card frequently enough – plus a range of other perks such as fraud cover, travel insurance, VIP access to airport facilities, and ‘concierge’ services that can help with anything from travel and event bookings to assistance in an emergency. Be aware, though, that the more attractive those perks seem, the more you’ll probably pay for them in annual fees and higher interest rates! If you opt for a ‘no frills’ low-rate card which offers none of these extras, your credit card facility is likely to be considerably cheaper.

Company Purchase Rate Annual Fee Interest Free Days
Bank of Melbourne - Business Vantage Visa
Bank of Melbourne

Business Vantage Visa



55 days

More Info
BankSA - Business Visa

Business Visa



55 days

More Info
BankWest - Bus Mastercard Low Rate

Bus Mastercard Low Rate


$0 in first year

55 days

More Info
Newcastle Permanent - Business Visa
newcastle permanent

Business Visa



44 days

More Info
St.George - Business Vantage Visa

Business Vantage Visa



44 days

More Info

Business Low Rate



0 days

Commonwealth Bank - Business Low Rate Credit Card
Commonwealth Bank

Business Low Rate Credit Card



0 days

NAB - Low Rate Business

Low Rate Business Card

for 12 mths then 13.25%

$0 in first year

45 days

Westpac - Business Choice Everyday Visa Card

Business Choice Everyday Visa Card


$75 waived due to spend

55 days

ANZ - Business 55 Interest Free Days

Business 55 Interest Free Days


$0 in first year

45 days

How is a business credit card different to a personal credit card?

How is a business credit card different to a personal credit card?

A business credit card is issued to your business, not to you as an individual, and must be used for business expenses. This enables you to separate your business spending from your personal spending for accounting and tax purposes – and if your business is a partnership, trust or incorporated company (i.e. if you’re not a sole trader) the liability for your credit card debt will lie with the business, not with you personally. In essence, business and personal credit cards are extremely similar. Both can be used to make purchases online or in retail stores, and interest is calculated in the same way. But business credit cards often have additional features, such as the ability to apply different spending restrictions to different cards linked to the same facility (so you can control and monitor the way your employees use them). They may also offer detailed reporting and analytics tools to help you track spending. Business credit cards tend to offer business-focused reward programs, where you can redeem the points you earn by spending on your card for business travel, or in stores that sell business merchandise such as office supplies.

How do you compare business credit cards?

How do you compare business credit cards?

Choosing a business credit card is a complex business that involves much more than simply comparing interest rates. Even if you’re only comparing the costs of different facilities, you need to look at all the fees and charges you may incur through using each card, including:

  • Interest rate on purchases
  • Interest rate on balance transfers
  • Interest rate on cash advances
  • Annual fees
  • Late payment penalties
  • Administration charges

Depending on how you plan to use the card it may, for example, be more cost-effective to pay a higher annual fee to get a lower interest rate on purchases – but it’s important that you find out exactly what you’ll be paying before you make any decisions. To complicate things further, there are several other issues to consider which can have a big impact on the overall cost of your facility.

Any initial interest-free period

Some cards offer an introductory period where you will pay no interest at all on your purchases and/or balance transfers (cash advances are likely to be excluded). This can be very valuable since you won’t need to pay off your credit balance during that time to avoid interest, leaving your cash free for other expenses – but remember that once the grace period ends you’ll find yourself paying interest at the card’s usual rate, which will quickly begin to compound.

Number of interest-free days on purchases

Most cards offer you a number of days where you will not be charged interest on your purchases (this doesn’t usually apply to cash advances or balance transfers). The number of interest-free days varies by credit card, and can be anywhere from 35 to 56 days, or more.

This concept can be very misleading though, because it doesn’t mean you get that number of days after each individual purchase.

What actually happens is that each month you will receive a statement showing your total credit balance, and you’ll have a ‘grace’ period of, for example, 14 days from the date of the statement to pay it off in full.

The grace period (e.g. 14 days), plus the days in the billing cycle when you made the purchase (e.g. 30 days), together make up the interest-free period (e.g. 44 days). So, in this example, if you buy something on the last day before the end of your billing cycle, you’ll actually only get 15 interest-free days on that purchase.

It’s very important to note that the interest-free period only applies if you pay off the full balance shown on your statement by the end of the grace period. If you don’t, you’ll be charged interest on the unpaid balance from the date of each purchase, not from the end of the interest-free period.

Business Credit Card Interest Free Explained

When weighing up your options, the value of the interest-free period to your business will really depend on how you expect to use your card. Obviously, the more interest-free days you have, the longer you can have that cash at your disposal, which can be valuable if cashflow is tight.

But if you aren’t expecting to pay off your full credit card balance each month, interest-free days are likely to be much less important to you than a low interest rate on purchases.

Rewards and perks

Some credit cards offer very enticing rewards and other perks, which can quickly add up. Provided that you are managing your balance to avoid interest, and you’re only using the card for essential business purchases you’d have made anyway, reward points, frequent flyer points, cashback offers and discounts can help your business save a lot of money.

Beware though – credit card companies are in this to make money, and the rewards won’t begin to outweigh the cost of the facility if you end up paying regular interest, or if you don’t use the card frequently enough.

Cards with rewards usually come with substantially higher fees and interest rates than the no-frills low-cost variety. Make sure you run the numbers to find out how much you’ll need to spend on the card before you’ll earn enough rewards to recoup the annual fee – and how much more you’d need to use it to outweigh the value of having, say, more interest free days or a lower interest rate on a card with less perks.


Once you’ve worked out the true cost and value of each type of card so you can compare them properly, the decision then comes down the way you plan to use your facility help you grow your business and manage your cashflow. Pick the card that best suits your financial strategy.

Business credit cards for Startups

The truth is that your startup funding options are likely to be limited. Without an established trading record, financials and a credit rating, your business won’t qualify for a credit card in its own right, so the lender is likely to assess your personal creditworthiness before deciding whether to offer you a facility. The better your credit rating, the more likely you are to be approved for a business credit card, and the higher the spending limit you’re likely to be offered. Some types of business credit card have specific eligibility criteria – such as an established minimum turnover – which will obviously exclude start-up businesses. The good news is that other cards are specifically designed for start-ups, such as the Visa card attached to ANZ’s start-up package. As a start-up, cashflow is likely to be a big focus for your business, so you’ll need to look for a card with features that let you hang on to your cash for as long as possible before repaying your credit balance, such as those attractive introductory 0% interest periods. There’s a good chance you won’t be able to pay off your full credit balance each month while you’re in the start-up phase (and may not yet be making reliable profits), so it may also be wise to choose a card with a low interest rate on purchases (less than 15%) rather than focusing on interest-free days or low annual fees. Likewise, you may not have the cash available in the early days to get real value out of rewards programs, so a basic low-rate card is probably a more cost-effective option for a start-up.

Which are the best business credit cards?

The best card for your business will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • How, and how often, you plan to use the card
  • Whether you expect to repay the balance each month
  • Whether rewards like frequent flyer points will be of any value to your business.

What’s more, the choice of cards available to you will vary according to the size and history of your business, or your personal credit rating. On top of that, the business credit card market is highly competitive, with new deals being offered regularly, and fees and interest rates constantly fluctuating.

Which business credit cards offer the best rewards?

The value of credit card rewards all comes down to how much you spend on your card. Since rewards cards usually have higher interest rates and annual fees that the low-cost varieties, you’ll have to spend quite a bit just to earn enough rewards to offset those higher charges. Evaluating rewards is a tricky business, because it’s not just a matter of comparing the number of points or frequent flyer points you earn per dollar spent. Each rewards program will have a complex set of rules and partner relationships governing how those rewards can be used – and the value of points can vary depending on how you spend them (on flights or upgrades, in selected partner stores, buying merchandise from the rewards catalogue etc.) Canstar’s ratings can be a useful starting place when it comes to choosing a credit card for your business.

Will I have to personally guarantee my business credit card?

This will depend on the type of business card you apply for, and whether you or your business will be taking responsibility for the credit facility. If you are a sole trader, or your business does not meet the lender’s criteria for business facilities (for example, you don’t have two years’ financials available), you may only be able to get a facility with personal liability. This will still enable you to separate the administration of your business and personal finances, but it will mean that the buck stops with you, personally, if your business fails to meet its repayment obligations on the business credit card. Your personal assets could be at risk. However, if you have an established business that is operated by a partnership, trust or incorporated company, you can apply for that business to have liability for the credit card facility. If a facility is offered on this basis, the responsibility for repayments will lie with the business, not you personally, and your private assets will not be at risk. Likewise, any late payments will affect the credit rating of your business, not your personal rating.

How do I apply for a business credit card?

To apply for any business credit card, you’ll need to meet the lender’s eligibility criteria, which will probably include;

  • Having a valid Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Australian residency
  • Australian bank accounts
  • Proving your ability to repay (as a business or individual)
    – Bas Statements, Tax Returns, or connecting your accounting software
  • Credit rating check

Each lender will have their own application process, but most will allow you to apply online. You can expect to be asked for supporting information with your application, ranging from identifying documents and contact details to financial information about your business. If you are taking personal responsibility for the credit account, you can expect to be asked for these additional documents;

  • Pay slips
  • Individual tax returns
  • ccountant’s details

If you don’t wish to apply online, you can make an appointment to meet with a business lending specialist at your bank and complete the paperwork in person.

How long will my business credit card application take?

If you’re well prepared and have electronic copies of all your supporting documents available on the spot, filling out a business credit card application form should be a quick process. And with an online application, you’ll usually get an instant response. If you apply in person, it may take a day or two for your application to be assessed – your lender will confirm how long you can expect to wait when you submit your paperwork.

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