There is a range of different corporate cards and business cards available, so it pays to take some time to work out which ones suit your particular needs.
If your annual turnover is over $2 million, choosing a corporate credit card for business purposes can be a great way to monitor business expenditure. Corporate cards and business cards are almost identical to regular personal credit cards, with just a few notable differences. You still use them to pay for purchases directly through merchants or via phone banking or using online payment facilities.
Why choose a corporate credit card?
However, the primary difference is that these are usually issued in the company name, as opposed to being issued in the name of an individual. This means the company is responsible for any debts accumulated on the account, not the individual.
This is a great way to keep business spending completely separated from any personal spending, which also reduces the amount of time spent reconciling accounts between the two.
Comparison of Corporate Credit Cards
Liability of corporate credit cards
One of the key differences between a corporate credit card and a business credit card is how the liability is determined. With corporate cards, the company is liable for any debt accumulated on the account, regardless of how many cards you have issued to employees.
By comparison, with a business credit card account the individual cardholder is liable for the debt accrued on that card.
Streamlined reporting and management
Corporate cards tend to offer a broad array of management reports that show itemised listings of transactions. This makes it much easier to track and monitor expenditure. It also makes reporting much easier at tax time.
Accounts can be shown so that details regarding the entire account expenditure can be generated, or you can choose to create reports showing transactions conducted by each individual cardholder.
There are plenty of detailed reporting options available with these types of accounts. Depending on the bank or credit card provider, some will allow generated reports to be imported directly into accounting software, such as MYOB or QuickBooks.
Many companies choose to issue corporate cards to employees who may need to purchase work-related items as part of their job descriptions. Each individual card issued can have individual spending limits and controls placed upon it. This means an employee who is likely to use the card to purchase the office stationary may have a much lower spending limit than an employee required to travel interstate or internationally for business purposes.
You're also able to set customised spending controls for each individual card, including daily spending limit amounts and overall monthly spending limits.
Improve cashflow management
All businesses have periods where cashflow is a little tighter than usual. During those months, it's possible to use the available credit on the corporate card to cover expenditure until cashflow frees up again.
There are cards available that offer interest-free days. This lets you pay for business expenses at the beginning of the month and take advantage of your account's credit facility for a month or so. The interest-free days only apply to purchases made on the cards and you do need to repay the entire outstanding balance on or before the due date shown on the account statement each month for this to take effect.
If cashflow is seriously tight, the majority of corporate cards and business cards will allow you to make a minimum payment only at the end of the month. This means you'll carry a debt over to the following month that will incur interest charges until it's repaid.
While carrying a debt over the long term can get expensive at credit card interest rates, this type of temporary credit can be helpful until cashflow becomes more predictable again. You have the flexibility to manage your cashflow and repayments in the way that suits your business at that time.
Complimentary insurances and coverage
Depending on the bank or credit card provider you choose, you may find that your account has some complimentary insurances attached to it. These can include business related policies, but many will also feature insurance to protect you against unauthorised transactions.
This offers companies a level of protection against misuse of the card by employees. It may also offer a level of coverage against fraudulent activity on the account, in the event any of the employee cards are stolen.
It's can also possible to upgrade corporate credit cards to Platinum accounts, which can increase the number of insurance policies attached. This can be a bonus for companies with employees who are required to travel overseas, as many of the policies relate to overseas travel coverage.
Corporate credit card reward points
Some corporate cards and business cards offer very generous rewards programs. You have the ability to accumulate rewards points based on the spending amounts across the entire company.
Depending on the card you choose, you may be able to allocate reward points to individual employees or redeem points on flights, vouchers, or other items that might be used for staff incentives. It's up to you.
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