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Things to consider before switching to a corporate credit card

Aug. 09, 2021
6 min read
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Editor's Note

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Editor's note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.

Small business credit cards can help you carefully manage your company's expenses while earning valuable cash back or travel rewards. At some point, as your profits and employee headcount increase, you may start to outgrow the cards you originally started with. Today, we're going to take a look at things to consider when you are thinking of switching to a corporate credit card.

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Be prepared to share financial data

Not all business owners can qualify for a corporate credit card. Issuers may set minimum revenue benchmarks and require that you have an established business credit score, among other specific criteria. You'll likely have to meet minimum spending or earning requirements that you can prove. The One Card from Capital One is designed for businesses with a minimum of $20 million in revenue, for example, while American Express requires your company to have grossed more than $4 million in the previous fiscal year -- and you can't be classified as a sole proprietorship is designed for businesses with a minimum of $20 million in revenue, for example, while American Express requires your company to have grossed more than $4 million in the previous fiscal year -- and you can't be classified as a sole proprietorship.

The information for the One Card from Capital One has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Of course, you'll have to prove to the issuer that your company meets any required criteria, as well as providing supporting documentation. Amex says to expect to be asked to hand over the following, for instance:

  • Recent audited financial statements
  • Details on your company’s structure and organization
  • Tax information, including a federal tax ID
  • Contact information for your company's authorizing officer

If you're looking to take the next step in your company's credit needs but don't quite meet the thresholds established by the major issuers, you could also look into applying for the Brex Corporate Card. This is designed to be a corporate card for startups, but the company uses innovative technology to improve its underwriting standards and make the card more accessible to companies that are still in the growth stage.

The information for the Brex Corporate Card from Capital One has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Alternatively, you can open the Divvy Business Credit Card which offers unlimited no-annual-fee business cards with decent reward bonus categories. Even if you have poor credit, you might be able to take advantage of the Divvy corporate experience by using prepaid account. They're effectively secured credit cards for your business.

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Related: Divvy Business Credit Card review

Limiting personal liability

One big reason to switch to a corporate credit card is to free yourself of any personal liability to repay charges. All small business card applications require your personal social security number, and it's your personal credit report that's used to approve the application. You will also be held personally responsible for guaranteeing any payments.

A corporate card, on the other hand, can be set up so that your company is responsible for repaying the debt, rather than you personally. Depending on how much your business is charging to its credit cards, this reason alone might push you to switch to corporate card sooner rather than later.

Close-up of a pensive young woman on a coffee break at cafe, enjoying a fresh cup of coffee while using a tablet for an online transaction.
A corporate credit card might make sense if you're looking to limit your personal liability for company credit card charges. (Photo by gruizza/Getty Images)

Headcount and expense management

Chase says you should start thinking about a corporate account if the number of employee cards you've expanded to approaches 100. But if you're happy with your Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, for example, you don't necessarily have to switch to a corporate card just because your business is growing.

Related: Small business credit card vs. corporate credit card: Which is right for your business?

You might want to do so, however, because corporate accounts also come with more sophisticated expense management tools than you might otherwise find on small-business card accounts, including software that will allow you to integrate card spending with your general ledger to reduce manual data entry. The Divvy Business Card expense management benefit is a perfect example. And, much like with small business credit cards, you'll be able to monitor and restrict individual employee spending by category.

Yes, there are still rewards

Corporate cards still offer rewards and travel benefits, but you may find the programs aren't quite as lucrative as with small business cards. The One Card from Capital One offers tiered rewards: 1.5x on all spending if you choose a 14-day billing cycle or 1.25x points on all spending if you choose a 30-day billing cycle.

That's a noticeably lower return than you'd get on the Capital One Spark Miles for Business card, but businesses spending hundreds of thousands of dollars each year will still rack up a pretty penny in rewards at those rates.

You may also have a higher annual fee for employee cards when you go corporate than you are charged with small business cards. But the higher cost does come with more flexibility in how rewards are distributed. American Express says you can consolidate earned points from multiple corporate cards for company redemptions, or allow employees to redeem them individually through the Membership Rewards program. Going that route could serve as an employee incentive, and absolve you from having to manage your company's ever-growing stash of points.

Bottom line

If you're a business owner and your firm is big enough to qualify for a corporate credit card, it may be worth exploring -- if for no other reason than you'll be able to better protect yourself from liability. That can be a strong incentive on its own. But you may also be looking for a more robust way to track your employees' spending. When you have dozens or even hundreds of employees, the tools business credit cards offer just may not be appropriate for your needs any more.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

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Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

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Recommended Credit

740-850
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Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023