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Best Small Business Credit Cards in Australia

Sean Callery Editor Money.com.au

Sean Callery

Shaun McGowan Money.com.au founder

Reviewed by Shaun McGowan

Compare 40+ business credit cards based on rewards, rates, fees, plus our expert take on overall value. Find the credit card that's right for your business.

Best Small Business Credit Cards in Australia

Sean Callery Editor Money.com.au

Sean Callery

Shaun McGowan Money.com.au founder

Reviewed by Shaun McGowan

Compare 40+ business credit cards based on rewards, rates, fees, plus our expert take on overall value. Find the credit card that's right for your business.

Featured offers for businesses

Sponsored

American Express Platinum Business Card

Earn 350,000 Membership Rewards® Bonus Points

With the American Express® Platinum Business Card when you apply by 5 November 2024, are approved and spend $12k on eligible purchases on your card within 3 months. New card members only. T&Cs apply.

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American Express® Business Explorer Credit Card

$0 Annual Card Fee in the first year

Enjoy $0 Annual Card Fee (usually $149) in the first year with the American Express® Business Explorer Credit Card when you apply by 23 July 2024 and are approved. T&Cs apply. New American Express Card Members only.

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American Express® Qantas Business Rewards Card

150,000 bonus Qantas Points & $200 credit

With the American Express® Qantas Business Rewards Card when you apply by 1 October 2024, are approved and spend $6k on eligible purchases on your card in the first 3 months. New Amex Card Members only. T&Cs apply.

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Compare business credit cards

We have nothing to hide, so we don’t put credit cards behind a filter if they don’t pay us. See how it works.

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Rates updated 15 July 2024

Our picks of the best business credit cards

These are the business cards that caught our expert's eye.

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Best business card for rewards points

American Express® Platinum Business Card: Earn up to 2.5 points per $1 on eligible spending. This is the highest points earn rate among cards on our database. PLUS, earn 350,000 bonus points when you apply by 5 November 2024, are approved and spend $12k on eligible purchases on your new card within 3 months of approval. T&Cs apply. New card members only.

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Best low cost business credit card

Bank of Melbourne, BankSA and St.George Vertigo Visa: You won't find many cards that will cost you less than this on an ongoing basis. A $55 annual fee (per card) and purchase rate of 9.99% p.a. with up to 55 days interest-free on purchases.

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Best charge card for businesses

American Express® Gold Business Card. Up to 1.5 points per $1 spent on eligible purchases. PLUS, earn 75,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points when you spend $1k on eligible purchases within 2 months of approval (new Amex card members only; Membership Rewards® enrolment required upon application, program annual fee applies). All for a $169 annual fee, plus $80 membership rewards fee (optional).

How to get the best deal on a business credit card

1

Maximise interest-free days

Interest-free days help improve your business cash flow by giving you extra time to pay off your balance without being charged interest. 55 is the highest available, Money.com.au analysis shows.

2

Compare interest rates

If you'll have a revolving balance on your card from month to month, opting for the lowest interest rate you can find will save your business money. Be wary of expensive cash advance rates too.

3

Avoid hefty card fees

Including the annual fee, extra cardholder fees, foreign transaction fees, cash advance fees and any other costs associated with the card.

4

Compare rewards points per $1 spent

How many points will your spending earn you? Pay attention to the fine print, as not all spending may be eligible for a card’s top earn rate.

5

Choose rewards your business will use

Pick a card that offers rewards that align with your business expenses and needs. E.g. if your business operation involves zero travel, a frequent flyer card probably won’t make sense for you.

6

Find the right credit limit

A higher credit limit can provide your business with more flexibility, but it may also require careful management and could impact your borrowing capacity in future.

7

Additional cards

If you have employees who make purchases for the business, consider a card provider that offers additional cards. This can simplify expense tracking and maximise rewards. Avoid high fees for extra cards.

8

Accounting integration

Opting for a card that integrates with your business's accounting software could make your life a lot easier (and save you money) by simplify expense tracking, budgeting, and financial reporting.

Expert's view on the best business credit cards

Brad Kelly, Payment Services

Brad Kelly, Credit Cards Expert

In my view, AMEX leads the pack with the best options for frequent flyer as well as charge cards. The banks are still behind with business card products for SMEs, with clunky and stubborn credit approval processes. If you have an ABN (and $75K turnover) AMEX charge cards are worth a look. Charge cards have to be paid in full each month BUT are not classified as liabilities on your balance sheet rather – they are expense lines which frees up working capital. My favourite is the Amex Gold business card.

Brad Kelly, Credit Cards Expert

Business credit card features explained

A facility that allows you to transfer the balance of an existing business credit card to a new one. There is usually a limited-time discounted interest rate on the new card that applies to the transferred balance. This can be a good way to pay down a credit card debt while the lower interest rate applies.

A credit card cash advance simply means withdrawing cash using your business card. Some cash-like transactions are also considered to be a cash advance (e.g. buying foreign currency).

There is usually a fee for making a cash advance and a higher interest rate generally applies (compared to making a purchase using the card). Interest is also usually charged immediately on cash advances, whereas there are interest-free days for purchases.

Interest-free days are a core part of how credit cards work. This is the period of time after the start of the card's statement period before interest is charged on purchases. Interest-free periods on business credit cards typically range from 0-55 days.

Some business credit cards offer an enticing introductory interest rate that’s lower than the card’s standard variable rate. These low credit card rates rates can be deceptive as they make the card seem artificially cheap. Always look at the ongoing interest rate when comparing cards.

Likewise, some business credit card providers waive the annual card fee for the first year but charge a fee in every subsequent year.

If you have multiple credit cards (e.g. cards issued to senior staff) it’s usually simple to track spending and expenses across all cards centrally.

Most cards offer a level of fraud protection. Put simply, this is monitoring provided by the credit card company that responds if there is suspicious activity on the card.

Business credit card rewards explained

Some business credit cards allow you to earn rewards points every time you use your card. You'll earn points for each dollar you spend, and then you can swap these points for the likes of travel, gifts, or even cash back to your credit card.

Pay attention to what rewards scheme the card you’re considering is part of and whether the included rewards will actually be useful to your business.

This is essentially a sign-up bonus when you first get your card. Sometimes the bonus is dependent on you spending a certain amount using the card within a set amount of time.

With some more premium business credit cards, you might get insurance included for free. Common examples are:

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  • Travel insurance: Often available on travel credit cards, this provides cover for a range of risks for domestic and international trips. Bear in mind, with credit cads travel insurance you usually need to book the trip using the card for the insurance to apply.

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  • Purchase protection: Provides cover for a period of time after you make a purchase using your card if the item is damaged, stolen, or even if you change your mind.

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  • Extended warranties: This provides an extension on the manufacturer's standard warranty for items purchased using your card.

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  • Price protection: If you buy an item using your card and the price drops within a specified period after the purchase, price protection cover could mean you get a refund for the price difference.

Available with more premium business credit cards, a concierge service will help you with booking trips, shopping, business gifts, dining and hospitality.

Business credit cards with frequent flyer perks sometimes include free passes to certain airport lounges. There is usually a limit on the number of lounge passes available with credit cards, but on very premium (expensive) cards, access may be unlimited – e.g. certain American Express credit cards.

These can include travel vouchers, extra checked bags, priority boarding, or discounts on hotels and car rentals. If you travel frequently, you may be able to minimise costs by opting for a credit card with no international fees.

Depending on the card, you could have access to the likes of discounts on office supplies, free software subscriptions, or extra points when you spend with certain retailers.

Am I eligible for a business credit card?

Not all businesses will qualify for a business credit card. Bear in mind, too, that eligibility can come down to aspects of your business and you as a business owner.

Generally speaking you must:

  • Be aged 18 years or over
  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Be a Director or Controller of the business
  • Have a valid ABN that's registered for GST
  • Have a good credit history with no payment defaults
  • Meet the lender’s requirement for minimum business turnover

How to apply for a business credit card

You can usually apply for a business credit card online in minutes. You’ll need to have a few key pieces of information handy:

1

Information about your personal income, and your business revenue and expenses

2

Details about the ownership of your business as it appears on ASIC (for the Director and/or Beneficial Owner)

3

Details of your assets and liabilities

4

Your driver licence or other ID

5

You might also need to provide contact details for your accountant or the company’s financial secretary

Pros and cons of using a business credit card

Pros
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  • Cash flow tool: Credit cards offer ongoing access to funds. Cards offering a high number of interest-free days can be particularly useful cash flow tools.
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  • Rewards and perks: In some cases the rewards earned will be greater than the card fees. Travel perks in particular can be valuable for businesses.
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  • Expense tracking: Using a business credit card for spending can be a good way to separate your business and personal expenses.
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  • Extra cards for employees: Business credit cards often allow for additional cards to be issued to employees who regularly incur business expenses (a fee may apply).
Cons
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  • High interest and fees: Compared to a secured business loan, a business credit card can be an expensive way to borrow money.
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  • Hit and miss rewards: If the rewards aren't valuable and you don’t maximise them (many businesses don’t) your card will likely be a net cost.
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  • Impacts borrowing capacity: Even if you don’t use the card, the limit will be viewed as a liability on future loan applications.
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  • Can be hard to qualify for: Some credit cards require your business to have a relatively high turnover and good credit to qualify.

Is a credit card better than a business line of credit?

Depending on what you need the funds for, a business line of credit could be another business finance option that offers ongoing access to cash flow. The features are similar to how credit cards work, albeit you won't have a physical card with a business line of credit.

The table below summarises the other key differences.

Business credit card vs charge card: Which is better?

There are two main types of business cards that offer a line of credit: credit cards and charge cards. Unlike personal cards where charge cards are not widely available, there is a greater selection of charge cards for businesses, although they are primarily offered by American Express.

Here are some of the key features of each to help you decide whether a credit card or charge card will be best for your business.

Business credit card

  • Fixed credit limit
  • Interest charged on card balance after the interest-free period
  • Rewards and perks available

Business charge card

  • No fixed credit limit
  • No interest charged but the balance must be repaid in full each statement period
  • Rewards and perks available

Your questions answered

In many cases it's simpler to have a separate credit card for business spending. For example, this can make your accounting much simpler as you won't need to separate business from personal expenses on your credit card statement.

Interest costs and fees relating to the business use of a credit card may also be tax deductible (according to the ATO). If your spending on a single card is a mixture of personal and business, calculating what costs are tax deductible could get messy.

As well as this, you’ll be able to share your business credit card account with your employees through additional cards.

We'll cover this further below, but some business credit cards give you the option for the business (and not you personally) to take on liability for the credit card.

The drawback to having a specific business credit card, is that you may end up paying fees on two cards instead of one.

A business credit card helps with cash flow by giving you access to a line of credit you can access at any time. This access will be up to a set limit (unless you have a charge card) but you won’t need to apply time and again to access credit up to that limit.

You could use a business credit card to pay suppliers, book travel and accommodation for staff, purchase stock and cover other ongoing expenses.

A credit card only charges interest on the amounts you spend, although most cards come with an annual fee that’s charged whether you use the card or not.

But if you can find a credit card with no annual fee, and you pay off the card’s balance in full within the interest-free period, you essentially are getting free access to ongoing cash flow for your business. You may even earn rewards points and other perks in the process.

There are also interest-free credit cards that may be beneficial for businesses that won't clear the card balance in full each month.

The maximum limit on a business credit card can vary from one lender but is usually somewhere between $50,000 and $100,000. However, the actual limit on a business credit card may also be determined by your business revenue. Corporate credit cards (for large businesses) usually have a higher maximum limits – or sometimes have no maximum.

Remember, you do not need to accept the maximum credit limit that’s available to you. If the limit is higher than it needs to be, this could impact your ability to access other types of business finance in future.

Most business credit card providers allow you to apply for additional cards that can be issued to members of your team. Some providers allow up to 99 separate cards on the same account. There is usually a fee for each additional card (either one-off or an annual fee).

Yes, there are credit cards that will allow your business to transfer debt from another card onto the new card. A balance transfer fee may apply but there is usually a lower interest rate applied to the transferred balance for a period of time (e.g. up to 12 months). Any new purchases made using the card will have the standard credit card rate applied.

Business credit card liability essentially refers to who is responsible for the card and any debt that is built up using it. There are three types of credit liability structure according to major Australian lender Westpac:

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  • Personal liability: This means the business owner is personally responsible for all transactions on the credit card account. This is a common option for small businesses credit cards.
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  • Joint and several liability: This is when multiple business owners or directors jointly take responsibility for the balance owing on the credit card.
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  • Business liability: The business itself is liable for the payment for all transactions on the credit card. The business owner does not need to take on personal responsibility for the debt. This is usually only an option with corporate cards available to larger businesses.

A business credit card is usually one that’s used by small to medium businesses. There is usually a relatively low credit limit and a cap on the number of additional cards that can be issued on the account.

Corporate credit cards are designed for large businesses and enterprises with higher credit limits and large numbers of additional cards available.

Sean Callery Editor Money.com.au

Written by

Sean Callery

Sean Callery is the Editor of Money.com.au. He has over 15 years of international experience. He is qualified with a Certificate IV in Finance and Mortgage Broking (FNS40821) and is compliant to provide general advice in Tier 1 General Insurance (RG 146) products.

Shaun McGowan Money.com.au founder

Reviewed by

Shaun McGowan

Shaun McGowan is the founder of Money.com.au. He's determined to help people and businesses pay as little as possible for financial products, through education and building world class technology. Previously Shaun co-founded CarLoans.com.au and Lend.

Important information

General information only

The information on this page is general in nature and has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether the information provided and the nature of the credit card product is suitable for you and seek independent financial advice if necessary.

We are not providing you with a recommendation or suggestion about a particular credit product. You should read the relevant disclosure statements or other offer documents before deciding whether to apply for or continue to hold a particular credit card.

What products, features and information are shown

While we make every effort to ensure all credit cards available in Australia are shown in our comparison tables, we cannot guarantee that all products are included. Where we become aware of a card that is missing from our tables, we commit to adding it within one business day.

Our product comparisons may not compare all card features and attributes relevant to you.

Product information, such as interest rates, fees and charges, is subject to change without notice. Before acting on any information, you should confirm the relevant product information with the card issuer. While we do our best to ensure the information provided on this website is accurate, all information on this website is provided without any representation or warranty, either express or implied, being given as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, reliability or otherwise of its content. No responsibility is accepted by us for any errors, omissions or any inaccurate information on this website.

How cards are sorted and filtered by default

Users can easily change the sort order and apply product filters to our product comparison tables. However, when you arrive on a page initially or select a particular card type via the ‘card features’, a default sort order is applied as follows:

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  • All cards shown: Consumers credit cards sorted by lowest purchase rate, then alphabetically by product name.
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  • No annual fee cards: Consumers credit cards sorted by lowest purchase rate, then alphabetically by product name.
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  • Low rate cards: Consumers credit cards sorted by lowest purchase rate, then alphabetically by product name.
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  • Balance transfer cards: Consumers credit cards sorted by lowest balance transfer rate, then lowest purchase rate.
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  • Rewards and frequent flyer cards: Consumers credit cards sorted by highest points per dollar earned on everyday purchases, then alphabetically by product name.
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  • Cashback cards: Consumers credit cards sorted by highest cashback per dollar earned, then alphabetically by product name.
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  • Interest-free cards: Purchase rate, then alphabetically by product name.

We may earn a commission from product providers if you are issued with a credit card via a link from this page. Cards marked as ‘sponsored’ are not selected or positioned on the page based on their product attributes. However, in our comparison tables, products are displayed based on the relevant default sort order and filters applied for that card type, or the sort order and filters selected by a user. We do not sort or filter comparison tables based on whether or not we will make money from a particular card, but we may earn a commission if you are issued with a card via a link from our organic comparison tables.

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This material has been prepared by Money Pty Limited (ABN 40 664 954 536) (Money, ‘us’ or ‘we’). Money is a corporate authorised representative (CAR 001307399) of 62 Consulting Pty Limited (ABN 88 664 809 303) (AFSL 548573) (62C). The material is for general information only and is not an offer for the purchase or sale of any financial product or service. The material is not intended to provide you with financial or tax advice and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Although we believe that the material is correct, no warranty of accuracy, reliability or completeness is given, except for liability under statute which cannot be excluded. Please note that past performance may not be indicative of future performance and that no guarantee of performance, the return of capital or a particular rate of return is given by 62C, Money, any of their related body corporates or any other person. To the maximum extent possible, 62C, Money, their related body corporates or any other person do not accept any liability for any statement in this material.

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