Corporate cards: A guide

Roberto Efflandrin

If you’re a business owner, entrepreneur or sole proprietor, you may be wondering about the benefits and uses of corporate cards. This guide walks through all you need to know - including the types of cards available, the fees you may need to pay, and how to get started.

We’ll also introduce the Wise for business account and card as a smart alternative to a corporate card from your normal bank.

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What is a corporate card and how does it work?

A corporate card is issued to an employee through their company and can be used for allowable expenses like business travel and hotel costs. Using a corporate card means that an employee doesn’t need to pay business expenses upfront from their own pocket and expense it later — making it easier to manage their personal finances.

Different types of cards are available for business use. You’ll find business credit cards intended for smaller businesses and sole proprietors, as well as corporate credit cards which are intended for large, well established businesses with multiple card holders.

Other companies may opt for a business debit card, such as the Wise for business multi-currency Mastercard. A debit card allows users to spend up to the balance held, while avoiding interest and penalty fees — and the Wise business card also cuts international transaction and currency conversion costs.

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Does your business need a corporate card?

Whether or not you need a corporate card — and the type of card which might work for you — will depend on your business type and size.

If you have employees who regularly incur business expenses that need to be reimbursed, offering corporate cards, small business credit cards, or another solution such as a business debit card, can make the whole process more efficient. It means your staff are never out of pocket for their business spending, and avoids long waits for reimbursement.

If you’re thinking of using corporate cards or a similar scheme, it’s worth taking some time to look at the different types of cards available, including their features and fees. Small business cards, for example, may vary from the type of corporate credit cards which are typically issued to employees of large organisations.

You’ll need to consider where liability for payment lies, and how credit checks may be carried out. For some credit cards, the liability for payment sits with the card holder - the employee. They’ll then need to claim back the expense from the business in order to settle the credit card bill. Other cards, though, are paid directly by the employer.

There are also different approaches to credit checking for corporate cards. Some cards require an employee to have their credit checked. While this is unlikely to damage their credit score, it is worth noting. Other corporate credit cards are issued on the creditworthiness of the business rather than the employee.

If you’re unsure which card type might work for you, you can also consider a business debit card. Unlike a credit card, there is no risk of employees running up bills they can’t pay — and no credit check required.

What are the costs involved with these cards?

Each different business or corporate card will come with its own costs - check out all the small print before you decide which is the best for your needs.

Here are some of the key fees you’ll need to consider:

Fee type Cost range¹,²,³,⁴
Annual fee You may pay from A$50-A$300 on average depending on the account and card type you choose
Additional cardholder fee Card plans may allow only a certain number of cards to be issued. If you need extra cards, you may pay a fee of $60 on average per card
APR for purchases and cash advances The interest rates you’re offered will depend on the card type, from 15% - 20% is common
Minimum monthly payment Check the minimum monthly repayment requirements as these may vary from as low as 2% to the full monthly balance
International transaction and currency conversion fees Unless you choose a card from a currency specialist like Wise for business, you’re likely to find that spending overseas comes with additional charges

Who offers corporate cards?

All of the largest banks in Australia, and many other global banking names, offer business card services. The cards on offer may vary from credit cards aimed at small business owners and sole proprietors, to corporate cards for big companies, and debit or charge cards for business.

Here are some of the main business cards available from Australia’s “big 4” banks:

Commbank:

Choose from the following range of different card options specifically made for medium to large businesses with unlimited card holders.¹

  • Corporate Interest-Free Days card
  • Corporate Low Rate card
Read more: Commonwealth bank business credit card

Westpac:

Westpac has many different business card types. Here below are the ones that allow up to 99 card holders.²

  • BusinessChoice Rewards Platinum Mastercard
  • BusinessChoice Everyday Mastercard
Read more: Westpac business credit cards

ANZ

The business focused cards on offer from ANZ come with different features, including rewards or extended interest free payment.³

  • ANZ Business Black
  • ANZ Business 55 Interest Free Days
  • ANZ Business Rewards Options
  • ANZ Business Low Rate
Read more: ANZ business bank account.

NAB

Depending on your business type and size, you’ll be able to choose from any of NAB’s 5 business card types.⁴

  • NAB Business Card
  • NAB Purchasing and Corporate Cards
Read more: NAB business credit card

Wise Business account and debit card

Wise offers a hassle-free, all-in-one business account. There are no monthly fees, hidden charges or high rates. Get paid, manage your cash flow, and even pay employees. Integrate with a number of APIs for seamless reporting.

You’ll also get access to local Australian account details, and account details for over 9 other major currencies.

The Wise business debit card can be used at ATMs, in-store, or online shopping via the Mastercard network. Additional cards can be made available for other team members as you choose, with one fixed card-creation fee per card and no monthly fees.

Find out how the Wise business account can save you money.

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Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing for the most up-to-date pricing and fee information.

Sources:

  1. Commbank corporate credit cards

  2. Westpac business cards

  3. ANZ business credit cards

  4. NAB business credit cards

Sources checked on 05-April-2023


Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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