Charge Cards for Business: Overview of UK Providers

Paola Faben Oliveira

If you’re a UK business owner or entrepreneur, finding ways to manage your cash flow and cover your company expenses will be a priority. Having the right financial tools in hand means you can spend less time worrying about managing your money - and more time growing your business.

Options available include business credit cards and debit cards, as well as business charge cards. All of these cards offer convenient spending and withdrawals, with their own features and fees, advantages and disadvantages.

This guide focuses on the best charge cards for business available in the UK, and also looks at an alternative to business charge cards - the Wise Employee Expense Card.

📝 Table of contents:

What is a business charge card?

A business charge card allows you to freely spend and make withdrawals, and repay the balance in full at the end of the statement period - usually monthly. Depending on the business charge cards you select, you may be able to apply for one for yourself as a business owner, and additional cards for your team, to manage day to day expenses and business spending.

Charge cards for business are useful in that they don’t usually have credit limits, and don’t charge interest as long as they’re repaid promptly. That means you could use a business charge card to buy office supplies or pay for business travel for example, and then settle up all payments in one go at the end of the month.

If you issue charge cards to team members, they can cover company spending using the card rather than dipping into their own pockets, for easy expense management.

Business charge cards vs Credit Cards or Debit Cards

Business charge cards aren’t the only way to manage company expenses and spending. Business credit cards and business debit cards are also popular options. Here’s a quick overview of the similarities and differences between these different card types.

Business charge cardsBusiness credit cardsBusiness debit cards
  • Not widely available
  • Spend and make withdrawals
  • Issue cards to team members
  • Strong credit record required
  • Not universally accepted
  • Pay back balance monthly or face penalties
  • Widely available
  • Spend and make withdrawals to credit limit
  • Issue cards to team members
  • Strong credit record required
  • Widely accepted
  • Pay back minimum balance, interest incurred on unpaid bills
  • Widely available
  • Spend and make withdrawals based on account balance
  • Issue cards to team members
  • Credit checks not usually needed
  • Widely accepted
  • No interest or penalty charges

How do business charge cards work?

You can use a business charge card much like you would any other spending card, to pay in stores and online, and make cash withdrawals. Charge cards aren’t as widely accepted as credit or debit cards, so you’ll need to check with merchants before you make payments - but where available the transaction should be processed much in the same way as with a credit or debit card.

The big difference with business charge cards compared to a credit card is that you’ll usually be issued a card with no specific credit limit, and can spend freely as long as you repay the amount in full every month. If you fail to do so there are steep penalties, and you may start to incur interest.

Business charge cards are usually only issued to individuals with good credit history, operating businesses with a relatively high turnover. Credit checks will apply and failure to repay can damage your credit score or lead to legal action.

Business charge cards - like most business credit and debit cards - are also likely to have high foreign transaction and foreign cash fees, which significantly push up the costs of spending internationally.

Pros and cons of using charge cards for business

Not sure about charge cards for business? Here are some pros and cons to consider - we’ll also touch on an alternative to charge cards, next.

Business charge cards pros:
  • No credit limit
  • Spend and withdraw easily
  • No interest as long as repaid promptly
  • Some cards offer cash back or rewards
  • Easy expense management
⛔️ Business charge cards cons:
  • Not universally accepted
  • Not many providers issue charge cards
  • Credit checks apply
  • High foreign transaction and foreign cash fees
  • Steep penalties of you don’t repay in full

Alternative to business charge cards - Wise Employee Expense Cards

Business charge cards aren’t the only option out there. If you’re looking for ways to make employee expense management effortless, check out the Wise Employee Expense Card.


Wise Business account allows you to hold and exchange 50+ currencies, with business debit and expense cards available to spend and withdraw in the UK and abroad, with no foreign transaction fees, and no ongoing charges to worry about.

Order expense cards for your team, for a one time fee of 3 GBP per card, and set and manage spending limits so you remain in control while making sure everyone has exactly what they need to do their job.

Best of all, Wise Employee Expense Cards qualify for 0,5% cashback on all eligible spending - meaning you can get money back whenever you or your team spend with the card.

Start earning cashback
with Wise Business

Best business charge cards UK

Let’s get into a few popular business charge cards in more detail now. In selecting our best business charge cards for the UK, we’ve looked at factors including:

  • General cost or issuing fees
  • Exchange rate
  • Late payment fee
  • Additional cards cost
  • Cashback or rewards

Barclaycard Select Business Charge Card

Best-known for: Discounts or cashback of up to 10% from Barclaycard partner merchants

Barclaycard offers the Select Business Charge Card, with an annual account fee of 42 GBP and no charge to add extra cardholders to the account. The minimum credit limit for this account is 1,000 GBP, to a maximum of 50,000 GBP subject to eligibility. Accounts can be opened by UK business owners, where the business has an actual or projected turnover of 10,000 GBP per year or more.

ServiceBarclaycard Select Business Charge Card¹
General cost or Issuing fees£42 per year
Exchange rate2.99% foreign transaction fee + cash fee of 3% for overseas withdrawal
Late payment fee£12
Additional cards costNo additional cardholder fees
Cashback or rewardsCashback or discounts with select barclaycard partner merchants

American Express Business Gold Card

Best-known for: No fee for the first year, plus up to 99 additional cards free

The Amex Express Business Gold Card offers dynamic spending limits, with rewards points on all eligible spend. Rewards vary based on the spending category, with extra rewards available for cardholders who use the card more regularly. If you’re approved for the Business Gold Card you’ll also be able to apply for up to 99 cards for team members, with no extra charge - just the annual 175 GBP account fee.

ServiceAmerican Express Business Gold Card²
General cost or Issuing fees£175 per year, waived for the first year
Exchange rate2.99% foreign transaction fee³
Late payment fee£12
Additional cards costNo fee for up to 99 extra cards
Cashback or rewardsAmex rewards on spending, variable by spend category

Lloyds Business Charge Card

Best-known for: Unlimited additional card holders

The Lloyds Business Charge Card comes with an annual fee of 32 GBP per card - but you can add as many extra cardholders as you want. You’ll need to also hold a Lloyds business account, and repay the card balance monthly by direct debit from your business bank account.

ServiceLloyds Business Charge Card⁴
General cost or Issuing fees£32 per card per year
Exchange rate2.95% foreign transaction fee + 2.5% cash fee for foreign withdrawals
Late payment feeNot specified - cards must be repaid via direct debit from a Lloyds Business Account. Overdraft fees are likely to apply if account is in shortfall
Additional cards cost£32 per card per year
Cashback or rewardsNot available

Manage expenses with Wise Business

Looking for a better way to manage business expenses across currencies, without foreign transaction fees?

With the Wise Employee Expense Card you can manage employee daily expenses simply, over 50+ currencies - and earn 0,5% cashback on eligible spending. Cut down on admin time for yourself and your team - and get cashback as a bonus.


Charge cards for business offer some distinct advantages, including relatively high spending limits, and little chance of running into interest charges. However, they’re not perfect - and high penalty fees can apply if you fail to repay your bill in full every month.

Use this guide to decide if a charge card is the right option for your business, and don’t forget to compare your options against alternatives like the Wise Employee Expense Card which can help you cut out foreign transaction costs, while earning cashback on all eligible spending.


  1. Barclaycard Select Business Charge Card
  2. American Express Business Gold Card
  3. American Express Business Gold Card terms and conditions
  4. Lloyds Business Charge Card

Sources last checked January 26, 2023

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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