As a startup, you might have raised a lot of money and have a ton of cash in your bank account. But all the business credit cards for startups you find have the following problems:
Understanding how to get a business credit card for a startup can be daunting. But business credit cards specifically designed for startups exist. In this post we’ll show you:
Note: Looking for a startup credit card to apply to right away? Apply to Jeeves for free now!
(Not based in the UK? Not a problem -- we offer business credit cards to the US, Canada, Germany and many other countries. Learn more and apply here!)
Jeeves is a credit card built for founders, by founders. We’ve specifically created a credit card for startups and currently work with over 3,000 customers in 20+ countries.
We don’t do a credit check and you don’t need to have a long credit history: we just need proof that you’re financially healthy. We can approve your card in under 24 hours and don’t charge any annual fees, interest, or international transaction fees.
You can create an unlimited number of free physical or virtual business credit cards with a click through Jeeve’s centralised spend management platform.
In seconds, you can issue credit cards to employees via the Jeeves dashboard (available on both desktop and app) to manage and track employee spending in real time and do away with time-consuming expense reimbursements.
The Jeeves business credit card is also ideal to use for business travel. There are no forex charges, you’ll enjoy partner perks like free access to over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide, and you’ll have up-to-date spending information always available at a click to manage all your travel expenditures.
Finally, Jeeves is one of the best cashback business credit cards with additional rewards to increase your cash flow and margins. You can receive up to 3% cashback on all purchases in your first 90 days of using Jeeves. And Jeeves’cashback means cash that’s automatically added to your credit balance.
You can also save up to $100,000 with Jeeves rewards. For example, get up to $5,000 in AWS credits, $1,000 off any team plan in Notion and 30% off your first year in HubSpot (and 15% off the following years).
Good for: Jeeves is great for all businesses but we’re a perfect fit for high-growth companies and funded startups. You can also use Jeeves business credit cards and line of credit to help you extend your startup runway.
Learn more about how to get the most from your Jeeves business credit card and apply today.
Of course, we understand that Jeeves is not the only credit card for startups and others might be a better fit depending on your business needs. Here are six more business credit cards that you may find suitable for your startup:
Good for: Startups where only the founder needs a credit card because you don’t earn points or rewards for your purchases.
Good for: Startup employees who travel a lot
Good for: Startups with many employees and who travel a lot
Good for: Startup employees who do a lot of travelling
Good for: The Capital on Tap business credit card is good for startup business owners who don’t want to pay FX fees or fees to transfer money to business bank accounts
Good for: Startups who want visibility on expenses and spending and have high creditworthiness.
There are many business charge cards out there, but not all of them have the specific features a startup would need. Whereas the majority of them can help you build business credit, here’s what you really want to look for in a business credit card for new companies:
The most important aspect of getting a credit card as a startup is making sure you can actually get the credit. If credit lenders require 1 - 3 years of statements, a high business credit score, a personal credit score and other conditions you can’t meet, then it’s not a credit card for you. That’s why looking for a credit card happy to work with startups is important.
Make sure the credit cycle is at least 30 days and that you’ll be able to get a credit limit that matches your current monthly spending.
You’ll also want to ensure you can apply online easily and receive a quick application response so you can either get started right away or try another credit card provider.
When you’re working in a fast environment and cash is a precious resource, you need a tool that makes it easy to control business spend. The last thing you want is an unexpectedly high bill at the end of the month or to overspend your budget.
For this reason, you want to pick a charge card with integrated expense management. With a spend management tool, you can track each employee’s expenses, set spending limits, as well as track receipts and transactions. It also means you can get rid of paper receipts and be 100% digital.
Looking for a spend management platform. Read our comparison piece to find the right one for your startup: Payhawk vs Spendesk vs Soldo vs Jeeves: Which One's Best For You?
A spend management solution only works well when staff have their own employee business credit cards. Giving employees their own business credit card not only empowers them to pay for items (and remove expense bottlenecks such as dealing with expense reimbursements), but it helps you track all spending by employees, whether they’re onsite, traveling, or working remotely.
The large benefit of using employee credit cards versus prepaid debit cards is that you won't have to top up every person's card each month. While you usually would be topping up 10+ prepaid cards individually, with credit cards, you just make a one-off payment at the end your billing cycle.
Ideally, you also want to pick a credit card that allows you to order extra employee cards — enough for all your current employees and your future hires as your company grows. The best business credit card issuers for startups will give you extra cards free.
One of the unique benefits of credit cards is that they offer much better benefits and perks than other payment methods like debit cards and balance transfers.
If you’re travelling a lot, for example, getting a credit card that helps you earn Avios and air miles on eligible purchases is a great bonus. If you spend a lot on AWS, for example, it’s worth getting a credit card optimised for those business expenses.
Credit cards date back to the 1960s, which means you’ll get your fair share of credit cards with clunky dashboards and outdated fee structures.
Many credit cards have high annual fees, transaction costs, cash balance fees, interest fees and international transaction charges. If you’re not careful, all the rewards you’re earning will disappear with the fees you’re paying.
Make sure you’re aware of all the fees before signing up for a business credit card for new companies. Sometimes, the fees are worth it if you’re getting good rewards. But it does depend on your use case: if you do many international transactions, you want to pick a credit card like Jeeves that doesn’t charge high international fees. If you know you need long-term credit, then make sure to pick a business credit card with low interest rates.
As a startup, you’re probably growing quickly and your spending isn’t as predictable as it would be for other types of businesses. If you require certain features or want to increase your spending limit, you’ll want easy access to your credit card provider. Make sure to pick a credit card with fast and responsive customer support.
If they offer personal account management, even better.
And finally, managing an outdated dashboard and clunky app can make it incredibly frustrating to track your card spending, especially for time sensitive transactions like payments.
Ensure the credit card provider has its own app, and see if they have additional features like accounting software integration to make expense reconciliation easier. If you’re able to do a demo or a free trial before signing up, do it.
Most credit cards will require some sort of credit history. Some will require six to 12 months of trading. Others will hold you personally responsible for the credit card debt.
Check the eligibility criteria of the card you want to apply for because they all differ.
However, it only makes sense to apply for a credit card when you’re in a financially healthy position. For startups and small businesses, that either means having a healthy amount of revenue and being profitable, or having recently raised a large amount of money.
At Jeeves, we can underwrite startups that are not profitable yet, but we do need to see your new business is financially healthy. We’ll also need to know that you’ll use the credit card for growing your business, instead of maintaining it.
Get more startup insights in our post: What VCs are recommending to startups
We hope we provided you with enough information on business credit cards for startups so you can find the best card for you. Remember to find one that’s easy to access, provides rewards, and doesn’t have high costs or hidden fees.
And if you’re looking for a fee-free, high cashback credit card specifically made for startups and new companies, sign up to Jeeves below for free.