Business Credit Cards and Charge Cards - What's the difference? If you're looking for a convenient payment method for goods and services needed to run your business, it's important to compare the benefits of Business Charge Cards against Business Credit Cards.

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Difference between a credit cards and a charge card

What are the similarities between Credit and Charge?

Many of the features of Business Credit and Charge Cards are similar:

Both offer a convenient way to pay for everyday business purchases such as shipping, telecoms, advertising, business travel & entertainment, paying suppliers, or buying equipment

Depending on the Business Card you choose you can earn Membership Rewards points1 for every dollar spent with both Business Charge Cards and Business Credit Cards

Depending on the rewards programs of the Card, these points can be converted into a variety of rewards, such as travel2, gift cards3 or to pay off the balance on your card4

Both can include additional protection - such as travel insurance5, purchase protection5 and fraud guarantee6. The benefits offered vary between Cards, so it's important to understand the protection that comes with the Card and compare it against your business needs

Both types of Cards have benefits such as being able to easily monitor and track expenses online, download statements and transactions details, provide Supplementary Cards7 to employees and to set-up alerts

What's different about a Business Charge Card?

It's a different kind of business payment tool in that when you put expenses on the card the full balance must be paid on the statement due date, hence there is no interest to pay on those purchases

It has no pre-set spending limit8, unlike a Credit Card, which has a fixed credit limit. This means purchases are approved based on factors such as current spending patterns, credit records, and payment history. As you establish a spending and payment history the amount you can charge on the Card can grow, giving you greater flexibility to make larger purchases

What's different about a Business Credit Card?

It comes with a fixed credit limit, governing how much you can spend on the Card. You can request to increase this credit limit, however the limit will always be fixed and won't automatically adjust based on spending patterns, credit records, and payment history

Instead of paying the balance in full you can choose to pay the minimum amount by the statement due date. If you choose not to pay the outstanding balance in full, you will be charged interest based on the interest rate of your Card

Because you can choose to extend the full payment of your purchases past the statement due date, a business Credit Card can provide more payment flexibility and credit for business purchases. When using a Business Credit Card, it is always important to understand the interest rate associated with your Card

Which one is for you?

Those looking for a Card that can be used as a business payment tool with the goal of managing short-term cash flow might prefer a Business Charge Card.

Those looking for flexibility to pay for business purchases over time - or with needs to have access to credit - may prefer a Business Credit Card.

Find out more about our application process for business cards.

The main differences at a glance

Card Balance Credit Limits Interest Rates
Charge Card - The full balance must be paid in full on the statement due date, hence there is no interest to pay on those purchases Charge Card - No preset spending limit6. The amount you can charge on the card can grow overtime Charge Card - No interest rate charges, as you must pay balance in full on payment due date
Credit Card - The minimum amount due can be paid on the statement due date, interest will be charged on the outstanding balance Credit Card - Fixed credit limit Credit Card - No interest to pay if the balance is paid at the end of the balance month. Interest beyond that varies depending on the Card rate

Terms and Conditions

American Express approval criteria applies. Subject to Terms and Conditions. Fees and charges apply. All information is correct as at 24 April 2015 and is subject to change. This offer is only available to those who reside in Australia. Cards are offered, issued and administered by American Express Australia Limited.

  1. Subject to the Terms and Conditions of the Membership Rewards program of which you are actively enrolled in. There is no expiry date for points earned while in the program so long as you are an American Express Card Member enrolled in Membership Rewards, and your account is kept in good standing and is not overdue.
  2. To transfer points into an airline/travel partner program you must be a member of the relevant airline/travel rewards partner program. Membership of the airline/travel rewards partner program is the Card Member’s responsibility. Subject to the Terms & Conditions of the applicable partner program and a joining fee may apply.
  3. Gift Card or voucher rewards are not redeemable or exchangeable for cash or credit and are valid for a minimum period of three months from the date of issue, unless otherwise stated. Normal retailer Gift Card and voucher conditions apply.
  4. Points may be redeemed by the Basic Card Member for a credit on the Primary Card Account. American Express may decline a Points for Credit request where the Card Account or Card Member's other accounts with American Express are not in good standing. The redemption of Points for Credit will be administered solely by American Express within three business days and cannot be reversed. Redeeming Points for Credit is not redeemable for cash via Credit balance refund.
  5. American Express Card Insurances are underwritten by Chubb Insurance Australia Limited (ABN 23 001 642 020, AFSL No. 239687) (“Chubb”) and are subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the American Express Card insurances policy of insurance between American Express International, Inc. (ABN 15 000 618 208, AFSL No. 237996) (“AEII”) of 12 Shelley Street, Sydney 2000 and Chubb. The Insurance Terms & Conditions do not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Terms and Conditions are subject to change. It is important for you to read the Terms and Conditions booklet available upon request from us and consider the appropriateness of that insurance in relation to your individual requirements.
  6. Provided that you notify us immediately upon discovery of any fraudulent transactions and you have complied with your Card Conditions, you will not be held liable for any unauthorised charges.
  7. American Express credit approval criteria apply. Subject to Terms and Conditions. Fees and charges apply. This offer is only available to those who reside in Australia. Cards are offered, issued and administered by American Express Australia Limited. Supplementary Card members must be over 18 years of age. You will be liable for all Supplementary Card spend.
  8. No pre-set spending limit does not mean unlimited spending. Your purchases are approved based on a variety of factors, including current spending patterns, your payment history, credit records, and financial resources known to us.

American Express Australia Limited (ABN 92 108 952 085). ®Registered Trademark of American Express Company.

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