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Corporate Card vs Business Card: What's The Difference?

Explore how the features and rewards of our Business and Corporate Cards
can benefit your business.

What is the difference between a Business Card and a Corporate Card?

What are Business Cards?


Business cards are available to businesses of all sizes, from entrepreneurs to mid-sized companies. With business cards, owners can pay back their balance over time, and the primary Cardmember can redeem the rewards they earn from spending on their credit card.

What are Corporate Cards?


Corporate cards are designed for large, established businesses with large annual revenues and require the balance to be paid in full by the employer each billing cycle. Companies can use these cards to easily track employee expenditure by managing spending limits and fraud risks. Corporate cards can either be centrally settled and centrally billed, or an individual billing and settlement approach. Usually, the company enjoys the rewards earned on the card, depending on the employer. Like business cards, corporate cards can either have full corporate liability, meaning the company is liable for any fees and debts associated with the card, or combined liability, meaning both the company and cardmember are liable.

Benefits of Business Cards


  • Earn Rewards for the primary Cardmember: The primary Cardmember of Business Cards can redeem the rewards they earn.
  • Enjoy fewer fees: Many Business Cards come with fewer fees, such as no extra charge for Supplementary Cards.
  • Carry a balance: With a Business Credit Card, you have the option to either pay your bill in full each month or carry a balance and pay off your expenses over time.

Benefits of Corporate Cards


  • Optimise expense management: Easily track expenses and analyse budget needs.
  • Gain visibility and set limits: With a corporate card programme, companies can better control employee spending, set spending limits, and have optimal visibility on all charges made on the card.
  • Immediately reimburse employees: Employees can get reimbursed for business spending right away instead of paying for business expenses with their own funds and waiting for reimbursement.
  • Earn rewards for the company: Your business can directly benefit from the rewards earned on a Corporate Card.

How to choose between a Business and Corporate Card


If you have a small to mid-sized business, a Business Card can offer the benefits you need and help your company build business credit. If you have a larger, more established company, then a Corporate Card with expense tracking tools and other corporation-based benefits may be your best option.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a Corporate Card and a Business Card?

Corporate Cards are designed for large companies with large annual revenues, whereas Business Cards are suited for small to mid-sized businesses. While Corporate Cards require your company to pay the balance in full each billing period, you have the option to carry a balance and pay off your bill over time with a Business Credit Card.

Do Corporate Cards affect your credit?

All transactions on the Corporate Card are part of the company's credit history and there is no hard credit inquiry in the approval process. So whilst it is still the responsibility of the card holder to submit their expenses to ensure that their bill is paid, there is no impact to the Cardmember's credit scores.

What credit score do you need to get a Business Card? 

Many Business Credit Cards with optimal features and rewards programmes require you to have a good personal credit score. Your business can still qualify for a Business Credit Card if your credit score is lower, but you may be faced with higher interest rates. Business Charge Cards typically require you to have a good credit history in order to qualify.

Can I apply for a small business credit card online?

Yes, you can apply for a Business Card online and a Corporate Card in person or over the phone. Click here to view American Express® Corporate Cards, and click here to view American Express® Business Cards. After comparing our range of Cards, you can apply online for the Card of your choice or speak to a specialist at 0800 085 7732.

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