Did you know, an increasing number of companies prefer giving corporate cards to their traveling employees?
For all the globetrotting business travelers, corporate cards came along as a sigh of relief. Employees who use corporate cards depend on their personal cards or cash to meet their traveling expenses. Since the organization takes care of the card payment directly with the bank, employees no longer had to wait for their expense reimbursements. Furthermore, organization admins can place checks on the corporate cards and monitor the spending patterns of the employees. All these reasons clearly justify the growth of corporate cards in the years to come.
Corporate cards indeed seem like a better option for handling business expenses. But before you adopt it into your company, you need to carefully evaluate your business requirements, Identify the prerequisites for a corporate account, create a list of corporate card vendors and so on. This will help you make an informed decision.
This article will help understand the nuances of corporate credit cards. Additionally, we discuss the various card programs available for businesses and the things you must keep in mind while selecting a corporate card program.
What are Small business Credit Cards?
Small business credit cards are probably the best option for an entrepreneur or a small business owner with a bottom line less than 4mn. Business credit cards can be used for almost any purchase that’s business. Unlike corporate cards, business card payments are the responsibility of the business owner and not the company. The application process is fairly simple, without any stringent rules.
Business credit cards are an excellent way to build your credit score. Like customer credit cards, they carry interest charge if the balance is not paid in full during each billing cycle. However, they tend to offer higher APRs than personal cards, and you are required to sign a personal liability agreement. Therefore, if you default your repayments, it could result in a negative personal credit report.
Word of caution: Since there is a personal legal liability, if the business goes bankrupt, banks are likely to come for your personal assets.
How are Corporate Credit cards different from Small business Credit cards?
One of the major differences between corporate and business cards lies in the eligibility. Typically, companies with a yearly revenue of at least $4mn are eligible for a corporate account. Also, unlike business cards, corporate accounts provide multiple liability options, such as:
- Corporate liability, where the company pays the bill
- Individual liability, where the employee pays the bill and later gets reimbursed by the company. This is a highly uncommon phenomenon, due to its associated risk and lengthy reimbursement process
- Joint liability, where both the employee and the company are responsible for the debt. Here, an employee’s credit score will not be affected if the bill is paid in full within a period of 180 days. Also, since the company is responsible for late payments, most businesses ensure timely payments to maintain their business credit.
Many banks also offer detailed analytics to identify and highlight the spending pattern of the company. Thus, it becomes easy for employees to track employee spends. Since corporate cards have a lot of stipulations, most card providers offer customer service to ensure smooth functioning.
Although there are additional cardholder charges for a corporate account, they would seem quite minimal for a company that is scaling well with a stable bottom line.
Apart from the prerequisites mentioned above, corporate accounts would also require you to include at least 15 users. Additionally, you need to have a projected credit card charge of $250,000 or more per year.
Some of the other requirements include:
- Recent financial statements of the company.
- Tax information, along with the Federal Tax ID.
- Details about your organization’s structure - S corporation, C corporation or LLC.
- The contact information of the person representing your company- company owner, or the financial manager.
How to implement the perfect corporate credit card program?
When you are moving up the corporate ladder, it is necessary you keep track of every transaction happening in your company. This is where corporate cards come into the picture. They offer benefits to the company and employees alike.
Employees don’t have to spend money from their own pocket, thus reducing the paperwork involved in reimbursement process. On the other hand, corporates can monitor spending patterns and keep checks, wherever necessary. When there are a plethora of benefits, it is imperative that you do not jump into a hasty decision. Instead, carefully evaluate the available options and choose a program that meets your company requirements.
Key factors to keep in mind while selecting a corporate credit card program:
- Select a card provider that works for your company
Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and Diners Club are the most popular credit cards providers. Get in touch with your bank to know about the card providers they work with. Additionally, evaluate if they work well with your company’s needs.
Here are some additional benefits you must look for:
- Auto Rental Collision damage waiver
- Reliable Customer Assistance
- Lost/Stolen and Replacement services
- Travel and Emergency services
Protip: Be sure to go through the specifications while reviewing the auto rental collision damage waiver. Most card providers have restrictions on the vehicle type and circumstances of the collision.
- Finalize who would be liable for the payments
It is crucial for you to decide who is liable to make these payments - the business itself or the employees.Select a liability option that works well for the business and the employees.
- Make it a rewarding experience
If most of your money is spent on travel, an ideal pick for your business is corporate cards. Select a card program that lets you incentivize these travel expenses. Similarly, if you spend a lot on client entertainment, go for a program that enables you to use those reward points at restaurants.
- Devise an expense policy for your employees
Corporate cards without an effective expense policy is a recipe for disaster. Cards being one of the easiest modes of expenditure also pave the road for fraud.Some must-haves for your expense policy include proper spending limits, mandatory receipt attachment, expense submission due dates and so on.
Taking your corporate credit card program a notch above the rest
Corporate cards are going to grow in the years to come. To make it bulletproof (read: fraud-proof), you need an expense management software in your armory.
An automated expense management software lets you analyze your company’s spending, handle corporate card reconciliation, assign cards to employees and a lot more. With instant reporting, policy compliance, approval workflows, and reimbursements, you can stay rest assured that your business expenses are taken care of.