Prepaid business cards

Last updated on 27 November 2023

In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, effective management of expenses is crucial for a company’s financial health and overall success. One tool increasingly utilised by businesses of all sizes is prepaid business expense cards.

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These cards, which are loaded with funds ahead of use, offer enhanced control over spending and simplify the expense reporting process. This article delves into the concept of prepaid business expense cards, exploring their pros and cons, and provides a detailed list of some of the top providers in the UK market. We’ll also address frequently asked questions to ensure you have a comprehensive understanding of this valuable financial tool.

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Top 18 prepaid business cards – compared

Here are the top 10 prepaid business expense card providers in the UK, each with their own unique features and benefits:

Card companyCard typeMonthly cost per cardNote

Acorn Account

MastercardIncluded in the current account fee

Airwallex

VisaFree

Amaiz

MastercardIncluded in the current account fee

B4B Payments

MastercardNot statedOffers prepaid cards for businesses and non-profit organisations. Features a multi-language platform and is known for its high level of customer service.

CardOneMoney

MastercardIncluded in the current account fee

Cashplus

MastercardNot statedOffers business expense cards that can be customised by business need. Features include expense tracking, transaction notifications, and the ability to freeze and unfreeze cards instantly.

CaxtonFX

MastercardFrom £0

EasyFX

Not statedNot stated

Equals

Mastercard£50 annual platform fee

Jeeves

Not statedNot stated

Juni

Visa or MastercardFree

Moss

MastercardNot stated

Payhawk

Visa£9 

Pleo

MastercardFrom £0Offers both prepaid cards and credit cards. Pleo’s stand-out feature is its sophisticated expense management software that can automate expense reports.

Soldo

MastercardFrom £0Provides comprehensive spend control features and real-time reporting. Also offers integrations with several accounting software platforms.

Spendesk

MastercardNot stated

Wallester Business

VisaFree

WeSwap

MastercardFree

Yordex

VisaFrom £3
Best 18 prepaid business cards compared

What are prepaid business cards?

Prepaid business expense cards are a type of payment card where funds are loaded onto the card ahead of expenditure, rather than the card drawing from a credit facility or a linked account. Essentially, these cards work like gift cards that can be topped up and reused, providing a simple solution for managing and controlling business expenses.

This prepaid approach allows companies to set limits on spending, restrict what can be bought, and instantly access detailed transaction data, enabling more straightforward expense management and policy enforcement. Such cards are typically used to pay for travel expenses, office supplies, client entertainment, and other ad-hoc business-related costs.

Pros and cons of prepaid business cards

Like all financial tools, prepaid business expense cards come with their advantages and disadvantages.

Pros:

  • Simplified expense management: With prepaid cards, companies can more easily track spending in real time, streamline the expense reporting process, and avoid the headache of dealing with expense claims and reimbursements.
  • Increased control over spending: Companies can load the precise amount of money needed onto a card and can often limit the type of purchases that can be made, reducing the risk of overspending.
  • Improved security: If the card is lost or stolen, the financial damage can be limited to the amount loaded onto the card. Plus, many providers offer protection features such as instant lock and unlock capabilities, fraud alerts, and the option to replace the card if it’s lost or stolen.

Cons:

  • Limited credit-building opportunities: Unlike traditional credit cards, prepaid cards do not typically contribute to the company’s credit history, which could be a downside for businesses looking to build or improve their credit score.
  • Possible fees: Depending on the provider, some prepaid cards come with fees for things like card issuance, loading funds, ATM withdrawals, and inactivity.
  • No credit facilities: Since these cards need to be loaded with funds ahead of time, they can’t be used in an emergency situation where immediate credit might be necessary.

Choosing the right prepaid business expense card provider largely depends on the specific needs and circumstances of your business.

How to choose the right prepaid business card provider

When deciding which prepaid business expense card provider is right for your business, consider the following factors:

  1. Integration with existing systems: Many providers offer integration with popular accounting software. This feature can help streamline your financial management and make your accounting process more efficient.
  2. Fees: Consider the costs associated with the card. This could include monthly or annual fees, ATM withdrawal fees, loading fees, and transaction fees. Make sure to compare these fees among different providers to get the best deal.
  3. Ease of use: This can include both the user interface of the digital platform and the physical usability of the card. Look for a provider that offers an intuitive platform and seamless card usage.
  4. Security features: Look for providers that offer robust security measures to protect your funds. This might include fraud alerts, the ability to freeze and unfreeze cards instantly, and protection against loss or theft.
  5. Customer service: Good customer service can make a big difference, especially when dealing with financial matters. Consider providers that offer comprehensive customer support.
  6. Foreign transaction capabilities: If your business often makes foreign transactions, consider a provider that offers support for multiple currencies and doesn’t charge high fees for foreign transactions.

Conclusion

Prepaid business expense cards can be a powerful tool for businesses seeking to improve expense management and control spending. While they do have their cons, such as potential fees and limited credit-building opportunities, their benefits often outweigh the downsides for many businesses.

The choice of provider should be made with careful consideration of your specific business needs and circumstances. With a wide variety of providers available in the UK, each with their own unique features and benefits, there’s sure to be a prepaid business expense card that’s the perfect fit for your business.

Prepaid business cards FAQ

Can any business use a prepaid business expense card?

Most types of businesses, regardless of their size, can use prepaid business expense cards. From small startups to large corporations, these cards offer a convenient way to manage and control spending.

Do prepaid business expense cards affect your business credit score?

Prepaid business expense cards typically do not affect your business credit score. Unlike traditional credit cards, they do not involve borrowing money, so usage of the card is not reported to credit bureaus.

Can I issue multiple cards to different employees?

Yes, many prepaid business expense card providers offer the ability to issue multiple cards linked to the same account. This is useful for businesses where multiple employees need to make purchases on behalf of the business.

What happens if a prepaid business expense card is lost or stolen?

If your card is lost or stolen, contact your provider immediately to report the issue. Many providers offer the ability to instantly lock a card if it’s lost or stolen, protecting your funds. They can also issue a replacement card.

Can prepaid business expense cards be used for online purchases?

Yes, like other payment cards, prepaid business expense cards can generally be used for online purchases. However, restrictions may apply depending on the provider and the type of purchase.

Can a prepaid business expense card be used internationally?

Yes, most prepaid business expense cards can be used internationally, although foreign transaction fees may apply. Some providers also offer multi-currency cards, which can hold multiple currencies at once, making them ideal for businesses with frequent international transactions.

How can I load money onto a prepaid business expense card?

Methods for loading money onto the card will vary depending on the provider, but they typically include bank transfers and debit card payments. Some providers also allow cash deposits at specific locations.

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Reviewed by , Managing Director

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