Jun 17, 2022
3 mins read

The top features of best company cards

Raquel Orejas - Product Marketing Manager at Payhawk, a Spend Management solutionRaquel Orejas
Quick summary

As growing companies get larger, the topic of finding the best company card gets pretty hot. While in the past, many companies would have chosen to turn to traditional banks based on recognition alone, now businesses choose their solution based on innovation, efficiency, and the chance to revolutionise their finance stack via smart company cards and expense management software.

You're probably here because you're already looking for the best company card for your team. You want to give your team access to company funds in a way that still keeps financial control in the business and avoids any risk. But you also want to give your employees spending power and make it easy for them to pay for the things they need.

So, where should you start? Here are the top six company card features you should look for:

1. Powerful software that supports your company card

The best corporate cards can offer you real-time information on employee spending, insight into trends, and the ability to implement controls and policies. How? From the comprehensive platform that the company cards are linked to.

With Payhawk, our Visa Commercial cards are so much more than a piece of recycled plastic. Each card is a smart, software-backed tool that enables flexible, real-time spending.

We believe that the best company cards for startups should provide powerful, customisable features (like custom spend categories and subscription tracking, for example) and easily integrate with the rest of your finance stack. We integrate with all the most popular ERPs, including Oracle NetSuite. Plus, we have non-company-card reimbursements, bill payments, and invoice management too, all in one place. Perfect for a growing business.

2. A way to track company spend

Company cards can potentially be exploited in traditional card systems, and there's a danger of fraud. But not with corporate cards linked to secure financial software.

With Payhawk's company cards, every single transaction and business expense can be monitored in real-time, and the cardholder will receive a notification of each transaction. Suspected fraud can be caught immediately. And suspected cards can be frozen with a click. Monthly spending limits can be easily controlled and analysed with approval flows that fit your unique company spending too.

No more calls, emails, and restrictive red tape regarding fund requests. That's how business cards can empower employees when they need it most – with flexible but controlled spending.

Choose the right spend management solution with our RFI template

3. Client entertainment

Often, in business, some clients need an extra push. While in many cases attentiveness and extra care do the trick, some clients are not impressed. Going above and beyond to impress a customer has its limits. Luxurious gifts, meetings at exotic destinations or even renting sports cars. All these activities are on the edge of doing business and bribing. If these expenses are in line with your company’s spending policy and you have a green light from management, the only relevant question is whether a business credit card is the best way to finance them.

4. Cryptocurrency, gambling and risky investments

An increasing amount of corporate cards are used for purchasing cryptocurrencies and gambling. Banks are tasked with the burdensome mission to cryptocurrency exchanges and suspicious platforms. Yet, there are plenty of places out there offering to accept your money and provide you with high returns. It may be tempting to use your business credit card for a quick way to invest, however, investments do not always go up. What’s more, when you factor in the interest rate and transaction fees, it is just not worth it.

5. High-cost purchases

Expensive purchases and credit cards are exactly where banks want you to be. Usually, business credit cards have high limits and tempting rewards. This obviously makes them attractive but if you are a small business looking for funding, wiping out your business credit limit in one go is something that impacts your credit score. Having a high utilization ratio coupled with ridiculously high representative APR, and carrying a balance is a recipe for getting in debt.

6. Cash advances

There may come a time when you are desperately looking for more capital. You might even consider cash advance as an option. However, simply because it exists, doesn’t mean that you should charge it on your business credit card. For starters, your cash advance APR will most definitely be higher than your purchase APR.

Another hidden truth is that cash advances come with a hefty fee and do not have a grace period. In other words, there is no interest-free period. The moment the cash leaves the ATM, you already owe more than you took. In this sense, yes cash advances are an option, but the extra convenience doesn’t come cheap.

7. Legal disputes

It is completely normal to have a legal consultant that keeps your business out of trouble. Charging it on your business credit card for convenience every now and then is perfectly fine. The issue arises when you start paying your litigation expenses. Would you invest in a company that is sued and covers all its legal expenses with their credit card? Exactly, it raises a red flag and makes you think that the company is in a state of distress. Whenever possible, try negotiating alternative payment plans that do not send a negative message to your stakeholders.

8. Payroll

When you are growing your business, payroll is your largest expense. We discussed why high-cost expenses should be avoided. Payroll is a recurring high-volume expense. Putting it on your credit card clearly means interest rate risk and debt. Paying your customers out of your credit card sends a strong message that something is wrong.

If you have no other options, make sure you at least have a balance transfer credit card that buys you some more time to pay off the interest rate. Otherwise, resorting to your business credit card to cover payroll is simply rolling the dice and hoping for the best.

What are the takeaways?

Business credit cards provide great perks and bonuses, yet they are not a silver bullet. Yes, sometimes you may need some extra cash right away, but before you reach for your business credit card, you should know all the options. If you want to stay away from trouble, you should have an easy and transparent way to spend and monitor your budget.

Raquel Orejas - Product Marketing Manager at Payhawk, a Spend Management solution
Raquel Orejas
Product Marketing Manager
LinkedIn

An integral part of Payhawk's inception, Raquel has seamlessly transitioned through various roles, beginning in sales and pioneering the customer success team. Her journey continued into content and product marketing, where she now excels as a Product Marketing Manager. Despite managing two maternity leaves, Raquel's vibrant spirit thrives outdoors, embracing activities like hiking, cycling, global travel, and creating cherished moments with her two children.

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