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Corporate Cards
October 10, 2022
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Corporate vs. Business Credit Card: What is the Difference?

Leen Shami

Finance Writer

Corporate vs. Business Credit Card: What is the Difference?

Corporate credit card vs. a business credit card. You might have heard both terms used interchangeably, but what's the difference?

Primarily, corporate cards are issued to large businesses with many employees, while business credit cards are designed for smaller businesses. Corporate cards generally have higher spending limits and may offer more perks than business cards due to their volume.

This post will cover the main differences so you can decide which card is best for your business.

What is a Business Credit Card?

A business credit card is a commercial payment solution for companies and businesses. Similar to a personal credit card, business credit cards are used when business-related purchases are made on credit provided by one of the credit card companies.

Banks in the UAE and MENA offer various business credit cards for small, medium, and large companies. 

Business credit cards usually offer higher credit limits than personal credit cards and may come with exclusive privileges, such as free travel insurance, concierge services, and air miles.

In the case of small businesses, a personal credit score will play an important role in credit limit approval.

What is a Corporate Credit Card?

A corporate credit card is issued to company employees to help with business expenses. The company will be liable for any debts incurred on the card.

It is important to note that corporate cards are not personal credit cards and should only be used for business purposes.

Financial institutions expect you to spend more with a corporate card than a business card, as the companies that require those cards are usually bigger. Therefore, the company must have a good credit score to qualify. This can come with various perks, such as lower interest rates, extended grace periods, and, most importantly - higher spending limits.

At the same time, there can be some drawbacks, such as:

  • Long approval periods due to the nature of the financial product.
  • Limited online features for your cards and company spend management. 

What is a Pluto Card?

Pluto Card is MENA's corporate card that helps finance teams take control of their company's expenses while saving their business time & money. While Pluto can't give you a line of credit, you will be able to instantly issue as many business and corporate cards as you need while getting a complete overview of your business's spend management on one dashboard.

Pluto Virtual & Physical Corporate Cards

Virtual credit cards

Virtual cards are corporate credit card numbers used for online business-related purchases and contactless payments.

Although there is no physical card, virtual credit cards are great as they are flexible, convenient, and controllable.

With virtual credit cards, you can:

  • Issue unlimited virtual credit cards/employee cards;
  • Create a virtual credit card within seconds;
  • Set employee spending limits to avoid going over budget;
  • Generate a one-time use purchase card that deactivates as soon as it is used;
  • Set purchases to be made with specific vendors so the card can't be used for other purchases;

Chances are that if you need a virtual credit card at your existing bank, it might take quite some time, and the reporting and limit setting options might not be very user-friendly.

While Pluto cannot provide you with credit cards, we can issue as many virtual cards as you need with just a few clicks:

Physical credit cards

Physical corporate credit cards serve the same purpose as virtual and business credit cards, making payments. Unlike virtual cards, physical corporate credit cards can be used in person to make purchases.

While both virtual and physical credit cards are comparable, the main differences are:

  • Physical corporate credit cards may take up to 3 business days to be delivered.
  • Virtual cards cannot be used physically.
  • Virtual cards are safer for the user, as they cannot be lost or stolen.

Benefits and perks

The benefits and perks differ for business and corporate credit cards and Pluto cards.

Business & corporate credit cards:

  • Receive Business reward points for purchases made that can be redeemed for future purchases.

Pluto cards:

Pluto Corporate Card Perks

Why are Business Credit Cards and Corporate Credit Cards Different?

Now you know the main difference between business and corporate cards, but let's investigate some of them in more detail.

Expense management tools

Business credit cards are frequently limited to your online banking platform. In the case of corporate credit cards, you may get something slightly better - an enterprise solution.

But from what we have seen, the speed of card issuing or limit changes is usually lacking.

Pluto doesn't give you a credit line, but here is a list of things that Pluto's expense management platform does:

  • Unlimited corporate cards (within seconds);
  • Set spending limits on corporate cards to avoid going over budget or being overcharged;
  • Issue one-time purchase cards that deactivate after being used;
  • Real-time transactional data - know what (and where) is being spent in real-time;
  • Ability to oversee company financials and receive instantaneous expense reports;
  • Automated accounting; 
  • Sync transactional data to major accounting platforms;
  • Simple and quick reimbursements;
  • Digitized receipt reconciliation;
  • Close books in hours, not days.

Corporate and business card fees

The fees that you might have to pay on corporate and business cards fall into two main categories:

Annual fees

For business and corporate credit cards, annual fees may differ depending on the bank or credit card issuer you choose to move forward with. Typically, the UAE's yearly fees range from 0-800 AED, with 'free for life' being the most popular.

If there are any fees, you can typically waive them by spending a certain amount per year.

Pluto cards do not have any annual fees and are entirely free; however, if you're a large corporation that wants unlimited users, custom ERP integrations, or a dedicated account manager, there will be a monthly subscription fee.

Pluto's Subscription Plans

FX fees

Business and corporate credit cards tend to incur FX fees, making it expensive for a company owner, a small business, or a large business to do any transactions outside their domestic currency.

FX fees can be high, and credit card issuers are usually not transparent with the fees that come with them. Typically, fees come in the form of an FX spread and are hidden inside your payment, meaning you might be paying 2-6% for a transaction in a different currency.

Just imagine how much of your spending is in a different currency and take an optimistic 4% fee from that amount. Now multiply it by five years.

Pluto does not charge FX fees, making it the perfect choice for companies or businesses that frequently transact in foreign currencies.

Application & Approval Process

You must wait around two weeks for a business credit card approval. After the approval process, it may take up to 10 business days to receive your business credit card.

With a corporate credit card, the time may vary, but the chances are that you will need to wait more than 5 business days before you get approved.

From our experience, when you need an expense card - you need it on the spot!

Pluto has adopted a KYB & KYC (know your business and client) process that allows us to onboard customers in minutes. After you set up your account, you can start issuing virtual cards and continue your work without halts or limitations.

Corporate vs. Business Credit Cards Pros and Cons

While a corporate credit card and a business credit card may be comparable in some aspects, there are some differences between the two financial products.

Business credit card pros

  • Available for most businesses in their standard banking products;
  • Standard application process with low business requirements;

Business credit card cons

  • Usually limited in numbers, one card is internally shared amongst many employees. That creates bottlenecks in spending and raises various security risks;
  • Non-existent (or very limited) spend management platforms to monitor your reporting;
  • No virtual cards;
  • High FX fees;

Corporate credit card pros

  • Higher spending limits;
  • Possibility to issue several cards;
  • Safe & secure, as information is not being shared;

Corporate credit card cons

  • Longer approval process;
  • High FX fees;

While the pros and cons for both types of cards may vary, the final decision will be based on the size of your business.

Why Pick Pluto Card for Business and Corporate Users?

As mentioned, Pluto won't give you a line of credit; instead, Pluto provides you with an all-in-one expense management solution. 

Pluto's spend management platform

  • All your business expenses are at your reach on Pluto's dashboard;
  • Control over all issued cards and their limits;
  • Creation of unlimited virtual cards;
  • Real-time expense reporting;
Pluto's Dashboard

Approval workflow on Pluto

Once you have access to Pluto's expense management dashboard, you'll also be able to set up approval flows and automation.

With Pluto's approval workflow, you can:

  • Get visibility and control over your expenses;
  • Streamline how you manage your spending;
  • Automatically direct approvals to the right employees;
  • Create approval flows within departments;
Pluto Card Approval Workflow

Real-time expense reports

With Pluto cards, you'll gain real-time transactional data on company spending while being able to set strict budget limits.

This will also help you make informed decisions about allocating resources and improving your P&L.

Additionally, you can also set up notifications to be sent to your accounting or finance team whenever a transaction is made. This way, they'll always be in the loop and can take appropriate action if needed.

Which Card is Best for My Business?

The final pick of the card will depend on several factors related to your business.

Industry

The needs of companies based on their industries may differ. Consulting businesses need a flexible card solution with no FX fees, as their employees travel frequently. Digital agencies need multiple virtual cards to onboard new projects and pay for ad networks daily.

Consider the needs relevant to your industry and decide from there. While Pluto is an excellent pick for all industries (as we have a very versatile product), here are some of the use cases that illustrate the needs and how Pluto solves them:

Size

Annual revenue, the number of employees, and spending volume will also come into play when making your decision.

If it is just you or a couple of employees, you may not need many cards (or you might take advantage of Pluto's virtual cards).

On the other hand, if you have a sales team that needs to pay for lunches with prospects every second day, one card in the business owner's name will be problematic! 

Control

How much control do you need over your spending? Classic credit cards (be it business or corporate) usually have just a few features that are extensions of your online banking.

In some cases, that might be enough. If there is one card and one person using it - setting limits and monitoring the spending is not an issue.

Pluto comes into play when you have several holders and many cards, as you can set custom limits on cards. Real-time reports of spending suddenly become very important to increase and decrease limits on the go.

Pluto Corporate Card Budget Control

Key Takeaways

  • Business credit card is the best fit for small business owners; they offer a standardized solution.
  • Corporate credit cards are for bigger companies, allowing higher spending and slightly better control.
  • Pluto cards (used for all business sizes) can provide unlimited virtual cards and give you access to an all-in-one expense management platform.

FAQ

Does a corporate credit card affect my credit score?

A corporate card is a company's liability and does not affect your credit score, and you will not see them on your personal credit report. Pluto cards do not affect your credit score in any way (as they do not provide loans or credit facilities).

What is the difference between a business and a corporate credit card?

The main difference between small business credit cards is the size of the company that uses them, followed by credit limits and available control features. Pluto provides cards to corporations and businesses through the all-in-one spend management platform.

What is meant by a corporate credit card?

A corporate credit card refers to a card provided by the company to the employee for various business-related expenses.

Is a corporate card the same as a credit card?

Credit cards primarily draw from an approved loan balance, while corporate card programs are just an extension to a dedicated corporate account. But the terms are used interchangeably nowadays.

What is the difference between corporate and domestic credit cards?

A domestic card may refer to a debit card or a card issued by your local bank for your local use. Corporate cards are accepted internationally, at the ATM, or online.

Can a corporate card be used for personal use?

No. By default, corporate cards have to be used for business expenses, which are reported into accounting, but most importantly, it is the company's money on that card. The only exception will be if your company allows it.

What is the advantage of a corporate credit card?

Usually, it comes down to higher spending limiting. Compared to small business credit cards, corporate credit card debt does not usually require a personal guarantee, as the company guarantees it.

In the case of Pluto's corporate card, we can also add - unlimited virtual cards, real-time team-wide spend control, instantaneous reporting, and no FX fees!

Does a corporate credit card affect my credit score?

No. If the corporate credit card has a credit facility attached to it (it usually does), it is a company liability, not a personal liability. You are given access to a portion of their credit facility that does not fall into the personal loans group, and you do not need to provide personal guarantees.

Can my company require me to put business travel on my own credit card?

No, the company cannot force you to put business expenses on your credit card, but it is sometimes easier for everyone. So, if you agree with that, and the company agrees to reimburse you - it is not a problem. 

If you are looking for a better solution, let the Pluto team know, and we will provide you with an easy corporate card platform for your whole team.

Do corporate credit cards require a credit check?

A corporate credit card (in its classical meaning) is attached to a loan facility. To approve this loan facility, banks must do a company credit check.