The corporate credit card: what benefits it offers, what types of cards are available and what employees should bear in mind

Whether it's travel expenses for the business meeting, accommodation costs on business trips or the cost of a working lunch – some company expenses have to be paid by employees themselves when they're on the road. So it's handy if they can do that directly with the corporate credit card. But what advantages do the cards offer companies? What types of corporate credit cards are there? And what do employees need to consider? In this article we have compiled important questions and answers on the subject of credit cards for companies.

Who can apply for a corporate credit card?

In contrast to credit cards for private customers, corporate credit cards can only be applied for by companies or self-employed persons. However, they are always issued to a specific person – for example, a specific employee. Other differences may include a higher credit limit, more extensive services or company-specific benefits. Some credit card providers also offer their corporate customers the option of customizing their credit cards with the company logo.

For whom is a corporate credit card worthwhile?

Corporate credit cards are particularly worthwhile for companies whose employees frequently travel outside their own company – for example, on business trips. The main benefits of a corporate credit card are:

  • Practical: cash advances for employees prior to travel or private interpretation of company expenses by employees are eliminated and expense management is simplified. This also reduces the administrative effort behind it.
  • Transparent: Companies receive a credit card statement every month with all payment transactions – broken down by employee. Financial control of the company through the monthly evaluation option.
  • Online: Provide employees with a convenient and familiar means of payment for the Internet. Book, shop and pay online as you would in your private life.
  • International: The company credit card can be used to make cashless payments and withdraw cash from ATMs even on business trips abroad.
  • Liquidity benefits: Companies often benefit from extended payment terms on corporate credit cards. In addition, you no longer miss out on interest due to cash advances. Corporate customers can also withdraw cash from ATMs worldwide.
  • Services and extras: Many corporate credit cards offer additional services such as an emergency travel service. Insurance benefits can also be included with a corporate credit card. These include, for example, foreign travel health insurance on business trips or business travel accident insurance.
  • Satisfaction: Employee satisfaction is increased by the convenience of a company credit card and identification with the company is enhanced.

What types of credit cards are available for corporate customers?

Corporate credit cards are usually so-called charge cards, where expenses are billed once a month. As a rule, all credit cards then run via a company account. But some providers also offer prepaid corporate credit cards.
There is also a distinction between business cards and corporate cards for company credit cards – although in practice this distinction becomes blurred. Business cards are usually issued with fixed prices and benefits and can usually only be applied for in small numbers. Therefore, they are more suitable for smaller companies, sole proprietors or self-employed persons. In contrast, corporate cards can usually be applied for in unlimited quantities. In addition, the conditions are usually individually negotiable and the services are often more extensive. The costs per card are higher. They are more suitable for large companies or non-profit organizations.
With the Mastercard Business and the Mastercard Business Gold, the Sparkasse Mainz has two business cards from the standard and premium credit card segment in its program.

What employees need to consider when using corporate credit cards?

In particular, employees should be aware that their spending via the corporate credit card is transparent to the company. In addition, by becoming cardholders, they assume a certain degree of responsibility for their company's finances. They should therefore bear the following points in mind:
– Clear rules: Before using them, it should be clarified which expenses the company actually bears. Private use of the company credit card by employees is generally not permitted and must be expressly approved in advance. The extensive insurance benefits of a credit card offer insurance coverage only on business trips.
– Secure handling: corporate credit cards, like credit cards for individuals, have a limit of liability. However, this usually only applies if the cardholder has the card blocked immediately in the event of theft or loss and does not handle the card in a grossly negligent manner.

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