Running a business involves numerous expenses. Sometimes, employees may need to spend on behalf of the business to keep operations going. This could be to take a client out for a meal, purchase office supplies for the company, or fly to different destinations for business meetings, among other things. Issuing your employees with a company-sponsored corporate card can make it easy to track expenses while ensuring that they don't have to pay out of their pocket for company purposes. The best solution is to issue a corporate credit card or a corporate debit card to all employees who may need to undertake company expenses.
In this article, you will learn what are corporate cards, how business credit cards work as well as business debit cards, the different types of corporate cards available in Singapore and which corporate credit card is best in Singapore.
Wondering what are corporate cards? A corporate card is a credit or debit card that companies issue to their employees for business-related expenses. Banks or financial institutions set up unique mechanisms to allow businesses to give corporate credit cards or corporate debit cards to their employees.
Corporate cards make it simple for employees to make purchases or spend on behalf of the company without having to pay out of their own pockets and wait for reimbursements later. It makes the whole process of company-related spending easier. It also allows businesses to track expenditure since the company can access spending details on corporate cards.
Now that you know what is a corporate card, let’s understand how they work. Corporate cards work like personal credit or debit cards but come with some additional features. A company issues them to its employees, and the company can monitor the expenses. The company can also set limits on the card that an individual employee cannot alter. The business repays the balance of the corporate credit card or corporate debit card.
Corporate cards allow companies to monitor their employee spends, manage expenses and have greater control over their expenditure. In addition, they provide numerous rewards and benefits that can be used for different purposes either by the company or the employee. This must clear up the question of how do business credit or debit cards work.
Choosing the best corporate credit card in Singapore or corporate debit card comes down to what is right for your business. Corporate cards are ultimately going to help you get better at financial management. To pick the right business credit card or debit card, you should consider the following things:
The first thing to determine is what kind of expenses will employees undertake with your corporate cards. Will they travel frequently, or will your salespeople take clients out to lunch to close deals? Depending on the expenses, you can choose a card that provides benefits accordingly. If your employees travel more, you may want to find a card that offers maximum travel benefits. If expenses are primarily related to procurement, you may want a card that provides discounts and offers on bulk purchases.
If you are issuing business credit cards, you need to be aware of the time you have for interest-free payment. The interest can vary from one financial institution to another. A company that gives you a very short runway could hike your expenses. It is essential to consider the interest component carefully and the repayment period to ensure it is in your favour.
When choosing a corporate card provider, you should consider the safety they provide. Before locking in on a corporate card, ensure that the institution has top-notch safety and security standards. Check for real-time updates on spending, authentication measures, identifying unusual activity, handling loss or theft of the card, etc.
Once you have determined which card works best depending on your expenses and the interest rate, the next step is to evaluate the card's benefits. Besides travel perks and bulk discounts, does the card provide additional perks such as rebates on gas, discounts on food bills, hotel perks and cashbacks? Choosing a card that provides maximum benefits will help you reduce your expenses considerably.
Another essential consideration to make while choosing your corporate card provider is to see what kind of expense management tools they provide. An issuer that gives you an in-built expense management system can ease the process of tracking expenses. You also need to consider a possible integration with your own expense management system and accounting software.
Now, let's get down to the most crucial part of the article – the best business credit cards in Singapore and the best business debit cards in Singapore. There are many banks and fintech companies that offer corporate cards to businesses. However, if you are a small business, these are some of the best corporate credit cards and corporate debit cards to consider:
Issuing entity: YouTrip
Payment network: Mastercard
YouBiz is a corporate credit card in Singapore that offers unlimited 1% cashback on transactions, zero account fees, minimum spend features, limiting categories and cashback caps. It also has a 0% FX fee across over 150 currencies. If you have significant forex expenses, then YouBiz corporate credit card is a great one to consider. It can help you easily manage forex expenses and track them in different currencies.
2. DBS Visa Platinum Business Card
Issuing entity: DBS Bank
Payment network: Visa
DBS Platinum Business Card is a credit card that is known for the great cashbacks that it offers, making it an excellent option for small businesses looking to improve their earnings. Additionally, employees can also earn 1 DBS point for every S$5 expense that they make. It has other perks that make it attractive for small business owners to adopt this card for their business use.
Issuing entity: United Overseas Bank
Payment network: Mastercard
One of the best business credit cards in Singapore to consider for a new business is the UOB Platinum Business Card. Apart from its attractive cash rebate, it has several other perks that make it a great candidate for a corporate card for a new business. These rebates can add up to considerable cost savings for a small or medium business setting up shop.
4. Citibank Corporate Credit Card
Issuing entity: Citibank
Payment network: Visa
If you have frequent flyers in your company, you should consider getting the Citibank Corporate Credit Card. It allows you to accumulate ThankYou points that can be exchanged for flight miles. Your employees can also exchange the points for vouchers or cash rebates. Compared to many other corporate cards, Citibank's card features among the best corporate credit cards in Singapore because of its affordable annual fee and excellent benefits.
Now that you know which credit card is best in Singapore, let’s move on to the best debit cards,
Issuing entity: Aspire
Payment network: Visa
Aspire Corporate Card, a debit card in Singapore, is one of the best debit card options for small businesses. Firstly, it is a virtual card, making it an extremely safe and easy-to-use product. You can also choose to apply for a physical card if you wish to. You can apply for as many cards required to give to your team members. Businesses are eligible for cashback on digital spending, including online marketing and SaaS such as on Facebook ad spends, Google ads, Hubspot, Notion, AWS, Slack, Adobe, Shopify, etc.
2. DBS Business Advance Debit Card
Issuing entity: DBS Bank
Payment network: Visa
DBS Business Advance Debit Card is another excellent debit card in Singapore to consider. If your business has a bank account with DBS Bank, it can apply for employee debit cards. However, it does incur a foreign transaction fee for international purchases. The travel transaction fee can go up to 3.25%.
Issuing entity: OCBC Bank
Payment network: Mastercard
OCBC Business Debit Cards are available in both physical and digital formats. These cards can be obtained by any business that holds an OCBC business bank account. It provides good cashback on business spending and is compatible with a range of mobile wallets for online payments. It also has a range of rewards and member perks. However, convenience and maintenance fees may apply to different accounts.
4. Standard Chartered Business Debit Card
Issuing entity: Standard Chartered Bank
Payment network: Mastercard
The Standard Chartered Business Debit Card can be accessed by companies with a business account with Standard Chartered. The costs and minimum balance requirements for Standard Chartered Business Debit Cards vary from one account type to another. It is best to check with your bank representative before applying for one of these cards.
You can issue business credit cards or debit cards to your employees. Business credit cards allow your employees to make purchases on credit. These expenses will have to be cleared at the end of each month. Business debit cards will require debit balances to be loaded on the card or the linked account. Employees will only be able to spend depending on the balance there is on the card or account.
After understanding what are corporate cards, you need to know the types of cards in the market. There are three types of corporate cards available in the market:
1. Individual Liability Card
An individual liability card is a corporate card in which the employee is responsible for making payments to the credit or debit card issuer. While they can claim reimbursements from the company for their business expenses, they will be responsible for clearing all the dues on time. Companies may outline the costs allowed, and the limits for each expense may require receipts and invoices for clearing the dues and other rules.
2. Corporate Liability Cards
A corporate liability card is a corporate card whose repayment responsibility lies with the company that issues the card to its employees. This gives the employee more financial relief since they will not be directly responsible for repaying the dues. These will also come with limits and guidelines that the company issues. A corporate liability card makes it easier for the company to track payments and pay the dues directly instead of waiting for employees to raise reimbursement slips.
3. Virtual Cards
A virtual business card or a digital business card is similar to a physical card – only it is issued virtually. They are digitized cards that are easy to issue and easy to ditch. As your company grows, you will need to keep track of employee expenses. Issuing physical corporate cards can become expensive and cumbersome. Instead, issuing virtual cards makes it easy to keep track, they're harder to lose, have better security and can be monitored easily.
Issuing corporate cards to employees can have benefits for your small business as well as your employees.
1. Real-time visibility of expenses
Issuing a corporate card to your employees can help you gain better control over business expenses. You can get an easy overview of the spends your employees are making and receive updates real-time. You can set limits on the amount that employees can spend and allow spending only in specific categories or also allow spending only with specific merchants. There will be increased transparency for all business-related expenses that employees undertake.
2. Increased security
When you issue a corporate card, you can ensure that the security and safety aspects are taken care of. All corporate cards come with top-notch security options that make it safe for your employees to use. If you issue virtual cards, you can be even more stringent with security. You don't have to worry about lost cards or compromised information. You can block/cancel cards instantly, online. If they are temporarily not being used, you can freeze them too.
3. Improved expense management
With corporate cards, expense management becomes easier. Apart from complete transparency, some providers will also allow you to integrate your corporate cards with your expense management system and accounting systems. This will make your expense management process smooth and hassle-free while making it easier for you to close books of accounts.
4. Ease of use
Corporate cards are straightforward to issue and use. As long as you are a registered business, you can apply for as many corporate cards as you need for your employees.
5. Saving money
Corporate cards provide numerous benefits and perks such as travel benefits, discounts, offers and cashbacks. Using these perks carefully can help you save money in the long run.
1. Expense management gets easier
Using corporate cards for business expenses makes expense management easier even for employees. Employees can easily keep track of expenses and raise appropriate invoices online to get reimbursed. Through features like budgets, employees can track set expense limit on their Corporate credit cards or corporate debit cards and track when they are about to exhaust, thus relieving them the stress of over-shooting their costs.
2. Travel benefits
Corporate cards come with attractive features. Corporate cards provide travel benefits for employees who need to travel a lot for business purposes. These could be flight upgrades, lounge access, discounts and other offers on travel. Corporate cards may provide extra hotel benefits during stay such as cashbacks or upgrades. Some companies may also allow employees to use these benefits for personal travel.
3. Can use rewards programs
Just like travel benefits, corporate cards also offer other reward programs. These could be in the form of reward points or discounts. Or, they could offer discounts on bulk spending. Employees can use these benefits to their advantage on their following business trips.
While corporate cards have numerous benefits, it is also essential to be aware of the cons of issuing corporate cards.
1. Can be expensive
If you are issuing corporate cards to too many employees in your company, the charges can quickly add up. Issuing multiple corporate cards comes with additional fees in some cases. If you have a large team and every team member has company expenses, you may need to scout for institutions that give you a good deal. Aspire's corporate cards are designed for small businesses with corporate expenses, giving you a good deal on your cards.
2. Long application process
The application process for new cards can be drawn out lengthy at times. Depending on the institution you apply with, getting a card issued for a new employee may require a lot of paperwork.
3. Requires strict regulation
You may spend well over your budget if you don't have strict rules governing your corporate expenses. If you want to issue corporate cards to your employees, ensure that you have a clear spending guideline so that employees know what expenditure is permitted and what is not.
It's not necessary that you issue corporate cards only to company directors and managers. Today, employees at different levels may need to undertake corporate expenses. Keeping this in mind, you can decide to whom to issue corporate cards.
If your employees travel frequently or meet with clients regularly, you can issue corporate cards to them. It becomes simple to track and manage expenses with a corporate credit card or a corporate debit card. Employees in sales, client servicing, mid-level managers who meet with clients, and employees in the purchasing department could be potential candidates to issue corporate cards to.
The requirements to apply for a corporate credit or debit card vary from one issuer to another. Usually, you will have to submit certain documents such as your business registration details, financials and other information to apply for corporate cards. Some companies may require that you submit your company's credit score to apply for a corporate credit card. This will determine the type of cards and the number of cards you will be eligible for.
Applying for digital cards is much simpler since you can complete the whole process online. For instance, to apply for an Aspire card, you simply need to open an Aspire business account, submit documents online, and you will receive approval for your cards. Aspire corporate cards have many advantages, including cashbacks, low foreign transaction fees, a spend management system, complete transparency and real-time monitoring of your expenses. When making a decision, consider the best corporate credit card in Singapore or corporate debit card in Singapore.
Corporate cards can be an excellent way to track expenses and manage financial spending. It can streamline your expenditure, make it easy for employees to undertake business travel, and manage their expenses without using their personal cards. Now that you know what is a corporate card, how business credit cards work, which credit card is the best in Singapore and which corporate cards to use, you can go ahead and apply for them for your business.