Business credit cards offer an appropriate alternative for business owners who use one or more personal credit cards to pay for day-to-day business expenses. And the best part is that you don’t need a large business to get one. Banks and finance companies in the UAE are queuing up to offer business credit cards to SMEs and micro-SMEs.

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Why use a business credit card?

A business credit card can help you manage your business cash flow in a more efficient manner, and at the same time offers tailor-made benefits and perks that will help you save on business expenses.

It’s best for business owners to keep their business expenses separate from personal expenses to facilitate systematic record-keeping and tracking of your total business-related spending. When monitoring your spending through monthly card statements, you can also analyze if you need to cut back on certain expenses.

Using a business credit card can also help establish credit-worthiness for your business, since credit reporting is gaining momentum in the UAE and is set to be the basis of future bank lending.

[Related: UAE credit reports explained]

What should you look for in a business credit card?

Apart from the convenience and lifestyle benefits that most credit cards offer these days, business credit cards offer a specifically designed benefit structure which makes them attractive for entrepreneurs. These are some of the features to keep in mind when choosing a business credit card:

  • Discounts on frequently incurred business expenses – The right business credit card can help you save on your usual business expenses like those related to recruitment services, PRO services (Visa and immigration services for your employees), cleaning and office maintenance services, and concierge services.
  • Deals and discounts on business travel – A credit card that offers discounts on hotels, car rentals and other travel-related expenses can help you save big bucks. If you’re a frequent business traveler, you could also consider features like unlimited airport lounge access and higher cashback on international transactions, when choosing a business credit card.
  • Higher cash limit – Make sure that you check the cash limit on the credit card before applying. A higher cash limit gives you instant access to cash and more flexibility when managing business expenses. For example, the Emirates Money Business credit card offers a high cash limit of up to 75% of your total credit limit.
  • Easy installment plans – When paying for bigger business expenses or unexpected expenses, access to flexible installment plans at economical interest rates can be very useful too.

Other than the benefits listed above, you can keep an eye out for new offers and unique features being introduced by credit card providers. For example, the Emirates Money Business credit card features a unique insurance cover called the ‘Business Protector Plan’ which covers business expenses of up to AED 250,000 in the event of death or permanent total disability of the card holder.

[Compare SME credit cards ]

Your business credit card options

Banks and finance companies like Emirates Money, ADIB, CBD, Union National Bank, Mashreq, NBAD, RAKBank and Aseel offer a wide variety of business credit cards, each featuring a combination of financial benefits and business-related features to suit the requirements of entrepreneurs in the UAE.

Among the recently launched business credit cards in the UAE, is the Emirates Money Business credit card. This card was introduced in June 2015 and is designed to meet the needs of SME and Micro-SME business owners in the UAE. It comes at zero annual fee for the first year and offers an attractive cashback of up to 5 percent, allowing you to earn a maximum cashback of AED 2,000 per month.

Business credit cards are making life simpler for business owners. So whether you’ve never used a credit card to pay for business expenses or are making do with your personal credit card, it’s time to consider moving to a business credit card.