Applying for Startup Credit Cards in Singapore

Starting a small business can be stressful, and one of the most challenging aspects you may face is funding.

Choosing the right credit card for your startup can make all the difference in your business’s cash flow. Today’s startup credit cards offer a range of rewards, cashback and programs for new businesses to make full use of and save on costs in the long run.

What are startup credit cards?

A startup credit card is essentially a credit card used purely for your business transactions.

Keeping business expenses and budgeting separate from your personal cash flow allows you to get more organized when tax season rolls around. The idea is to reap the benefits of a credit history for your business, building a credit score that is purely tied to your business to build a favourable credit history.

Many business credit cards offer benefits that personal consumer cards do not. These may include better rewards programs, special offers and interest rates more suitable for your business.

Whether you run a storefront, a sole proprietorship, a website, or work as a freelancer on miscellaneous jobs, a startup or business credit card is worth considering in order to build your startup

What are the benefits of a startup credit card?

Applying for a startup credit card can definitely help your business scale faster. Take a look at the benefits it can offer below.

Savings from cash rebates and rewards

The main perk of a startup credit card is that it offers your business opportunities for savings which wouldn’t have been possible with a standard consumer credit card. Savings thousands each year is possible with the help of cashback and rewards points designed specifically for business operations.

Build credit and apply for a loan

The other benefit of a startup credit card is that it builds a business credit report or history. Establishing a healthy business credit score is crucial for when suppliers or future lenders are evaluating your business to consider negotiating a deal with you or assessing if you are eligible for a loan. It is standard practice for banks to perform credit health checks before approving any business loans.

Using a personal credit card for business transactions means that you may be forfeiting the opportunities for massive savings and cashback, but also the chance to establish a credit score that is separate from your personal credit history.

Better cashflow management

Having a startup credit card also helps with managing your company’s cash flow as you have a credit line to help circulate your funds.

Better visibility on card spends

A company has more control and visibility over a personal credit card since there are regulations and policies in place by simply having one. Moreover, equipping your team with cards reduces out-of-pocket expenses and expense reports that take up everyone’s time. By having startup credit cards, you can avoid any fraudulent transactions, overspending (using credit limits) and personal expenses getting mixed up with corporate ones.

How to choose a business credit card

The following are the main steps you need to take to apply for a startup credit card:

1. Research your options

When choosing a startup credit card, be sure not to skip the research process or go ahead with the first available option. Instead, take your time to scope out your options in the market, which business credit cards have the best interest rates, cashback and rewards, and are the most suitable for your business needs.

2. Consider your business needs

Assessing your business’s lifestyle is a great way to decide what types of rewards would be most useful in a startup credit card.

For instance, does your company require business travel frequently? If so, a credit card with rewards for flights or Airmiles would be useful. Does it involve a lot of wining and dining clients? In that case, maybe a business credit card that offers perks for restaurants and dining as well as a priority pass to skip queues as well as lounge access.

Many business credit cards are also tied to airline miles programs such as Singapore Airline’s Krisflyer program for special discounts and privileges. Often, these cards also offer a travel insurance as an added offering for business travellers.

3. Keep an eye out for interest rates and hidden fees

Just like with a personal credit card, it’s equally important to watch out for high-interest rates and fees. These may include processing fees, annual fees and late fees which can add up quickly the minute you don’t make a payment on time.

While every business owner would like to assume they will always make payments promptly, it’s a good idea to be prepared for the worst and to consider what a late payment will add up to regardless.

What are the requirements for a startup or corporate credit card

When considering a startup credit card, here are a few documents you will be expected to produce when submitting your applications:

For salaried employees:

  • Latest month computerised payslip
  • Latest 6 months CPF Contribution History Statement
  • Latest Income Tax Notice of Assessment + latest month computerised payslip/6 months CPF contribution

For self-employed workers:

  • A copy of latest income tax notice of assessment (must be in business for a minimum of 2 years)

For commission earners (any one from below)

  • Latest 3 months payslip + Latest income tax notice of assessment
  • Latest 6 months CPF contribution history statement
  • Latest 3 months payslip
  • Copy of latest income tax notice of assessment ( For 100% commission earner)

Who should get a corporate credit card?

Will your employees need access to their own business credit cards? If so, it may be a good idea to consider virtual corporate cards through an expense management platform.

These virtual cards function similarly to business credit cards, except that management are able to track transactions through unique IDs on each virtual card, allowing them to have a better overview of spending, block or authorise spending, and gain a clearer idea of overall spending within the organization in real-time.

Through a centralized dashboard, information on transactions can be tracked and accessed seamlessly. Corporate cards like Spenmo’s Smart Cards allow administrators to top up cards through the dashboard and employees/cardmembers can use cards that are widely accepted by merchants and online platforms. The cards also come as physical and virtual cards and are widely accepted by merchants that carry Visa or Mastercard.

 

Virtual Card for SaaS and Paid Marketing Spend. Try Spenmo today!

What you should look for in a startup credit card

1. Cashback rewards

Cashback rewards allow your business to save huge amounts over the long term. Opt for a startup credit card which offers high cashback rates for spending. Ensure that cashback applies to the types of spending categories your business spends on most.

2. Low annual fees

Annual fees can rack up enormous sums and can take a toll on your business’s cash flow. Be sure to check that annual fees are as low as possible or that rewards offered by the business credit card compensate for this amount.

3. Air miles

If your employees travel regularly and are likely to use this business credit card, it would be remiss not to consider a startup credit card that offers travel privileges or rewards. With air miles, you can save a hefty amount on business flights long term and get privileges or discounts with selected airlines.

Why you may prefer virtual corporate cards

Software integration

Some virtual corporate cards can be synced with your existing systems to provide a more seamless experience with business expenses. For instance, why not choose a virtual card which links easily with an accounting software like Xero.

This reduces the need for your Finance department to manually input data each time a transaction is made or for monthly software subscriptions.

Seamless top-up, blocking and authorisation

Administrators can easily top-up amounts, block and authorise spending for each employee seamlessly through a centralized dashboard. Limits are placed and this allows a simpler experience for your employees who understand the parameters of spending allowed.

Customization and easy tracking

With each employee spending differently for different purposes, it can be a challenge to monitor expenses with a business credit card. With a virtual corporate card, business owners can set controls and limits on the different types of spending categories for each employee. This prevents the likelihood of fraud because every transaction can be tracked, blocked or authorised seamlessly.

SME Credit Cards in Singapore

Here are a few options for corporate virtual cards available in Singapore:

Volopay

Benefits:

  • Physical and virtual cards available
  • 0% FX markup
  • 2% cashback on all hosting and SaaS

Aspire

Benefits:

  • No user fee (0$)
  • Physical and virtual cards are available
  • Top up via PayNow and BT

Flex

Benefits:

  • Software integration with Xero and Quickbooks

DBS

Benefits:

  • No user fee (0$)
  • Physical and virtual cards are available
  • Complimentary annual coverage of employee misuse up to USD 25,000 per cardholder and USD 1.65 million per company, if your company holds two or more DBS Virtual Cards.
  • Complimentary Travel Accident Insurance for employees of up to SGD 1 million when the full air fare is charged.

Spenmo

Spenmo Smart Card

Benefits:

  • No user fee (0$)
  • Physical and virtual cards are available
  • 0-2% cashback on all card spend for 6 months
  • Top up via PayNow, BT and credit card with a 1% fee
  • 0% FX markup or foreign transaction fees
  • Software integration with Xero

 

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