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5 best corporate cards for SME owners in 2024

Belinda Wan
October 13, 2021

So easy to use: A corporate card that comes with a slew of perks can make your (and that of your employees) life a lot easier and more rewarding. Photo credit: Unsplash

One of the most useful things that SME owners can arm themselves with is a corporate credit card.

Not only does a corporate card offer you top convenience, it also often comes with a host of benefits and perks such as credits, cashback and air miles, which you can earn as you spend on business essentials.

On top of that, we have written extensively on how the use of corporate credit cards can help avail businesses with up to 55 days of interest free working capital. This can be done by making purchases on the card and making full use of the grace period of up to an additional 22-26 days from the billing date.

Please note that debit card service providers like Youbiz and Aspire do not fall in this category as they are debit in nature(meaning you spend directly from your account). As such we are not comparing them in this article.

These are five of the best corporate cards to have in your phone or wallet:

1. Elevate Business Cashback Card (Best all-rounder)

What it is: This is a virtual debit card with unlimited 1% cashback jointly offered by one of Singapore’s leading fintech players, Funding Societies and CardUp.

What it offers: This is one card that aims to help busy corporates do it all – make quick payments for less, get cashback, and enjoy a slew of perks and rewards, as well as also couple it with a credit line application with credit limit of up to $20,000 without any need for documents.

Nice perks: With the card, you can enjoy 1% cashback on digital marketing, travel, e-commerce, courier and software-as-a-service (SaaS) spends. For added convenience, the card is integrated with Google Pay.

Alongside the card, their virtual credit line, Elevate Credit Line, – also allows users to draw down through their  Elevate Account. Users get up to 55 days of interest free credit with the option to use the funds via the debit card or FAST transfer.

Payment processor: Mastercard

Eligibility: Incorporated for at least 6 months and filed by a director of the company who is at least 21 years old.

Fees: The card has no sign-up, monthly, annual or hidden fees.

Overall: This is our recommended option for SMEs and fast-growing businesses that frequently need to make digital payments and earn cashback. Plus, the added option to pair it with their credit line allows for easy access to additional working capital to address cash flow gaps.

2. Amex Highflyer Corporate Card (Best for larger teams)

What it is: The Amex Highflyer Card, also known as the American Express Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card, is designed primarily for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with a focus on travel benefits, particularly those associated with Singapore Airlines and its partners.  

What it offers: Cardholders earn 1.8 HighFlyer points for every S$1 spent, with an enhanced rate of up to 8.5 HighFlyer points per S$1 on eligible Singapore Airlines Group flights. The card also offers a generous sign-up bonus, including options for eCapitaVouchers, bonus HighFlyer points, or even a Samsonite Choca Spinner luggage based on early spending thresholds.

Nice perks:

  • Travel Benefits: Earn up to 8.5 HighFlyer points per S$1 on Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, and Scoot flights, and 1.8 HighFlyer points per S$1 on all other spendings.
  • Lounge Access: 2 complimentary Priority Pass lounge visits per year.
  • Hotel Benefits: Complimentary Accor Plus Explorer membership, which includes a free hotel night annually and up to 50% off dining at over 1,000 restaurants.
  • Bonus Points: Opportunities to earn additional HighFlyer points through specific spending targets, including fast-track options for KrisFlyer Elite Gold status with certain spending amounts on Singapore Airlines Group purchases

Payment processor: Amex

Eligibility: The card is aimed at businesses and requires an internal assessment and approval by American Express. The primary cardholder must be at least 21 years old. While specific income requirements are not publicly listed, approval is subject to American Express's internal assessment which are typically based on the company’s financial statements.

Fees: The annual fee for the Amex Highflyer Card is S$304.59, inclusive of GST. This fee covers the primary card and includes benefits that can offset the cost, especially for businesses that travel frequently.

Overall: The Amex Highflyer Card is ideal for SME owners who travel frequently for business, particularly on Singapore Airlines and its partner airlines. The card's generous mileage earn rate on airline spend, coupled with travel perks like lounge access, hotel membership, and the flexibility of HighFlyer points, make it a compelling choice. However, the card comes with an annual fee, which is something businesses need to consider against the benefits received. For businesses that spend significantly on travel, the perks and rewards can easily outweigh the costs, making it an excellent tool for managing business travel expenses more efficiently.

3. Maybank Business Platinum Mastercard (Most versatile)

What it is: This corporate credit card offers a slew of business-related and personal perks.

What it offers: With the card, you can enjoy TREATS points for every dollar spent and redeem them for air miles, vouchers and cash credits; a low interest rate of 20% per annum; complimentary travel insurance; global concierge services; and a two-year annual fee waiver. You can also withdraw cash from more than a million ATMs worldwide.

Nice perks: The credit limit is based on your company’s profitability and not affected by your personal cards.

You can set independent limits for multiple cards as long as they are within the overall limit. You also get sent customized reports of your budget and spending, which will help you keep track of your expenditure.

Payment processor: Mastercard

Eligibility: Your company must be registered in Singapore with at least one local director who is a Singaporean or permanent resident (PR). Directors must be between 21 and 60 years old. The company must be in operation for at least 2 years, with an annual sales turnover of at least S$200,000.

Fees: S$180 per card per annum (free for the first two years).

Overall: This is a great card for those who love automatic annual fee waivers (who doesn’t?), travel frequently for work, and need some help with expense tracking.

4. UOB Platinum Business Card (Best dining perks)

What it is: A corporate credit card that provides savings, privileges and better control over your spending.

What it offers: A 0.3% cash rebate on UNI$1 for every S$5 charged on monthly purchases. Earn automatic Mastercard cash rebates on participating merchants such as Apple, United Airlines and SF Express, as well as UOB$ rebates from Cold Storage, Shell, and more.

Nice perks: Get up to S$1 million of complimentary travel insurance (only when you pay 100% of the airfare using the UOB PlatinumBusiness Card); UOB Dining Privileges at more than 1,000 dining locations; and exclusive discounts and privileges from suppliers that are on the UOB Commercial Privileges Programme. You can also enjoy extended payment terms of up to 51 days, a consolidated view of business expenses, and pre-set credit limits for each card user.

Payment processor: Mastercard

Eligibility: Most likely assessed on a case-by-case basis as the details are not on the website. But expect the usual eligibility standards like other banks. The documents you need to submit depend on your business structure.

Fees: S$180

Overall: Perfect for those who are foodies or travel buffs, and want to earn cashback as they spend – be it for business or leisure.

5. Citi Corporate Card (Best for frequent flyers)

What it is: A corporate credit card that allows a company to select Sole Corporate Liability, Joint & Several Liability or Cardmember Liability type of card.

Employees can apply for the Personal Liability Corporate Cards to differentiate their business and personal expenses. It is also one of the few cards to have both Visa and Mastercard as payment processors.

What it offers: The rewards you are eligible for depend on whether you are holding a Sole Corporate Liability, Joint & Several Liability or Cardmember Liability corporate card. Read about the differences here.

Citi ThankYou Points can be transferred to selected Frequent Flyer Programmes at the rate of 5 Citi ThankYou Points to 2 Frequent Flyer Miles. See the online catalogue here.

Nice perks: Complimentary travel insurance of up to S$1 million per cardmember if the full travel fare was paid using the Citi Corporate Card, as well as complimentary corporate liability waiver insurance coverage of up to US$25,000 per cardmember and US$1,650,000 per company to protect against card misuse by employees.

Reconcile your expenses easily using the easy-to-use payment solution, benefit from streamlined expense management – and pay for all your travel, entertainment and other business expenses at over 33 million establishments worldwide with just a wave of your contactless-enabled card.

Payment processor: Visa or Mastercard

Eligibility: You must be 21 years of age and above. The minimum net worth of a company starts at S$50,000, depending on years of operation. The minimum annual income for Sole Corporate Liability and Joint & Several Liability is S$30,000 for both Singaporeans/PRs and foreign employees. Minimum annual income for Cardmember Liability and Personal Liability is S$30,000 for Singaporeans/PRs and S$42,000 for foreigners.

Fees: S$150 per card (excluding GST)

Overall: A good choice for those who travel frequently and are looking for an all-in-one expense tool.

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About the author

Belinda loves thinking about random stuff, and collecting useless bits of facts and trivia. She often roots for the underdog, and believes the world needs more happy endings.

Corporate Card

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