There are several critical differences between small business credit cards and corporate credit cards:
With a small business credit card, the company's owner is often directly liable for credit card debt. That means that if the company goes out of business or can't pay its debts, the business owner is responsible.
But in the case of a corporate credit card, the business is responsible for its debts. The business owner isn't personally liable.
Small business credit cards are widely available. Anyone with a business of any size can apply, and as long as your personal credit is sufficient to qualify, then you can open a credit card.
Corporate credit cards, on the other hand, have stricter eligibility requirements. In most cases, card issuers require that companies have at least $4 million in revenue to qualify. Some issuers may also require a certain amount of annual spending or a certain number of employees.
Some small business credit cards charge an annual fee, but many are entirely free to use. Even those that do charge fees are usually limited to less than $100. On the other hand, corporate credit cards tend to charge higher fees because of the additional features they offer.
When you apply for a small business credit card, as the business owner, the credit card issuer is likely to run your credit to determine if you qualify for the card. Additionally, in many cases, the card issuer will report your business credit card activity to the credit bureaus, which means your company's spending can impact your personal credit.
When you apply for a corporate credit card, the card issuer will rely on your company's creditworthiness to determine if you qualify for the card. And rather than reporting your spending to your personal credit, they'll report it to your business credit.
Many small business credit cards come with reporting features that allow business owners to track their spending and their employees' spending easily. But these features are even more robust with corporate credit cards.
Many small business credit cards come with similar cashback and travel rewards to what you would find on personal credit cards. These rewards allow business owners to gain extra money and perks on spending they're already doing. Corporate credit cards tend to have fewer rewards.