Where Barclays Business Credit Card Wins and Loses

Anisha Sekar

Anisha Sekar

Credit Card Specialist at Fundera
Anisha Sekar is a personal finance expert who led NerdWallet's credit and debit card business. She has written for U.S. News and Marketwatch, and featured in Time, NPR's Marketplace, CNN, and more. She currently writes about everything from getting out of debt, to saving for retirement, to finding affordable health insurance.
Anisha Sekar
Advertiser Disclosure

If you’re a loyal Barclays banker, you might be interested in adding one of the bank’s business credit cards to your wallet.

What Barclays business credit cards are out there?

Unfortunately, the Barclays Business Credit Card is only available in the United Kingdom (for our readers overseas, here’s the link), but business owners can still get a great value out of the Barclaycard consumer credit card.

We break down the pros and cons of Barclays’ personal card offer and help you find the best options out there for business travel.

TL;DR: What You Need to Know About the Barclays Business Credit Card

If you don’t have time to run through all of the details on all of you Barclays Business Credit Card U.S.-friendly alternatives, not to worry—we’ve still got you covered. Here’s a quick rundown on all the fundamentals on finding your perfect alternative to the Barclays Business Credit Card.

What’s the first, most important thing you need to know about the Barclays Business Credit Card?

Well, the fact that the Barclays Business Credit Card isn’t available in the U.S. is pretty important. As such, any business owner in the U.S. who wants a Barclays Business Credit Card will have to look for their best alternatives to this credit card option.

If you’re adamant about doing your business spending on a Barclaycard, then look to the personal credit card Barclaycard Arrival Plus as a U.S.-friendly replacement for the Barclays Business Credit Card.

However, if you’re open to considering other card issuers, the Capital One Spark Miles for Business and the Chase Ink Business Preferred are both pretty stellar alternatives to the Barclays Business Credit Card. Plus, they’re both business-specific credit cards and come with all of the business-friendly perks that that entails.

The Barclaycard Arrival Reviewed

Though the Barclays Business Credit Card isn’t available in the U.S., the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® is, and it’s one of the top personal credit cards out there for frequent travelers.

What can you earn on the Barclaycard?

The card earns 2 miles on every $1 spent, plus 5% of your miles back when you redeem. You also get a 50,000-mile signup bonus when you spend at least $3,000 in the first 90 days.

The card has no foreign transaction fees, and its $89 annual fee is waived in the first year.

Finally, as extra perks, you get free online FICO score access, MasterCard Elite concierge service, and travel accident and trip cancellation insurance.

You can redeem your miles as a statement credit against any travel expense at a rate of 100 points to the dollar, starting at 10,000 points for $100.

For example, if you book a $300 airline ticket, you can use anywhere between 10,000 points and 30,000 points to offset all or part of your purchase.

So, is the Barclaycard right for you?

You should get the Barclays personal credit card if:

  • You like the ease of redeeming miles as a statement credit, instead of as airline or hotel miles.
  • You want a business credit card simply for accounting purposes.
  • You want the added consumer protections that come with having a personal credit card rather than a business card.

Skip the Barclaycard if:

  • You don’t mind the lower federal protections on a business credit card (the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business is a business card with equivalent rewards rate and signup bonus).
  • You can get value out of redeeming miles for airfare or lodging (the Chase Ink Preferred is a leading business travel card).
  • You need additional employee cards or want small business tools to manage your accounts (get a business credit card).

How Does the Arrival Compare?

Barclaycard Arrival vs. the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business is pretty similar to the Arrival: It earns 2 No Hassle Miles on every dollar spent, with no expiration dates, bonus categories, or earning caps. It also offers a 50,000-mile signup bonus when you spend $4,500 in the first 3 months.

With a slightly higher annual fee—$95, waived the first year—the Spark Miles might still be worth it thanks to its 0% foreign transaction fee and $0 extra fee for employee cards. It’s a great offer if you want flat-rate, easy-to-redeem rewards. Just like Arrival miles, you can redeem 100 No Hassle Miles to offset $1 of travel expenses.

All that said, there is one detail that might make you hesitate on the Spark Miles.

It’s worth noting that federal regulations on consumer credit cards are stronger than those on business credit cards.

Many protections afforded by the 2009 Credit CARD Act only apply to personal credit cards—advanced notice on APR increases and limits on fees, for example. If you’re concerned, go with the Arrival. Business credit cards are just as valuable as their consumer counterparts, but they aren’t as regulated. This means that your APR could increase in any area without any notice, or your payments might not necessarily apply to the most expensive balance you have on your accounts.

Barclaycard Arrival vs. the Chase Ink Business PreferredSM

The Chase Ink Business PreferredSM offers a great signup bonus (one of the best in the business credit card area) of 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months of cardmembership.

And the fun doesn’t stop there: You earn 3 points on the first combined $150,000 spent annually on:

  • Travel (such as airfare, hotels, rental cars, train tickets, and taxis)
  • Shipping purchases
  • Internet, cable, and phone services
  • Advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines

Its annual fee is slightly higher than the Arrival’s—$95— and your first annual fee won’t be waived, but the Ink Preferred comes with no foreign transaction fee and no fee for additional employee cards.

But the best part about the Ink Preferred is its rewards program. Ultimate Rewards Points are worth 1.25 cents each when you redeem for travel booked through Chase’s online portal, but you can also transfer them at a 1:1 ratio to any of Chase’s loyalty partners (including British Airways, Hyatt, and United).

If you redeem strategically, your points can be worth much more than 1.25 cents apiece—for example, if you can transfer 30,000 points to United for a roundtrip ticket priced at $600, your points are worth twice as much as the Arrival’s flat-rate miles.

If you want a business credit card, with all the accounting services and support that entails, go with the Ink Preferred. Plus, the Ink Preferred is a smart move for anyone who’s interested in maximizing their travel savings.

But if you’d rather avoid playing the mile-redemption game, the Arrival offers simple rewards at a lower fee.

Can You Use a Personal Credit Card for Business?

You don’t have to use a business credit card for business expenses—signing up for a personal card but using it for your corporate expenses helps with bookkeeping and can net you a nice signup bonus. However, if you go that route, your credit card usage gets reflected in your personal credit score.

If you have a business credit card, you’ll probably apply based on your personal creditworthiness (and almost certainly provide a personal guarantee), but many banks don’t report business credit card usage to personal credit bureaus.

Either way, your loan terms will probably be based on your personal FICO score, and you’ll be a guarantor on the loan. But if you’re concerned about the card usage reflecting poorly on your credit score, you’ll want to get a business credit card from a bank that won’t report it.

There are advantages and disadvantages to using a personal credit card for your business.

But one thing is for sure: you want to keep your personal and business expenses totally separate. This means that you could use a consumer credit card for your business, but make sure to only put business expenses on it. Doing so will save you an accounting and expense reporting headache in the future!

As such, if you opt for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus as your Barclays Business Credit Card alternative, be sure that your business spending on this personal credit card stays completely isolated from your own personal finances.

The Bottom Line for the Top Barclays Business Credit Card Alternatives

What’s the bottom line for all of this information on the Barclays Business Credit Card and all of its best alternatives?

Well, if you’re a business owner in the U.S. who is hoping for a Barclays Business Credit Card, the first decision you need to make is whether or not you’re determined to do your business spending on a Barclaycard. If you are, then you’ll have to opt for a Barclays consumer card, and with that decision will come a few obstacles, as outlined above. The most important obstacle of all? Making sure that—even if you decide to use a personal credit card for your business spending—you ensure that your personal finances are separate from your business finances.

This obstacle will be much easier to handle if you instead opt for a business credit card, rather than sticking to the personal Barclaycard Arrival Plus. If you’re open to looking into card issuers other than Barclays, then you’ll open up this possibility for your business spending.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Anisha Sekar

Anisha Sekar

Credit Card Specialist at Fundera
Anisha Sekar is a personal finance expert who led NerdWallet's credit and debit card business. She has written for U.S. News and Marketwatch, and featured in Time, NPR's Marketplace, CNN, and more. She currently writes about everything from getting out of debt, to saving for retirement, to finding affordable health insurance.
Anisha Sekar

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