Prepaid business credit cards are designed for small business owners who can’t qualify for or don’t want a typical business credit card. They require fewer qualifications than business cards while also limiting the owner’s risk. The best cards can help small business owners manage employee expenses. However, they don’t help build business credit.
The best business prepaid cards of 2020 are:
- Bento for Business: (Best overall) Best free business prepaid debit card with robust business perks
- Netspend Small Business Prepaid Card: Best for issuing 10 or fewer cards
- PEX Prepaid Visa: Best for using multiple cards for a large or growing business
- Dash Prepaid Mastercard: Best for unlimited free cards
- Emburse Prefunded Mastercard: Best for employees or contractors who work off-site
- Wells Fargo Business Secured Card: Best for a prepaid debit card alternative
Bento for Business: Overall Best Prepaid Business Credit Card
Bento for Business is the best overall prepaid card option for small business owners because you’ll pay no monthly fee on your first two cards. We also found that Bento can be the most affordable option for businesses with 11 to 25 cardholders as the monthly cost per card could be as little as $2.76—the lowest on our list. Bento currently offers an extended four-month free trial to help small businesses control and conserve expenses through uncertain times.
Bento for Business Costs
- First two business prepaid cards: Free
- 3-10 cards: $29 per month
- 11-25 cards: $69 per month
- Unlimited cards: $149 per month
- Setup fee: None
- Domestic ATM fee: None, but you may pay operator fees
- Signature/PIN purchase transaction fee: None
How to Load Funds With Bento for Business
Bento for Business can only accept fund transfers from an existing, verified checking or savings account via automated clearing house (ACH) or wire transfer. Transfers may take two to three days to complete, and your bank may charge an outgoing wire transfer fee. This wait is similar to other prepaid business cards.
Bento for Business Load Limit
The Bento for Business prepaid card places no daily limits on transfers made via ACH or wire transfer. Funds should be available within two to three business days.
Bento for Business Spending Limit
- Card purchase: $25,000 per day, although the account holder can lower the limit on individual cards or set category spending restrictions
- ATM withdrawal: $500 per day
- Cash back at the point-of-sale (POS): $500 per day
Bento for Business Additional Features
- Auto rental collision damage waiver: Receive primary rental coverage when you rent a car for business. You may be reimbursed for up to the cash value of the vehicle in case of collision or theft. If the rental is for personal reasons, coverage is supplemental to your personal automobile insurance.
- Purchase protection: When you use your Bento for Business prepaid debit card, and your purchase is stolen or damaged within the first 90 days, you’re covered up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per year. The item will either be repaired or replaced, or you will be reimbursed.
- Accounting system export: Enjoy real-time sync with QuickBooks or other software.
Netspend Small Business Prepaid Card: Best for 10 or Fewer Cards
We like the Netspend Small Business Prepaid Card because it’s the cheapest option on our list for small businesses that need between three and 10 cards. You can load up to $25,000 to your account daily using direct deposit, check, ACH or wire transfer, or via a physical reload station. Employees can spend up to $5,000 per day per card.
Netspend Small Business Prepaid Card Costs
- Setup fee: None
- Monthly fee: $9.95 for the first card; $1.95 for each additional card up to 10 cards
- Domestic ATM fee: $2.50, plus any operator fee
- Signature/PIN purchase transaction fee: None
How to Load Funds on the Netspend Small Business Prepaid Card
- ACH or wire transfer
- More than 130,000 participating load stations, where a fee may be assessed
- Direct deposit
- Mobile check deposit
Netspend Small Business Prepaid Card Load Limit
- $15,000 per day for unverified businesses
- $25,000 per day for verified businesses
Verification is optional for sole proprietorships but is required of all other business types within 30 days of card activation.
Netspend Small Business Prepaid Card Spending Limit
This prepaid business card has a daily spend limit of $5,000 per card. However, the maximum balance per account is $25,000, which means your daily spending limit may be significantly lower if you have multiple cards.
Netspend Small Business Prepaid Card Additional Features
- Processing services: Your business can use this feature to accept checks, credit cards, and debit cards as payment.
- ProPay: With ProPay, you’ll pay no annual fee, 2.7% for swiped transactions, and 3.5% and 15 cents for keyed transactions. You can apply for a ProPay account after opening your card.
- Mastercard Easy Savings program: This program makes your business eligible to receive rebates on qualified purchases at participating Easy Savings merchants. No coupons or codes are necessary.
PEX Prepaid Visa: Best for Scalability
PEX Prepaid Visa is great for large businesses as it offers 100 or more employee cards per account, well more than some of the other cards on our list. It also offers an unlimited number of daily loads and transactions. However, it charges a $49.95 setup fee and a monthly fee of as much as $200. Plus, you must keep at least $50 in your PEX account.
PEX Prepaid Visa Costs
- Core package: $75 per month, includes up to 20 cards; additional cards cost $4 each after your 20th card. The $75 subscription fee is waived when you spend $50,000 in one month. The Core account is also offered on a per-card basis for smaller businesses starting at $8 per month.
- Pro package: $200 per month, includes up to 100 cards. Additional cards cost $2 each after your 100th card. The $200 subscription fee is waived when you spend $50,000 in one month.
- One-time setup fee: $49.95
- Domestic ATM fee: There is no cash access with the PEX Prepaid Visa from ATMs or POS devices.
- Signature/PIN purchase transaction fee: None
How to Load Funds on the PEX Prepaid Visa
The PEX Prepaid Visa only allows you to transfer funds via ACH transactions or wire transfers. This means that it’ll take between two to three days to load funds onto the card and might cost a wire transfer fee.
PEX Prepaid Visa Load Limit
The PEX business prepaid card lets you load an unlimited amount of cash into your account daily. However, PEX puts a $25,000 cap on individual load transactions.
PEX Prepaid Visa Spending Limit
The PEX Prepaid Visa is one of the few business prepaid cards without a daily spend limit. This means that you and your employees can spend an unlimited amount per card as well as per account. Keep in mind the $25,000 card balance limit.
PEX Prepaid Visa Additional Features
PEX Prepaid Visa offers numerous spending controls that allow owners to limit spending on individual cards by merchant categories or specific hours of the day and reject purchases based on your settings.
PEX reports transactions in real-time, and the PEX application programming interface (API) can integrate with existing business systems to give firms a custom, automated payment platform that’s able to process millions of transactions a day. PEX transactions also can be downloaded in the following formats: QuickBooks Online file for QuickBooks Desktop, open financial exchange (OFX) file for Xero, and comma-separated values (CSV) file for other accounting software.
Dash Prepaid Mastercard: Best for Unlimited Free Cards
Choose the Dash Prepaid Mastercard if you want unlimited free cards. Dash doesn’t charge any fees to use its product. This means there is no cost for you to set up your account and issue additional employee cards. The only fees Dash charges are for expedited shipping of cards, paper statements, and if you close your account and want your funds mailed to you in the form of a check.
Dash Prepaid Mastercard Costs
Dash Prepaid Mastercard is completely free to set up and own. You also can issue unlimited additional employee cards at no cost. However, Dash does come with some maintenance fees, including:
- Expedited shipping fees: $35 per expedited Dash card shipping request
- Paper statement fee: $10.99 per month for every account requesting paper statements
- Paper check issuance fee: $39.99 one-time charge if you close your account and request the remaining funds in the form of a check
How to Loads Funds on the Dash Prepaid Mastercard
Authorized account holders, such as the business owner, can load funds via ACH transfers from the business’s bank account to the Dash account. You cannot use cash or direct deposits to load your account.
Dash Prepaid Mastercard Load Limit
Dash Prepaid Mastercard does not have a daily load limit. However, it sets a maximum load limit of $10,000 per company card and $100,000 across the entire account.
Dash Prepaid Mastercard Spending Limit
Dash Prepaid Mastercard does not have a daily spend limit. However, the maximum transaction limit is $100,000.
Dash Prepaid Mastercard Additional Features
- Automatic load request approval: Employees can enjoy automatic approval when they make a load request within their limit.
- Automatic reloads: Dash will initiate a bank transfer when your account falls below a predetermined amount.
- Paperless receipts: Every transaction is captured in the Dash app, with the merchant’s name, category, and date of purchase. Users can add additional expense details, such as expense categories, receipt photos, and purchase details.
- Customizable categories: You can customize categories to organize your employees’ purchases easily.
- Freeze/unfreeze cards: You can freeze lost or misplaced cards through the Dash app. You can also unfreeze the card through the app when the card is found.
Emburse Prefunded Mastercard: Best for Companies With Remote Workers
The Emburse Prefunded Mastercard is ideal for companies with many distributed employees or off-site contractors because it offers both virtual and physical cards unlike other prepaid business debit cards on this list. If your employees need online spending solutions only, this card could be a good fit. Fees start at $7 per user.
Emburse Prefunded Mastercard Costs
- Starter: $50 per month, includes up to 10 cards
- Business: $7 per user, includes between 10 to 100 cards
- Setup fee: None
- Domestic ATM fee: There is no cash access with the Emburse Prefunded Mastercard from ATMs or POS devices
- Signature/PIN purchase transaction fee: None
With the Business account, users can add as many cards as needed for free. However, several features are user-specific, including purchase requests, shared budgets, and deductions.
How to Load Funds on Emburse Prefunded Mastercard
The Emburse Prefunded Mastercard comes with two options for funding: prefunding and invoice-based funding. With prefunding, Emburse works like a PayPal or Venmo account, where funds live in an intermediary account. Funding your Emburse account may be done through ACH only.
Emburse Prefunded Mastercard Load Limit
Emburse Prefunded Mastercard does not have a daily load limit. It may take up to three days for funding to appear in your account after authorization.
Emburse Prefunded Mastercard Spending Limit
Emburse Prefunded Mastercard does not have a daily spend limit like most of the other cards on our list. However, it does have a $100,000 transaction limit.
Emburse Prefunded Mastercard Additional Features
- Integration with several types of accounting software, including Expensify, NetSuite, QuickBooks, and Xero
- Data can be exported to CSV or Excel and imported into other types of accounting software
- Set spending limits, category and time restrictions on virtual cards
- The ability to turn cards on and off with one click
Emburse also offers wire transfers on an emergency basis, virtual and physical cards, single sign-on (SSO) for easier adding and removing of employees, and split billing. Split billing allows accountants to split expenses into multiple transactions for different cost categories. Finally, Emburse offers a free 60-day trial.
Wells Fargo Business Secured Card: Best Alternative to a Prepaid Business Card
The Wells Fargo Business Secured Card is not a prepaid business debit card, but it lets business owners build business credit. No other cards on our list allow for that. In all other ways, this card acts as a prepaid card, as your spending limit is equal to the amount of money you deposit in your account, up to $25,000. There’s no monthly fee, but you’ll be charged an ongoing variable annual percentage rate on unpaid balances.
Wells Fargo Business Secured Card Costs
- Credit line: Deposit $500 to $25,000 in a collateral account, which equals the amount of your credit line
- Ongoing APR: 15.15% variable, which adjusts with the prime rate
- Annual fee: $25 per card on up to 10 cards maximum
- Foreign transaction fee: None
This is a secured business credit card, so there are ongoing fees if you carry a balance, which is different from a prepaid business credit card. The annual fee replaces monthly fees charged by the prepaid business credit cards on our list.
How to Load Funds on the Wells Fargo Business Secured Card
Your available funds will be equal to the cash deposit you make when you apply for the card, between $500 and $25,000. If you want to increase your credit limit, you can add money to the collateral account with the bank.
Wells Fargo Business Secured Card Load Limit
Through the Wells Fargo Business Secured Card, you’ll have access to credit limits between $500 and $25,000.
Wells Fargo Business Secured Card Spending Limit
You can only spend up to your maximum credit limit. You must repay your balance if you want to reuse a portion of your limit.
Wells Fargo Business Secured Card Additional Features
With the Wells Fargo Business Secured Card, you can earn cash back or points-based rewards:
- Cash back: Earn 1.5% cash back for every $1 spent on purchases; redemption is automatic as you’ll receive a statement credit, or the bank will deposit cash rewards in your eligible checking or savings account once per quarter.
- Points: Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on net purchases and 1,000 bonus points when your company spends $1,000 in any monthly billing period; points can be redeemed for gift cards, merchandise, or airline tickets.
It’s always crucial to choose a business credit card that offers additional features your business wants to receive. Get this business card if you want rewards as no other card on our list offers this feature.
How We Evaluated Prepaid Cards for Business Expenses
Your business is unlike any other. That’s why we searched for a variety of business debit cards that cater to different types of firms. There are four key criteria we focused on when choosing the best prepaid credit cards: price, features, scalability, and liability. All of the cards on our list require no credit check.
How Prepaid Business Credit Cards Work
Prepaid business credit cards work like a combination of a business credit card and a checking account. Instead of borrowing money from the bank as you would with a business credit card, you load funds onto your account and issue employee cards. Because you’re loading your own funds, there’s no additional interest added to purchases like with a traditional credit card.
Business prepaid cards are best for business owners who want to issue employee cards or can’t qualify for a traditional business credit card. Compared to a business credit card, there are fewer qualifications, and the owner’s risk is limited because they’re not borrowing money. Once approved, you’ll typically receive your cards within seven to 10 days.
Next, you can issue additional employee cards and begin to control employee spending. To control employee expenses, you can set daily and expense category spending restrictions. Additionally, you can turn employee cards on or off with one click, giving you better control of their spending.
Benefits of Business Prepaid Cards
- No credit check required for approval: Since funds must come from your cash-on-hand, and not from a bank, it’s easy to get approved.
- Control employee spending: You can set daily or category-specific spending controls on individual employee cards. Additionally, you can lock or unlock cards through your prepaid card dashboard.
- You can keep expenses under control: Prepaid cards help keep your expenses under control because you’re not borrowing money from the bank. Therefore, you can only spend the amount of cash you have on hand.
Drawbacks of Business Prepaid Cards
- You need to fund the card with cash: To use a prepaid business card successfully, you need to have cash-on-hand because the funds must be preloaded. A small business credit card, on the other hand, allows you to borrow money from the bank up to an approved credit limit.
- You can’t earn cash back or travel rewards: Prepaid business credit cards don’t offer rewards. If you’re looking to earn rewards, consider a small business credit card.
- There are still fees associated with the account: Although prepaid business cards don’t charge interest, they still carry some fees. For example, there are sometimes fees for setting up the card, ATM usage, and to maintain each card and your account.
Prepaid cards for business expenses are an excellent option for firms large and small that need strict employee spending standards and don’t want to take on the personal risk associated with small business credit cards. The best prepaid business cards charge low monthly fees and offer flexible loading and spending options.