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 business prepaid cards can help small business owners manage employee expenses. However, they don’t help build business credit.
The best business prepaid cards of 2019:
- Bento for Business: (Best Overall) Best free business prepaid debit card
- 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
- Emburse Prefunded Mastercard: Best for employee or contractors who work off-site
- PayPal Business Debit Mastercard: Best for opening only one card
- 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 the first two cards carry no monthly fee. 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 for Business Costs
Bento for Business pricing includes:
- 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
If you need three to 10 prepaid cards, Bento’s monthly fee is more expensive than you’ll find on the Netspend Small Business Prepaid Card. However, Bento allows companies to grow with their card with tiered pricing that lowers the cost of individual cards as your firm adds more cards. It’s the least expensive card for firms that need 11 to 25 cards. Bento for Business waives monthly fees if you spend more than $20,000 per month.
Bento for Business Balance Requirements
Bento for Business is among the most flexible prepaid debit cards on the market because of its balance requirements. It requires a minimum opening deposit, but no minimum balance requirement or maximum account limit. Netspend also has no minimum balance but has a $25,000 maximum balance.
The minimum opening deposit is $10, but there are no minimum balance requirements.
There is no maximum account limit, although there is a default daily load limit that can be adjusted upon request.
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 an automated clearing house (ACH) or wire transfer. Transfers may take 2 to 3 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 Daily Limits
Bento for Business has one of the least restrictive load limit policies among cards on our list―there is no limit―and a higher daily spend limit than most cards of $25,000 per day.
The Bento for Business prepaid card places no daily limits on transfers made via ACH or wire transfer. Funds should be available within 2 to 3 business days. Netspend has a load limit of $15,000 to $25,000 per day.
Bento for Business sets several different types of daily spending and withdrawal limits:
- 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
The Netspend Small Business Prepaid Card has a daily spend limit of $5,000 per card, much lower than Bento for Business.
Bento for Business Additional Features
The card also comes with benefits most commonly seen on small business credit cards:
- Auto rental collision damage waiver: Receive primary rental coverage when you rent a car for business. You may be reimbursed for up to the actual 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.
There are other types of business cards that offer similar insurance and protection, such as small business credit cards and corporate credit cards. Bento for Business also offers a full assortment of features not found on other prepaid business credit cards, including a 60-day free trial, spending restrictions that can be set by the day or among one of 22 merchant categories, and the ability to turn employee cards on or off with one click.
What Bento for Business Is Missing
Bento for Business reviews show that options for loading funds are limited compared with other small business prepaid cards on our list. If depositing by ACH debit or wire transfer isn’t something that you’re interested in doing, this is not the right card for your business.
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. Monthly fees start at $9.95 for the first card.
Netspend Small Business Prepaid Card Costs
Costs and fees on the Netspend Small Business Prepaid Mastercard include:
- 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
There is a cheaper option than the Netspend Small Business Prepaid Card for businesses that need just one or two cards—Bento for Business—but this is the least expensive option for firms with three to 10 people authorized to spend company funds. Businesses with growth aspirations might think twice about this business debit card because of the card limit.
Netspend Small Business Prepaid Card Balance Requirements
Unlike several other business credit cards on our list, such as Bento for Business and PEX, the Netspend Small Business Prepaid Card has a maximum balance limit. If your firm needs spending flexibility higher than $25,000, consider other options.
The Netspend Small Business Prepaid Card has no minimum balance requirement. Other cards like Bento for Business and PEX also have no minimum balance requirement.
The Netspend Small Business Prepaid Card has a maximum account balance of $25,000. This means that you can’t load more than $25,000 into your account at any one time, regardless of the number of cards your company has. Other cards, like Bento for Business and Emburse Prefunded Mastercard, have no maximum account balance.
How to Load Funds on the Netspend Small Business Prepaid Card
The Netspend Small Business Prepaid Card offers multiple ways to load funds into your account, including:
- ACH or wire transfer
- More than 130,000 participating load stations, where a fee may be assessed
- Direct deposit
- Mobile check deposit
You can add and remove funds easily from individual cards and track activity with transaction alerts when spending occurs.
Netspend Small Business Prepaid Card Daily Limits
Prepaid credit card issuers may set daily load and spending limits as a way to protect your business from fraud. Netspend is one of the few prepaid debit cards that sets a per-card spending limit, which is yet another way to control employee access to company money.
The Netspend Small Business Prepaid Card has the following load limits:
- $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. No other prepaid credit card on our list requires verification to increase load limits.
This prepaid business card has a daily spend limit of $5,000 per card. Remember, the maximum balance per account is $25,000, which means your daily spending limit may be significantly lower if you have multiple cards. You can also receive text messages or email updates for every transaction and get daily or weekly balance updates. Bento for Business has a $25,000 daily spend limit while the PEX Prepaid Visa has no limit.
Netspend Small Business Prepaid Card Additional Features
In addition to its prepaid credit card, Netspend also offers a processing service your business can use to accept checks, credit cards, and debit cards as payment. You can apply for a ProPay account after opening your Netspend Small Business Prepaid Mastercard. With ProPay, you’ll pay no annual fee, 2.7% for swiped transactions, and 3.5% and 15 cents for keyed transactions.
You can also participate in the Mastercard Easy Savings program, which makes your business eligible to receive rebates on qualified purchases at participating Easy Savings merchants. No coupons or codes are necessary. No other card offers a similar program.
What Netspend Small Business Prepaid Card Is Missing
Netspend business prepaid card reviews agree this prepaid debit card is not a good fit for businesses that have many employees authorized to spend on behalf of the firm. The 10-card max is quite low when compared with other prepaid cards on our list. Daily spending limits also may prove to be too inflexible for some owners.
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. Further, PEX 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.
PEX Prepaid Visa Costs
PEX Prepaid Visa offers two packages, which also charge additional costs and fees:
- Core package: $75 per month, includes up to 20 cards; additional cards cost $4 each after your 20th card
- Pro package: $200 per month, includes up to 100 cards; additional cards cost $2 each after your 100th card
- 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
PEX Prepaid Visa also offers its Core account on a per-card basis for smaller businesses starting at $8 per month. That’s pricier than Bento for Business, which charges no monthly fee when you need one or two cards. The subscription fee is waived when you spend $50,000 in one month. This is the only card on our list that charges a setup fee, so it’s cost-prohibitive to open a PEX Prepaid Visa account unless you’re a large business. Get a business card that is most affordable for your business.
PEX Prepaid Visa Balance Requirements
The PEX Prepaid Visa is best for businesses that need the flexibility to load and spend up to $25,000 daily. For this reason, it has some of the least restrictive balance requirements of any of the cards on our list. Netspend has a $25,000 maximum balance allowance per account.
There is no per-card minimum balance requirement, but you must keep at least $50 in your PEX account. Neither Bento for Business nor Netspend has a minimum balance requirement.
The maximum per-card balance is $25,000. There is no account maximum. Netspend has a $25,000 account maximum limit.
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 2 to 3 days to load funds onto the card and might cost a wire transfer fee. These loading options are similar to what you’d find on the Bento for Business card.
PEX Prepaid Visa Daily Limits
PEX Prepaid Visa is the least restrictive card on our list when it comes to both load and spending limits. There are no load or daily spend limits.
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.
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. Just keep in mind the $25,000 card balance limit.
PEX Prepaid Visa Additional Features
Similar to corporate credit cards, 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.
What PEX Prepaid Visa Is Missing
PEX says its PEX Prepaid Visa can be a replacement for petty cash even among small firms. However, even though PEX offers a per-card option, PEX Prepaid Visa reviews agree there are other more cost-effective solutions for businesses with 20 or fewer employees. Bento for Business, for example, charges no monthly fee if you need one or two cards while Netspend charges $27.50 if you need 10 cards.
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
Emburse Prefunded Mastercard offers two packages, which include other additional fees:
- 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 request, shared budgets, and deductions. Bento for Business is the only other small business prepaid card on our list that offers unlimited cards, but it charges $149 per month. Although you can get unlimited cards for $7 through Emburse, each cardholder won’t have the same access to features compared to Bento.
Emburse Prefunded Mastercard Balance Requirements
Emburse does not include a minimum or maximum account balance requirement in its terms of service. Instead, Emburse sets a maximum transaction limit of $100,000. However, there are no daily load or spend limits on this card.
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. This is more restrictive than Netspend or PEX, which also allow wire transfers.
Emburse Prefunded Mastercard Daily Limits
Emburse Prefunded Mastercard doesn’t have a daily load limit or daily spending limit. However, there is a $100,000 transaction limit.
Emburse Prefunded Mastercard does not have a daily load limit. It may take up to 3 days for funding to appear in your account after authorization.
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
Like the other business debit cards on our list, the Emburse Prefunded Mastercard offers tools to automate bookkeeping and account for employee expenses, including:
- 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 just 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, which is identical to Bento for Business’ 60-day trial. Other cards on this list do not offer this option.
What Emburse Prefunded Mastercard Is Missing
Emburse doesn’t allow for cash withdrawals, so if you need your employees to have access to an ATM, this isn’t the right card for you. You’ll also find less expensive options for larger businesses. Emburse does not advertise a way to have monthly fees waived when meeting a certain spending threshold.
PayPal Business Debit Mastercard: Best for Sole Proprietors
The PayPal Business Debit Mastercard is ideal if you already use PayPal to process your business’s card payments—or you’re open to this vendor—and you don’t need more than two prepaid business debit cards. The card charges no monthly fee, but this is the most limited option among the choices on our list, which makes it an ideal pick for a sole proprietor.
PayPal Business Debit Mastercard Costs
Costs and fees on the PayPal Business Debit Mastercard include:
- Setup fee: None
- Monthly fee: None
- Domestic ATM fee: $1.50, plus any operator fee
- Signature or PIN purchase transaction fee: None
You can receive one authorized user card on your account. There is no charge for this card. You must have a PayPal Business Account to qualify, although that account is free to open as well. This card is the cheapest of the cards on our list, but also the most limiting in terms of the number of cards since you can only get two. All other cards allow more cards.
PayPal Business Debit Mastercard Balance Requirements
The PayPal Business Debit Mastercard does not have a minimum or maximum account balance requirement. Instead, PayPal sets a maximum spend limit of $3,000 per day. That’s the lowest spending limit among the cards on our list.
The PayPal Business Debit Mastercard has no minimum balance.
There is no maximum balance, although there are pretty strict spending limits, which could make accumulating a large balance unnecessary.
How to Load Funds on PayPal Business Debit Mastercard
The PayPal Business Debit Mastercard offers three ways to load funds:
- A no-cost direct deposit service
- Transfers from your PayPal Business Account to your card account
- Add money at more than 130,000 Netspend Reload Network locations; however, this option may come with a fee
Through Netspend, PayPal offers reload stations. However, most of the other cards on our list, including PEX and Bento for Business, also allow for ACH and wire transfers.
PayPal Business Debit Mastercard Daily Limits
PayPal Business Debit Mastercard doesn’t limit daily loads, but it does have a daily spending limit, unlike PEX Prepaid Visa.
There are no daily load limits.
PayPal Business Debit Mastercard limits daily purchases to $3,000 and cash withdrawals to $400. The spending limit is the lowest among the prepaid business debit cards on our list. If you need to make regular large transactions, this might not be the card for you.
PayPal Business Debit Mastercard Additional Features
PayPal Business Debit Mastercard and the Wells Fargo Secured Business Card are the only two cards on our list with a rewards program. You’ll earn 1% cash back on the net amount of your eligible purchases each month, although PIN-based transactions do not qualify.
Your rewards will be calculated at the end of each calendar month and added to your PayPal balance. You’ll also need to activate the card online to qualify for rewards.
What PayPal Business Debit Mastercard Is Missing
Although the card carries no monthly fee, account holders are restricted to just two cards total. For anything other than a sole proprietorship, the PayPal Business Debit Mastercard is a tough sell. What’s more, its relatively low daily spending limits means this isn’t a card that some businesses may be able to use to make the bulk of their card transactions.
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 (APR) of 16.65%.
Wells Fargo Business Secured Card Costs
Financing costs and fees on the Wells Fargo Business Secured Card include:
- Credit line: Deposit $500 to $25,000 in a collateral account, which equals the amount of your credit line
- Ongoing APR: 16.65% variable, which adjusts with the prime rate
- Annual fee: $25 per card on up to 10 cards maximum
- Fees: Up to $39 if you pay late; you’ll pay no foreign transaction fee on purchases made outside the United States
This is a secured business credit card, so there are ongoing fees if you carry a balance, which is different than a prepaid business credit card, which charges no interest. The annual fee replaces monthly fees charged by the prepaid business credit cards on our list. Bento charges no monthly fee for the first two cards.
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.
This card, similar to Bento for Business, offers a purchase protection program. The issuer will replace, repair, or reimburse you for eligible items in the event of theft or damage within the first 90 days of purchase. Regardless, it’s always crucial to choose a business credit card that offers additional features your business wants to receive.
What the Wells Fargo Business Secured Card Is Missing
Wells Fargo reviews indicate this card doesn’t have nearly the robust accounting aids that some of the business prepaid cards offer. Plus, there’s a 10-card limit, which makes this card a tough sell for companies with more than a few employees with spending authority. You’re liable for spending on this card, which means late payments could hurt your credit.
Top 6 Business Prepaid Debit Cards November 2019
Best Business Prepaid Cards
(Best overall) Free business prepaid cards
10 or fewer debit cards
Scalability within large or growing businesses
Remote employees or off-site contractors
Using only one card
An alternative to prepaid debit cards
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 choosing the best prepaid credit cards: price, features, scalability, and liability. All of the cards on our list require no credit check. SEE METHODOLOGY IN DETAIL.
In our evaluation of the best prepaid cards for business expenses, we considered:
- Costs: The monthly charge for using the prepaid debit card.
- Number of cards: The minimum and maximum number of cards allowed.
- Daily limits: How much you can load and spend daily per account.
- How to load: The options for depositing more money into the card’s account.
- Features: Ancillary benefits included on the card, like account monitoring and purchase protections.
- Customer reviews: How users say the cards help—or hurt—their businesses.
The best prepaid business credit cards offer cost tiers based on the number of cards issued. This gives startup businesses reasonable access and grants larger businesses scalable price breaks. If you want to build credit without having to put down a cash deposit, consider an unsecured business credit card. Small business credit cards are best for business owners that have personal credit scores of 640 or higher.
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.