Credit card collage

Key takeaways

  • Sometimes called commercial cards, corporate credit cards offer numerous benefits to businesses, including time and cost savings and more robust reporting and controls.
  • Before implementing a corporate card program, businesses should examine their needs and capabilities as well as the potential financial impacts of the program.
  • There are several types of corporate credit cards, including virtual, purchasing, travel and entertainment, and all-in-one cards.

Corporate credit cards, also called commercial cards, can help businesses easily manage their expenses, improve oversight into spending, simplify reporting and reduce operating costs.

What is a corporate credit card?

A corporate credit card is a card companies issue to employees to make work-related purchases. The business is liable to repay the balance on the cards, rather than the business’ owners or the individual cardholders.

Corporate credit card users—most often large organizations including corporations—must meet criteria set by their card’s provider, which include an annual revenue threshold and minimum level of spending, as well as a demonstrated financial track record. Smaller companies that don’t fit the criteria for a corporate credit card may still find a business credit card that suits their needs.

How do corporate credit card programs work?

Once approved for an extension of credit from an issuing financial institution, a company distributes commercial cards to their employees. Employees can then make work-related purchases, such as travel, entertainment and business-to-business expenses. 

Information on transactions across the program can feed into accounting and Enterprise Resource Planning systems (ERPs), giving the company real-time visibility into its expenses and making reporting more efficient.

At the end of each billing cycle, the company can make a consolidated payment for all the cardholders, rather than managing dozens—if not hundreds or thousands—of individual employee statements. In other scenarios, some companies may choose to be billed specific to each individual cardholder’s spend. 


Our team can help you find the right commercial card for your business.



The benefits of a corporate card program

When implemented and managed effectively, commercial cards can drive significant value for their companies in several ways, including:

  • Streamlined payment processing: By integrating card transaction data into the company’s ERP, corporate card programs can reduce administrative tasks and paperwork associated with expenditures. Fewer manual entries can also reduce the risks for error or abuse. And because employees aren’t paying for work-related expenses out of pocket, there’s no need for a lengthy reimbursement process.
  • Enhanced tracking and reporting: Corporate credit cards provide customizable spending controls and up-to-date records, which can help companies gain insights into spending behaviors and stay in compliance with budgets and policies. Over time, spending details can help better inform companies’ policies and procedures.
  • Cost savings and efficiency: Corporate credit cards can help consolidate employees’ expenses into a single payment platform. Plus, companies can earn rebates or rewards and see improved cash flow.
  • Improved oversight: Corporate cards include restrictions on transaction types and amounts. Corporate cards also offer instant visibility, which can help prevent abuse of cards. Likewise, fraud monitoring can help protect companies from unauthorized card use.
  • Personal finances stay personal: With corporate liability, the company is liable for all charges made to the cards in the program, rather than the business owner or the employee.

What to consider when choosing a corporate credit card program

Before starting a corporate card program, businesses should assess the features they want in a corporate credit card program and what types of rewards or rebates suit the company best. Organizations should also examine the corporate card agreement’s fees, and make sure the right technological infrastructure is in place to gain the full benefits of a corporate card program.

Types of commercial card solutions

Corporate card programs are often categorized depending on the needs of their users and their different features:

  • All-in-one cards can provide a single solution that covers all types of business expenses, including travel, entertainment and procurement. J.P. Morgan’s One Card offers these features.
  • Purchasing cards, including J.P. Morgan’s Purchasing Card, are ideal for procurement and everyday expenses, including equipment, office supplies and other operational needs. Learn more about.
  • Travel and entertainment (T&E) cards are designed to provide optimal oversight and management of employees’ business travel and entertainment spending. The J.P. Morgan Corporate Card is designed for T&E expenses.
  • Virtual cards can help companies automate accounts payable processing and track and manage spending. Programs such as the J.P. Morgan Virtual Card can send a digital single-purpose card number to the supplier, with the option to set criteria for each transaction such as time frame, merchant code or amount. 

We’re here to help

As the largest issuer of commercial cards in the U.S.,1 J.P. Morgan offers companies a range of commercial cards with different features. Our experienced payments experts can help you select and implement an expense management program that best fits your company’s needs.



The Nilson Report, Issue 1220, May 2022

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