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The Best Credit Cards for the Self-Employed: Comparison 05/2023

Especially those who travel a lot will benefit from the advantages of credit cards particularly well: business expenses are recorded in full, it is often not necessary to prepare a lengthy travel expense report and all business receipts are always at hand thanks to the account statement of the credit card.

Issuance of credit cards for self-employed workers

It is often a problem, especially for founders, to get a “real” credit card – banks usually put themselves here. As a rule, the assumption is that self-employment has existed for at least two years and that there are no red figures in the balance sheets. Then there’s the usual credit check for self-employed workers. If any of these requirements are not met, it often becomes extremely difficult. Ways out of this situation can be credit-based credit cards (on which only previously debited credit can be spent) or under certain circumstances Corporate accounts that include a credit card. In any case, your creditworthiness must also be sufficient to settle the account. You can get an overview of the best corporate accounts and their conditions here: business account Comparison 2023: These accounts are suitable for founders and startups

The credit cards with the best conditions for the self-employed at an overview for 2023

If you decide to use credit cards, you should clarify in advance what exactly you need. Prepaid cards are generally cheaper, but have the disadvantage of being as durable as deposited credit. Also, if you have a checking account and if you have monthly receipts on it. Whether Visa or Mastercard probably makes little difference. And you should clarify the transaction fees.

Barclays Visa and Barclays Gold Visa credit cards for founders

The Barclaycard Visa is a free card that has been around for many years. Barclaycard also has a well-known double card (Visa and Mastercard) in the platinum version. The cards described here are the Barclays Visa and the Barclays Gold Visa. Special features: flexible repayment (also in installments, at least 2% of the total balance or 15 EUR possible), contactless payment (up to 50 EUR without PIN), Apple Pay or Google Pay, 24-hour emergency hotline, emergency up to 500 EUR cash per day in case of loss , Delivery protection for online payments, protection against abuse in case of loss and theft without liability, Benefits of the Barclays visa:
  • “Buy now and pay later” option (from 0% interest for 3 months)
  • permanent without annual fee
  • Free cash withdrawals worldwide
  • No foreign currency fees – pay for free worldwide
  • up to 3 free partner cards
  • Daily allowance 3.11% pa for new customers, valid for 6 months and for deposits up to €250,000
Spiderweb: Apply for Barclaycard Visa Barclays Gold Visa Benefits:
  • all withdrawals, sales and transactions in euros are free
  • up to 3 free partner cards
  • Travel medical insurance included
  • Trip cancellation insurance
  • 5% travel reimbursement.
  • only 59 euros of annual fee
Spiderweb: Apply for Barclaycard Visa Gold Costs:
  • Borrowing rate (variable): 16.99% per annum
  • eff. Annual interest: 18.38%

Santander BestCard Basic: Discount on fuel and travel for founders and freelancers

The Santander Consumer Bank credit card is a VISA card. This card offers free cash withdrawals and shines with a worldwide discount on fuel and travel expenses. Services:
  • permanent without annual fee
  • 5% refund on travel bookings
  • 1% tank discount worldwide (up to a maximum of EUR 200 gas station turnover per month)
  • four free cash withdrawals worldwide per month
  • free partner card on request
  • flexible refund (automatically 5% percent of the balance, additional amounts at any time by bank transfer)
Costs:
  • Annual percentage rate of charge (partial payment) 13.98%
  • for payments in foreign currency plus 1.5% commission
Spiderweb: Request the Santander BestCard Basic

Hanseatic Bank GenialCard (VISA) – credit card for freelancers

The Hanseatic Bank’s Genial Card is one of them Credit card, which is independent of the internal bank account it works – so you don’t need to open a bank account with Hanseatic in order to use your Visa card. The GenialCard is particularly suitable for freelancers and for trips abroad: there are no annual, currency or account management expenses, nor is there a minimum turnover. Services:
  • Initial credit of 30 EUR
  • for an indefinite period with no annual fee
  • freely selectable repayment rates
  • no minimum turnover
  • no foreign exchange fees
  • free cash withdrawals (limit: 500 EUR per day)
  • it is also possible to transfer money from the credit limit of the card to your current account
  • up to 5% off holiday bookings
Commissions:
  • APR: 13.60%
Spiderweb: Apply for the Hanseatic Bank GenialCard

Viabuy Prepaid Mastercard – The credit card

The Prepaid Mastercard is a prepaid credit card for which you have no credit necessary. Only the credit previously loaded on the card can be spent. Special features:
  • customizable
  • delivered within 24 hours
  • without credit bureau, without proof of salary
  • no advance payment when ordering
  • A large number of different top-up options (instant bank transfer, SEPA bank transfer, etc.)
  • up to 3 partner cards possible without additional identity verification
Commissions:
  • Annual fee: EUR 19.90
  • Cash withdrawals in Germany and worldwide: 5 EUR per withdrawal
  • Use in Germany and the EURO area: free
  • Foreign Exchange Fee: 2.75% of sales
Web: viabuy prepaid credit card
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N26 – Mastercard debit current account for founders and freelancers

A fintech startup from Germany that really made it. N26 offers its Mastercard debit card along with a free online banking account with no annual fees. The N26 Mastercard is one debit card: You must first fill your current account with a bank transfer and you can only spend the money available in the account on purchases. However, c There is also an overdraft option on request. Special features:
  • Permanently free MasterCard debit card
  • 3 free cash withdrawals per month in Germany then 2 euros per withdrawal, free abroad
  • Free cash deposits and withdrawals possible at 11,500 retailers throughout Germany with “Cash26”.
  • no Post-Ident required: account opening possible via video call
  • Account management via the free mobile app (only with smartphones from iOS 8, Android 4.3) and via online banking
Commissions:
  • no fixed fees in relation to the free N26 Standard current account
Spiderweb: Open an N26 bank account with a Mastercard debit card

DKB Visa debit card

With the free DKB-Cash current account there is one DKB Visa debit cardwhich allows you to make commission-free payments and withdraw money from ATMs around the world. Special features:
  • No annual fee
  • Withdraw money from ATMs in Germany and the euro area for free
  • Withdraw money worldwide for free with an active status (700 euros per month entering the current account)
  • Pay for free worldwide
  • Current account included
  • online payment
Commissions:
  • The account and the DKB Visa debit card are free
  • Active status included in the first six months, then with a monthly installment of at least 700 euros
  • from 6.58% per annum uncovered interest, quarterly billing, variable interest
Spiderweb: Open a free checking account with a Visa debit card

TF MasterCard Gold

The TF Mastercard Gold from the Swedish TF Bank is above all one thing: Green number. No annual fees, no closing fees, no foreign exchange fees. When traveling, it exploits all its strengths: withdrawals and cash payments are anywhere in the world for free. For travel reservations and rental cars, there are 5% refund.. You and your travel companions will also benefit from a comprehensive travel insurance package, which includes, among other things, international health insurance and trip cancellation insurance personal liability insurance abroad and one injury insurance contains. Services
  • permanent annual fee of 0 EUR
  • No foreign currency fees: Free for worldwide payments
  • no setup fee
  • 5% refund on travel bookings
  • 5% refund on car rental bookings
  • flexible refund (at least 3% of the balance or 30 euros)
  • Extensive travel insurance package included
  • Foreign liability insurance and accident insurance included
  • interest-free purchases of goods for up to 51 days
  • Daily interest rate 2.55% pa for new customers, applies for 4 months and for deposits up to EUR 100,000
commissions
  • APR 19.39%
Spiderweb: Apply for TF Mastercard Gold

Business credit cards for founders and self-employed

Business cards usually have a significantly higher base rate than private cards, but they do offer in return Often significantly cheaper transaction fees, especially when it comes to cash withdrawals works, but often also when using the card at home and abroad. In many cases, as a business credit card holder, you will benefit significantly longer payment terms: instead of at the beginning of the following month as is the case with private credit cards, payments here are often only due within 50 days – this ensures more liquidity and better payment planning. You can only get a business credit card if you can actually demonstrate that you are doing business sufficiently.

Penta – Innovative corporate account with Visa debit cards for all employees

The Penta smartphone bank in Berlin offers a corporate account that can be opened in minutes. The account templates are specially tailored to the needs of founders and companies. Startups benefit from special rates in the first six months. So there’s to the bill multiple Visa Business debit cardsthe limit of which can be set individually so that employees remain flexible. Last but not least, the accounts have integrated additional smart features that are especially interesting for founders. These include interfaces to accounting programs and access for tax advisors. Penta is accountable for the following legal forms: Sole proprietorships, freelancers, UG, GmbH, GmbH/UG in formation, AG, GbR, OHG, PartG, KG, eK, eG. Services:
  • make online payments
  • Withdraw cash from ATMs around the world
  • Worldwide payment at terminals with the VISA logo
  • make contactless payments with NFC in shops
  • individual card limits for each user
  • pay with Google Pay
  • Participation in the VISA cashback program
spiderweb: Apply for a Penta corporate account with Visa Business Cards for all employees.

Barclays Platinum Double – private and business clearly separated

The Barclaycard Platinum Double is a Double card Mastercard and VISA – so he is standing TWO credit cards available this way clearly separate private from business expenses. Sales of the two Barclaycards are monthly Accounts are always shown separately. Special features: No additional current accounts need to be opened. The credit limit is set individually. Two credit cards are available: Visa and Mastercard. Contactless and mobile payment (Apple Pay or Google Pay). Services:
  • Free cash withdrawals worldwide
  • no foreign currency fees – pay for free worldwide
  • on request three double Platinum partner rooms free of charge
  • Refund of card bill after 2 months (interest-free)
  • 5% travel reimbursement.
  • Emergency protection (up to 500 EUR per day in case of card loss)
  • Cards can be blocked individually in case of loss or theft
  • EUR 0 liability for card misuse through no fault of your own
  • assistance service
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Additional protection included:
  • Internet delivery protection
  • Warranty extension (repair insurance)
  • Trip interruption and cancellation insurance
  • Health insurance for travel abroad
  • Comprehensive rental car insurance
  • The insurance benefits include partner cardholders, even if the principal cardholder is not traveling with them
Commissions:
  • no annual fee in the 1st year
  • Free withdrawals in Germany and worldwide (however, any machine costs will not be refunded)
  • Use worldwide for free
Spiderweb: Ask for a Barclays Platinum Double

Pliant – the latest generation of corporate credit cards

The flexible provider from Berlin combines digital card management and seamless integration into accounting software with high limits, premium card benefits and attractive cashback. Blue (Visa Platinum Business) and black (Visa Infinite Business) cards and virtual credit cards are issued. Visa Infinite Business is the highest credit card standard offered by Visa. Customers can become companies, cooperatives (eG) and partner companies (PartG) registered in the German commercial register. A good credit rating and a high credit card volume are prerequisites. Services:
  • custom integrations into accounting systems and expense management solutions
  • High credit limits and easy to manage
  • Exchange rates below the market level
  • reimbursement
  • Discounts for resellers and hotels
  • Insurance package and lounge access (Visa Infinite Business)
Commissions:
  • monthly fee from 0 EUR
  • Rate for Visa Infinite Business cards from 30 EUR/month
spiderweb: getpliant.com

Lufthansa Miles & More Business credit cards

Example image for Lufthansa Miles & More credit cards

The Lufthansa Miles & More Credit Card Business is particularly attractive for frequent flyers. Mastercard credit cards are available Blue credit card business and how Gold credit card business: Both versions are also the bonus card for the Lufthansa Miles & More frequent flyer program. One bonus mile is credited for every euro spent with a credit card.

Special features:
  • Current Campaign (Miles & More Gold): Welcome bonus of 30,000 miles – only until February 28, 2022
  • Earn 1 mile for every euro spent with your card
  • unlimited mileage (with Miles & More Blue with restrictions)
  • Earn more miles permanently with selected partners
  • Comprehensive protection during your business trips thanks to the premium insurance package (gold)
  • Quarantine cost insurance until 31/12/2022 included (gold)
  • flexible payment options
Commissions:
  • monthly EUR 4.58 or 1375 miles (Miles & More Blue) or EUR 9.16 or 2750 miles (Miles & More Gold)
Spiderweb: Apply for a Lufthansa Miles & More credit card

Amex Business Platinum card

This is what Amex Platinum looks likeProven means of payment and many advantages – with one customized trust it’s clear extended payment term the American Express Business Platinum Card increases the liquidity of companies and self-employed workers. extended insurance benefits and of course the services during the journey are also part of it. A good credit card increases the financial freedom of companies: stay with American Express independent and liquid. The Business Platinum Card is one of the most powerful credit cards for business people and offers you an enormous liquidity advantage: invoices are only due up to 58 days after using the credit card. With that you can have yours Optimize your cash flow and be much more flexible in financial planning. Services:200 euros of initial credit • Liquidity benefit up to 58 days • Supplementary cards: 1 Business Platinum supplementary card, up to 98 Business Gold cards for employees, 1 Platinum principal card and supplementary card for private expenses • soft limit for additional cards • Comprehensive insurance package without minimum turnover and deductible (applies to all cards) • 1 points account for the entire card portfolio (including additional cards) • Unlimited redemption of Membership Rewards points with no points expiring • EUR 600 annual credit for travel and technology • Free access to airport lounges worldwide for the cardholder and accompanying person Spiderweb: Apply for an Amex Business Platinum card

You should use a credit card for this

For booking flights and renting a car, credit cards are still the best solution (sometimes you can’t do without them) and you don’t always have to deal with boring money exchange matters when you pay by credit card on business trips outside the euro zone. This too sometimes makes life much more pleasant. Other benefits that individual credit cards offer can be additional international health insurance, discounts on rental cars, or comprehensive travel insurance which can also be claimed when using a credit card. With some credit cards you can also earn additional miles via Miles and More and use some additional services in the airport area and when booking flights. So it’s always worth it scope of services of individual credit cards in great detail – in many cases, the additional services offered can often compensate for even slightly higher card fees.
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When it comes to the type of card he has VISA is usually ahead, closely followed by Mastercard. VISA is accepted almost everywhere where you can pay with credit cards – Mastercard is also accepted almost everywhere. All other types of cards may sometimes have restrictions.

Conclusion and overview of all offers (May 2023)

Bidder annual fee cash withdrawal partner cards eff. annual interest particularity
Saw Barclays and seen Barclays Gold free (Barclays Visa) / 59 euros (Barclays Gold Visa) free up to 3 free 18.38% flexible repayment
Basic Santander BestCard free 4 per month free 1 free 13.98% discount on fuel and travel expenses worldwide
Hanseatic Bank GenialCard (VISA) free free up to €500 per month NO 13.60% 5% discount on holiday bookings
Viabuy prepaid mastercard €19.90 per year €5 per withdrawal up to 3 free without credit bureau, without proof of salary
N26 – Current account with Mastercard debit card free 3 per month free NO including a free checking account
DKB Visa debit card free free NO including a free checking account
TF MasterCard Gold free worldwide for free NO 19.39% 5% cashback on travel bookings, rental car bookings
Penta with Visa debit cards free worldwide for free many employee cards Interfaces for accounting programs, individual card limits for each user
Double platinum Barclays free worldwide for free Platinum partner doubles extensive insurance package included
flexible free worldwide for free many employee cards custom integrations into accounting systems and expense management solutions
Lufthansa Miles & More Business credit cards €4.58 or 1375 miles (Miles & More Blue) or €9.16 or 2750 miles (Miles & More Gold) NO Earn miles for sales
Amex Business Platinum card €660 per year 4% abroad 1 Business Platinum add-on card, up to 98 Business Gold employee cards, 1 Platinum main card and add-on card for private expenses 200 euro initial credit, 58 days until payment
You should take a close look at credit cards – the advantages and disadvantages are often hidden in the details. For normal private or business use, free credit cards are often sufficient. The best package in this regard is offered by Swedish newcomer TF Bank. If you travel a lot as a founder or self-employed, a gold card from Visa or Mastercard is also worthwhile. Corporate credit cards are particularly attractive to companies with multiple employees.

Credit Card FAQs

What is a credit card and how does it work?

Credit cards are issued by banks or credit institutions. Credit card holders have a monthly credit limit. Credit cards can now be used almost everywhere in Germany and abroad. You don’t need cash (even abroad in the appropriate currency) and you don’t have to carry large sums of cash with you on trips. Even higher expenses can be paid easily, securely and risk-free by credit card. Unlike an EC card, paying by credit card does not debit your account directly, but only at the end of the billing month.

Is a debit card an EC card?

Yes and no. “Debit” is the English term for debit or direct debit. This means: If you pay with a debit card, the money will be debited from your account promptly, as with an EC card, which is a classic debit card. But: A Visa debit or Mastercard debit card can do much more than an EC card (also: Maestro or Girocard). You can use it to pay at all Visa or Mastercard acceptance points around the world and withdraw money from ATMs. This is rarely possible with EC cards and is often associated with high costs. You can also pay online with a Visa or Mastercard debit card and use it for Apple Pay and Google Pay. A Visa or Mastercard debit card is almost as flexible as a classic credit card. But only nearly: You won’t get a short-term loan until the end of the billing month. It is therefore not possible to “reserve” or “reserve” any amount on the debit card: this is why car rental companies, for example, do not accept Visa or Mastercard debit cards.

Is Mastercard a credit card?

Mastercard is the second largest credit card company in the world after Visa. Mastercard has classic credit cards issued by banks, savings banks and credit institutions. There is also the Debit Mastercard, with which payments are debited directly from the account. This card combines online payment and worldwide acceptance with the cost control of a classic Girocard.

What is the difference between Visa and Mastercard?

The differences between Visa and Mastercard are minimal. Both companies are credit card companies and have roughly the same number of acceptance points worldwide (slight advantage for Visa). Visa and Mastercard offer different credit card models – there are hardly any differences even in services. But: Visa and Mastercard do not issue credit cards themselves as “umbrella companies”. This is what banks and savings banks do, which is why they also set the conditions. Important to know: in addition to the classic credit cards, there are Visa and Mastercard debit cards (see sections above).

What is a corporate credit card?

There are basically two types of business credit cards: business cards and business credit cards (see next question). You can only get a business credit card if you can actually demonstrate that you are doing business sufficiently. Business cards usually have a significantly higher base rate than private cards, but often offer significantly lower transaction fees and numerous additional services (especially travel insurance, discounts at car rental companies, earning miles). In many cases, the credit limit of a company credit card is higher than that of a private card and you benefit from significantly longer payment terms.

What is a corporate credit card?

So-called company credit cards are only possible with company credit cards. You can issue credit cards to employees, which they can use for business expenses. The credit card bill can then be paid directly via the company account.

What is a prepaid credit card?

Prepaid credit cards have the same payment and cash functions as classic credit cards. However, they must be topped up with credit before they can be used. You can never spend more money than is available on your prepaid credit card.

Is a prepaid credit card accepted everywhere?

Because prepaid credit cards are accepted wherever classic credit cards are accepted. You can pay worldwide with Visa or Mastercard prepaid credit cards and withdraw cash or shop online. It is only important to always make sure that there is sufficient credit on the prepaid credit card.

Which credit card with bad credit bureau?

With a bad Schufa, correct: negative Schufa entry, it can be difficult to get a classic credit card. If you want a credit card without a credit check, you should therefore opt for a prepaid credit card. These types of credit cards are also issued without Schufa because they only work if you have credit on them.
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