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Is the Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card the best card for sole traders and small businesses?

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Today I want to look at the benefits of the Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card for businesses.

Let me answer the obvious question first. Why are we covering it, given that it doesn’t earn you any points or miles?

(The cynical answer, of course, is that Barclays will pay us if you apply, which is true. As part of our relationship with Barclays Premier we now have access to Barclaycard products. As you should know, however, we only promote products which genuinely offer value. You won’t see any other Barclaycard products on HfP for now.)

Why would you get a cashback small business Mastercard?

There is, at the moment, a gap in the market for small business miles and points cards.

You can apply for American Express Business Platinum, American Express Business Gold and British Airways Accelerating Business, but Amex acceptance is lower in the B2B market than in the consumer market. You will need a Visa or Mastercard as well.

Our recommended alternative is the Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa card. This earns points worth an impressive 1 Avios per £1 spent and has a sign-up bonus (exclusive to HfP readers) which converts into 10,500 Avios.

However, at present, Capital On Tap is only accepting Limited Companies and LLPs. You cannot get the card if you are a sole trader or partnership.

This leads to the question ‘What is the best business Visa or Mastercard for a sole trader to use alongside a Business Amex?’.

The answer is probably a card which is:

  • free
  • offers 1% cashback on virtually all of your spending

Key link: Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card application form

The representative APR is 27.5% variable but may vary based on your financial circumstances and borrowing history.

Here are the key facts about the card:

What are the conditions of applying?

As well as the standard age and residency restrictions, your business turnover must be over £10,000 per year.

If you are a start-up, you are welcome to apply if your business plan shows expected turnover of £10,000+ per year.

Sole traders are welcome to apply.

What is the Barclaycard Select Cashback annual fee?

There is no annual fee.

What do I earn per £1 spent on the card?

You earn 1% cashback on virtually all spending charged to the card.

You are paid your cashback each month, via a credit to your card statement.

Review: the Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card

Any other benefits?

Barclaycard runs a special programme for its Business credit and charge card holders called Business Rewards.

You can find full details on this page of the Barclays website.

It offers a variety of discounts and cashback deals for customers. These currently include, for example, 15% off your first £100+ purchase at Amazon Business, 12% off Heathrow Express and 15% off business stationery at Ryman.

If you spend a lot on online advertising, you will get 5% cashback – up to £250 per calendar year – on search campaigns on Microsoft Advertising. If you are advertising on Bing, it is worth getting the card purely for this benefit.

Is this a good card to use when travelling?

It’s not ideal, as Barclaycard Select Cashback charges a 2.99% foreign exchange fee on non-Sterling transactions.

However, you will receive your standard 1% cashback which takes the net cost down to 1.99%.

You will pay the same 2.99% fee if you use any of the American Express Business cards that we cover.


The Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card is, perhaps surprisingly, an aggressively good product from Barclays.

With no annual fee and 1% cashback on virtually all your spending, paid monthly, there is nothing to dislike. Even if you are considering getting American Express Business Platinum, Business Gold or British Airways Accelerating Business due to their generous rewards, this card is useful for places which do not accept American Express.

The 5% cashback on Bing search advertising will be a good enough reason in itself for some readers to apply.

Full details, and the application form, for the Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card can be found here.

Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points. The site discusses products offered by lenders but is not a lender itself. Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as an independent credit broker.

Comments (18)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Genghis says:

    The 1% is taxable at marginal rates, however, whether as income or as a rebate against purchases.

    • PB says:

      Is the cash back not treated as a discount by HMRC , it used to be , when did that change ?

      • Genghis says:

        If it’s treated as a discount (ie Debit cash, credit purchases) it has the same effect as income (debit cash, credit income) by increasing taxable income by the amount of the cash back, hence more tax paid.

        • Genghis says:

          We’re talking about sole traders, of course, who carry out a trade

  • Jonathan says:

    That’s a personal card you’re referring to, and I remember seeing on one of my Barclaycards, that business spending is not allowed. So don’t skate on thin ice by doing business spending on a personal card when the card issuer specifically tells you not to do so

    • P4D says:

      yeh agree, unrelated to the bizz card above. Just personal barclaycard for fgn spend, just related to the extent it is Barclaycard but Rob is not keen on.

      • Rob says:

        I like it, but Barclaycard has imposed some restrictions on us.

        • Youllnever says:

          Is there anything on the horizon, or am I good to apply for the rewards card?

        • P4D says:

          Got it, I thought it might be something like that, thanks

    • PB says:

      I have used Personal credit cards for business spending for years never had a problem , used to earn about four thousand from a personal Capital one card each year , I suspect an issue would only arise if you attempted to make a chargeback claim on a business purchase .

  • Colin JE says:

    Will this work with a Curve card to avoid the FX fee?

    • the_real_a says:

      Yes, although technically you should have the business version of curve to add a business mastercard – no idea if this is enforced.

      • Kat says:

        So using curve metal this would work for HMRC payments?

        • kt1974 says:

          So, I’ve just got a card and put it on my Curve metal. Main problem is an inordinate number of contactless declines (for legitimate, but small business transactions – subsistence, etc – generally solved by inserting card/entering PIN), but payments are going through. The test of course will be my next VAT payment, which I’m going to have to do in multiple tranches, because of tiny credit limit…

  • Jeff says:

    As a sole trader if I use this card for my personal spending am I going to get into trouble.

    • Rob says:

      Beyond a certain point, yes, because shops pay SUBSTANTIALLY more to accept Business cards than personal cards and, obviously, they don’t like it.

      Virtually anything is OK as a one-off – perhaps £1000 at Agent Provocateur could be stretching it – but week after week of Waitrose and Costa charges will get you shut down. Barclaycard has no choice, because Mastercard will shut them down if they are not seen to be keeping an eye on misuse.

      • Ryan says:

        Spending at Costa is easily explainable as business spend – subsistence whilst away

        Agree with anything supermarket related – that’s probably not getting breakfast or lunch whilst away for the day… but still possible

  • Mark says:

    All the analysis I’ve seen suggests that Mastercard rates tend to be better than Visa, to the extent that you’re probably better off with something like a Halifax Clarity card for overseas spend (beyond what you can put fee-free through a Curve card) even though it doesn’t offer any rewards.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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