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Smart Money

Using Your Personal Credit Card For Work

Last updated

Pauline Hatch      

If your company didn’t give you a business credit card for your expenses, you can still use your own credit card and reap the rewards.

It’s common for employees to use their own cash and be reimbursed afterwards for things like travel, stationary and lunches. But if you do use a credit card for your business expenses, you can avoid dipping into your own pocket and get some neat perks along the way. When you’re reimbursed, you can pay off your card debt and avoid any interest charges.Plus you could earn even more points through a rewards program by making as many eligible “work” purchases as possible with the card.

Business Travel Do’s and Don’ts

Below are some of the most important dos and don’ts you should remember when you are travelling as an employee and using your own credit card:

  • Do ask questions about what will and won’t be covered on the trip so that you know exactly where you stand
  • Do plan your days so that any leisure time is clearly separated from work time
  • Do keep your personal and business expenses separate
  • Don’t use hotel facilities that will be added to the total bill (i.e. room service) unless you can pay for them separately
  • Don’t opt for the most expensive options and assume you will be reimbursed for the full amount
  • Don’t assume your current credit limit will be enough – consider the expenses and request an increase in your limit if you need it
  • Do request reimbursement be made before your repayments are due and/or interest free period ends

Most of these things are covered in travel policies, but it can help to have them front of mind before you start spending so that you know you are doing the right thing by the company.

If you travel a lot for work, you may even want to get a dedicated personal credit card that will give you more benefits.

The Latitude 28° card, for example, has no international transaction, currency conversion, or annual fees that most other cards carry.

On the other hand, the Qantas Premier Platinum earns you 1.5 points per $1 spent on international transactions, which could give your Frequent Flyer account a huge boost.

Other things to consider

If you’re a sole operator or run a small business, using your personal credit card may become a hassle at tax time or when you have to submit your business activity statements. Business credit cards usually come with accounting software integrations to streamline reporting. Remember to keep receipts for your account also.

If you work for a company with a handy reimbursement policy, using your own card to stash points with could potentially be quite advantageous.

Photo source: Shutterstock

 

Pauline

Pauline Hatch

Pauline is a personal finance expert at CreditCard.com.au, with 8 years in money, budgeting and property reporting under her belt. Pauline is passionate about seeing Aussies win by making their money – and their credit cards – work smarter, harder and bigger.

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