As a business expands beyond a single owner-operator, its financial needs become dramatically more complex. With more than one person making purchases, the basic bank-issued debit card becomes less than optimal.

The drawbacks:

  • Coordination
  • Communication
  • Controls
  • Security

Those issues can be solved with a small-business-oriented credit or charge card such as ones offered by Ramp, Brex, American Express and dozens more (see our full list of digital challenger cards here).*

There are dozens of options, so what exactly should you be looking for? Here's our favorite advanced features that help you find a great solution, rather than just something that is adequate.

Must-have features:

  1. Email/SMS customer service (extended business hours)
  2. Bullet-proof and clear fraud protection guarantee
  3. Two-factor authentication
  4. Customizable alerts
  5. Downloadable transactions (common file formats)
  6. Anit-fraud transaction scanning
  7. Mobile app
  8. Long-term (5+ years) transaction/statement archives
  9. Sortable/searchable data
  10. Digital/plastic cards for authorized users
  11. Robust transaction dispute tools

Should-have features:

  1. Large dynamic (changes with bank balance) spending limits (with floor level)
  2. Smart spending controls at the card-holder level
  3. Lifetime statement/transaction archives
  4. Dedicated account manager(s) you know by name (with contact info)
  5. Positive pay for transactions over a certain amount
  6. Unlimited plastic/digital cards*
  7. Weekend customer service
  8. Enhanced customer service*
  9. Enhanced security*
  10. Card on/off switch
  11. Custom permissions (for third-party access)
  12. Feeds/integrations to major accounting services*
  13. Expedited dispute resolution*
  14. Transaction annotation
  15. Daily statement delivery (email)
  16. Transaction filing system
  17. Transaction display prioritization (shows most important transactions first)
  18. Three/four-factor authentication for certain permissions
  19. Annual transaction and account summaries
  20. Credit monitoring/alerts (personal, family & business)*
  21. Emergency security contacts (“break glass in case of fraud”)*
  22. Employee expense management*
  23. Virtual card numbers*

Nice-to-have features:

  1. Revolving options (for charge cards)*
  2. Software integrations*
  3. Immediate credit for disputed transactions (pending resolution)
  4. Rewards*
  5. 24/7 customer service*
  6. Equipment financing*
  7. Transaction feed
  8. Business dashboard*
  9. Token-based account access option*
  10. Account aggregation of other card accounts*
  11. Preformatted forms*
  12. Premium/VIP client service option*
  13. Receipt capture/upload*

*May incur extra fees or service charges