RBS reissues free business credit card

Royal Bank of Scotland has announced the relaunch of its business credit card aimed at start ups and smaller SMEs, with the bank now offering the card free of charge for the first year, to all new customers.

The lender has also reduced the ongoing annual fee on the Royal Bank Business card to £30 a year after the first year, which it will waive for customers that spend over £6,000 on the card annually. The cash withdrawal rate has been lowered and aligned with the purchase interest rate of 16.9 per cent per year. 

RBS has redesigned the card based on customer research that showed over half of Royal Bank banked businesses found an annual fee waiver feature ‘extremely appealing’. The extended interest free period on purchases can also be helpful for customers who want to pay suppliers prior to their customers’ settling outstanding invoices.

This card follows the successful launch of the Royal Bank Business Plus credit card in September last year, which offers cashback and no transaction fees on purchases abroad. Together, these two cards put Royal Bank’s offering amongst the most competitive in the SME credit card market.

Customers will also be able to monitor card usage via free access to ClearSpend, a web and mobile app that provides total control and oversight of spending. The app gives customers a live record of every transaction, as well as the option to set cardholder credit limits, and block spending in certain categories.

Paul Thwaite, head of sales, specialist businesses and business banking at RBS, said: “As the UK’s number one bank for small businesses, we know that our customers want a convenient way to pay and manage everyday expenses. That’s why we’ve relaunched our Business credit card free of charge to all new customers for the first year. By also offering competitive rates and with customers able to keep track of their spend via our innovative new ClearSpend app, we want to make it easier than ever for the UK’s 5.7million SMEs to thrive.”

Today’s relaunch marks the latest move by the bank to broaden its range of lending options for UK SMEs, with access to innovative forms of alternative borrowing also now open to customers, such as fast, digital loans provider Esme Loans, and forthcoming flexible overdraft alternative RapidCash.

The bank also offers accountancy software FreeAgent free of charge to business current account customers, following its acquisition of the Edinburgh-based FinTech last year.