What You Need To Know About Your Company Credit Card

A shredded VISA credit card.

Charging your plane ticket and hotel on a company card has big shot appeal, but know that it's a perk with responsibilities and maybe personal credit risk. (Photo Credit: Flickr/David Huang)

If you’re in business, especially working in sales, you’re probably very familiar with a company credit card and expense account. It can be easy, even tempting, to use the card for any business expense. It’s best to remember that, in addition to your employer reviewing those purchases, other people might be taking a look as well.

Did you know that the credit card issuer has the option of checking your personal credit? Even though it’s a company credit card, it’s still issued in your name, and that activity (as well as payment history) ties back to you.

Some employers may take what’s called corporate liability when it comes to credit cards. This is when the employer pays for all charges made to a company card. Some companies elect to share the liability with the employee as a joint liability. American Express, for example, has a joint liability card. If, for whatever reason, payment is late, you personally won’t suffer from bad credit (though it will ultimately be reported, so you don’t have forever to pay off the debt; in the case of the American Express joint liability card, you have 180 days).

Whether or not a corporate card’s use shows up in your personal credit history does depend with the card issuer, however, so be sure to check with the issuer directly. Generally speaking, so long as your aren’t liable, it shouldn’t appear in your credit, but there are no guarantees.