Published By Faith Stewart at September 18, 2018
The success of a business rises and falls on the team you build. Employees are important, but there are more players in the game than that. You could consider your financial tools a team as well. Maybe they are a part of special teams? Choosing the right tools can be overwhelming, but we have some tips to make the process run like a well-oiled machine.
After that, we offer our suggestions for some of the top draft picks. We will make sure you have what you need to make an informed choice.
Which tools you need on your team depends greatly on what your business needs are and what the individual situation is. Variables include the position of your business credit, cash flow, and the nature of the industry among others.
For example, if you are a seasonal business that has consistent, seasonal cash needs, you may need to recruit a business line of credit. If you need to build or buy a new building to expand, your top draft pick might be a real estate loan.
If your credit is bad, maybe you need a business loan for bad credit. Better yet, maybe you need a business credit card that is great for building, or re-building, business credit.
Maybe building business credit is your goal. In that case, solid starter vendors and a business credit card are likely going to be your first-round picks.
Every football team needs a kicker, even if they don’t have to use him for the entire season. Why? Because you don’t want to need him and not have it. The same is true of a business credit card. You may or may not plan to need it, but you don’t want to need it and not have it.
You can’t always control what’s going to happen, and if you need funds fast, a credit card is the fastest way to access those funds in a pinch.
This again depends on several factors. What is a great card for your business may not work as well for another. They might be more focused on building credit, and you may need to finance somethings over time, meaning a lower interest rate is more important to you.
Maybe you travel a lot and are looking for a way to reduce those costs. You would need a card that offers rewards miles. That type of card would not be an asset to a team that only plays home games.
There are some general characteristics however, that make a business credit card great overall. Few have all of these attributes, but most have some. These include:
This one is a great player if you are looking for cash back on everyday business purchases. It offers 5% cash back at office supply stores and on cable, phone, and internet services up to $25,000 annually.
You get 2% back at gas stations and restaurants, again up to $25,000. On everything else, all other purchases without limit, you get 1% cash back.
In addition, they offer 0% APR for the first year. And get a $500 bonus if you spend at least $3,000 in the first 3 months you have the card.
This one is a simpler cash back model with 2% cash back. There are no defined categories and no limits. There is no annual fee the first year. But it is $95 after that.
There is also a $500 cash back bonus here, but you must spend $4,500 in the first 3 months.
Here we have 1.5% cash back with no categories or limits and no annual fee. Also, there is a 0% APR for the first 9 months. And there is a cash back bonus of $200 if you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.
The classic playing style sometimes means this one doesn’t get the attention it deserves. It is vastly underrated because so many do not understand the importance of its position. Building business credit is essential to business success, and if you play this card right, it can help you do just that.
A business credit score of 630 to 689 is perfectly acceptable. There is no annual fee, and you get 1% back on all purchases.
If you travel, you need a card that made for it. The Capital One Spark Miles Select awards 1.5 miles for every $1 in purchases all the time. There no fees, and there is a 0% APR for the first 9 months. In addition, if you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months you will get 20,000 bonus miles.
Earn 1.5 points per dollar with no limits plus 3 points per dollar on travel purchases if you book through Bank of America’s travel center. If you spend 1,000 net in the first 60 days you also get a 25,000 point bonus.
Earn unlimited 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchase plus a 50,000-mile bonus if you spend at least $4,500 in the first three months. There is no annual fee the first year. It is $95 per year after the first year.
The cool thing is, though this is technically a travel card so you are earning “miles,” you can trade miles in for travel, cash, gift cards, and more.
For those times when you need to seize the day, American Express can come to the rescue. This is because they generally allow you to go over your limit, or they offer no limit. But you do have to pay off each month, so keep that in mind. These next two offer other great perks as well.
Hold on tight because this one is a little bumpy. The complex style of this player can make it seem a little rough around the edges. But if you take the time to get to know it, you can see the style is quite elegant.
The best part is the 5% cash back, which is one of the most generous cash back percentages around. You get that 5% on purchases from supply stores and U.S. provider wireless phones service sper year. After first the $50,000 spent, you earn 1% cash back instead of 5% until your next anniversary.
Here is the twist. You can also choose either travel, shipping, gas, computer hardware, or cloud computing expenses to earn 3% back on, with the same $50,000 per year cap. In addition, you still earn 1% on whichever one you pick after the you hit that limit.
Now the easy part. You earn 1% back on all purchases all year long. There is no fee, and you can earn a $250 bonus after spending $5,000 on qualifying expenses in the first 6 months and then another $250 if you spend $10,000 on qualifying expenses in the first year.
The skill that sets this player apart is the ability to lower APR to almost unheard-of levels for credit cards based on your business credit profile. Interest can go as low as 12.99% with levels at 16.99% and 20.99% depending on credit. In addition, there is a 0% introductory APR for the first 15 months.
But wait, there’s more. You can also earn 2x points on business purchases including client dinners and office supplies. After the 1st 50,000 spent for the year, that reduces to 1 point per $1 spent.
There is no annual fee.
A solid player that would be an asset to any team, the Ink Business Preferred card offers 80,000 points if you spend 5,000 in the first three months. You also earn 3 points on the first $150,000 spent on travel and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
Redeem points for travel, cash back, and gift cards. The flexibility is perfect for adjusting to changing needs.
Building your team of financial tools is an important step that many do not take intentionally. Instead, the team is just thrown together as need. The result is a team composed of the best the owner could do at the time based on the current situation.
It’s always better to plan ahead. Anticipate what is coming. Research the tools available to handle what the future could hold, then draft players with intention and purpose. If you have all the information, you can make better choices.
Didn’t get your first pick? Go for your number two.
While in some life situations it is how you play the game that matters, in business, you need to play well and play to win. You can’t lose at business. If you do, you are pretty much out of the game, at least for a while. It is extremely difficult to come back. Getting ahead and staying ahead is a must, and with the right financial tools on your team, including corporate credit cards, you are already off to a great start.