Small business owners can keep a small business operating smoothly by opening a business credit card. Business credit cards make it simple to pay for things like client dinners, utility bills, and office supplies. Keeping personal and professional expenses separate with a small business credit card dedicated to company transactions can help avoid hassles during tax season. Your top business credit card will help.
You can usually receive rewards on small business credit cards in miles, points, or cash back. Company credit cards can also come with extra features and incentives.
These can include free employee cards, freebies for travel, and access to deals on other eligible purchases for business, like internet cable and phone services, buying from office supply stores, and more.
Some may come with rewards or the opportunity to earn a statement credit for a certain amount spent in combined purchases by the account anniversary year.
Here are some easy procedures to follow when selecting the best business credit card. Let’s get going:
1. Learn how your top business credit card will work
First, it’s critical to understand the fundamentals regarding business credit cards. For example:
Only business-related costs are eligible purchases which should be paid with business credit cards. Don’t use your business credit card for any personal purchases, and the CARD Act does not cover credit cards used for commercial purposes. This information can help you to make prompt and complete bill payments.
If you need to make a lot of monthly expenditures, business credit cards frequently have more significant credit limits than personal credit cards. You may often provide your staff with credit cards and keep tabs on each one’s spending.
Most company credit cards need a personal guarantee from you. If your business revenue doesn’t cover the fees, you’ll have to pay down your balance and cover any annual fee with your money.
2. Analyze your personal credit
Corporate credit cards are granted depending on the business’s credit, and the business is liable for any purchases made, not the small business owner. You must guarantee accountability for all charges incurred on the account when applying for a business credit card. The card issuer will consider your FICO score instead of your business credit score.
Before you look into your top business credit card, verify your credit report and FICO score. Take action to raise your FICO score before applying if it isn’t quite strong enough to qualify you for the top business credit card you desire.
Opt for debt consolidation services, balance transfer, or consolidating credit card debt to raise your FICO score.
Once you have a business credit card, be aware that your score will be impacted by how you use it. Many small business credit cards inform the three main consumer credit bureaus of your payment history and amount (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax).
Some also submit reports to the leading business credit agencies, which might raise your score.
3. Calculate interest rate (APR) for any top business credit card
Any credit card that charges interest will increase the cost of your purchases. Paying in whole is the easiest method to prevent paying interest. But it’s crucial to know what APR you’ll pay if you anticipate occasionally needing to carry a balance.
If you’re making sizable business purchases for your company, you might want to get a business credit card with a low or 0% promotional rate. Although some corporate credit card issuers offer them, low APR balance transfers are less popular.
Your chances of qualifying for a reduced interest rate and APR increase with your overall credit score. You may want to examine your credit history before applying for a business credit card to get an overview of what rate you might qualify for. Business credit cards can rely on the approval of your credit ratings.
Understand the distinction between business charge cards and business credit cards. You can cover business expenses using a credit card and pay them off over time. Since you must pay the debt in full, business charge cards like the well-known Brex 30 Card don’t charge interest. In your quest for a top credit card, you might want to rule out charge cards if you desire flexibility.
4. Examine your business expenses and work process when choosing your top business credit card
A peek into the benefits you should be searching for in your business credit card can be obtained by reviewing your books for the previous six months and determining your two or three highest running expenses. Start looking for a credit card that offers significant rewards in these categories after that.
Selecting the ideal rewards program means thinking about your business’s “behavior” and where it spends its money.
To begin, pose the following questions to yourself:
- Does your business include a significant amount of long-distance travel for you, the business owner,
- or your staff? If so, a card that enables you to use rewards to book hotels and flights would likely be a wise choice.
- Do you spend a lot of time driving because of your business? If so, a credit card with significant gas benefits might be the ideal solution.
- Do you frequently have to keep customers entertained in pubs or restaurants? If so, getting a credit card with good rewards for dining out is probably in order.
5. To choose your top business credit card, know about rewards
If you use rewards as a cash equivalent against purchases or redeem them for travel or cash, receiving rewards on a business credit card could result in cost savings. Every business credit card has a different set of rewards opportunities.
Compare business rewards credit cards and take into account your typical spending patterns. This might assist you in determining the best kind of incentive scheme. Your company’s budget, for instance, might allocate funds to the following purchases:
- Office Supplies
- Utilities (internet and cell phone services)
It’s crucial to select a top business credit card that corresponds to your spending style. You might prefer a card that gives you cash back on office equipment, utilities, and advertising if most of your business’s expenses are for routine operations.
On the other hand, if you frequently schedule business travels, a travel card can be more practical.
Some credit cards offer rewards based on business categories for spending, with some earning more cash back, miles, and points than others. The number of rewards you may get annually may be subject to spending limitations. Other business credit cards give a fixed rewards rate on other purchases for people with different spending patterns or who don’t consider reward categories.
When you spend a minimum amount, many business credit cards provide an introductory rewards incentive, and you might also receive rewards from some cards when the account anniversary year ends. . If accruing points, miles, or cash back is your primary motivation for obtaining the best business credit cards, those are additional options to boost your rewards earnings.
6. Ask about the annual fee for any top business credit card
Some company credit cards do not have yearly fees, but some do (although the annual fee may be waived for some time after account opening, e.g. six months). The charge tends to be greater, in general, the richer the rewards program and the more benefits and bonuses the card offers.
Depending on how you spend and what you hope to gain from the card, it may or may not make logical sense to pay an annual fee for a top business credit card.
Take The Business Platinum Card® from American Express as an illustrative example. Suppose you would need to spend $14,000 a year on flights and pre-paid hotels booked through amextravel.com to make up for the card’s $695 annual cost in Membership Rewards points alone.
However, even if you don’t spend quite that much, you may still be eligible for yearly statement and airline fee credits, which would reimburse you for a portion of the price.
On the other hand, if you prefer to keep things simple, you may go for Capital One Spark Miles for Business.
This top business credit card offers unrestricted double miles on all qualified purchases with no category restrictions. The first year is free; afterwards, there is a $95 fee. The sole drawback is that this card provides fewer travel privileges than the card from American Express, the Amex Business Platinum Card.
7. Think about additional benefits for your top business credit card
More than merely rewards are available on business credit cards. For instance, a few of the advantageous characteristics and advantages you can be able to enjoy are as follows:
- Basic or enhanced travel insurance, including roadside assistance, trip cancellation or interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, and travel accident insurance.
- Access to airport lounges, complimentary concierge services, hotel and resort upgrades, cost-free checked bags, in-flight food and beverage credits, or credits toward an airline’s annual fee.
- Purchase protection like cell phone insurance or extended warranties.
- Free employee credit cards with personalized spending limitations.
- Features for bookkeeping or account administration, as well as the option to export data to your favorite accounting program.
- Exclusive discounts on goods or services you frequently use, such as upgrades when it’s time to replace computer hardware, software, or cloud storage.
Once more, keep in mind that the higher the annual fee, the more benefits a top business card will likely have.
Your Top Business Credit Card: Conclusion
If you can charge goods as needed and get some of your money back, having a small business credit card may make life as an entrepreneur easier. Spend some time comparing the incentives and benefits of each card, as well as the costs and APR, when looking for the top business credit cards. Your top business credit card is out there.
The best business credit cards offer benefits and features that match your spending preferences at a price you’re comfortable with. Ultimately, these are the ideal options for you.
About The Author: Lyle Solomon has extensive legal experience as well as in-depth knowledge and experience in consumer finance and writing. He has been a member of the California State Bar since 2003. He graduated from the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, California, in 1998, and currently works for the Oak View Law Group in California as a Principal Attorney.