The Better Business Bureau estimates that credit cards account for more than $1.8 trillion in purchases each year. Business credit cards play a large role in business operations — consider that business credit cards enable immediate buying power when cash flow issues arise and allow you to track expenses in a efficiently.
While small business credit cards can have a positive impact on business operations, they also can wreak havoc if not used and managed properly.
Inside this guide, you’ll find:
- Tips and resources to help you understand the basics of credit cards.
- Advice on choosing the best credit cards suited for your business operations.
- Information on credit limits, credit scores and how to improve them so you can get the best interest rates on credit cards.
- Steps to manage debt and make small business credit cards work for you.
Get the credit card features your business needs
The business of credit cards has become very complex. From varying interest rates and finance charges to grace periods and rewards programs, understanding the nuances of the best credit cards can be daunting. Add to that the fact that every business will likely use business credit cards in a different way, and it becomes imperative that business owners match their unique circumstances to particular credit card features.
Secure the best credit cards for your business
The most common credit cards - Visa, Mastercard and American Express - are widely available. The largest share of the market is comprised of large banks such as Citibank and Bank of America, but many smaller institutions also offer competitive small business credit cards with a number of perks - such as no annual fees or payback rewards.
Use business credit cards to manage cash flow
Small business credit cards can help you maintain your cash flow. When funds are low, credit cards can be a great source of interest-free, short-term loans and can allow you to make important equipment purchases. Be sure to develop sure-fire strategies for managing credit card debt to ensure continued positive cash flow.
Track employee expenses with business credit cards
Use business credit cards as a way to track and manage employee expenses. When employees use business credit cards to make business-related purchases, such as entertainment or travel, you'll have a monthly record of all activity on the account. Be sure to use the real-time spending limit control and online charge tracking.
Take advantage of credit card rewards programs
Business credit cards that offer rewards for using the card can pay off. For instance, if you travel extensively for business, look for a credit card that offers airline or hotel rewards. Similarly, retail rewards can often be used to purchase office supplies and other office equipment.
Increase credit limits and lower interest rates on business credit cards
To ensure that you get the buying power you need from small business credit cards and to minimize the amount of interest you'll have to pay for that privilege, you need to have a good credit score.
- Be aware that credit cards offering a 0% introductory rate, often have interest rates that are higher than average after a certain period of time.
- Take advantage of travel incentives, payback rewards and other offerings when choosing small business credit cards. Depending on your needs, these advantages can sometimes outweigh a lower interest rate.
- Consider going local for business credit cards. The hometown bank that manages your business account may be more competitive than the national bank that just sent you an offer in the mail.