Small Business Credit Cards
Monday, 21st January 2013 (By Joe Taylor Jr.)
Cash flow helps companies thrive. That's why so many small business owners have turned to specialized credit cards to help even out their accounts payable. Some small business credit cards offer 30-day or 60-day terms with zero interest charges, while more traditional company accounts enable owners to spread out payments on major purchases.
However, small business credit cards don't always carry the same protections as consumer accounts. Some lenders even require owners and directors to personally guarantee new accounts. Our interactive credit card comparison tool can help you find the right small business credit card, based on your company's history and risk level.
- Earn a 30% annual Relationship Bonus - without an annual membership fee
- Get 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after your first purchase on the Card - valued at up to $100 in gift cards at select merchants
- No annual fee for Additional Cards for employees
- Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 3 months
- Additionally, earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months
- You can check your first bag for free and save up to $50 on a round-trip Delta flight
- With no annual membership fee, it's a smart choice for your business
- Automatic cash back - cash back is earned on eligible purchases and automatically credited to your statement
- 5% at U.S. office supply stores & on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers
- Starpoints® bonus: Earn up to 25,000 bonus points
- Earn 10,000 Starpoints® after your first purchase on the Card and another 15,000 after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Cardmembership
- Starpoints® redeemable towards Free Hotel Nights at over 1,100 hotels in nearly 100 countries worldwide - with no blackout dates
- Welcome Offer: Get 25,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months of Card Membership
- Enroll and select a qualifying airline to receive up to $200 annually in statement credits for incidental fees, such as checked bags and in-flight refreshments, charged by the airline
- 20% Travel Bonus when using Membership Rewards® Pay with Points
- Get 30,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in purchases with your new Card in the first 3 months following approval of your new Card account
- Plus, get a statement credit for your initial Amazon Prime membership fee after you sign up for a new membership with your Card and meet the spending requirement in the same time period
- As an Amazon Prime member, you get unlimited FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of items on Amazon.com
- Designed for businesses with an established credit history
- Earn 15,000 bonus ThankYou® points after you make $3000 in purchases within 3 months of cardmembership - enough for $150 in gift cards
- 0% intro APR on Purchases for 6 months. After that, 13.24% variable.
- Get a 1.5% discount for paying early or up to 60 days to pay without interest, or both each month.
- Do business on your terms.
- Pay no annual membership fee for your first year. Then, pay $250 annually.
- Designed for businesses with an established credit history
- Earn 30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of cardmembership*
- Get the first checked bag free for you and up to 4 traveling companions*
- Receive 5,000 bonus points on your first purchase
- No pre-set spending limit* or finance charges
- Earn one Membership Rewards® point for every dollar you spend
Disclaimer:*These quotes are from credit card issuers which have paid for a link to their website. Offers are subject to change without notice and may not be the same for all consumers.
Find the Best Small Business Credit Card for You
Charge cards and "terms account" credit cards
Even large banks have embraced the idea that small businesses can drive economic growth both in big cities and small towns. Instead of enabling small business owners to dive too deeply into debt, many lenders now provide "terms" accounts that can consolidate record keeping while smoothing out cash flow.
Most of these business credit cards require companies to pay balances in full after just one or two statement cycles, just enough time to collect client payments or close big sales. Some banks let businesses cut their own costs by discounting balances paid early, letting owners reinvest cash back rewards into their companies.
0% interest and balance transfer credit card offers
The best credit cards for business owners can encourage capital investments by offering zero percent interest over promotional periods of a year or longer. For a small company with a long term growth strategy, avoiding finance charges can mean the difference between a successful launch and a withering enterprise. Even established businesses can benefit from preserving cash for the length of an interest rate promotion.
Your business can consolidate multiple accounts using balance transfer offers. Managing a single business credit card account instead of multiple, small accounts can help you stay focused on your customers instead of on multiple due dates and interest rates.
Pitfalls and protections of small business credit cards
Over the past few years, some banks have blurred the lines between small business credit cards and accounts for professionals, like doctors and attorneys. Professionals who own their own practices can use small business credit cards to separate their personal and business finances while earning cash back rewards and other perks that often get used for personal benefit.
However, those hazy boundaries have alarmed at least a few industry watchdogs. For instance, the Pew Safe Credit Cards Project warned that government protections and debt collection rules for consumers don't apply to business or commercial credit cards. Because cardholders often remain personally liable for balances on small business credit cards, company expenses could outlive an organization's bankruptcy or closure.
Finding the best credit cards for business owners
Banks have customized small business credit cards for a variety of purposes. Some cards offer enhanced tracking for expense reimbursement, while others offer gas rewards and other bonuses based on specific, repeat purchases. When combined with more traditional cash rebates and rewards credit cards, small business credit cards offer company owners easy opportunities to stretch their budgets.
As companies grow, customer service plays a more important role in picking a business credit card. Over time, how rapidly a bank gets a replacement credit card to a stranded employee could be more important than just how many hotel points you might earn. Likewise, a credit card from a bank with a strong fraud investigation team can aid companies facing both internal theft and outside financial attacks. Only by balancing the value of short term promotional offers with the efficiency of a bank's operations can you discover the best credit card for your small business.