Need to purchase inventory or equipment for your business? Having no luck getting approved for a business loan? A business credit card is a common way to fund all sorts of business expenses. But, before applying for a card, be sure you’ve done the research to ensure that you’ve selected the right one. Keep reading for tips on how to compare business credit cards to find the top option for your business needs.
Assess Your Needs
According to the Small Business Association, most business owners open a credit card account without first knowing how they plan to use the card. Not having a plan can lead to financial issues down the roads, including high fees and an unpaid balance.
To prevent future financial issues, look at your finances. Figure out what you plan to use the credit card for and how much you can afford to pay each month. As a business owner, finding a no maximum card may be best for extending your buying power.
Rewards & Perks
One of the biggest incentives in choosing a business credit card is the rewards program. Most business credit cards offer some sort of cash-back or points based system in which you can buy airfare or book hotel stays at a discounted price, or for free. Since each card has its own reward system, it’s important to think about what you’ll be using the card for the most.
For example, if you travel a lot in order to market your company or to meet with global customers, you’re better off choosing a card that offers cash back on airline purchases or a card that allows you to earn points towards travel expenses like flights, hotel stays, or rental cars. There are tons of travel-based cards that will allow you to benefit from your travel expenses.
Or maybe your company needs to purchase all new office IT equipment. There are plenty of cards that offer cash-back perks on office hardware as well as software. Who can complain about getting rewarded for their purchases?
Before settling for a specific card, know what you plan to use it for and find the one that rewards you for your purchases.
APR & Spending Habits
Not only do you need to know how you plan to use the card, you also need to examine your spending habits before making a decision. If you plan to carry a balance each month, you’ll want to find a card that has a lower annual percentage. It’s also beneficial to find a card that offers an extremely low or even 0% interest rate for the first year. This allows you to carry a balance without having to worry about added interest.
If you’re one of those people who pay off your cards full in each month, finding a card with a longer grace period may be more fitting. This way you have more time to pay the total amount without facing penalties or fees.
Know the Terms
Reading the fine print is crucial when finding the best business credit card for you. For example, if you travel outside of the country for business needs, you’ll want to find a card that doesn’t have a foreign transaction fee. While the fee may be low, it’s still money that could be going towards something else.
Other terms to be aware of include:
- Getting extra cards for employees
- Setting spending limits
- Spending monitoring
- Late payment penalties
By knowing the full details of the cards you’re considering, you can make the wisest decision for your business.
One of the most notable fees associated with business credit cards is the annual fee. These fees are sometimes waived the first year but most companies have fees that are at least $95 annually. For some, the annual fee is well worth the low interest rate or awesome rewards. In general, business credit cards that require an annual fee often have higher signup bonuses and higher rewards rates which offsets the cost. The good news is that some companies give a 30-day grace period to pay the annual fee without any charges.
Know the Difference Between Credit & Charge Cards
Though some may think these terms are interchangeable, a credit card and a charge card are too different things. A credit card allows you to roll your balance over month to month. On the other hand, the balance on a charge card must be paid in full within the set timeframe. This card is for highly disciplined business owners who have the cash flow to pay off their balance within a few months.
With so many business credit cards to choose from, it can be hard to decide on just one. Keep the above factors in mind to steer yourself in the right credit direction. What features or perks do you find most attractive when choosing a business credit card? Leave us a comment in the section below.