04/11/18

Fact or Fiction: Can You Really Fund a Startup Business With Credit Cards?

One of the biggest rumors floating around the internet is that credit cards are not a good way to fund a startup business. This is absolutely not true!

For businesses that have been operating for three or more years, there may be a lot of options to find business financing. Perhaps you have 20 percent saved up to put down as a capital contribution on an SBA loan. Maybe you have an IRA that you want to legally roll over to get your business up and running. Startup business loans can be a lot harder to find. How can you possibly have a chance of starting the next big food truck in town, a cool new restaurant, or a successful cleaning service if you have no assets or cash flow yet?

This is where both personal and business credit cards are not only not a bad option, but perhaps the only real option you have to get your business off the ground. Here are the three main reasons why business and personal credit cards can help you fund the startup of your dreams:

Zero percent credit cards are almost too good to be true. Imagine you need a $12,000 piece of equipment to run your business. That is a lot of money to put down on day one of starting a business. Maybe you have hesitated for years to invest this much right off the bat. But if you get a zero interest credit card for, say, 12 months, you simply pay the credit card company $1,000 a month for a year and the equipment is now owned outright by your business.

The benefit of this scenario is that not only are you getting an interest-free loan, you did not have to fill out a loan application and wait months for the bank to accept or deny you. It’s simple to apply for credit cards online, and within a week or less, you have access to the capital you need to start your new venture equipped for success.

If a credit card with zero interest isn’t enough of a benefit, there are other rewards for using credit cards such as cash back and miles. Don’t believe people who say you cannot use a personal credit card for business purposes. You will have the most success applying for credit cards if you get a few different ones: perhaps one business credit card and two to three personal credit cards.

For starters, maybe one credit card company will only give you a credit limit of $5,000 and you might need more money than that to start your business. If you get a card from, say, Chase Bank, Discover, and Capital One, you could have immediate access to $25,000 to $45,000. Now, you don’t have to spend all of that money right away. That is another reason to use credit cards: you may use and pay back only what you need to use to get the business off the ground.

Cash back credit cards are the most common types of cards and the simplest to understand. Whenever you make a purchase on your credit card, you get a percentage of that purchase back in the form of cash. Usually it is 1.5%.

There are also rotating categories where the credit card company will pay you between 3% and 5% when you make purchases on Amazon, for example. This might not sound like a lot of money, but it can be a few hundred or even thousand dollars in your pocket per year, depending on how much money you are spending on your business.

Earning miles is another reward option. By putting all of your business expenses on a few of these credit cards every year, you can get a trip for your family for free. Or, you can use the miles to travel for business. When you put all of your business expenses on your credit card, you can get thousands of dollars in free flights per year.

Managing cash flow is one of the biggest struggles that new business owners face. Oftentimes new businesses know they will be able to garner sales and grow, but they need money to hold them over in the short term. With credit cards this is no longer a problem for new businesses.

Suppose you buy inventory today which costs $10,000, but the inventory takes 30 days to sell out. If you put the cost of the inventory on a credit card, you don’t have to shell out all of that money before you have sold it.

The Bottom Line

Credit cards are an easy way to get an unsecured line of credit for your business and should definitely be a part of any new businesses funding plan. Even if you are able to get a loan from the SBA, successfully use crowdfunding, or get money from your friends and family, why not also use credit cards to take advantage of all of these benefits?

Whether it’s using a zero interest credit card to make a big purchase without taking out a loan, reaping the benefits of cash back or miles rewards, or being able to easily manage the cash flow of your business, the bottom line is that business credit cards are good for your bottom line. For more information, visit www.seekcapital.com.

It takes a little cash to change the world.

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