I’m pretty sure if you lived in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness in a cabin only reachable by a plane, where your nearest neighbor was over 150 miles away, you would still get a credit card offer on your doorstep every week.
Everyone over the age of 18 is constantly bombarded by personal credit cards, but as a business owner, you just might want to consider one as a tool for you small business. So let’s take a look at what a business credit card is and how it can help your small business grow.
What is a business credit card?
A business credit card is a credit card designated for business use. It works like a personal credit card, having a spending limit, but includes incentives and programs for businesses. Some of these include higher spending caps, no interest for 60 days, and high quality fraud protection.
What are the benefits of a business credit card?
Business credit cards can be a great tool for your small business. Instead of having to get a small business loan to cover small expenses, you can just you your credit card. Some benefits include:
- Business credit cards make it easier to keep track of employee expenditures and can serve as an audit trail.
- Business credit cards often offer higher spending limits than consumer credit cards.
- Business credit cards, like consumer cards, offer incentives—they are just geared toward the business
- Some business credit cards offer terms specifically designed for businesses.
What are the drawbacks of a business credit card?
While business credit cards can be useful, you can run into a lot of problems if you’re not careful. Here’s a few drawbacks to a business credit card:
- You aren’t protected from arbitrary-feeling/surprise rate increases. Not only can business card lenders raise the interest rate at any time they want, they can also apply the new rate to older charges—something they can’t do with a consume credit card. That being said, there are business credit cards that offer the same protections afforded to consumers with the CARD Act to business customers, so it’s important to make sure you understand all the terms before you accept any of the myriads of credit card offers you receive in the mail.
- Don’t expect a consistent billing cycle. The CARD Act requires consumers get their statement at least 21 days before the payment is due. Not so with business cards. What’s more, the payment date doesn’t need to fall on the same day of the month either. You really need to pay attention to when the payment is due the day the statement arrives. Earlier in my entrepreneurial career, I learned this the hard way.
- There are NO caps on late fees. Consumers all share a cap of $25 or the minimum payment, but business card holders can be charged a lot more. There isn’t a limit on over-limit fees either. In fact, the over-limit fees can cost more than the charges themselves.
Where can I get one?
There is a myriad of options for finding a business credit card. As with any financial decision, make sure you do your research and choose responsibly. Look at the different incentives offered, and find the best option that fits your business.
Here at Lendio, we carry a lot of small business loan options for business owners. Some of those are business credit cards. You can signup with Lendio to see your options.