Many business owners would likely agree that being successful is directly associated with acquiring the right business tools and using them the right way. Certain business tools are essential for any industry, mostly because they are designed to help you manage your finances. One example is a business credit card. According to the Small Business Administration, approximately 65% of small businesses use business credit cards to cover vital business expenses such as office supplies and technology. It’s safe to say that number would likely be a lot higher if the world of business credit cards wasn’t so vast and intimidating. Having so many options to choose from makes it difficult to learn exactly why you need a business credit card and how to use them to your advantage.
Like any important business endeavor, it’s best to start by collecting basic information. Here are five things you might not know about business credit cards:
A great deal of business owners apply for business credit cards solely for their spending limit. In most cases, the spending limit for someone’s business credit card is higher than his or her personal credit card. For these business owners, this is the only benefit they needed to stoke their interest in applying. It’s also one of the myriad reasons new business owners are constantly urged to separate personal and business finances. Relying on your personal credit card to manage cash flow or make large purchases significantly restricts your ability to do either.
Business credit is not the only thing you can track more accurately with business credit cards. Many business credit cards allow you to consolidate and track business expenses as well. The expenses you choose to finance with a business credit card are reported online. And at the end of the year, you would receive an annual report that provides a clear picture of spending patterns and helps you categorize different expenses that can or cannot be written off for tax season.
Bookkeeping in general is said to be much easier with business credit cards that track expenses, as is making purchases with business partners. Once a vendor or supplier has your credit card number, minimal effort is required on your part whenever you need to place an order.
You may have observed that credit card vendors have gotten increasingly competitive with their points systems as of late. At this point, they’ve gotten so competitive that some cards now give you two, three or even five points for every dollar you spend. When comparing cards that offer bonus points versus straight cash-back, the former will almost always save you and/or offer you more money. If your business credit card offers you three points for every dollar and you spend $30,000, that’s 90,000 points. When redeemed, this will come out to at least $900, which is a very impressive 3% return (anything over 1% is considered strong).
In the past, the only business leaders that reaped substantial benefits from points systems were frequent fliers (you should see what kind of rewards frequent fliers can get today). But due to the aforementioned increase in competition, business credit card vendors have begun offering points systems for various other types of business expenses. For example, many businesses currently spend tens of thousands of dollars on advertising per month. Well, some credit card vendors took notice and now offer bonus points for ad spending. The key to finding the right business credit card for you is often researching which options offer the best rewards for your spending habits. That could be wireless phone service, gasoline, etc.
While business credit cards are undeniably necessary for young businesses, they are not the only type of debt financing available to such businesses. There’s a common misconception that, if you have little credit history, business credit cards are always easier to qualify for than a small business loan or business line of credit. This is only true if you are applying through a commercial bank. Companies like United Capital Source, on the other hand, regularly approve business lines of credit, revenue based business loans and credit card processing loans for applicants with poor or little credit history.
Some expenses or investments are better financed by one of these options than a business credit card. You can usually tell by the interest rates, potential for rewards/bonus points and the likelihood of a similar expense or investment arising again in the near future.
It’s understandable to be confused about business credit cards or other types of debt financing. You don’t have to be an expert about either topic to run a successful business. That’s why a central mission of United Capital Source is to educate potential clients with completely non-biased information about all things credit. So, if you’re not sure which option works best for a certain situation, you can trust that
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