There are many financial tools available for growing companies, and credit cards may be the most versatile and rewarding. In a given year, 37% of businesses rely on them to meet their capital needs. Since there are so many options on the market, however, deciding can be a challenge. Should a business owner pick one based on interest rates? Perks? An existing relationship with their bank? Learn what savvy companies are asking when deciding on the best business credit card for their unique needs.
Cash-strapped companies may genuinely need the extra financial cushion that a credit card can provide. A popular alternative to loans and grants, credit cards are often easier to get than traditional lines of credit, as they rarely require collateral or liquid securities. If you’ll be using a credit card to fund a project that will take a while to pay off, look for a card with an attractive intro rate during a low or no-interest promotional period that allows you to take your time with repayment.
If liquidity isn’t your main concern, consider a card that has a higher APR, but gives you ample rewards for your loyalty. Many of today’s business lenders offer a variety of “thank you” options for using their card above others. Whether you want to earn airline miles, get cash back on everyday purchases, or redeem points for business supplies, the options are nearly limitless. Put in the time to compare options so you end up with the right rewards.
One outstanding benefit of using a business credit card is financial management and planning. Using the same issuing bank for all of your business spending — and that of your employees — gives you a detailed account of every purchase made, categories used most and opportunities to save. Many of today’s cards come standard with innovative reporting options, helping you see trends in your spending and making year-end reporting and tax filing a breeze. Take advantage of the financial tools your business card offers and you just might make your accountant’s job a bit easier this year.
Finally, credit cards are another tool that can help you get a better overall level of service from your current financial institution. If you already have a business mortgage, credit card processing or business vehicle loans with one lender, inquire about the types of credit cards they might be willing to give you — an already invested customer. Banks are eager to get all of a company’s financial business and may be able to offer terms or promotional rates that aren’t generally advertised to the public. Bundling an improvement loan with your credit card processing, for example, may open up doors to that perk-perfect platinum card at a reduced annual feel or higher reward rate than you would have qualified for otherwise.
Today’s best business credit card may not be the right tool for your business spending tomorrow, and with card companies becoming increasingly competitive, it’s OK to leave your options open for using a different card down the road. Some companies will notice that your spending has fallen off with them and use an enticing offer to bring you back. Use these proposals as an opportunity to discuss the things you want in a card — and ask for them. Whether you’re hoping to knock your interest rate down a point or two, or you want to get the next level of service without paying extra annual fees, many banks are open to chatting about the ways they can work to keep you throughout the lifecycle of your business.
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