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Many of the credit cards currently on the market that are geared toward business carry rewards and benefits that are just as great — and sometimes better — than the personal credit cards that are out there, including huge sign-up bonuses, category spending bonuses, and tons of other perks. However, many people seem hesitant to apply for them, though, or might not realize they’re eligible to, so today we’re going to look at the top reasons why you should take advantage of business credit cards.
1. You Don’t Need a Large Business to Get One
This seems to trip up a lot of people who think that you need an incorporated business with its own Federal ID number in order to apply for a business credit card. While you should aim to use your business credit card for business-related expenses, each credit card company has a different threshold for what information they require for someone to get a business card.
Some, like Amex, are very flexible. Chase is generally the toughest, often requiring proof of your business, including government EIN and business checking account information. However, many small businesses start out as simple DBAs (Doing Business As), which simply denotes a business name used by a person or entity that is different from the person’s or entity’s true name. So if you start a small eBay business and want to keep those finances separate from your personal expenses, it would be conceivable that you’d want a business credit card.
If you’re starting a small company as a sole proprietorship, you can just provide your Social Security number when asked for EIN and usually that suffices. In most cases you don’t need any paperwork to form a sole proprietorship, you simply become one by doing business.
2. Business Credit Cards Don’t Sit on Your Personal Report
I want to start by clarifying that you do get a 2-5 point hit on your personal credit score when you apply for a business credit card, since banks use your personal credit report to assess your creditworthiness and these cards are still personally guaranteed. However, other than this initial credit inquiry, the business line of credit sits separately from your personal credit line so your utilization ratio and other factors shouldn’t affect your personal credit score.
This is good if you run big balances on your business cards, since it won’t artificially damage your personal credit score. Just be careful, because if you default on a business credit card, expect the issuer to come after you personally since they are guaranteed by your personal credit.
3. Keeping Expenses Separate
It’s easy to shove all of your expenses, personal and business, onto the same credit card for convenience’s sake, but it’s important to keep your personal expenditures separate from your business ones — especially when tax season draws nigh. Having a separate business credit card makes tracking expenses easy and you’ll pay less in accounting fees if your accountant doesn’t have to sort through personal vs. business expenses (plus it’s easier to get everything straightened out if you ever get audited by the IRS).
4. Double-Dip On Welcome Bonuses
5. Access Different Bonus Categories
- Airfare purchased from airlines
- US purchases for advertising in select media
- US purchases for shipping
- US purchases at gas stations
- US purchases at restaurants
- US purchases made from select technology providers
You also have the Ink Business Preferred Card, which offers 3x on your first $150,000 in combined purchases in the following categories:
- Travel, including airfare, hotels, rental cards, train tickets and taxis
- Shipping purchases
- Internet, cable and phone services
- Advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines
6. Business Perks
Simply put, business owners have different needs than consumers do. Many banks offer some form of transaction or expense management on business credit cards to help keep you organized, and some even offer free employee cards, which can help you rack up rewards even faster. You’ll also find a number of cards with great purchase protection and return protection, so your business won’t be financially responsible if you buy expensive products that are lost or damaged.
7. More Types of Cards
8. Establishing a Business Credit History
9. More Spending Power
Business credit cards often come with higher lines of credit, which is how many small businesses get off the ground. Just remember, especially with business charge cards, you need to pay the bill off in full every month or else you’ll incur huge fees, which will likely negate the value of the points/miles accrued.
You might think that your business is in the early days and you don’t absolutely need a credit card. Still, business credit cards can provide important benefits to your company, including rewards for free travel, expense management and credit to grow your business. While you could get by in your personal life using a debit card or cash, leveraging the right credit card provides so many more benefits.
Featured photo by Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash.
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WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION: $1,600
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 in combined spending on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
- Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases–with no limit to the amount you can earn
- Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more – your points don't expire as long as your account is open
- No foreign transaction fees
- Employee cards at no additional cost
- $95 Annual Fee