Owning a business can entail a myriad of financial transactions — many of which may require more cash than you have on hand. For that and other reasons, it can be a wise move to apply for a business credit card.
In this article, we’ll discuss 10 reasons why using a business credit card could be favorable for your company.
Why Get a Business Credit Card?
There are several reasons to get a business credit card. And the good news is that you typically don’t need an incorporated business or brick-and-mortar store to apply for one! While requirements vary by each credit card company, but you may only be required to provide a Social Security number in order to qualify.
Some of the primary benefits of having a company card can include:
1. Access to Cash Flow and Financial Flexibility
Ample cash flow is typically a key priority for business owners, regardless of the size of the company. But having a business credit card can make it much more convenient to keep your expenses in check.
Also, because business credit cards can be much easier to obtain than a traditional loan or line of credit, they can provide a simple way to purchase the equipment, supplies, or inventory that you need.
In many ways, business credit cards can provide you with more advantages over personal credit cards. For example, business cards will oftentimes not only have higher spending limits than personal cards, but these higher limits can make it much easier to make large company-related purchases that you may not be able to make using a personal credit card.
2. Separation of Personal and Business Expenses
If you own a small company or are a solopreneur, having a business credit card can make it easy for you to separate your personal and business expenses.
Not only can this save you time on a monthly basis, but having 2 separate statements can also make it convenient for record-keeping and completing your annual tax return.
Some business credit cards will even offer online tools that can assist you with tracking your expenses — much easier than saving a year’s worth of invoices and receipts in a physical file! They often have special export functions that make it simple to transfer relevant information to QuickBooks or other account software.
On top of that, being able to access your business’s spending records at a moment’s notice can also help to speed up financial transactions, too, and could even allow you to take advantage of opportunities — such as purchasing property and/or inventory — more quickly.
Hot Tip: Speaking of keeping expenses separate, you should also keep your business revenue separate by opening a business checking account — you could even get a business checking and business credit card from the same bank. For example, Chase offers great business credit cards and business checking accounts.
3. Points, Cash-Back, or Other Rewards
Just like with personal credit cards, business cards will often offer points, cash-back, or other nice perks — including hefty sign-up bonuses!
For instance, if you have a business credit card that offers travel credits (such as Amex or Chase’s business cards), you could earn discounted (or even free!) airline tickets and hotel stays. This, in turn, can help keep your out-of-pocket expenses down.
Hot Tip: If you’re not sure where to start, check out our guide to points and miles for business owners.
4. Large Credit or Spending Limit
Often, business credit cards will offer higher credit or spending limits than personal credit cards do. In fact, in some cases, the limits can be in excess of $50,000 or $100,000! The higher limits on business credit cards allow you to make purchases that may not have been possible using only the cash your company has on hand.
Hot Tip: Don’t miss our piece on how to maximize rewards from your business purchases!
5. Opportunity to Boost Your Credit Rating (While Not Impacting Personal Credit)
Having a business credit card — and paying off the balance regularly — can help quickly boost your business credit rating, provided that the vendors and suppliers you work with report transactions to the credit bureaus.
While business credit cards are still backed by you, a business line of credit is completely separate from your personal credit line. This matters because your utilization ratio and other factors shouldn’t affect your personal credit score.
6. Establish a Business Credit Score
While you might need a high personal credit score to get a business credit card in the first place, your spending and payment habits on the business credit card will directly impact your business’s credit rating.
If you’d like to apply for loans or new lines of credit for your business in the future, banks will look at your business credit score when determining the terms it will offer. For example, the higher your business credit score and the more established your existing line of credit are, the better rate and repayment terms you’ll get.
In addition, while you may want to collect a variety of business credit cards, it is best if you only apply for those cards that fit your specific situation and objectives. This is because, similar to personal credit cards, having too many credit card inquiries may show up as a negative on your company’s credit report.
7. Control of Employee Spending
If your business has employees who travel, make purchases of inventory or supplies, or have other responsibilities that require them to spend company money, a business credit card can help you to keep tabs on exactly what they are buying, and how much they are spending.
You could also set spending limits for employee cardholders, based on the amount of credit that is available to spend on the card. Many credit card carriers will offer business credit cards free (i.e., with no annual fee) to a company’s employees.
8. Business Perks
If you have a business credit card that offers rewards, these perks may be business-related, such as discounts on business travel, shipping, and business supplies.
Depending on your company’s particular needs, you may even get a credit card that offers rewards on advertising purchases, which could mean more exposure — and ultimately more customers — for your business.
The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is a rewards card that we put a lot of advertising costs for this site on as it earns 3 Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines.
Hot Tip: Having a company credit card with business perks can make for a win-win situation, as you could essentially “save” money while spending it.
Some of the business credit cards that offer a variety of perks for business-related needs can be found below:
Recommended Chase Business Cards
Recommended Amex Business Cards
9. Business Cards Not Subject to Personal Card Limits
Some banks limit the number of cards you can open within a certain time frame. For example, you can only have 5 credit cards open at any 1 time with American Express, whereas Chase only allows you to open 5 cards within a 24 month period.
However, these limits don’t typically apply to business credit cards, allowing you a chance to further expand your credit card portfolio. This means you get access to more cards, more welcome bonuses, and a higher overall credit limit.
10. Higher Limit Purchase Protection
A business credit card with a higher spending limit may provide you with the ability to make larger purchases, as well as offer higher limit purchase protection. While personal credit cards will oftentimes provide this type of benefit as well, business credit cards can actually cover more expensive purchases. This can give you added peace of mind when making larger, company-related expense commitments.
In addition to higher purchase protection limits, you’ll also find cards that offer extended warranties, so your business won’t be financially responsible if your purchases are faulty or malfunction.
Qualifying and Applying for a Business Credit Card
There are several different ways that your company can qualify and get approved for a business credit card that we cover in our extensive guide. Even if you’re a very small company (or self-employed) it’s still very possible and typically doesn’t require much (if any) paperwork to get approved.
Using a business credit card can offer a number of nice advantages — including the “clout” it can show when you use a card with your company’s name embossed on it vs. paying only with cash or check.
The best business credit card for you will depend on a number of factors, such as the size of your company, your priorities — such as cash-back, rewards, travel, etc. — and the amount of credit limit that you need.
Before you commit to a particular card, be sure that you spend some time reviewing all of its attributes, including the spending limit, purchase protection, online account access, rewards, annual fee, interest rate, sign-up bonuses, and any other features it may have.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, click here.