How to Get a Business Credit Card

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How to get a business credit card?

Small business owners work quite hard to stay afloat in the commercial sector. Like large corporations, they provide excellent goods and services, keep meticulous records, and maintain high quality customer service to keep their customers coming back. A lot of start-ups pay for the expense of opening their doors with personal credit cards. However, there are credit cards available for small businesses to use to get a company established and for support beyond the early years.

There are a number of common misconceptions about the ability to acquire a business credit card.

  • One mistaken notion is that a company must have a certain number of employees to qualify.
  • Another is that the company is required to report a minimum amount of revenue to apply.

Actually, the size of a company has nothing to do with whether it counts as a business. In fact, credit cards for small businesses can help keep a fledgling business open and growing.

Tips on Getting a Credit Card for Small-Business

Business Credit Card vs Personal Credit Card

Personal credit cards come with many advantages whether they are used for business expenses or personal purchases. Bonuses, rewards, cash back, and spending limit increases are among the reasons some small business owners utilize their personal cards for business expenses. However, the advantages of maintaining a separate business credit account far outweigh personal credit card use benefits. Among the reasons a company should use a business credit card:

1. To keep track of business expenses. Using a personal credit card makes it difficult to maintain a proper record of business purchases and expenses. This could cause accounting problems, especially when it comes to filing taxes.

2. Higher credit limits. Business credit cards typically offer high credit limits in order to accommodate monthly business expenses or large purchases. Separate interest plus payments become very expensive for a small business owner that uses several personal cards to pay for a large expense. This could place their personal credit score at risk.

3. Professional appearance and branding. Vendors and other companies tend to take businesses with their own cards more seriously. While they won’t exactly turn down payment with a personal card, a business credit card reflects credibility, just like a well-done business card or company website domain.

4. Employee credit card distribution. Business credit card companies offer the option of providing multiple cards to several users which are all associated with one account. It is possible to authorize another user on some personal credit cards, but they do not allow several accounts for different people on an individual account.

5. They avoid the risk of running short. If a personal credit card is also used for business, there is a possibility that a personal purchase may not leave enough on the card to meet a sudden business expense.

What ventures are considered as a business that would qualify for a business credit card? Companies like corporations and LLC’s qualify for business credit of course, but the main qualification for a small business is that it is run for profit. This means there is no minimum number of employees or income requirement to apply. 

Independent contractors, freelancers, or online retailers can all be considered small businesses. Any profitable enterprise that makes a profit which is reported on a tax return or social security number can be identified as a small business and apply for a business credit card. 

How to apply for a business credit card?

How to Qualify for a Small-Business Credit Card?

The worst mistake a small business owner can make on a credit card application is to fudge the numbers. It is a common error that is made out of fear the card will be denied because revenue is low. Lenders are well aware that new businesses need credit to help them to grow; low numbers in the first year do not come as a shock. However, if a lender sees that a borrower has lied, they will deny the application for sure. 

Other suggestions for small businesses to get credit card approval:

Start-up companies that have not yet earned income should disclose that information. The amount of income that is expected to be earned should be expressed as an estimated figure of projected earnings.

An initial small business credit card application is based on the owner’s personal credit. It will be evaluated using income and credit score. Small business owners with poor credit should work to improve their score before applying for a business card.

Applicants should include their business revenue and personal income on the first application since their personal credit serves to initially back up the business credit.

Lenders don’t require small business owners to have a personal credit card to get approved. If personal credit is good with verifiable revenue or income, chances for getting a credit card are good. Use of a business credit card is mutually beneficial. Most banks welcome new business owners in order to help them grow into larger companies that will need to borrow more money down the road. 

Credit Rating Boost

There are many other reasons small companies use business credit cards. In addition to serving as a more effective way to manage finances, a credit card is a means to conserve cash reserves while still remaining in a position to buy equipment and other business necessities. Additionally, annual fees for business credit cards are typically nominal.

Here are some business credit card options that can help increase your credit score rating, plus offer welcome bonus points and membership rewards!

Just like personal credit cards, achieving success with credit cards for small businesses depends upon using them responsibly. Best use practices result in a credit score increase at a faster pace than with a personal credit card. Timely payments, preferably the entire balance or more than the minimum each month, demonstrates responsible credit use to lenders. Small business owners should do business with suppliers that report business transactions to credit bureaus to add credit score points.

Business Card Perks

Business credit cards offer plenty of incentives to customers who use them. Most perks are business related, such as business supply outlet discounts and business travel. They also offer cash back and points just like personal credit cards. Some of the latest customer rewards used to entice small business owners to use credit cards includes:

  • Discounted and free airline tickets and hotel stays
  • Sign-up bonuses worth $1,000 or more
  • Higher purchase protection limits with expensive company purchases
  • Rewards for paying for advertising using the card
  • Free cell phone insurance if phone bill is paid with the card

Another advantage of having a business credit card is that the amount charged does not become a part of the owner’s personal credit. After the initial credit inquiry, any big balances on the business card don’t affect the personal credit utilization ratio on the personal credit report.

Of greatest importance in the use of any type of credit is how the card is used. Credit cards issued to small businesses should be managed carefully. Consequences including late fees, penalties, and negative credit reporting occur with misuse. Like personal credit cards, it is best to avoid cash advances because of the high interest and fees charged. Limiting the business to a few cards is a good practice in order to reduce extra credit inquires and high debt.

Small business owners just starting out may think a company credit card is unnecessary. But even new companies can receive benefits and perks, along with expense management, to help the business to grow. Over time, building good business credit becomes a calling card to opportunities that produce the leverage needed to advance a small business into a thriving empire.

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Sheila Kay

Sheila Kay is an author, ghostwriter and editor residing in the Atlanta, GA area. Among her favorite writing genres are creative nonfiction, self-improvement, and finances. Her first published book, PTSD and the Undefeated Me, is a memoir which has been a stepping stone to her involvement with mental health advocacy for military and civilian men and women. She is currently working on the first fiction novel to be published under her name. For more information or to purchase her books, visit Sheila’s Author Page on Amazon.com.

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