When first starting a business, many entrepreneurs begin using a personal credit card for expenses. It’s the path of least resistance.
However, once the business starts to thrive, you will garner tangible benefits from using a good business credit card — i.e., a credit card in your business name that is used strictly for business purposes.
Here are advantages that a business credit card can offer your business to help it grow and be profitable.
1. Expands Your Overall Available Credit
If you have ambitious dreams to grow your business, your growth may be stymied by using personal credit cards for business purposes.
Why? You may have less credit available for family purchases because you’ve already used that credit for business purposes — and vice versa.
Having a separate business credit card and separate personal credit card, each with its own credit limits, can give you more potential credit overall for your business and for your family.
2. Establishes Business Credit History
Having a business credit card helps you establish a separate credit history for your business.
Small businesses often get turned down for loans or get disadvantageous loan terms because they lack a credit history for their business. According to Tom Gazaway, founder and CEO of LenCred.com, “from the business owner’s perspective the importance of business credit has increased in recent years and all the indicators point to this trend continuing in the years to come as well. It does depend on the type of financing you apply for but the level of importance of business credit is clearly increasing.”
3. Access to Other Financial Products to Fuel Growth
Part of being a small business owner means constantly focusing on ways to increase the growth rate of your business.
One way to use a business credit card to help grow your business may not be obvious. If you choose a business card with a provider that has a wide range of products that serve businesses, it can be the start of a strong financial relationship.
For example, a company like Chase offers many business credit products. You can gain access to business-sized credit lines — beyond a credit card — to provide your business with more purchasing power and growth.
“Chase offers financial services that meet small business needs no matter where they are in the lifecycle of their business,” said Laura Miller, president of Ink from Chase. “The Ink business credit card offers extended working capital and simplifies the management of everyday financial transactions.”
Chase also offers some of the most innovative business tools out there such as Chase Checkout which helps you accept payments from customers whether you do business in store, online or on the go.
4. Maintains Separation of Business and Personal Expenses
If you have a corporation or LLC, it’s important to treat your company as separate from your personal financial situation. That is important in order to maintain limitation of personal liability, according to Nolo.com. If you intermingle your personal expenses and business expenses, you could ultimately lose the very legal protection you hoped to gain by incorporating or organizing a limited liability company.
Also, for tax purposes, it is best practice to keep your business expenses separated. Only business-related expenses are deductible for a business tax return or Schedule C you file. A business credit card by its very nature will keep business expenses separate.
5. Saves Times through Technology
A business credit card that offers advanced technology does a lot of the recordkeeping work for you.
It makes the process of managing your expense budget easy, with less work on your part to see exactly where you are spending and how much. It also keeps records properly identified for tax purposes, making tax time much less of a headache.
That’s why it’s important to evaluate the technology that your credit card provider offers. The right technology can dramatically minimize the manual work needed to manage your finances.
And it’s not just any old technology to consider. Make sure it’s technology designed for business owners, delivering the right information in the right way for business use.
For example, the Ink from Chase mobile app delivers advanced recordkeeping and analysis tools.
6. Allows You to Delegate Yet Control Employee Spending
As your business grows and adds employees, delegation becomes a critical skill. You want to provide your employees authority and not require them to come to you on minor decisions. However, you need control over critical things such as your business’ finances.
That’s where a business credit card like Ink from Chase is a tremendous delegation tool and management aid. Ink offers free employee cards so you can give your employees the buying power they need within the limits you want. Monitoring each card is easy with the Ink mobile app:
- Set and adjust individual spending limits on the go.
- Get instant alerts for every purchase so you know when and where they’re spending money.
- Free employee cards help you earn rewards faster.
Get more control and rewards with every employee purchase. How’s that for balancing delegation AND maintaining control?
7. Earn Valuable Rewards You Can Use the Way You Want To
Last but certainly not least, consider the rewards of your business credit card.
Most people look at the amount of the rewards they can earn. That is important, of course.
But the proof of the pudding is when it comes time to redeem and use those rewards.
Look for flexibility and ease in redeeming rewards. Is it easy to redeem them online? Can you use the rewards in a variety of ways — including cash back, travel and gift cards?
That’s how you’ll get the most out of your card’s rewards.
Find out more about Ink from Chase business credit cards, including Ink Plus and Ink Cash.
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Well it is true that business card, can definitely show a better day with its regular usage. Since it is also held as one of the best medium to enhance business growth after its utilization at every level.
Thanks for the comment, Steve. A good business credit card can definitely help a small business grow.
Yes. You get more credit if you register it as a business credit card. But there are some downsides to that as you are charged more. You have to carefully choose before deciding on having one for your business.
Actually, you aren’t necessarily charged more. That’s the good thing. With the Ink card from Chase, I happen to know there actually are a couple of different options. One has an annual fee, but the other does not. Finance rates are very competitive, too.
But I’d also say this: Every small businesses needs — I repeat, needs — a separate business credit card. If you want to run a business effectively, profitably and legally, in my opinion you must keep your business and personal finances separate. To me, a business credit card is not an option, it’s a requirement.
Find yourself a good one that offers advanced recordkeeping features to help streamline your business, good technology for efficiency’s sake, great rewards, credit cards for employees, and other benefits. And go for it!
Great post Anita- You’re right that a good credit rating will help a business but I think the most important plus point of a company credit card is control. I’ve seen one too many business owners charge expenses, business lunches and even fuel costs on their personal card and then begin pulling their hair out when it’s time to file a tax return. Having one personal and one business card will help to keep everything clean and tidy
To me what you said strikes a chord.
I credit our CFO with making us much more organized so that tax time is not nearly the headache it used to be. In years past, I would have to take a few days from my regular work just to organize our tax records to send them to our accountant to prepare the tax return.
These days, we’re up to date and organized at all times. One of the things he insisted on was to maintain strict division between personal and business credit cards and other accounts. It’s amazing how much easier everything like tax preparation seems when you’re organized — hardly seems like work at all.
I agree with the rewards portion. Aside from flight related rewards there is also cash back. I use this for my cleaning business because there are recurring supply costs every month that are paid off immediately after receiving the invoice. Saving a couple percent doesn’t seem like much of an incentive, but it adds up annually!
That’s a good point about cash back. Cash back is easier than hunting around for discounts and coupons — you get it automatically if you meet the card’s requirements.
It is important adopt modern technology. A business card will give you an extra edge in professional life.
Business credit card is the perfect option for businesses on a tight budget but need to get things done in a timely manner. It’ll give your business an edge up other businesses. Even more, it’ll give your small business exactly what you need, because these types of credit cards cater to you.
I agree that a business credit card is a good tool for small businesses. However, if you are not organised enough to pay off the balance before the interest kicks in and you leave a large balance accruing interest obviously that can be costing you a high %.