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If you have a business–or plan to start one–you should seriously consider getting a business credit card. Think about it, even if you have an informal business, like a side hustle, or freelancing, or you do contract work, you may need a business credit card. This list of the seven best benefits of a business credit card should help you understand why getting a dedicated business credit card makes so much sense.
The 7 Best Benefits of a Business Credit Card
1. Rewards for Spending
Business credit cards often pay rewards for business-related spending. You can receive cash back or accumulate points toward travel and other activities. A business credit card will typically offer enhanced rewards on select expenses and reduced rewards on all other purchases. It’s not an exaggeration to say you can be accumulating rewards each time you use the card.
They can be especially valuable in accumulating rewards related to travel. Some offer car rental loss and damage insurance, which can save you a small fortune when you rent a car. It’s also common to receive credits for certain travel expenses. Some cards also come with no foreign transaction fees, which can be a real advantage if you travel internationally for your business.
The American Express® Business Gold Card is just one example of the rewards offered by a single business credit card. It’s common for business credit cards to offer business-specific rewards, and you owe it to yourself to find the card that will be the best fit for your business.
American Express® Business Gold Card
Our Rating: 4.5
American Express® Business Gold Card
Welcome Offer (Terms Apply)
Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards® points
$420 – $1,400
19.49% – 27.49% Variable
Rewards: Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 categories where your business spends the most each billing cycle from 6 eligible categories. 1X points for other eligible purchases.
2. Sign-up Bonuses
Many business credit cards offer sign-up bonuses that can be worth hundreds of dollars. In a typical arrangement, you’ll receive a specific amount of cash or points after you spend a designated amount of money on the card after opening your account. For example, a credit card may pay $500 after you spend $5,000 in purchases within 90 days of account opening.
Ink Business Premier℠ Credit Card
Our Rating: 4.7
Earn $1,000 bonus cash back
Flex for Business variable APR: 19.49% – 27.49% Variable
Rewards: Earn up to 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase, 2.5% cash back on purchases of $5,000 or more, and 2% cash back on other eligible purchases.
The Ink Business Premier℠ Credit Card provides a real one-two punch, with both a generous sign-up bonus and ongoing rewards.
3. Building Your Business Brand
One of the most important business-building strategies is to create a business brand. That’s about presenting your business professionally and consistently.
A dedicated business credit card can help in this regard. Even if you are personally obligated on the credit card–which will usually be the case–you can order the card with only the name of your business on it. Think about how professional that will look to a vendor or other parties you do business with. You won’t get the same effect if you pay using a personal credit card that doesn’t mention the name of your business.
Using personal resources is a common practice when starting a new business. But at some point, you will need to get a designated business bank account, phone line, email address, and yes, even a credit card, in the name of your business. It makes your business look well-established and poised for growth.
4. Building Business Credit
When you first start a business, any credit involved will be personal. For example, you may use a home equity line on your home for startup capital, and a personal credit card for day-to-day expenses. But as your business grows, you will eventually want to move all business-related credit to the business itself. That will require setting up a legal business entity, like a corporation or an LLC, and building credit in the name of the business only.
Initially, you may be required to remain personally liable even on debts legally associated with your business. But since those obligations will be in the name of your business and paid by it, it will be an opportunity to build business credit. As you do, you should eventually be able to apply for credit under your business only. You will no longer need to sign on and be personally obligated.
Getting one or more business credit cards is one of the best ways to build business credit. Your payment history can be reported on business credit reports, like Dun & Bradstreet. As you build a strong business credit profile, you’ll not only be able to get financing in the name of your business but also larger amounts that will be based on the credit history and cash flow of the business itself.
You’ll need to start somewhere, and business credit cards are much easier to get than business loans. That’s exactly what makes them a good starting point for the process.
5. Employee Cards
A common benefit of business credit cards is employee cards. These are something like credit cards for authorized users on personal accounts, and they work largely the same way. Your employees will be authorized to use the cards, which are issued on the same account, but they do not own the cards, nor are they liable for payment.
One of the most obvious benefits of employee cards is that they enable your employees to make purchases and conduct business on behalf of your company. At the same time, you can set spending limits on how the cards are used. For example, you can set a dollar limit on the total amount spent by each employee, as well as limits on spending categories.
At the end of each month, you’ll have a record of what each employee has spent using the card. Since you are allowing them to use your business credit card in the process of doing their jobs, that will also eliminate the need to set up a complicated reimbursement system when employees pay out-of-pocket to conduct company business.
Business credit card companies will typically provide an unlimited number of employee cards at no additional cost to you.
Bonus benefit: While your employees are out spending using their employee cards, they’re also generating rewards that will be paid to you. You can think of it as a strategy for leveraging the credit card rewards game in your favor.
6. Separation of Business and Personal Expenses
While it’s common for new businesses to use personal credit cards for business purposes, that strategy gets complicated as your business grows beyond a few simple transactions each month. By the time you are running dozens of transactions through your credit card each month, separating which are for business and which are personal can become a certified nightmare. The differences between a business and personal credit cards are important.
By having a dedicated business credit card, you can put all your business expenses on that card, and continue using your credit card for personal expenses. That will save you time–and money if you pay an accountant to do it–by analyzing 12 months of credit card statements at the end of each year for the preparation of income tax returns and/or financial statements.
7. Ready Financing
Business loans are notoriously difficult to get, especially for new and small businesses. That’s where a good business credit card can help. They are much easier to obtain and often come with large enough credit limits to help you start or expand your business.
It’s even possible to get a business credit card with a 0% introductory APR on purchases. An example is the U.S. Bank Triple Cash Rewards Visa® Business Card
U.S. Bank Triple Cash Rewards Visa® Business Card
Our Rating: 4.5
U.S. Bank Triple Cash Rewards Visa® Business Card
19.24% – 28.24% Variable
Good to Excellent 670 – 850
Rewards: A strong cash-back credit card that offers 3% to 1% cash back depending on the purchase category.
Bonus benefit #2: When you have a business credit card and all charges on the card are for your business, interest, and fees paid on the card are tax-deductible. This may not be the case if you use a personal card that includes both business and personal expenses.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is there any benefit to having a business credit card?
Plenty! A business credit card will enable you to easily separate business expenses from personal ones, and that will be a big advantage when it comes time to prepare your income tax return.
It will also give you a credit card with the name of your business on it, to help you build your business brand. Finally, many business credit cards come with valuable benefits, like business rewards that can help improve your cash flow by reducing expenses.
Should I get a business credit card for my LLC?
You should get a business credit card for an LLC for all the same reasons you would for any other type of business entity. It will allow you to separate business and personal expenses, help you build your business brand, and allow you to take advantage of valuable business-specific rewards.
Is it better to get a business credit card or a line of credit?
It depends on what it is you hope the credit source will provide. A line of credit is usually better suited to building your business. For example, you can access the line to pay for inventory, marketing, or even business expansion.
Business credit cards will provide you with a valuable credit source for day-to-day business expenses. That can include making purchases, traveling for business, and entertaining clients.
Should You Get a Business Credit Card for Your Business?
Considering all the benefits of a business credit card, it will be to your advantage to get one of your own no matter what type of business you have or how much income it generates. If nothing else, it will enable you to keep your business and personal expenses separate, and your accountant will love you for that!
You can also take advantage of generous rewards for business expenses, a nice sign-up bonus, and an opportunity to brand your business through the credit card.