Best Business Credit Cards For 2018

Business credit is often a lifeline that helps business owners manage cash flow and keep their doors open. For business owners that are trying to rely on their business for qualifying for a line of credit, financing or a business credit card versus their own personal finances, the first step is to verify if they have and business credit file with Dunn and Bradrtreet. A business credit rating is different that a traditional fico score and will influence the ability of the business owner to obtain loans or credit. The good news for small business owners searching for a business credit card is that they can choose between a wide range of card options in 2017. Some cards offer business owners cash back, reward and perks that can be used to offset future purchases or generate cash back to be used for business purposes.

Top Rated Business Credit Cards

AMexBusinessSimplyCash SimplyCash® Business Credit Card Top rated for small business owners. The card features a spectacular zero percent interest rate for the first 9 months. An impressive 1% cash back on all credit card purchases, plus additional percentages on select retail stores and even more for wireless and office product purchases. The card also offers a limited time Welcome Offer, earn a $100 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on your card within the first 3 months of card membership.

amex_blue_bizBlue for Business® Credit Card Features a welcome offer that includes 10,000 bonus points following first purchase during first three months of card activation. Zero percent interest rate on all purchases during first 9 months following card activation. This membership rewards points card offers one point for all eligible purchases and up to two points on select travel purchases. This AMEX business card also features no annual membership fee.

Gold_Delta_skyMiles Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card Top rated for business travel credit cards. Another super card fro American Express offering a spectacular limited time welcome offer if you spend $5,000 on purchases during the first ninety days, you have the potential of earning up to 50,000 bonus miles. You can earn 1 point on every dollar spent, with additional points for select categories. It’s important to note this is a charge card and needs to be paid in full every month.

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Spark Cash Back Rewards – Capital One
This is a fantastic card for small business owners who enjoy the perks of a cash back credit card.
Earn 2% cash back with Spark Cash, or choose another cash back card option with great rates, rewards, and benefits. There is an opportunity to earn between $200-$500 in extra bonus cash. All Capital One cards offer free credit score monitoring.

Spark Miles Rewards – Capital One
For business travelers and small business owners who like the option of a miles based credit card, this featured card from Capital One is worth considering for sure in 2017. Earn 2X miles rewards with Spark Miles, or see if Spark Miles Select is right for you, with 1.5X miles on every purchase for your business and no annual fee.

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard®

The offer for a great business card from Citi is backed by Mastercard and accepted in millions of locations worldwide. The card offers some impressive promotions for small business owners in 2016, including an amazing bonus miles offer. For a limited time, earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

Ink Business Preferred Card – Chase

Quickly gaining popularity as one of the top business card offers in 2018! This card is loaded with perks, including a zero percent interest rate for the first 12 months. Earn 3X points for spending on certain categories in 2017. Earn 80,000 Bonus Points if you accumulate over $5,000 in purchases during
the first 3 months after account opening.*

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Business Credit Resources

NACM
D and B
Experian
Equifax
Entrepreneuer Small Business Finance Guide
Lexis Nexis 

These days, small business is big business. With over 500,000 new small businesses being created each year in the US alone, more organizations are starting to take notice, offering up customized solutions to help these entrepreneurs grow and manage their business. Recently, banks, credit unions and other credit card issuers have been rapidly expanding their offerings for small business.

As an entrepreneur or small business owner you likely have a few credit cards on hand to pay for small ongoing expenses like office supplies, and perhaps even one or two that suffices for short term financing or stop gaps in cash flow.

Small business credit cards can help you to separate business from personal expenses, and to better manage, allocate and track spending (a major plus come tax time). But with dozens of options to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start.

This guide will help walk you thru this process, helping you to identify and prioritize key features and aspects of these cards that are the most well-suited to the operations and goals of your business. For example, we’ll look into annual fees, interest rates, rewards programs, the ability to add multiple employees, overall flexibility and more.

But first, why are small business CC’s important to consider?

When used with caution and planning, SMB credit cards can offer a fast, convenient and hassle free way to finance small expenditures or gaps in cash flow. For entrepreneurs, this can sometimes mean the difference between continuing operations or closing up shop.

In fact, credit cards are a heavily utilized financial tool for SMBs, with around 31% of all small businesses having used a credit card in the last twelve months to assist in covering a financial shortfall (NSBA, 2012).

Further, small business charge cards can often help a small business owner develop financial discipline. By utilizing CCs for short periods of time, and paying the balance off inside of the 30-day window (prior to heavy fees), entrepreneurs can take advantage of their flexibility whilst also developing strategies to pay them off on time.

How to Choose the Best Small Business Credit Card

In many ways, selecting a credit card for your small business is much like choosing a personal CC, taking into consideration a number of the same aspects and features. However, the reasoning behind WHY you need the card and how it will be used is often very different. As such, one feature that would be great for your personal life, might not be a good fit at all for your business. For example, you may need the ability to add employees to your card under the same account.

As we work thru this guide, you’ll learn about the ins and outs of finding the right credit card for your company.

Identifying Which Card Type is Right for You

If you’re reading this, that means you’ve likely got some things in mind which you hope to accomplish with a Small biz CC. Being goal oriented is a great way to approach finding the right card for you. Let’s start with writing down the top three things you hope to accomplish by adding a SMB credit card to your financial arsenal. List those by order of most to least importance, and use this list as a test against the following sections of this guide, taking notes on which feature is best for each goal as you progress thru this article.

Small Business or Corporate Cards…which is right for me?

Before digging in deep, let’s first look at the actual “types” of cards available to consider.

  1. Small Business Cards – in many ways, these resemble personal CCs. In order to qualify, an issuer will look at your personal credit history. Additionally, many of the top               issuers have robust rewards programs connected to these cards, or an equivalent cash   back program. These cards range from zero fee to tiered fee structures. Because issuers do not look at your business history or credit rating, these cards are often popular with start-ups that don’t yet have a financial history for their company.  The downside is that you place your personal credit rating on the line in the even that  you fall behind on payments.
  1. Corporate Cards – In contrast to personal and SMB cards, issuers of corporate CC’s look at the finances and credit rating of your corporation. This can be an attractive option for companies that have an established financial history. Because the card is in the name of your corporation, the owner/entrepreneur is not personally liable for financial debts and any failure to pay will not affect their personal credit rating. Further,             you are entitled additional protection against increased APRs. One downside as compared to personal credit cards is that issuers do not have any legal restrictions with regards to when they can increase APRs.

Zero-Interest Credit Cards

Zero-interest sounds great right?! Sure does, but it isn’t all rainbows and sunshine. Most cards have a few catches that you’ll want to be aware of. Here are a few things to look out for with these seemingly “no brainer” options:

  • 0% introductory rates that increase after a grace period
  • High annual fees
  • Lack of rewards, cash back or other programs
  • Limited features or a high number of restrictions
  • Limitations such as 0% up to $X dollars per billing period

Low-Interest Credit Cards

Just like with your personal CC’s, it is typically advisable for a small business to carry as little debt as possible month-to-month. But if you have to do so, why not use a card with a lower interest rate.

Low interest small business credit cards are a great option that can help you overcome financial shortfalls without worrying about getting hit with high fees. They also offer a great opportunity for you to intentionally carry some balance in order to quickly pay it off and build up your credit rating.

The best low-interest small business credit cards offer low interest in two ways:

  • 0% (or low interest) on purchases during promotional periods; or
  • 0% interest offered on balances you transfer from one card to this new one

Another benefit of these lower interest cards is that they are often moderately generous with rewards programs

Rewards Cards for your Small Business

Speaking of rewards cards! Small businesses tend to have a few key categories they spend money on consistently each month.

For example, if you have a large outside sales team or logistics company you may run into large gas expenses each month. Conversely, if you manage 100 IT professionals you may be hit with high office supplies costs.

As such, you can plan your reward card decisions around the cards that offer the best reward rates for the items that are most important to your business. Be sure to pay close attention to where you spend your money (some stores are excluded, while others might offer even higher reward rates).

Some typical reward categories include:

  • Car rentals, airlines, hotels and misc travel
  • Gas
  • Office supplies
  • Utilities

Cashback Cards for your Small Business

In general, if you are looking for incentivized cards, rewards cards will yield the most overall value so long as you can find the right card to match your spending habits. However, the next best in the herd would be a “cash back small business credit card”.

These are especially helpful if your spending habits don’t match up well with available rewards programs, or if your spending habits fluctuate greatly month to month. In such cases, a card that offers a standard cash back amount might be the best option.

Do you Even Qualify for the Cards

Even though you’ve found the right card that doesn’t mean you’ll be approved. Depending on the card you select (as discussed earlier), either your personal or your company’s credit score will come into play, having an impact on your APR as well as whether or not you’ll be approved.

The best rates and cards are typically made available to those with FICO scores above 720, but don’t worry, there are still great options if your credits isn’t in tip top shape.

Consider the Fees & Limitations

When it comes to Credit Cardss, most business owners look at APR first and everything else secondary. We suggest you look at the big picture before discrediting a card as a good option for your needs. Sometimes a card with a higher rate might have zero annual fees and a rewards program that more than makes up for the increase in APR.

How to manage employees who have company credit cards

Some business card issues allow you to include your employees or give them access to make purchases on your credit. Be sure to ask about associated fees though. Sometimes there is a per employee fee attached. In other cases there may be no additional fees, or a minimum fee that allows you up to X number of employees.

You’ll also want to look into what tools and systems the issuer has in place to manage, track and restrict employee spending. For example, you may want to limit a new employee to a certain dollar amount per month. Alternatively, you may want to restrict spending for certain employees to only one store or items that apply to their department.

Which credit cards make the most sense for a startup versus and established company

Closing Thoughts

A small business credit card can be a useful tool for business owners to access quick financing in order to help with short term cash deficits or as a tool to build up credit, earn rewards, or gain cash back on items they already would have purchased anyway.

Many cards offer business specific benefits tailored to small business owners, helping them to achieve specific financial or other goals. We hope that this guide provided you some value in helping to determine the type of card that is best for your business.