If you’re part of the 30.2 million small businesses in the U.S. — good for you! Whether you’re a one-person show or have a few employees under your supervision, managing small business finances can be tricky and cumbersome.
But it doesn’t have to be. Consider opening a small business credit card to help your business thrive. There are many advantages to a business credit card beyond what you might think — like streamlining your bookkeeping, improving your business credit score, and giving you much-deserved rewards on your business purchases.
Now that we’ve got your attention, let’s explore more in-depth what these advantages are.
8 advantages you’re missing by not using a business credit card
Improve (or establish) your business credit score
If you’re just starting out, you may be struggling to figure out how to establish or improve your business credit score. The good news is you can use your personal credit history to help you open a business credit card. Once it’s open, your credit card issuer will report all activity to the business credit bureaus, thereby establishing and improving your business credit score.
Be aware that business scores also reflect public and legal records, such as bankruptcies and liens against your company. So, if you want to improve your overall business credit score due to these factors, a business credit card can help by improving your credit utilization, payment history, and mix of credit accounts.
It’s easier credit to get than a traditional business loan
Speaking of business loans, traditional business loans can be hard to come by — and it could be even harder if your business is new. Instead, getting a business credit card can be easier since it relies on your personal credit score.
Even if you’re happy with a personal credit card, getting a business card can help if you decide to get a traditional business loan down the line, as it will help establish your business credit profile. And in the meantime, you’ll have a credit line for your business should you ever need it.
Gain control over employee spending
If you have employees, a main advantage of a business credit card is that you can monitor or even control their spending. You can see in your credit card statements what’s being spent on what and how often.
Some business credit cards even allow you, the business owner, to place a credit limit on an employee’s card. The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card is a great example. This way, you can ensure your business stays on budget.
Offers financial flexibility
No matter the size of your business, cash flow can be a concern — and credit cards can be a temporary lifesaver.
Let’s say you have an insurance bill coming up for $1,000 on the 25th and you have an outstanding invoice for $1,500 that’s set to arrive on the 22nd. But then, unfortunately, a mix-up with your client means they had to reissue the check, so you won’t get it until after the 25th.
In this case, you don’t even need to sweat it — you just whip out your business credit card, pay for the insurance bill, and then promptly pay off the balance when the client’s check finally arrives. Easy peasy.
Simplify your bookkeeping
Yup, you read that headline right — using a business credit card can simplify your bookkeeping.
The obvious part of this is that you can keep track of your business purchases all in one place — your monthly statements. That way, you can see what you’re spending without needing to look at a bunch of different accounts.
In addition, some business credit cards offer online record-keeping tools to help you manage your money, including things like a year-end account summary you can hand off to a bookkeeper.
Earn points, miles, or cash back
That’s right. Business credit cards give you the opportunity to earn some pretty sweet rewards. Depending on the card, you can also take advantage of sign-up bonuses, where you earn extra points, miles, or cash back after spending a certain amount within a specified amount of time.
And guess what? If you have employee cards, their spending can help you nab those rewards. Just think how amazing it would feel to earn free trips or cash just by going along with your normal spending routine.
Receive business-relevant perks
Business credit cards sometimes have some enviable perks compared to personal credit cards — like the ability to extend your billing cycle. For example, although the Plum Card from American Express is a charge card, it lets you carry a balance with no interest for up to 60 days.
Other perks could include access to things like free Wi-Fi during flights, airline fee credits, or special rewards-earning rates on telecommunications or marketing expenses.
Get increased credibility as a business
A business credit card can help you seem more credible with vendors or other companies you work with. When you use it to pay for goods and services, that vendor, contractor, or company will see you as someone who is more professional and established compared to someone using a personal credit card.
Who can get a business credit card?
The good news is that almost all types of businesses can qualify for a business credit card. Yes, even that operation you’ve got selling soaps on Etsy can count as a business. Even if you don’t have an LLC (limited liability company), a sole proprietorship will work just fine as well. You’ll usually need an EIN (Employer Identification Number) — aka, a federal tax ID — to apply for a business card, but you can typically also use your Social Security number.
How to get started with a business credit card
There are no shortages of choices when it comes to taking advantage of business credit cards. If you’re just getting started, it’s best to pick ones that offer perks you’ll take advantage of.
For example, the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card is great for travelers because it has no foreign transaction fees, offers primary rental car insurance coverage, and allows you to combine your Ultimate Rewards points if you have other Chase cards. For cashback lovers, the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business is another solid choice because you get unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases.
Your business deserves to thrive, and using a business credit card can help you do that. You can save money when you redeem your credit card rewards, sleep better knowing you have your cash flow covered, and be taken more seriously as a business.