The best business credit card perks you're probably not using

From cellphone protection to complimentary lounge access, these benefits can save your business hundreds of dollars

Rebecca Lake
Personal Finance Writer
Making complex credit topics simple

The best business credit card perks you're probably not using

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Having a business credit card can come in handy if you need to cover a large business expense or a temporary cash flow gap. It can also be a convenient way to spend for everyday purchases and control employee spending.

And if you can earn rewards on your business expenses, that only sweetens the deal.

“As a business owner, your credit card needs to be working for you or else you’re leaving money on the table,” says Michael Pesochinsky, owner at MyBrandMark.com, a law firm specializing in trademarks and patents.

Pesochinsky choose the Capital One Spark Cash for Business primarily for the unlimited 2 percent cash back he earns on every purchase.

Those are all great reasons to consider opening a business credit card if you’re a small business owner, solopreneur or side hustler. But the upsides don’t stop there.

Your card could also include some value-packed features, which you may not be aware of.

Check out these business credit card perks you might be overlooking and how you can use them to your business’s advantage.

See related: 5 business expense card options for employers, 7 things to know about business credit cards

Little-known business card perks and how to choose them

Flexible credit limits: Business cards' best-kept secret

With a personal credit card, your limit is your limit. The 2009 CARD Act doesn’t allow credit card companies to process transactions that would put you over your limit, unless you specifically opt in and agree to pay an over-limit fee on those purchases.

There are certain business credit cards, however that give you more freedom to spend.

  • The Blue BusinessSM Plus Credit Card from American Express features a flexible credit limit that allows you to expand your buying power when you need to.
  • This perk is automatic, so you don’t have to opt in, and there’s no penalty fee if you repay the overage by your next statement date.

Many charge cards don’t have a preset limit on what you can spend, but a revolving business credit card comes with the added benefit of being able to carry a balance over time.

Brayden McCarthy, vice president of new markets for the small business lending marketplace Fundera, says business owners often don’t understand the mechanics of charge cards and that they have to pay in full.

“Charge cards only make sense if you know you’re not going to carry a balance from month to month,” says McCarthy.

A business credit card with a flexible spending limit can be the better choice if your business spending isn’t always predictable.

Charge cards don't have a preset limit, but a revolving business credit card with flexible credit limit offers the added benefit of being able to carry a balance over time.

Save with built-in travel benefits

Many of the same perks associated with personal credit cards are also available to business owners, and this can mean substantial savings for your business.

  • On the travel side, those benefits may include concierge service, baggage reimbursements, trip cancellation insurance, car rental insurance and airport lounge access.
  • Airport lounge access may be particularly valuable if you fly frequently for business and you need a place to unwind or work between flights.
  • Lounge benefits include faster internet service, computer and cellphone charging stations and meeting rooms in case you need to check in with your employees or clients through a virtual meet-up.

The Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card, for example, includes Delta Sky Club access as a complimentary perk.

  • The standalone fee for an Executive membership, which covers you and up to two guests per visit, is $745 per year, or 70,000 miles. 
  • An individual membership has a $495 yearly rate (or 47,000 miles) plus a $29 fee per guest, up to two guests per visit.
  • The Delta Reserve card does have an annual fee of $450, but that’s still outweighed by the savings on lounge access.
  • Additionally, this card comes with other perks that could save your business money, such as a 20 percent discount on in-flight purchases, complimentary companion certificates and up to $50 in first checked bag fee waivers on round-trip Delta flights.

Other business credit card that offer complimentary lounge access include The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN and The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card.

See related: Are you a VIP jerk? 10 things NOT to do in airport lounges, How does Priority Pass airline lounge access work?

Cellphone protection: Safeguard your business calls

If you or your employees use cell phones to do business, you probably know how expensive it can be to replace when one gets damaged, lost or stolen.

You could pay an extra fee to your provider for cellphone insurance, but you may already be covered by your business credit card.

  • The Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card offers up to $600 per claim in cellphone protection, covering both theft and damage.
  • You can make up to three claims in a 12-month period, with a $100 deductible per claim.

McCarthy offers one caveat to taking advantage of this protection: Make sure your employees are included by name on your phone plan.

“This benefit only covers employee phones if they’re listed on the monthly cellphone bill,” McCarthy explains.

4 things to consider when choosing business credit card perks

  1. The total value of perks compared to the annual fee. If your business is cost-conscious, paying a higher annual fee may need to be justified by better perks. Compare the combined value of the rewards you can earn with the card and its added benefits to the fee to see how wide the gap is between the two.
  2. How often you anticipate using added perks in your business. Having baggage reimbursement coverage may not mean much if you don’t travel frequently. A good way to gauge whether a card’s perks might fit your business is to analyze your expenses for the past year to see where you’re allocating cash flow to the most.
  3. Any conditions or exclusions associated with using perks. Business credit cards may impose limits or special rules on your ability to leverage a certain benefit. Reading the fine print can help you avoid any misunderstandings about how far the card’s benefits reach.
  4. Where the card fits in your larger cash flow management picture. Think about how you’ll use the card to fund cash flow. If you think you may carry a balance on the card while you wait for some of your receivables to be paid, that means paying interest unless you have a business card with a low introductory APR. Paying interest fees can diminish the value of any rewards or other perks you’re getting.

Choose business card perks wisely

Every business is different. When comparing business credit card options, think about what you value most.

Pesochinsky says he chose cash back because of the flexibility the Spark Cash card offers in redeeming rewards. “I choose where and how this money goes back into the business.”

“It depends on how much you care about optimization of card spend,” says Landon Howell, head of industry relations at Plastiq, a platform that allows you to pay bills with a credit card. “Research your options and use the card in as many possible situations that allow you to maximize rewards and benefits.”

“Understand what your goal is and what will be most helpful right now,” says McCarthy. 

See related: 8 expenses you should never charge on a business credit card, Best business credit cards


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Updated: 09-21-2018