Business credit cards can offer perks for your company and help fund new projects. Read our take on these cards and why you might want to consider getting one for your next card.
Many business owners start their businesses very informally. Maybe they take on a small project and have the client pay them with a check or Venmo payment that they deposit in their personal bank account. If they need to buy something for the business, they put it on their consumer credit card.But once you start taking on more customers, that approach quickly reaches its limits. It’s hard to keep track of your business finances accurately if your business and personal finances are one big mish-mash. Here are five reasons to get a business credit card.
1. A business credit card will help you build business credit
If you’re using your consumer bank account and credit cards for business purposes, you may be building personal credit but you won’t be building business credit. As your business grows, you’ll find that having strong business credit can help you if, for instance, you need to obtain a bank loan or trade credit from other businesses. Using a business credit card is one way to start building separate credit for your business.
2. Business credit cards have higher credit limits
Your business credit card limit will depend on your credit history and other factors, but in recent years, the average credit card limit for a business card has hovered around $56,000, according to Experian data. To give you an idea of the scale of business spending anticipated by issuers, The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express offers 2 points per dollar on the first $50,000 of business purchases a year (then 1 point per dollar), while the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card from Chase offers 3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent in select business categories in a year, and 1 point per dollar on other purchases.
If you’re growing a business and need to make substantial purchases, such as a big order for inventory, you may find the higher credit limits on business cards come in handy.
3. The rewards on a business credit card are pegged to business purchases
On a consumer credit card, rewards points are often pegged to typical purchases you make for living expenses, such as spending at supermarkets and drugstores. Similarly, business credit cards reward typical business purchases, such as airline tickets, office supplies, and technology. Using a business credit card will help you maximize those rewards.
4. Using a business credit card will streamline your bookkeeping
Bookkeeping can become a real hassle if you’re putting your business charges on a hodgepodge of personal credit cards or paying for them out of your personal funds via check, Venmo or PayPal. Making all of your business purchases from one or two credit cards can make it a lot easier for you or your bookkeeper to balance your books every month.
5. It’ll make it easier to take tax deductions
Most small business owners don’t have the time to keep track of every possible tax deduction available to them, the way an accountant might. Many business credit cards offer helpful tallies of the different categories of spending that purchases fall into, so your accountant can easily get a high-level overview and find deductions for you. Businesses are taxed on their profits, so every legitimate deduction you take can contribute to a lower tax bill.
The upshot? You can get away with using personal credit cards for your business during the first few months, but if you’re serious about running your business, getting a business credit card is one of the smartest moves you can make to build the credit you need, maximize rewards points and keep your finances organized.