It’s no secret that a business credit card is among the best tools that a modern entrepreneur can have. As well as boasting the convenience of a personal credit card, a business credit card also offers the small company owner the capability to separate his own personal finances from that of his or her business. Initially, this may not appear to be an issue and many owners have started trading using their own personal cards as a resource. However, many small company owners have also fallen foul of their own companies; as the company expands, so to do the demands placed upon a credit card and if it’s trying to do two jobs at once, the result can often be costly.
Yet wise use of a business credit card not only allows you to keep your personal and business spending separate; it also allows you to monitor expenditure more easily and keep up-to-date on your company’s transactions with annual and quarterly reports. Owning a card also gives you the opportunity to launch a good credit history, which, in turn, can help when it comes to business expansion.
Despite the obvious benefits of owning a business credit card, there is a problem for those starting out in business: which is the right one for you? To begin with, the question should be asked, more accurately, as: which is the right one for your business? There are many cards out there on the market, each vying for the custom of the entrepreneur and each coming with their own set of advantages and incentives, so where do you begin?
Initially, it’s worth focusing on a few points. These, in turn, should lead you to answer other questions and, ultimately, help you make your decision. Firstly, it is well worth taking the time to consider the differences between the promotions that grab your interest. Many card providers catch your eye with offers of 0% introductory rates on APR. Whilst this is immediately attractive, it doesn’t hurt to research just how long these rates last for and, once they have expired, what will the APR be then? While you’re at it, you might as well check out the small print on things like annual fees and penalty fees – stay ahead of the game.
Next, consider the rewards on offer. Most of these are designed with the small business owner in mind and there are far more on offer than there are to consumers who want personal credit cards. Take the time to consider how useful certain products and facilities will be to your company. Would you benefit more from cashback on certain purchases or would you be better to embrace a card that offer Airmiles or petrol discount. These are considerations that only you can make, using your knowledge of your company, how it works and its aims.
You should also look at ‘grace periods’ i.e. how long is it before you are charged interest on your balance, once transactions have been made. In addition, you could find out whether the software issued with most cards is compatible with your accounting system; the less time you have to spend physically going to the bank to pay your bills, the better. And, although it is generally considered to be ‘standard issue’, you should also check that your business card provides you with online access to your account; most card providers are generally happy to answer these points and any others you might have. Questions like these can only serve to help you make the right decision in choosing what is likely to be one of the most important business tools you can have.
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