If you own a small business, you know the story: When revenue runs short, finances can be stressful. Restoring cash flow is critical.
Wherever you stand in the debit card vs. credit card debate, credit cards have a key advantage: They let you buy what you need without pushing your bank balance down further. But with so many options, how can you choose the best card for your business?
Your company’s needs are unique, so think through them: Do you make a lot of large purchases? How frequently do you travel? Are you looking for cash back or a lower interest rate?
Whether you’re looking for fewer fees or a better rewards program, consider these six small business credit cards:
1. No-Hassle Credit Card
If you want a credit card that gives you cashback without restrictions, check out the Capital One Spark Cash for Business. Cardholders get 2% cash back on all spending. There are no categories to worry about or spending caps.
This card does have an annual fee of $95 after the first year, but for frequent users, the cash back can offset the annual fee. Cards can be issued to employees, who earn the same 2% cash back on all purchases. The card’s variable APR is currently 18.49%.
If you don’t plan to make frequent big-ticket purchases, a no-fee card with 2% cash back may be a better option, even if it does have a spending cap. But if you’re a big spender who wants a no-hassle credit card, this card from Capital One may be a perfect choice.
2. No Annual Fee Credit Card
Although its cashback rate doesn’t quite match the Spark Cash card’s 2% rate, the Discover it Business Card has no annual fee. With that said, Discover’s promotional offer is stellar.
For the first year, you earn an unlimited dollar-for-dollar match on all purchases. For example, if you earn $500 in cash back in the first year, you’ll receive $1,000 through the Cashback Match program. After that, this card offers 1.5% cash back on every dollar spent, with no expiration on the rewards. They can be redeemed at any time and in any amount.
Discover also provides some other perks to cardholders. They can download transaction activity into Quicken, QuickBooks, or Excel and receive a free credit score. Up to 50 employee cards are available at no charge.
3. 0% APR Credit Card
What if you plan to carry a balance on your card? American Express’ Blue Business Plus Credit Card is a solid choice — at least for the first year.
The Blue Business Plus card includes membership rewards, along with an introductory APR of 0% for the first 12 months from the date of the account opening. After the first year, the variable rate ranges from 13.24% to 19.24%. There’s no annual fee.
One special perk is limited to this card’s Plus option: It lets you exceed your credit limit based on your payment history and financial resources. The greater your buying power, the more opportunities you have to earn points.
Take advantage of the Blue Business Plus card’s bonus category: You earn twice the points for every dollar spent on business purchases, from office supplies to client appreciation dinners. Once you reach $50,000 in annual purchases, you earn one point for every dollar you spend.
- Travel Rewards Credit Card
For a travel rewards card with minimal restrictions, consider the Capital One Spark Miles for Business card. The rewards are solid, but beware the annual fee. After the first year, the Spark Miles card costs $95 per year.
Compare the Capital One card with other travel reward cards with no annual fee. If you don’t plan to make significant purchases, a no-fee card may be a better option. If you do plan on making large dollar-value purchases, you could:
- Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles, or about $500, if you spend $4,500 on purchases in the first three months after opening the account.
- Earn twice the miles for every dollar spent, with no annual limit or category restriction.
- Earn five times the miles on hotels and rental cars if booked through Capital One Travel using the Spark Miles card.
- Transfer miles to more than 10 travel loyalty programs.
Capital One’s Spark Miles offers free employee cards. Those cards also earn unlimited double miles on all purchases.
5. Best Introductory Offer Card
Many of the other cards on this list have introductory offers. But none are quite so sweet as the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card from Chase.
With the initial offer, you can earn up to $1,250 in travel rewards if redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards. To earn the travel rewards, you must spend $15,000 on purchases in the first three months after opening the account. In addition to the introductory offers, the Ink Business Preferred card lets you:
- Earn three points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel each anniversary year.
- Earn one point per $1 on all other purchases, with no limit on the amount earned.
- Redeem points through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards and receive 25% more on travel.
- Redeem points for travel, cash back, or gift cards.
There are no foreign transaction fees, which is perfect for travelers. Employee cards are available at no added cost. However, the Ink Business Preferred card does have a $95 annual fee.
6. Credit Card for Poor Credit
If your company’s credit history is less than perfect, don’t worry. You can still apply for a credit card through the Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card program.
To receive a card, you must deposit between $500 and $25,000 into the account from which the credit card will be issued. If you work to improve your credit, you can apply for a Wells Fargo unsecured business credit card. Starting with the secured option is a great way to rebuild a damaged score.
Every small business owner feels the squeeze sometimes. Using credit cards as a part of your financial plan can ease the stress of daily operations. Just be sure you know what you’re signing up for.