Business Owners Use Credit Cards

Business credit card issuers usually are most interested in the owner’s personal credit scores, income and credit qualifications. Nav’s MatchFactor can help you understand which cards you are most likely to qualify for. It uses a proprietary algorithm to help you understand your likelihood of qualifying for specific cards. It’s free with a Nav account.

 

How do business credit cards impact my personal credit scores?

Most issuers don’t report business credit card activity to the owner’s personal credit cards unless they default. (This chart shows how major credit card issuers report to personal credit.) However, since issuers check the owner’s personal credit reports when evaluating these applications, there will be an inquiry on one of the owner’s personal credit reports. Inquiries shave just a few points off credit scores, and after a year they generally don’t count.

 

Can a new startup qualify?

Generally, you can get a business credit card as soon as your business is established, as long as you meet the issuer’s credit and income requirements. Again, most issuers will look at the owner’s personal credit qualifications when evaluating an application.

 

Does my business have to have a certain amount of revenue to qualify?

Typically, no, as long as your personal income is sufficient to qualify. And if you aren’t drawing a paycheck in your business, you may use income that’s available to you to pay the debt, such as a spouse or partner’s income.

 

How can I get higher limits?

Issuers are often eager to extend higher credit limits to customers who qualify and may consider your request in as little as six months after you get the card. When you request a larger credit line the issuer may review your past activity on the account to create an internal score. For example, they may look at factors such as: How much do you charge? Do you pay on time? Do you always carry a balance or do you sometimes pay the card off? They may request updated information about your income as well. Keep in mind that issuers may review your credit and that may create a hard inquiry.

 

Should I spread expenses over several cards or use one to the max?

There can be a number of advantages to spreading your purchases over several credit cards.
The first is that you’ll keep accounts active, so your issuers are less likely to close the account. (Tuck a credit card in the back of the drawer and your issuer may decide to close the account for lack of activity.) Even a small regular purchase on a card may be enough to keep your account open.

Next, you may be able to maximize rewards. For example, let’s say you have one card that earns 3x points for purchases in a certain category, such as office supplies, so you use that card for all purchases you make at office supply stores. You have another card that earns a higher level of cash-back rewards at gas stations so you use that card when fueling up. And perhaps you have a cobranded airline card that gets you free checked bags when you fly, so you use that card for travel. By using multiple cards, you are able to make the most of your rewards.

Line of Credit Explained

n order to stay afloat, small businesses need a constant supply of cash to keep up with recurring expenses and the cost of growth opportunities.

But finding that constant supply is hard. In fact, 50% of small businesses have experienced cash flow problems, and 1 in 5 business owners experience recurring cash flow problems.

There are a number of ways to deal with the inconsistent revenue and costs associated with running your small business, and one of the best options is a business line of credit. A business line of credit is a flexible, often low-cost way to cover short-term financing needs such as purchasing inventory and making on-time payroll.

How does a business line of credit work?

A line of credit, or revolving line of credit, is a flexible loan option for businesses. Businesses are allocated a specified maximum amount of capital available to them through a lender based off certain factors such as current cash flow and business credit rating.

The business then decides when, if, and how they would like to use that capital. Interest will be charged only when you decide to pull money from the line. You will have a specified repayment period, but, like a credit card, there is no penalty for paying early (in fact, it is encouraged).

Although interest is only charged once you use the line, there may be a monthly maintenance fee for letting your line of credit sit unused. Check with your bank or lender to see if that is the case for any line of credit you are considering.

Save on interest and fees

As a small business owner, every dollar you save on interest and fees paid for a small business loan is a dollar back into your business. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you’re getting the best deal that your business can qualify for and fulfills your business’s needs.

But with over 44 different financing options, the research involved in finding that best deal and how to get it could take days, if not weeks. That’s not easy, especially when you’ve got a business to run.

To save you time, we’ve put together a list of what we think are the best small business loans for business owners. Check out the list below and sign up for a free Nav account to find out if you qualify.

Funding Circle sits at the top of our list as one of the only online lenders as a lender that has consistenly improved their loan offerings by lowering costs for the best borrowers and expanding what they can offer. Their loans range $25,000 – $500,000 with 1 – 5 year repayment terms. Funding Circle’s interest rates range from 5.49% – 22.79%. Their origination fees range from 0.99% – 4.99%. If you miss a payment, there is a missed payment fee charged at 10% of the total missed payment, and if your payment bounces, there is a  $35 insufficient funds fee.

Businesses can be funded in under two weeks. Funding Circle requires collateral on their loans in the form of a lien on your business assets and a personal guarantee from the primary business owners.

Requirements to qualify:

  • 2 years in business (or qualified franchises)
  • $150,000+ in annual revenue
  • Owner must have a personal FICO score of 620 or above
  • Owner must have a history free of bankruptcies, current tax liens, judgments or criminal activity.

Credit Cards for Travel

Business road warriors are used to packing their bags. But wouldn’t it be more exciting to get ready for your upcoming trip if you knew there were sweet rewards involved?

That’s where business credit cards come in. You probably know of or have a personal credit card that rewards you for your purchases with miles or points that you can spend on flights or hotel stays. But business credit cards for travel sometimes offer even better rewards than personal cards, along with a host of other perks including helping you separate your personal and business finances and build business credit.

Here are some of the best business credit cards for travel we’ve identified for frequent flyers that could be a big win for your business.

The Platinum Delta SkyMiles card from American Express is a great card for frequent Delta travelers who plan to make a large amount in purchases ($50,000+) on their card each calendar year. This card has a killer signup offer—Earn 35,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. MQMs help you get closer to reaching Medallion status in the Delta SkyMiles program.

Added benefits:

  1. Two miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases, and one mile per dollar on all other purchases.
  2. No foreign transaction fees.
  3. Earn more miles with boost programs: 10,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs after $25,000 in purchases each calendar year, as well as another bonus after $50,000.
  4. Earn a domestic, round-trip companion pass each year you renew the card.
  5. Added Delta bonuses: free checked bag, priority boarding, 20% savings (via a statement credit) on eligible purchases made in-flight.

Business Credit Cards Expert Review

Business credit cards are an underutilized option when it comes to making purchases for your business. In addition to providing a great source for emergency cash, business credit cards offer a few additional perks.

1. Minimize the impact on your personal credit. Businesses tend to make larger purchases than individuals. If you end up with large outstanding balances on your personal card because of business expenses, your personal credit score could take a hit. Use a business credit card that doesn’t report to personal credit bureaus and, as long as you are on time with your payments, your personal credit will not be affected. (Some business credit card companies will report your business credit information to personal credit bureaus. Find out which ones do here.)

2. Build your business credit. Making on-time payments on your card will help you build strong business credit scores, allowing you to secure lower rates and longer repayment terms on business financing, as well as better terms with your vendors and suppliers.

3. Protect your business. Business credit cards offer more protection than business debit cards. They are covered by the Truth in Lending Act, which caps maximum liability for fraudulent purchases at $50.

 

The Best Business Credit Cards

Business credit cards offer a variety of different features from rewards points to miles to freebies. The following are some of this year’s top business credit cards for four popular categories: cash back, travel rewards, low APR/balance transfer cards and credit builder cards.

Chase’s Ink Business Cash Credit Card makes sense for business owners who make significant purchases of office supplies and telecommunications services. The card has a 0% introductory APR for 12 months and no annual fee. The rewards system is structured as follows:

  • 5% back per dollar spent on office phone, internet and cable (on up to $25,000 in purchases annually).
  • 2% back per dollar spent on gas and dining, up to $25,000 annually.
  • 1% back elsewhere without limit.

 

One of the neat perks of this card is that cash-back rewards are offered as points in Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program. This means your points can be redeemed for one cent each as cash back, but if you also have a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve card, you also have the option to transfer your points to airline and hotel partners.