Using a credit card to finance a small- to medium-sized business can be a great idea for someone who understands how to do it properly and meets these criteria:
- doesn’t need more than $50,000
- cannot secure a traditional business loan
- doesn’t have the necessary collateral for an SBA loan
- wants to take advantage of the rewards a credit card can offer
There are many advantages to using a credit card over a bank loan, as well as risks, but any way a large sum of money is borrowed has its own pros and cons. We’ve identified 19 credit cards that are suitable for any entrepreneur looking to get a card to finance their business. Use these links to jump ahead to the category you’re interested in:
4 Credit Cards for Financing an Existing Business
These credit cards are best suited for entrepreneurs who already have their businesses up and running and have excellent credit history. These cards offer higher credit limits than personal credit cards, cash back on purchases, generous sign-up bonuses, and other perks especially beneficial to business owners:
- no foreign transaction fees
- no annual fee
- quarterly and year-end summaries
- employee cards at no additional cost
Here are four of the top expert-reviewed business credit cards currently available to help finance your existing business:
5 Consumer Credit Cards if You’re Denied Business Credit
Business credit cards generally require excellent credit because of the increased risk to the issuer that comes with such a high credit limit, making them harder to obtain. A consumer credit card with top-notch benefits is a good option if you’re unable to secure a line of business credit.
Plenty of consumer cards possess many of the same benefits as a business card, like sign-up bonuses and no annual fees. One notable advantage of a consumer card over a business card is 0% intro APR offers. A 0% intro APR means the issuer is not charging interest on any of your purchases for a period of time, and some issuers offer interest-free purchasing for up to 18 months. This is essentially a free loan, which you won’t find at any bank.
Here are five of our favorite consumer cards with perks that rival those of a business credit card:
4 Cash-Back Credit Cards to Maximize Business Funding
If you really want to maximize your business funding, earn cash back for what you’re spending. These types of cards are best for business owners who pay their credit card statements in full each month. Apply for a card with high cash-back potential like the Chase Freedom, and every month you’ll earn a percentage of what you spent in the form of statement credit or rewards – the choice is yours.
Here are four consumer credit cards with generous cash-back offers:
5 Credit Cards for Entrepreneurs with Fair Credit
So maybe your credit isn’t in the best shape and you’re not having much luck obtaining a business credit card or a top-tier consumer card. You still have options for financing your business with a credit card. These cards offer the opportunity to build your credit by paying your statement on time each month. In time, as your credit begins to improve, you can apply for a business credit card or one with better rewards.
Below are five of the best credit cards for fair credit that still offer benefits such as cash back and 0% intro APRs:
Final Thoughts on Using a Credit Card to Finance a Business
If you need more than $50,000 to finance your business, a credit card isn’t your solution. You’re better off looking at bank and SBA loans that can lend you as much as $250,000. Credit cards are better suited for business owners with smaller purchasing needs.
And while a credit card may offer a lower interest rate than other loan types, especially with a 0% intro APR card, keep in mind that credit card rates can change at any time. With most business loans your rate is fixed. However, a credit card offers flexibility that a loan cannot: You only need to borrow from a credit card as needed, and your monthly payments will be lower.
No matter which card you choose, remember that if you pay your balance in full each month, you’ll avoid paying interest altogether. Other types of loans can’t offer that, and they certainly won’t offer you any rewards. If you borrow from your card wisely, it can definitely be a smart way to finance your business.
Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.