How to Choose Credit Cards for a Business

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credit card advice

Alexandra Leslie
By: Alexandra Leslie
Posted: June 26, 2015
Our personal finance experts dish out the most trusted credit card advice on the web, including juicy tips, tricks and secrets from inside the credit card industry.

While most credit card advertisements are geared toward consumers, there also are many business credit cards on the market. These cards tailored specifically toward businesses can help companies extend cash flow, regulate employee spending and earn free travel and other rewards.

Here’s how to choose the best credit card for your business.

1. Analyze annual fees

Not all business credit cards have annual fees, but some do have these fees and they can be hefty. Many of the annual fees are under $100, but some of the more elite cards cost several hundred dollars.

Before you select a business credit card with an annual fee, compare cards and ensure there isn’t a card with the same or similar benefits with no (or a lower) annual fee.

If you will use the card heavily and be able to take advantage of a robust rewards program, an annual fee may balance out. But if you will use the card minimally and not recoup much in rewards or cash back, it may not be wise to get a card with a large annual fee.

2. Rewards or no rewards?

Most business credit cards have robust rewards program. There are cash back, general points and travel credit cards available depending on what your business will use most.

If you or your employees frequently travel for business, a travel card that earns free flights and has free travel perks (like free checked bags or lounge access) will be most beneficial.

If travel isn’t a priority and you prefer extra cash for office supplies or other expenses, you may be best suited to a cash back card. When comparing cards, read the fine print to make sure you understand reward program caps and limits.

Note that interest is often slightly higher on cards with reward programs. This is something to keep in mind when choosing your business card if you plan to carry a balance.

It’s also worth pointing out that most reward cards require excellent credit, so if your credit needs improvement, you may not qualify for a rewards card until you can increase your score.

“Business credit cards feature

perks tailored to companies.”

Check out our selection of credit cards with excellent points and gifts.

3. Compare benefits

Business credit cards feature perks tailored to companies. Certain cards come with advanced reporting tools and resources for businesses, the ability to separate personal from business expenses, free cards for employees, ways to set individual limits for employees and more.

Others offer discounts on rental cards or office supplies. While these benefits have the potential to make your life easier, think about how likely it will be you actually use them before you select a card because of them.

4. Look at introductory offers

Does your business need to make a large purchase you can’t pay in full immediately? Carrying a balance on a credit card usually results in interest payments but not if you apply for a card with a 0% APR introductory offer.

It’s a common feature on business credit cards to attract new customers, and thanks to the CARD Act, the introductory periods can’t be any less than six months, though you can find offers for a year or longer.

This gives you a window to make a large purchase and take off your time paying it off without accruing interest.