How to Select a Credit Card for Your Business

When you own your own business, it is important to have clear financial records. Not only does this ensure that you know the financial state of your business, but any records needed for taxes will be ready and up to date. One way to help keep your business financial records organized and updated is to keep them separate from your personal finances by using a business credit card exclusively for your business expenses.

The most important part of getting a business credit card is doing research beforehand. There are many options available for business accounts, and there are a lot of aspects to consider before deciding on a particular card. The more research you do ahead of time, the more prepared you will be to make the decision that is best for you and your business situation.The first step in research is looking at the different types of cards available and deciding which best suits your needs: a credit card or a charge card. Though people use the two terms interchangeably, each has distinct characteristics. The balance of a charge card must be paid off each month, while minimum monthly payments are all that are required of credit cards. Credit cards have an interest rate, but give flexible payment options, but charge cards have rigid payment plans and no interest rates. Charge cards have annual fees, while credit cards do not. Once you decide between these two options, you can narrow your research by looking only at cards in that category.

Look at the features offered by the cards you are considering. What features are important to you? are you more concerned with a low annual percentage rate (APR), or is it more important to have better rewards? After you decide what features are important to you, match cards with those features. As you look at the different features, make sure you look beyond the introductory offers to see what the long-term features will be. For example, a card may have an introductory offer of zero percent APR, but after six months, it jumps to a high percentage instead. Take the later APR into consideration when deciding what card you need for your business.

By this time you should have narrowed down your options some, and you will be able to do a side-by-side comparison of the cards you are considering. You can also contact the companies to ask any questions you may have about the details of the cards before deciding which card is best for your needs.

When you apply for a business credit or charge card, make sure you have everything you need for the application process. In addition to your personal information such as your name, address, social security number, and total household income, you will need information about your business. Before starting your application, make a list of what you need to apply and make sure you have everything on hand for the application. If you gather all the information as you are still researching cards, you will have it all ready for the actual application.

If your business is small, it may be tempting to use a personal credit card for business expenses rather than applying for a business credit card. This can be done, but there are advantages to using a business credit card over a personal credit card for your business finances. Business credit cards often have lower annual fees and access to better customer service. In addition, a business credit card can allow you to have multiple cards for one account. You can set different spending limits for the cards so employees can use your business account without the worry of overspending.

When you receive your business credit card, make sure you establish ground rules for its use right away. Decide when and how it will be used, and how any employees can use the account, and under what circumstances. This will help you keep on top of your business expenses, and you will not end up with a surprise bill at the end of the month.

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SMBReviews is committed to providing small and mid-sized business owners with the information and resources they need to select the best service or product for their company.

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