Credit cards are fixtures in society today. What started out as a means of convenient payment when ready cash was unavailable has now evolved into a staple means of paying for almost anything in modern times. Whether it’s the monthly house bills or the groceries, or a new sound system or car, credit cards have become widely accepted as a primary mode of payment in almost every possible financial transaction.
For those who run their own businesses, credit cards even provide the means to pay for the day to day overhead costs involved in running the said business. However, for the most part, while business owners will have their own personal credit cards, it’s generally a good idea to have a seperate card for the company itself. This is akin to a business owner having his own bank account, then setting up a seperate company account from which operating expenses are drawn. Business Credit Cards are a type of credit card designed for this very purpose.
When selecting a business credit card, look for some of the following features to help you choose one that will best serve your company and help it flourish.
Interest Rates and Credit Limit – look at the interest rates of the card, and make sure that, measured against your company’s projected monthly overhead and income, it is one that won’t put a strain on your resources. Also look at the credit limit of the card and make sure that it is one that will allow not only for coverage of monthly operating expenses, but can also cover any additional expenses that may be incurred by sudden unforseen business emergencies.
Annual Fees – some credit cards also have annual fees as part of their cost, as a charge not only for the services provided by the card itself, but also for any additional perks and features that possession of the card entails the holder to. Look at the annual fees of the credit card, and weigh them against the features offered by the card to find the best deal you can.
Introductory rates – some credit cards also offer 0% interest rates for purchases made within a given introductory period. The period covered usually lasts 6 months to a year. This is a good factor to consider if the business credit card you’re getting is meant for a brand new business, as it helps to minimize budgetary strain during the initial growth stages of your company’s development.
Security Features – since business credit cards are meant for more than just personal use, many companies offer additional security measures for them, as protection against the possibility of their being stolen, misplaced, or used without the willful knowledge of the owner. Look at the security measures offered by the credit card provider. The more, the better.
Merchant Discounts – Since running a business usually involves interaction with other business entities, some business credit cards have tie-ins with merchants who provide discounts for purchases made through the said card. If the credit card you’re looking at offers merchant discounts, look at their list and see if any of the involved parties are ones that can provide goods and services you’ll be needing in your business operations. These discounts can help minimize your overhead costs and maximize your company’s profits in the long run.
Reward Options programs – lastly, look at reward programs offered by the business credit card. Reward programs let card holders accumulate points for transactions made with the card, and these points in turn can be turned in for various rewards that may be used for your company’s benefit. Airline points, for example, can be earned from some credit cards, and these can be very useful if your company intends to send personnel abroad. Look at the rewards that can be earned for using the credit card, and if possible make sure they are ones that can correspond with your company’s operations.
The tips given above are actually applicable to credit cards in general, not just businesss credit cards. However, they take on a whole new light when the card isn’t meant for the use of just one person, but instead is being used to help a living, breathing business.