Finances

Credit card advantages for small business and sole traders

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This guide outlines the credit card advantages for your operations, funding and debt consolidation.

If you own a small business and are looking for a credit card to cover expenses, many options are available. As you peruse them, you might notice that the terms and benefits are different from personal credit cards.

Credit card advantages

Business credit cards are targeted toward company owners like you, so they have distinct advantages. Before signing up for a card, it’s essential to know what these credit card advantages are so you can find a credit card that offers every option you need. We’ll go over five of those right now.

1. Debt Consolidation Opportunities

Credit card debt consolidation is when you roll over your existing debt on several credit cards to a single one. This can be a smart idea if you can get a better interest rate on a new credit card than you’re getting on your current ones.

While balance transfer cards are popular for personal use, they can also benefit businesses. If you’re looking at the best way to consolidate credit card debt for your company, though, you’ll notice one crucial difference.

Before approving you for a personal credit card, a lending entity will probably look at your credit score before determining you’re an appropriate candidate. But a lending entity you talk to about debt consolidation for your business will more likely look at whether your company is solvent rather than your credit score.

If they see you’re consistently showing a profit, they’re usually more willing to let you consolidate. That’s one of the significant credit card advantages that small business credit cards typically have over personal ones.

2. Protections

Some credit cards you’ll apply for in your personal life might come with perks like double points on groceries or discounts if you shop at certain retailers. Those are nice, but small business credit cards often come with credit card advantages specifically targeted to help your company succeed.

For instance, credit cards targeted at small companies understand you’re probably going to travel for business purposes. Accordingly, they might offer trip interruption or cancellation insurance.

They might also offer cell phone protection, auto rental damage collision waivers, or no foreign transaction fees. You might occasionally find these perks with non-business credit cards, but they’re more often included on business cards.

3. Business-Centric Rewards

Most people end up selecting a credit card based on the rewards that come with it, and it should be no different with a business credit card. You should find business-centric credit card advantages if you’re perusing credit card offers intended for company owners.

You might sign up for one that immediately gives you a bunch of extra airline miles to use for business-related travel. Or, if you frequently drive for work, you might choose one that gives you double or triple points on gas purchases.

4. Easier Than Loan Qualification

Applying for a business credit card is usually a simple, relatively easy process, and this is one of the key credit card advantages. You’ll need to wait while the company does a credit check on you, but you can get approved rapidly if your credit is in at least decent shape.

The formal process of getting a small business loan usually takes more time and potentially comes with more headaches as well. A credit card company will not ask you a series of questions about what you plan to do with that card. All it wants to know is whether you’re a qualified candidate.

If you apply for a small business loan to get funds for your company, you need to come up with a detailed business plan and sell the lending entity on why it’s going to be successful. That takes more time and energy than you might want to expend.

5. Expense Categorization

You might also like the fact that if you use a credit card for your small business, you’ll get an itemized list of what you purchased at the end of each month. You might see separate categories for office supplies, meals where you courted new clients, hotels where you or your employees stayed, etc.

That’s one of the credit card advantages that is going to make your tax filing and accounting a lot easier. Can you imagine how difficult it would be to keep track of all your business expenses if you tried to pay for everything in cash?

Also, that instant categorization will come in handy if the IRS ever decides to audit you. Paying for everything business-related with your credit card will ensure you can pull up those records at any time. There should be no discrepancies or irregularities on which the IRS can focus. 

Conclusion

As a small business owner, you’ll notice perks with certain business credit cards you won’t necessarily find if you’re credit card shopping for personal purposes. Look for a card that gives you business-centric rewards that make sense for your line of work.

You can also find cards that let you consolidate your work-related credit card debt so you can make single monthly payments. As long as your business consistently shows a profit, this is usually a viable option. You can also find some that offer protections, such as trip interruption or cancellation insurance.

If you apply for and use a small business credit card, you will probably find that you can attain one with much less difficulty than if you tried to get a bank loan for your company instead. You won’t have to come up with a business plan and try to convince the bank or another lending entity that it’s likely to be profitable.

Using a small business credit card can help you keep better track of your expenditures as well. Every month, the expenses are itemized, so you more easily do your accounting and tax filing. You’ll also have a record to show the IRS if they ever audit you.

But these advantages are only a few examples of what’s out there. As a company owner, you’ll want to compare any available business credit cards to see which ones will benefit you the most.

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