How do you go about researching your business credit card options?
There are several factors to consider in making your choice of a business credit card. These include the card-issuing, the type of card you want, interest rates if there’s an annual fee and financial features.
The company issuing the card: A good place to start your research is the bank where you have your business account. If you already have a relationship with a banker there, they can help you determine the best card for your needs. If you don’t have a business checking account yet, you may want to look at the bank that handles your personal accounts since, again, you have a pre-existing relationship with them. After that, you can check the major national banks such as JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, U.S. Bank, Truist, PNC and TD Bank. However, don’t overlook the regional banks, such as Bank of the West, BBVA Compass Bank, BMO Harris Bank, California Bank & Trust, Comerica Bank, HSBC, Huntington National Bank, M&T Bank, etc. However, all credit card issuers do not report your business credit activity to the commercial credit bureaus. If developing a business credit score and history is important, you’ll want to choose a card issuer that does make those reports. Finally, you’ll want to find a credit card issuer that supports your type of business. Some do not offer cards to solopreneurs or non-profits, for example.
Type of business credit card: As previously mentioned, you can choose a business credit card with points, cashback, miles or a lower interest rate. Knowing how you and your employees will use the card will help with this decision. For example, if you do a lot of business traveling, you may opt for a card where you can earn miles. If you want additional items, you may want a card with points you can exchange for a variety of items in the card issuer’s redemption catalog. Or, you may simply want a straight cash back card so you can decide how you want to use the money you earn from using the card.
Interest rates: If you don’t carry a balance from month to month, the rate of interest may not be important. But, if it’s possible you’ll carry a balance, you may prefer a card with a lower interest rate. Some business credit cards have a 0% introductory APR, which may be beneficial if you have a large purchase coming up.
Annual fees: There are annual fees associated with some business credit cards, while other cards do not charge you each year to use them. Cards with annual fees often have additional perks, so you’d need to decide if these perks are worth the extra charge.
Financial features: Many business credit card issuers include account management tools. Among the features may be the ability to download your card information into your accounting program. These features can make it easier to manage your finances.
While it may not be possible to get everything you want in a business credit card, by thoroughly researching your options, you can apply for the card and to the card issuer that meets the majority of your needs.