Acquiring a business credit card is a great way to separate your personal finances from your business's. Even better, you can order separate cards for your key employees, which allows you to track employee spending with ease.
Applying for and getting a business credit card may sound daunting, but it isn't complicated. It takes just a few minutes of your time and some consideration.
Finding the Card You Want
Before you start shopping, take a look at some of these business credit card choices.
The most important thing to consider when choosing a business credit card is the terms. When reviewing the terms, you'll want to pay close attention to:
- The annual percentage rate
- Annual fees
- Late fees
- Over-limit fees
- Foreign transaction fees
- The amount that must be paid in full each billing cycle
Next, look at the perks offered by the card issuer and make sure that you would actually use them. For example, a card that offers free flyer miles is useless to a business owner who never travels.
If you take credit card payments from your customers, you'll also want to look for a bank that can help you with credit card processing and obtaining credit card readers. It's more convenient to deal with one bank than several when it comes to dealing with incoming and outgoing funds, because you will only deal with one account and one reporting system, typically, instead of several.
Finding a Card That Wants You Too
There's no point applying for a card you know you won't qualify for. A large part of your search should be focused on finding a card that will accept you for your current credit score. Some cards are only for businesses and business owners with excellent credit.
Applying for a card that comes with a high risk of rejection is a waste of your time if your credit is not on a par with the credit score and history the card issuer is seeking.
First, check your credit score. You can find out your score for free from the major credit reporting companies: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Just visit their websites and fill out your information. When checking your credit, note (if you know) whether your credit is good, fair or poor.
Next, take a look at the cards you chose and see if it says on the card's website what credit rating the card is intended for. Most companies state if their card is for customers with excellent, good, fair or poor credit.
Apply for Your Business Credit Card
Now that you've narrowed down your choices, it's time to apply. Go to the card's website and apply online. It is much faster than applying by mail, and you will know in minutes (rather than days or weeks) whether you are approved or not.
When filling out your application, make sure that all of your information is correct and use as much of your business's information as you can, not your personal information.
Having a separate credit card specifically for your company separates out your finances and helps you avoid taking on too much personal debt for your fledgling business. Applying for a business credit card is easy. It just takes a little research and some thoughtful decision making.