When starting a business, one of the key decisions to make is how to manage finances. Business credit cards (BCCs) have become increasingly popular over the years, as more and more entrepreneurs and business owners have embraced the benefits of maintaining one.
While a BCC can indeed provide a convenient source of financing for your company, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of these financial tools before deciding whether to get a credit card for your business.
Today, we explore everything you need to know about business credit cards, including a list of advantages and disadvantages to help you make the most informed decision as a business owner. Read on to find out more.
What is a Business Credit Card?
A business credit card is a type of credit card designed specifically for use by businesses, rather than for personal use. In simpler terms, the primary function of a business credit card is to provide business owners with short-term access to funds.
It allows business owners and employees to make purchases for the company, with the expenses being charged to the company’s credit card account rather than an individual’s personal account. Business credit cards typically offer features and rewards that cater to the needs and spending habits of small and large businesses, such as cashback or rewards points for business purchases, higher credit limits, and expense management tools.
Moreover, business credit cards allow business owners to separate their personal expenses from their business expenses, which can make bookkeeping and accounting much easier. They can also help businesses establish credit and improve their credit scores, as long as they make payments on time and use the card responsibly.
Pros of a Business Credit Card
Separate Business & Personal Expenses: As mentioned above, business credit cards allow you to separate your business expenses from your personal expenses, which can make bookkeeping and accounting a lot easier come tax time.
Build Business Credit: Consistent and responsible use of a business credit card can help your business build credit and improve your credit score, which can make it easier to secure commercial loans and other financing in the future.
Rewards & Perks: Many business credit cards offer rewards and perks, such as cashback offers, points, or travel rewards, that can help you save money alongside earning valuable benefits.
Easy To Monitor Employee Spending: Many business credit card providers offer online tools that allow business owners to track their employees’ spending in real time. This can be particularly helpful for businesses where employees may make frequent purchases or travel for work.
Higher Credit Limits: Business credit cards generally come with higher credit limits than personal credit cards. This can be particularly helpful for businesses that need to make large purchases or pay for unexpected expenses.
Cons of a Business Credit Card
Personal Liability: Business credit cards typically require a personal guarantor, which is often likely to be the business owner. This means that business owners are personally responsible for paying off the balance in the event that the company is unable to.
This can be risky if your business experiences financial difficulties or if there is a dispute over charges.
Higher Interest Rates: Business credit cards often come with higher interest rates than personal credit cards, which can make it more expensive to carry a balance. Additionally, some business credit cards charge annual fees or other fees that can add up over time.
Unnecessary Purchases & Overspending: Having a business credit card can make it tempting to overspend or make unnecessary purchases, which can hurt your business’s bottom line in the long run. Moreover, while buying things on credit is easy, accumulating debt that you have trouble repaying can result in further long-term financial problems.
Things to Know Before Choosing a Business Credit Card
Choosing the right business credit card can be a valuable tool for managing expenses and building credit for your business. However, there are several factors to consider before making a decision. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing a business credit card:
- Choose The Right Type Of Business Credit Card
Choosing the right type of business credit card can depend on several factors, including your business’s expenses and financial goals. As a general rule, business owners should review the business’s spending habits and identify the categories where most money is spent. This will help you choose a business credit card that offers rewards and perks that align with your business’s expenses.
- Consider How Much Credit You Need
It is important to consider the credit limit of the card and whether it will be sufficient for your business needs. For starters, having a clear understanding of your monthly business income and expenses can help you gauge what credit limit to choose.
You should also consider factors such as how much you are able to afford each month, and potential cash flow shortages.
- Know How Interest Is Calculated
One of the most important things to know before getting a business credit card is how interest is calculated in a bid to understand the true cost of borrowing money on your card. This knowledge can help you make informed decisions about managing your business’s finances, including when to make payments and how to minimise interest charges.
- Consider The Fees
Business credit cards may come with annual fees, late payment fees, cash advance fees, balance transfer fees, foreign transaction fees, and other charges. Be sure to review the terms and conditions carefully to understand the fees associated with the card.
- Maximise Your Benefits
Some business credit cards offer additional benefits, such as extended warranties, purchase protection, and travel insurance. However, it is important to note that typically, cards with more rewards generally have higher annual fees and interest rates than other card types.
With this in mind, it can be beneficial to consider whether these benefits would be valuable for your business before committing to a business credit card.
Should I Get a Credit Card for Business?
Ultimately, the decision on whether to get a credit card for your business depends on your business’s individual financial situation and needs. If you need access to credit to manage expenses and build credit for your business, a business credit card can be an invaluable tool.
However, if you are not careful with your spending or are concerned about accumulating debt, it may be a better idea to explore other financing options.
Before getting a credit card for your business, be sure to review your business’s finances, research different card options, and consider the above pros and cons of using a credit card for business expenses.
With careful consideration and responsible use, a business credit card can be a useful tool for managing your business’s finances and achieving your financial goal.