Running a small business, even if that business is just you acting as a freelancer, isn’t easy, especially when you’re just starting out. It takes capital for initial expenditures like office space, utilities, equipment, advertising, and office supplies.
Of course there are a number of business items you can get for free, like business cards, websites, and even free business phone numbers and services. But in general, you’re going to have to pay out for some serious business necessities.
You can pay for these things in several different ways, the top three choices being, cash you have on hand, a line of credit you’ve already established with a small business friendly bank, or you can use a credit card that is solely dedicated to your business.
Nerdwallet.com states that a credit card for small businesses shouldn’t just be something that’s used by a big office or storefront, but instead, the gig worker driving an Uber, or the guy or gal selling products on Amazon, or even a freelance blogger/writer.
The main advantages of having a small business credit card is that it not only keeps your business finances separate from your personal stuff, but many of these cards offer bonuses and rewards that make them more attractive than your garden variety, high interest rate consumer credit card.
The major disadvantage, of course, is that you need to keep up with the credit card payments in order to avoid getting into serious debt. Even the charges on a low interest, business credit card can stack up pretty fast, and if you’re not taking in enough revenue to pay them off even once per month, you’ll soon find you and your small business buried in a mountain of debt.
Now that you’ve been sufficiently warned, here are 5 of the best credit cards for small business owners.
1. The Small Business Friendly Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
Nerdwallet likes this one a lot because it offers one of the best sign-up bonuses of any card on the market today. It also has a variety of rewards programs which can be very attractive even to freelancers. More specifically, the sign-up bonus is worth up to $1,250 if you budget enough expenses on the card.
Points can be redeemed for travel and you can also transfer points to up a dozen airlines and hotels which include United Airlines, Southwest, plus Hyatt and Marriott hotels. If you spend and pay off over $150,000 per year on travel, telecommunications, shipping and social media advertising, you will earn up to 3 points for every dollar spent.
2. The Small Business Friendly Capital One Spark Cash for Business Card
This card offers 2% cash back on all purchases. That’s right, all purchases, making it a terrific deal for small business owners.
Also, if you spend $25,000 on office supplies plus telecommunications like cable and phones, you get up to 5% back. Another 2% cash back is offered for $25,000 in spending on gas and eateries. You get another 1% back on anything else business related, be it travel and/or entertainment for existing and potential clients. The sign-up bonus is said to be a good one, plus no annual user fee.
3. The Small Business Friendly American Express Blue Business Cash Card
According to Nerdwallet, the American Express Blue Business Cash Card is identical to its Blue Business Plus Credit Card, expect that the former offers cash back incentives and the latter offers reward points. This card is said to offer a 0% introductory APR (Annualized Percentage Rate) on the first 12 months of purchases.
After that the APR varies from around 13% to 19%. You also get 2% cash back on $50K in business-related purchases every year. Beyond $50K, you get 1% cash back.
4. The Small Business Friendly Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card
Do you find yourself up in the air a lot for on behalf of your small business? Delta SkyMiles Business American Express card not only offers you access to every comforting Delta Sky Club and American Express Centurion airport lounges both nationally and internationally, it also can qualify you for first-class seating and checked-baggage rewards. You’ll also get an annual companion certificate which means you can bring a friend with you on a domestic flight for free, even if you are seated in 1st Class (terms apply).
The card comes with an excellent sign-up bonus plus 3 miles per dollar spent on Delta goods and services.
5. The Small Business Friendly Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card
It only makes sense that if you fly a lot, you’re also going to be sleeping in a lot of hotels. The Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card just might be the perfect choice for frequently travelling small business owners.
The card is said to pay for itself with its free night’s stay annual bonus alone. It also offers elite customer status, and lots of big rewards too, including 6 points her dollar spent at Marriott Bonvoy hotels. You get 4 points for ever every dollar spent at U.S. gas stations, U.S. eateries, U.S. provided cellphone service, and U.S. purchases that require shipping.
Small business friendly credit cards can be a real boon to your business, especially when you’re just starting out. You should also take advantage of the free services like free phone numbers and 250 free business cards. But sooner than later, you’re going to be paying for everything from laptop computers to ink cartridges, to long distance flights to hotels. That will take a small business friendly credit card.
If you use the cards responsibly and pay off your balance regularly, you will see the rewards and cash-back bonuses adding up significantly, saving you a heck of a lot of money as your business grows and grows.