As a business owner, you’ve got a lot to think about. Sometimes it’s easy to overlook the basics like what kind of bank account you need, or how to use credit to your advantage. In my role as a Business Banking Officer, I get a lot of questions from business owners looking to learn more about business credit cards. So today, I’m breaking down some of the most common questions I get when it comes to business credit cards.
Why businesses need a business credit card
Using business credit cards is helpful for a few reasons. To start, it helps the business owner keep their business expenses separated from their personal expenses. Often, many business owners – especially sole proprietors – think it’s not a big deal to use their personal card for business expenses. For legal, accounting, and taxation purposes, it’s much better (and often a requirement) to keep these two things separate.
There are perks to having business credit cards. In the case of limited companies, it helps limited companies build credit history. There is often a lower interest rate provided through business credit cards, which allows the business owner to borrow money at a lower rate and in turn help with business liquidity. And the icing on the cake? Many business credit cards come with rewards like cash back, points, gift card rewards or access to private airport lounges.
How to use business credit cards effectively
There are some purchases that are great to make with credit cards, and some that are better to use cash or a loan for. In theory, if you can pay off your credit card payment in full, making credit card purchases for your business expenses is great as you can maximize your rewards.
That being said, some suppliers will offer a discount if you pay with cash. If the savings outweigh the value of the rewards you get, we’ll do the math for you – pay with cash. Just remember to get your receipt for your taxes later on. Also take a look at the amount of the purchase. If you’re not going to be able to pay it off when your credit card bill arrives, consider comparing the interest rate to that of a business loan. You don’t want to miss a payment and have it affect your credit score.
How to find the best card
This one depends on what you prefer from a rewards perspective. Do you love travelling? Travel cards are great because it’s like a little bonus savings account that lets you jet off every once in a while. Other business owners just want to see that cold, hard cash in their account so they’ll opt for cash back. If you expect you may carry a balance once in a while, look for a card with a low interest rate. Other people don’t care about rewards or interest rate. They just want a card with no annual fee. To sum it up, it depends on your personal preference and business need.
Hopefully this has helped give you some insight that will help you make a decision when it comes to using a credit card for your business. If you have any questions, just give someone from our business banking team a shout. We’re always here to help.
|Charles Gao, Business Banking Officer
Charles has 6 years of experience in retail and business banking. He likes to travel, fish and play table tennis. He’s currently a mentor in SFU Beedie’s Mentors in Business program and enjoys sharing his finance knowledge at various community and business events.