How Can I Maximize the Benefits of My Business Credit Card?

Having a business credit card is about more than just boosting your company’s short-term spending power. Business cards bring other inherent benefits to you as a business owner and to your organization, including cash back rewards, purchase protection, and the ability to build business credit.

You can do things to boost these advantages before you apply for your new card and after the account has been established.

Choosing a Business Credit Card with the Best Rewards

Business credit cards can offer significant benefits, though they’re not a one-size-fits-all product. To choose a business card that aligns with your business goals, first consider the perks and rewards offered by different card issuers. 

After that, calculate which rewards card your small business will profit from the most. Their card incentives typically include:

Flat-Rate Cash Back

Flat-rate cards apply their money back as an account credit or a cash refund, giving you a specific percentage back on every purchase across the board. This perk is best for businesses that have broad or unpredictable spending patterns.

Bonus Category Cash Back

Cards that offer bonus category rewards will give you a more significant rate for spending with particular retailers (i.e., gas stations, office supply stores, airlines, or restaurants.) Bonus categories will offer maximum benefit to companies that predictably spend more from month to month in specific categories.

Variable Bonus Category Cash Back

Some cards provide a higher rate for certain retailers than they do for others; however, these categories rotate from one quarter to the next. If you have spending flexibility to time your purchases to match quarterly bonus categories, these rewards can start adding up for your business. Just be sure to opt-in every quarter for this higher rate, since it’s usually not automatic.

Travel Points 

Travel business cards award you with airline miles or redeemable points for airfare and hotel stays. If you’re a frequent business traveler, you’ll receive the maximum benefit from this card type if you can use your rewards before they expire.

No matter the reward card you choose, take time to familiarize yourself with its benefits structure. That way, you can plan your purchase rewards to help your bottom line and achieve maximum yield for your company.

Make Sure that You Meet the Welcome Bonus Threshold

Numerous cards offer a one-time welcome bonus reward when you open your account. Yet, the welcome bonus will only kick in if you make enough purchases on your card in the initial months. For example, you might earn an extra $500 in cash back after you spend at least $3,000 in the first three months.

Specifics vary from card to card, so pay attention to the details of your new card’s welcome offer to ensure you don’t miss out.

Issue Cards to Your Employees

Your rewards and bonuses will add up faster when your employees use company cards tied into the same account. By issuing connected employee cards, you’ll also be able to track everyone’s spending on one monthly statement. 

Additionally, most card issuers allow you to set permissions specific to each card. For example, limiting the spending cap and degree of account access given to each employee.

Pay Off Your Monthly Credit Card Balance

Business and personal credit cards are essentially free to use if you pay off your monthly balance before the due date. Though because they’re a revolving credit product, you also have the option to carry over your balance from month to month. 

Doing this can free up working capital and help you with your cash flow, resulting in relatively high-interest charges. These costs begin to accrue after your grace period. The interest you pay on these costs will likely offset any benefit you received from your card’s rewards program or bonus points. For maximum business card benefits, pay off your balance every month.

Paying your cards off before their due dates may also increase your credit score. Timely payments and low credit utilization ratios are principal factors in how your FICO scores are calculated. This evaluation could impact your business score if your credit card issuer reports to any of the three business credit bureaus: Dun & Bradstreet (DNB), Experian, and Equifax.

Know Your Purchase Protection Coverage

Purchase protection is another business credit card benefit that is often overlooked. Examples of purchase protections include:

  • Travel insurance coverage for canceled or delayed trips
  • Reimbursement for lost luggage
  • Rental car collision damage waivers
  • Defective or damaged product reimbursement

The specific policy for these protections will vary from card to card. Educate yourself on what coverage your card offers, so you will know when you can submit a claim.

Business credit cards offer many potential benefits, and you should take whatever steps you can to maximize these financial incentives. However, credit cards are not necessarily the best funding tool for every small business. This is especially true if you just started your company or have consumer credit scores too low to qualify.


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