Getting a business credit card is a no-brainer for most small to large businesses. It allows for easy record-keeping of expenses, plus each company employee can have their own card. A business rewards credit card is even better than a plain credit card, though, because employees are rewarded for money they spend on office supplies and similar items. For example, Chase offers up to 5% cashback on office supplies and cable services, which are items and services you were going to pay full price for.
Here are 4 key things to look for when choosing the best business rewards credit card.
#1 – Focus on Long-Term Benefits Most people concentrate on short-term credit card benefits; don’t be one of those people. Zero interest for six months is great, but what benefits are you left with seven months later? When I’m looking for a business rewards card, I rule out cards with annual fees and stingy cash-back programs. Cards with premium benefits are the exception to this rule, because sometimes an annual fee buys a lot of useful things. For example, Amex’s premium business upgrade gives access to literally dozens of discounts and services that can save a business thousands of dollars a month. Automatic room upgrade in hotels, travel health insurance, line-skipping privileges at car rental businesses, and 24/7 roadside assistance are just some extra benefits offered by premium rewards cards. American Express offers a ton of premium services more than any other company I’ve seen.
#2 – Learn the Rewards Program Details Cash-back programs are popular because everyone likes “free” money. A good rewards card has more to offer, though, like airline miles and other travel benefits, discounts, and free concierge services. Some concierge services attempt to do anything legal and possible (at first glance) when asked. It’s like having an extra employee, except he’s slow and asks a lot of questions. In addition, don’t be fooled into thinking 5% cashback is good. Five percent cashback is standard with business cards. You can get up to 20% cashback when purchasing from certain stores with some cards.
#3 – Small Business vs. Corporate CardsThere’s major differences between small business and corporate credit cards. If you’re confused and wondering which to get, look into business cards, which are usually designed specifically for small businesses. Corporation cards are generally geared towards large businesses, including non-profits and government departments. They tend to come with complex custom software to track and review employee travel, entertainment, and business expenses. Such cards are rarely advertised on T.V, unlike business rewards credit cards.
#4 – Warning: All Credit Card Companies Are Not Equal A great benefit of business rewards cards is that spare cards can be ordered for employees. But what happens when an employee goes off the deep end? You know, that guy, the one who obliviously offends everyone but is otherwise a hard-working, take-no-prisoners kind of employee? You need a business card with theft and fraud policies that have your back, like Discover’s $0 fraud liability guarantee. Did you know that financial institutions can sometimes require you to pay back part of what an employee has stolen? Under the United States’ federal law, if you fail to report potential credit card theft before it happens, you’re partially liable. Therefore, any business rewards card that never holds its cardholders liable can save your business money.
There’s a lot to think about when getting a new card. Take the time to read reviews and ask customer service a few questions. You might encounter an immediate turn-off, like a 30 minute wait on sales queries. On the other hand, the credit card company might welcome you into their midst with a deal that can’t be beat.
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