When starting a new business, you don’t think about taking credit since at the beginning. Only after running it for some time you realize you might need it. However, just like the personal credit score, you will need to build up your business credit score to qualify for a credit, lower rates, and more benefits.
If you are not sure whether your business has a credit report or not, you can ask for the credit report from one of the credit reporting organizations. In the case of the personal credit report, the government requires them to provide at least 1 free credit report a year to everyone.
However, in the case of a business, they are not obliged to give a free report. If your business has a credit report, you will have to pay a fee to get the report.
I hope that by now, you know that credit is not free money that someone gives to you without expecting to get it back. If you want to benefit from your credit, you will need to be careful, not miss any deadlines and spend the money responsibly.
If you are new to getting business credit, you are probably not familiar with the business credit cards and the benefits they usually provide. You can get business credit cards from any bank or organization that provides personal credit cards.
Let’s go through 10 business credit cards with the most benefits and interesting offers, and see which one will be the best for you.
Annual Fee: $95
APR: Variable, 17.99% – 22.99%
Sign-up Bonus: 80,000 bonus points. You will get these bonus points once you spend $5000 during your first 3 months of using the card. 80,000 bonus points are worth $1000 in travel rewards.
Card Benefits: With Chase Ink Business Preferred card, you can not only have the bonus points but also benefits like protecting your card from fraud, setting personalized account alerts, and much more.
For your first $150,000 purchases you will earn 3 points for each $1 spent. Each point is worth 1 cent. However, if you want to spend your bonus points for traveling purposes, you will get 25% more. In other words, 1 point will be worth 1.25 cents.
As a business, this card gives you an opportunity to get cards for your employees as well. There are no additional costs for these cards, and you will be able to benefit from their purchases as well. Moreover, you will be able to benefit from the gift cards and cashback opportunities while using the card.
If you do business with institutions or people from outside the US this card will be a lot of help to you. Using Chase Ink Business Preferred, you will have no transaction costs for foreign transactions. All you’ll have to do is to make your transaction and carry on with running your business.
These are only a few of the amazing benefits that this Chase Ink card provides. To see the complete list of its features, please go to their official website.
Annual Fee: $0 intro for the first year and $95 after that
APR: 19.24% variable rate
Sign-up Bonus: If you spend $4,500 on purchases in the first 3 months of becoming a Capital One Spark Cash cardholder, you will get a $500 cash bonus.
Card Benefits: One of the most interesting benefits of the Capital One Spark Cash Business card is that at the end of the year, you get 2% unlimited cash back for your monthly spending. In this video, Christina Stembel, the founder and CEO of Farmgirl Flowers, shares about her experience with the card and how it helped her to grow her business.
The Spark Cash will give you an opportunity to make foreign transactions with 0% transaction fees. You will have access to easily downloadable excel reports and year-end summaries.
Additionally, the card will give you enhanced security for your transactions, auto rental collision damage waiver, and a lot more. You can read about it here.
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% of introductory APR for the first 12 months, after which the APR will become variable 15.24%–21.24%
Sign-up Bonus: you will get $500 cashback as soon as you spend $3000 on purchases during the first 3 months of your membership
Card Benefits: You will get up to 5% cashback on your purchases in certain business categories. You can check the wagering requirements for this cashback opportunity here.
Along with everything else mentioned here, you will be able to request employee cards, collect, and then spend reward points. You can use your reward points by asking for a cashback, booking your business travel, convert those points into gift cards from certain brands, and make Apple purchases.
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express
Annual Fee: $595
APR: If you fully pay your balance each month, there will be no interest charges (1 year). Please follow this link for more details on APR.
Sign-up Bonus: If you make purchases of $10,000 you will get 50,000 reward points and another 25,000 as soon as you spend your second $10,000. You can earn the points only within the first 3 months of your card membership.
Card Benefits: By getting this card, you will also $200 of free credit every year to use for airline baggage fees and more.
With this card, you will have no foreign transaction fees, complimentary benefits in hotels. Use the American express lounge collection at the airports and get up to $200 annual Dell statement credit. Earn reward points and change them into cash later.
Annual Fee: $0 for the first year and $95 the end of the first 12 months.
APR: Variable of 19.24%
Sign-up Bonus: Once 50,000 bonus miles equal to $450. You will be able to collect these bonus miles once you make $4,500 worth of purchases within the first 3 months of your card membership.
Card Benefits: With this card, you will have no transaction fees on foreign transactions, a travel emergency assistance service, enhanced protection, and year-end reports.
To make your life even easier, the card gives you an opportunity to open employee cards set spending limits to those cards and give access to certain people to the card and purchases.
On top of everything, the card has enhanced protection with fraud and security alerts. In addition, if you of any of your employees lose the card or it gets stolen you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges.
American Express® Business Gold Card
Annual Fee: $295
APR: A variable interest between 16.24%-24.24%. The decision on how much your APR should be is based on your creditworthiness as well as other factors. You can find details about the APR and other charges here.
Sign-up Bonus: You will get a $500 bonus cashback in the form of statement credits when purchasing FedEx services within the first 3 months of your card membership.
Card Benefits: When you book flights with this card using reward points, you will be able to get 25% of those points back. The points get back can amount to 250,000 in a year.
The American Express Gold Card will also allow you to pay your charges over time with some additional interest.
Annual Fee: $125
APR: Variable, 17.74% – 26.74%
Sign-up Bonus: You will get 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points as soon as you spend $3,000 in purchases during the first 3 months.
Card Benefits: With this card, you can get a complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status or Platinum Elite status depending on how much eligible purchases you have made. With this card you can also be eligible for free night awards, earn additional points on your purchases, and much more. If you want to read about all the benefits that this card provides, please go to this link.
Annual Fee: $95
APR: Variable, 17.74% – 26.74%
Sign-up Bonus: As soon as you spend your first $3,000 in purchases during the first 3 months of your card membership you will get 125,000 Hilton Honors points.
Card Benefits: In addition to your sign-up bonus, you will have an opportunity to get complimentary Gold status. With this card, you will have free weekend night, free priority pass visits for over 1000 Priority Pass airport lounges every year. And if you spend $40,000 on eligible purchases every year, your status will be upgraded to Hilton Diamond status.
In addition to all of these, you will have $0 transaction fees of foreign transactions and many more benefits.
Annual Fee: No annual fee
APR: 0% introductory APR for the first 1 year and after that it becomes 15.24% – 21.24% based on your creditworthiness
Sign-up Bonus: No sign-up bonus
Card Benefits: The Blue Business cash card has higher spending capacity, which means you can spend more than your limit without any over-limit fees. You will also have 2% cashback on certain types of purchases amounting $50,000 each year. You can read more about the terms of this card here.
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% intro for the first 12 months and 15.24%–21.24% variable rate after that
Sign-up Bonus: $500 as soon as you spend your first $3,000 within the first 3 months of your membership
Card Benefits: 1.5% cashback for an unlimited amount of business-related purchases. Additionally, you will be able to activate employee cards, and you will be able to earn points for every purchase that you or your employees make.
Except for earning points, you will also get cashback. Each $1 of your cashback quals to 100 bonus points which you will later be able to use to make payments.
How to build your business credit?
Building your business credit might sound easy for some people and complicated for some other. Either way, it requires time and some work.
Just like building a personal credit score, you will need to take several steps to build your business credit score and show the credit organizations and banks that you are a creditworthy business.
Now let’s go through some of the steps you can take to increase your credit score or create one if you still don’t have it.
Register your business
The official establishment of your business is the first step in having a business credit score. If your business is not registered, you won’t even be able to open a bank account or make any official business activities. Check the different business structures prior to your registration and see which one fits your business the best.
Get an employer identification number (EIN)
EIN, as many call it, is the social security number of your business. It is mostly used for tax purposes. For certain business structures such as sole proprietorships, partnerships, and single-owner LLCs, the owner will be able to use your own social security number as EIN. For most of the other types, you will have to get an EIN.
Open business bank account
The next step on the way of establishing your business credit score, or increasing the score, you should open a bank account. Without a bank account making transactions or starting a credit line would be impossible.
Get a business DUNS number
Just like in case of personal credits, the lenders need to have as much information about you as possible. They will want to know a lot of information, including where you live and what’s your phone number.
If most people have a place to live and a phone number, it’s not an issue to provide those. In the case of a business, you will have to register a business address and get a phone number which you can provide during various business activities, including credit organizations.
Establish trade lines with your suppliers
To have a high credit score, you will have to show that you are in great relationships with your vendors, suppliers, and investors. Involve as many of them as you can and maintain good relationships with them.
Borrow from lenders who report to business credit bureaus
You may be an exceptional and desirable borrower, but your credit score as a business may stay the same. You would be wondering why is that. That’s because some lenders give you money, enjoy their interest payments don’t even bother reporting about your great behavior as a borrower to the credit bureaus.
This is the same as borrowing from your friend because it doesn’t affect your score. Try to borrow from lenders who report to credit bureaus to make sure your loans affect your credit score.
Pay on time or early
The last but not the least is to always pay on time. If you are having a hard time remembering your payment dates, set reminders to help you meet the deadline. Building good credit history is one of the most important steps you can take to increase your credit score. If you can, it would be better to make early payments. But if you want to make early payments make sure they don’t have any penalties for that.
Everything that I’ve mentioned in the card benefit section is not available right away. You will have to meet the card’s requirements to qualify for those benefits.
At last, pay attention to your credit score and try to increase it. You won’t need any of those credit cards if no credit organization or bank agrees to give you credit.
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