Best Business Credit Cards

My friend Matt started a business and wanted to know what the best business credit card was. I’ll list what I consider the best options below but in general here’s what I look for:

  • No annual fee: If you’re a startup, you want to keep costs as low as possible until you get your revenues up. Having to pay a hundred dollars a year, as little as that sounds, is a hundred dollars you can’t put back into your business to grow it as quickly as possible. Just as I wouldn’t get a consumer credit card with an annual fee, if I was a startup I’d avoid a card with an annual fee. Fortunately there are plenty of options.
  • Rewards: I look at rewards from two angles. First, I want to get better than 1% rewards or cash back in categories that I will be spending a lot in such as office supply, advertising, etc. Second, if I’m getting points, I want to ensure the reward catalog has products I would buy with my own money. I don’t want gift cards to chain restaurants I never visit. I don’t want electronics or DVDs I can buy for cheaper online.
  • Promotional APRs: Many businesses have been built on the shoulders of consumer credit card debt. I don’t advocate going into debt to start a business, but if you’re going to then it’s best to get a credit card that will give you 0% APY for six or twelve months on your purchases or balance transfers. These offers are becoming rarer because credit card companies are reducing their risk but they still exist.
  • Don’t use your consumer credit card: You can use a consumer credit card as a business card but be sure to use it only for business expenses (even this is suspect, depends on who you ask). If you don’t properly separate the two “worlds,” then you could run into liability issues down the road. Be sure to check with a business attorney or your accountant though.

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Discover Business: $100 Cashback Bonus Promotion

Discover® Business CardThis promotion has ended, you can look at this list of the best credit card offers to find additional sign up bonuses.

Discover Business is running a promotion where you can get $100 bonus cashback after $1000 in purchases within the first three months. Discover Business was the card I decided was the best business card because it offered a 0% APY on balance transfers and purchases for 12 months, had no annual fee (rare in a business credit card), and now with this $100 cashback promotion offer… it’s certainly worth considering if you run a business.

Some other notable features of the card:

  • 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers,
  • 5% cashback bonus on office supplies,
  • 2% cashback bonus on gas purchases,
  • 1% cashback on everything else.

So, who can apply for a business card? Anyone can apply, simply enter your social security number as the TIN. The beautiful thing about the United States is that anyone can be a business as a sole proprietorship and there are no additional tax implications or forms to fill out for the sole proprietorship business entity. This means that anyone can take advantage of this business card offer even if you don’t have a business.

If this card isn’t your thing but you are still interested in the best cash back credit cards, I invite you to click that link and check out the hottest offers available.

 Business, Credit 

Signing Up For A Discover Business Card

Now that the site generates some income, I have a bona fide “business” and that calls for a business card! My choice right now is the Discover Business card because it offers a 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months, which means I can put my MBA classes on it and get 0% for a little while (too bad I just paid for some classes, but there’s always next semester). There, unfortunately, isn’t a 0% balance transfer offer like many other Discover cards but 0% on purchases for 12 months is still a nice perk, especially if you’re just starting a new business.

A few other perks are that I can get 5% cash back on office supplies, 2% on gas (but I’ll be using a Citi Driver’s Edge card for gasoline), and 1% for everything else.

Why would I get a business card when I could just buy stuff with my personal credit card? One reason is that the reporting functionality offered by Discover looks pretty comprehensive and could be valuable come tax time. Secondly, having a “business” credit gives me a little more credence when it comes to tax time because anything that makes you look like you have a business will help. Lastly, getting business credit is difficult and so the earlier I try, the better.

Anyone have any advice about business credit cards or about this Discover card?


$100 Credit Card Signup Deals

Update: All of these promotions have expired.

It costs credit card companies $200 per new credit card sign up, so make them give you some of that via gift cards or straight cash:

  • Business Gold Rewards Card – Get $250 in free money! (this deal will be expiring very soon) It is a business card but you can use your Social Security Number as your EIN (that’s what sole proprietorships do). Just as a warning, this card has a $125 annual fee that is waived for the first year.
  • Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express – earn up to 30K bonus Starpoints®:10K after your first purchase and 20K after you spend $5K in purchases on the card within the first 6 mo. Offer expires 9/3/2013. That’s enough for a weekend getaway to a Category 4 Hotel.
  • American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Card – 10,000 Membership Reward points will be credited to your Membership Rewards account 6 to 8 weeks after your first purchase, annual fee waived for the first year. 10,000 points is worth $100 in gift cards or 10,000 miles.
  • CitiBusiness Card with ThankYou Network – $100 worth of Thank You Rewards after $250 in purchases.

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