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Suggestions for a small business credit card

SamsamSamsam subscriber Posts: 5
Hi, I want to get a credit card for business only.  Does anyone have any suggestions or advice on which company is or has worked for them?


  • LogoMotivesLogoMotives subscriber Posts: 15
    I have two business cards.  One is from Capital One.  I especially like the annual expense listing provided at the end of each tax year with items broken out according to tax categories.The other is an American Express card.  It`s great for business travel and has a number of benefits and discounts - like a discount on Fedex shipping.However, I am considering trading the Capital  One card for one offered through my small business account at WaMu.- J. 
  • SamsamSamsam subscriber Posts: 5
    Thanks very much, I am going to look at them today!
  • HondoTechHondoTech subscriber Posts: 3
    American Express Corporate card is fantastic.
    I do not believe I could have gotten to the point I am at today without that card.
    It has no preset spending limit.
    It has to be paid off every cycle. 
    You can get it in your company`s name (it wont affect your personal credit). 
    If you sign up for the rewards program (think its $75 a year) every dollar charged =1 point, trade points for stuff (my favorite is vactions). Go go vacations!  My wife and I went to Las Vegas for a week, round trip air, hotel, and car rental for ZERO out of pocket. Go go vacations!
    The customer service has been utterly fantastic every time I have had to deal with them.  I had my card # stolen 6 months ago, it took an entire 10 minutes on the phone over 2 seperate phone calls (they called me the first time to let me know, I called them at the end of the month to let them know which charges were bogus) to clear out $40,000 worth of charges and I had a new card in my hand the very next day (at no charge).
    I also have a business Capitol One card for the places I cannot use the AMEX, but I tend to not go back a 2nd time unless I cannot get whatever I need somewhere else.
  • BupulgaBupulga subscriber Posts: 1
    All the considerations here are great. I just would like to add one other thing to be considered in the process of getting a cc for your business, the size of the expense account.
    Credit cards will give you great benefits, as you have been able to see the great examples here. However, you need to think about negotiating the best deal for your business. Dont forget to ask about no maintanance fee, best possible first six months APR, financial reports and anything else you may feel will help to keep your expenses down.
    Credit cards fees can be a hit if you have a very small maigin in your business and the business is not very large. Also consider focusing benefits on the charges and not on the gifts. Dont forget, there are no free lunches.
    I hope I was as helpful as the other folks here. Good luck.
  • SamsamSamsam subscriber Posts: 5
    Thanks everyone for the info and suggestions.  It was great to get advice from people who have been there, done that!  Take Care!
  • jlukasavigejlukasavige subscriber Posts: 2
    I only have a debit card.  I don`t answer to anyone I could ever be in debt to.  I operate out of cash only in the business and never have, never will owe money on it.  Even if it may be only for 1 month. 
  • SamsamSamsam subscriber Posts: 5
  • RichRich administrator Posts: 582 Site Admin
    you`re going to start hearing jeff`s and my voices on the radio promoting the brand new Discover Card for Small Business. it`s got a great rewards program, great customer service, and some other bennies. they`re a newer entry into the business and have a lot of market share to gain so you can expect them to go the extra mile to impress users.
    one other note, as it relates to credit cards versus debit cards. debit cards don`t help you in establishing business credit - only credit cards do, so take that into account when you use plastic!
  • HondoTechHondoTech subscriber Posts: 3
    Everyone takes MC and Visa. Most take American Express, signifigantly less take Discover.  Especially on the vendor side.
  • LogoMotivesLogoMotives subscriber Posts: 15
    Everyone takes MC and Visa. Most take American Express, signifigantly less take Discover.  Especially on the vendor side.I`ve found that to be very true - especially when traveling.  I have a personal Discover card and originally got it due to the great rewards program (as mentioned by Rich).  Unfortunately, there has not been the mass acceptance of the card and I seldom use it.  The vendor/retailer acceptance of the Discover card would need to greatly increase for me to consider it as a business resource.- J.
  • RichRich administrator Posts: 582 Site Admin
    (i`ll make sure i carry this torch with our contacts at Discover)
  • HondoTechHondoTech subscriber Posts: 3
    The problem with the Discover card and to a lesser extent AMEX is the sign-up process and fees that they charge the merchants.  Anyone opening up a merchant account can tell you that Visa/MC is a simple one step process for the pair, while Discover and AMEX both require seperate accounts and seperate sign-ups (and much higher fees), so the merchant ends up carrying 3 different accounts to process 4 different credit cards, you have 3 different merchant agreements, 3 or more different sets of fee structures (swiped vs non-swiped, validated vs non-validated, govt corporate cards or any other bulk corporate account) for each brand you carry.  Some of the merchant processing companies out there do a pretty good job of integrating it all into one BIG statement every month, but its far far easier to simply not accept the discover card and force the customer to use a Visa/MC (If they have a Discover, guaranteed they have Visa/MC).  AMEX works a little better because they tend to cater to the B2B crowd (though their fees are still higher than Visa/MC).
    If you do any regular amount of business with a small group of vendors, you can often coerce them into accepting the credit card you want to use (if they dont take it currently) by showing them how much of your buiness they are losing to X other company because they do take the card of your choice (worked for me anyway).
    Branching off topic just a bit... if Discover wants to make headway into the B2B market, their fees need to be lower than Visa/MC and they need to have better reporting and customer service than AMEX.
  • jlukasavigejlukasavige subscriber Posts: 2
    one other note, as it relates to credit cards versus debit cards. debit cards don`t help you in establishing business credit - only credit cards do, so take that into account when you use plastic!
    richThat`s not a problem for me since I never have and never will borrow money for my business.  I prefer to do it the `old fassioned` way.  You know, like your grandparents would have done it.  If I don`t have cash, I don`t buy.  Sounds pretty simple, huh?Did you know that most small businesses will fail in the first 5 years?  Did you also know that those who make it those first 5 years will most likely fail in the second 5 years?  Do you also know that most of them had a lot of business debt?  It`s a lot easier to make it through the lean months if you`re not paying on loans and credit cards.Who cares about points?  Accoriding to recent studies, you`ll spend 12-18% more if you buy with credit than with cash.  So you`re spending 18% more just to get 1.5% back in cash or airline miles.  That math just doesn`t seem right to me.  I have a cheap calculator though, so maybe I`m not doing it right. 
  • BupulgaBupulga subscriber Posts: 1
    Usage of credit card to pay for your bills can be a GREAT way to manage your business in many aspects of it. What you need to be is a good business manager, and you wont find yourself in trouble with credit cards. I have been paying all of my bills with cc and I take great advantage of the program. I never overspend, cause I know what my business need, and I make the purchase not based on credit, but need, and I never pay the bill a day late. I may just be their worst customers cause I never pay any interest.
    As for the numbers of new business failure, I`d like to challenge it. Read the Startup Nation book, the numbers are not the ones presented here. This seems more like the numbers shown in the E-Myth book, which was just taken out of old poorly done research.
    As far as doing business with Discover and Amex, I agree. They suck! You will accept them in your business only if you are forced to do it. I have been able to manage w/out them and I dont accept them in my place. People give us an Amex/Discover and politely we ask the customers for Mastercard/Visa. It works every time.
    I do love the idea of paying for your bills with cash, but you will never build credit for your business. So, the decision is, is credit important for your business? I havent seen a business that does not benefit from it.
  • jlukasavigejlukasavige subscriber Posts: 2
    I have benefited plenty without the use of credit.  I`m prospering in fact, and have not ever borrowed a dime.  I have no need.  So now you know one company who has prospered without business credit.  I don`t make payments, and you know what I have??? MONEY!Even if you pay your bills on time, you are no where close to a credit card company`s worst customer.  Their worst customers are the ones who don`t pay at all.  If you pay your bills on time the CC company still loves you because they still make money off of every purchase you make with your card.  They charge the vendor a small percentage.About the statistics... the National Federation of Independent Business` Education Foundation says this:"The NFIB estimates that over the lifetime of a business, 39% are
    profitable, 30% break even, and 30% lose money, with 1% falling in the
    "unable to determine" category."To me that sounds an awful lot like only 30% of small business ever make money.  I`d say that statistic is pretty reliable.  www.nfibonline.com
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