Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card
Bonuses & Rewards
- 25,000 Starpoints® sign-up bonus.
- 24,000 Starpoints® for everyday spend.
Not only are business credit cards great for extra money when you need it, but they can also be used as a tool to manage your business. Not to mention that they open up a whole new line of sign-up bonuses for travelers to take advantage of. You don’t even have to have a large business or a storefront to get one. You can apply by using your Social Security number. Having an EIN (Employer Identification Number) is not necessary, although it does help separate you financially from your business. So, whether you drive for Uber, one of your hobbies is starting to turn a profit or you are opening the restaurant you always dreamed of, a small business credit card can help you build a great foundation in so many ways.
When it comes to small business credit cards, they are more than just a line of credit. They can be a lifeline. Many small business owners use their cards to keep their businesses afloat during slow periods. If you have a small business, it is imperative to have a small business credit card. One needs to build their business credit in a similar fashion to their personal credit. Just as an individual may want to build or improve their credit for loftier goals like obtaining a mortgage, a business should do the same to be afforded more lines of credit and access to loans to build and grow their business.
While it’s not the most rewarding card on the market, the Spark Cash Select for Business earns a solid 1.5 percent return on every purchase and has no annual fee. That makes it a great card for anyone who doesn’t want to deal with the hassle of special bonus categories for purchases or complicated award redemptions from airlines.
That doesn’t mean, though, that it’s only good for those who are new to credit card rewards. Since this card has no cost and earns a bonus on all purchases, it’s a great backup to have in case your other rewards cards aren’t going to earn more than a 1 percent return on a particular purchase.
Another reason to consider this card is if you have a lot of expenses coming up soon and you’re going to have to carry a balance for a few months. Grab this card and take advantage of some interest-free financing. All new purchases get 0% APR for the first nine months you have the card. Just be sure to pay off your balance before the special rate runs out. Paying interest can quickly eat away all the rewards you earn.
The Business Gold Rewards Card offers plenty of value to small business owners and independent contractors who spend quite a bit on expenses. You’ll receive 50,000 Membership Rewards points just for signing up and spending $5,000, and you can earn a lot more points quickly, thanks to this card’s generous bonus categories.
It is a great business card for those that spend a lot on airfare, shipping, advertising, fuel and computing services. The rewards rate of two to three percent on up to $100,000 is hard to beat.
Membership Rewards points can be transferred to partners or used as cash through the travel center, which gives you a way to purchase a ticket with points when award seats aren’t available directly from the airline. Flexibility in both earning and redeeming is one of the strongest features of this card.
If you’re a business owner looking to earn AA miles on credit card purchases, the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select is definitely right for you. Not only does the card come with a great sign-up bonus to boost your mileage account balance, but it also earns double miles for common business purchases, including rental cars, gas and telecommunications, and with American Airlines.
For the first year, you won’t pay the $95 annual fee, but the card is definitely worth keeping year after year due to the speed at which you can rack up AA miles. Furthermore, the annual fee isn’t so high that you need to put a lot of spend on the card to get your money’s worth. So even if you are a small business or don’t put a lot of expenses on credit, it’s still a great card to get.
Compare all credit cards by RE® Value, which is an estimate of how much you will earn during first year of credit card use minus annual fees.
Believe it or not, there are more reasons to get a business credit card than not to. The only reason not to get one is if you are afraid you might be irresponsible with it. In that case, you shouldn’t get one. Business credit cards come with higher spending limits than consumer cards and tools that can aid in accounting. Business credit cards can be a first line of financing options for those entrepreneurs that don’t qualify for a business loan.
Having credit cards that are dedicated to your business can help you keep track of business expenses. They can help you see when and where you spend your money. There’s no need to sift through receipts and calculate what you use your business card for, it will already be totaled for you at the end of the year. Your credit card statements serve as an additional consolidated set of receipts for all your business purchases.
You can also get additional cards for employees to help monitor and control their spending. Not to mention, many business credit cards come with tools that can help you see where the money goes with visually aids, like pie charts.
Many businesses have peak and slow seasons. Small business credit cards are great for survival during slow times. There may be a change in the market or the economy that can slow business, and during these times your credit cards can give you the working capital to stay afloat.
Be sure to use your business accounts strictly for business. This can help with accounting, so any personal expenses are not mucking up your business statements. Once your business credit is established, it can keep your debt to credit ratio from being affected in your personal accounts if you need to carry a balance for business expenses.
Getting a small business credit card is one of the best ways to begin to establish the financial health of your business in the eyes of creditors. You need to establish your business credit before you can think of applying for a business loan. Obtaining a business loan or having several significant lines of credit can be vital in helping to maintain and grow your business.
Traditionally business credit cards will afford higher limits than personal cards. Banks know businesses have more spending needs than average consumers. The better your business credit is, the more lines of credit your business can gain access to. Also, you’re business will get better payment terms and interest rates. To grow your business, you will need to reinvest in it. The more you put into your business, the more you will get out of it.
Sign-up and welcome bonuses are just icing on the cake. These are rewards you get when you open a new credit card account. When establishing your business credit, it is optimal to have several cards. This means you’ll be eligible for quite a few bonuses as well. Use these to reinvest in your business or help cover some of your travel needs.
Small business cards usually have category spending bonuses in areas that are business friendly, such as office supplies. Some cards offer spending bonuses as high as 10 percent. Different cards may have different bonus categories, like shipping, advertising, internet/cable and phone services.
Business credit cards can offer a lot more than just higher credit limits and easy-to-use budgeting apps. Many of them have great benefits that cater to business travelers, including complimentary airport lounge access. You won’t have to waste time at the airport anymore with all the business-related amenities offered in these lounges, such as quite work spaces, printers, fax machines and free high-speed internet. And if you need a break, there are always plenty of complimentary snacks and beverages.
You can even get elite status with hotel loyal programs if you have the right card. Not only can status make your trips more comfortable, but it can also make them more productive. Elite perks vary by hotel and status level, but they can include free nights, early check-in and late check out, access to hotel lounges and business centers and more.
Business owners spend a lot more on their credit cards than consumers. That is also means there are more rewards to be had. Although most business owners have more important reasons for obtaining credit cards, the rewards can be extremely significant. That’s especially true when you compare what the average business person spends compared to the average consumer. When starting your business, every penny counts. Earning points, miles or cash back for business expenses is a good way to get some immediate return on investment.
Many business credit cards have increased protections in several areas which can offer a new business owner some much needed peace of mind. Credit cards can offer insurance, price protection, extended warranties and even protection against losses due to theft or damage.
For instance, if you use the Chase Ink Business Preferred credit card to pay your cell phone bill you can get up to $600 dollars in coverage in case of the loss or theft of your cell phone. This benefit has a $100 deductible but is good for up to 3 claims per year. When you are dealing with commercial equipment or supplies with high price tags, having these additional security measures in place can help ease the stress.
Building your business credit is extremely important for the long term health of your business. Not to mention that the better the credit, the better the rates and rewards. The more you get back, the more you will have to put in. Don’t let the growth of your business be limited. Reinvesting in your business is vital to its growth. The better your personal and business credit, the more lending options you’ll have, and you’ll get better interest rates.
To truly make a business separate from your personal life, you should incorporate or form an LLC. If you are working as a sole proprietorship or a general partnership, your business credit will be more closely tied to your personal credit. An LLC or corporation will give you more separation from your personal life and less liability as well. Not to mention, it is the only way to get a business loan, otherwise you will get a personal loan if you need one.
Getting an EIN (Employer Identification Number) is imperative. This is basically a Social Security number for your business. You can obtain this directly from the IRS website. You will need this for several reasons. You will need an EIN to open a business bank account in the name of your business. You will also use the EIN for IRS purposes. Some larger businesses may require their suppliers to have an EIN for their tax purposes. It also helps keep your personal Social Security number from over exposure.
Once you have an EIN you can then open a business bank account in the legal name of your business. Be sure to use this account or your small business credit card for all your business transactions to keep your personal and business finances separate. This also helps to ease the accounting burden.
Even if you don’t think you need it, having a dedicated business line legitimizes your business in the eyes of creditors. It can be a landline, cell phone or a VoIP as long as it is in the legal name of the business. Also, be sure to list this number so it can be found by others.
The most well-known business credit reporting agency is Dun and Bradstreet, but there are also other credit bureaus that may be more familiar to you that provide credit reports for businesses, such as Equifax, Experian and Transunion. Starting a business credit profile is easier than you think, once you have completed the steps above, just call or visit their website and provide the required information. When you open a Dun and Bradstreet credit file your company will be assigned a nine-character number. This number may be requested by financial institutions when requesting a loan for your business.
If you don’t, that will mean you are not in compliance with the IRS, which can leave a negative impact on your credit score. You will also need your taxes to prove your income. If you owe taxes but cannot yet afford to pay them, set up a payment plan with the IRS to avoid them placing a lien on your business. This can negatively affect your credit score. It is simple to do and you can make small payments, in some cases as low as $34 a month.
Unlike credit cards, charge cards require you to pay off the balance every month. For business owners, there are a lot of advantages to having charge cards in addition to credit cards. With a charge card, you can essentially carry a balance for one billing cycle without interest. This gives you extra time to collect payments from your clients while still being able to pay your bills on time.
Business charge cards also typically have much higher credit limits than credit cards. That’s because charge cards aren’t as big of a risk for a bank. While you can’t carry a balance over several months, it does give you a billing cycle to gather the cash needed to pay off your bill.
The more lines of credit you have in good standing, the higher your credit limits will go. This also improves your business’s standing with the banks and allows you to get higher limits on your credit cards. American Express has cornered the market on business charge cards, so look for that issuer if you’re interested in going this route.
If possible, set up lines of credit with vendors or suppliers. Not all of them report to the credit bureaus. You can request that they report your payment history to the credit bureaus. You can also provide the credit bureaus their information directly via a trade reference sheet. This basically just lists the names, contact information and credit limits of vendors and suppliers.
Be sure to pay your bills in a timely manner. While it is more likely for a business to carry a balance on credit cards than an individual, be sure to meet your minimum payments and pay bills in their entity when possible. Late payments have the same negative affect on business credit as personal credit.