Spencer Howard – 10xTravel Contributor
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When we last spoke, we explored who is eligible for a small business credit card. If you missed Part 1, you can check it out here.
In this post, we’ll discuss some of the basics to help you get started.
Points and Perks
Small business credit cards provide a great opportunity to utilize different bonus categories and enjoy a few other perks that can save you money or make your travel experience just a little bit better.
There are a number of possible bonus categories depending on the card you choose. Some of the categories include:
- Gas stations
- Office supply stores
- Telecommunications (hello, cell phone bills!)
With categories like these, small business cards will not only help you keep your business expenses separate, but also earn you some serious points you can use to travel.
But what about the perks?!
Some of these cards include airline lounge access, a $200 airline fee credit, inflight Wi-Fi, and access to Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide.
Some will even pay for you to get Global Entry, which includes access to TSA PreCheck.
(Side note: If you don’t have Global Entry yet, what are you waiting for?! This will make your travel experience so much more enjoyable. Unless you love lines, then forget what I said and enjoy your hour-long wait.)
Now, back to the perks… some cards will give you hotel lounge access, which can be a great way to enjoy a snack and a drink. Additionally, some hotel cards will bump up your status which can help when working with customer service, and sometimes even get you an upgraded room.
There are even cards that provide small discounts at vendors commonly used by businesses.
If nothing else, small business cards provide a great opportunity to get some different cards and score some big sign-up bonuses.
It’s not just the corporate world that gets the perks!
Your Credit Score
Now that you’ve seen the benefits of having a small business card, let’s look at how it impacts your credit score.
Like applying for personal credit cards, applying for a small business credit card will result in a hard pull on your personal credit report.
“Then what makes them so special?!”
Fortunately, once you have the card, many banks do not report small business credit cards to your personal credit report. This is particularly useful if you have business expenses that won’t be paid by the time your statement closes, as it won’t hurt your credit utilization rate, and thus your credit score.
IMPORTANT: I did NOT say it’s okay to carry a balance. That is still a horrible idea that will just cost you money. ALWAYS pay off small business cards before the payment is due. If you don’t keep up with your payments, a bank can address the issue with you personally since these cards are guaranteed by you, personally.
So, which banks do NOT report to personal credit bureaus:
- American Express
- Bank of America
- US Bank
- Wells Fargo
Banks that DO report:
- Capitol One
- Discover (has anyone ever seen one of these?)
Keep this in mind when you are considering your next (or first) small business credit card.
Whether a small business card earns transferable points or is co-branded with an airline or hotel, they provide ample opportunities for you to make the most of your business expenses. After all, you are working hard on your business, you deserve a vacation. And the best way to take a vacation is using miles and points!
Next time we’ll look at some specific credit card options and some of the benefits they provide.
See you in the sky,