Business Credit Cards Coming With More Rewards

Consumer credit cards aren’t the only cards that have beefed up rewards to attract new customers. Credit card issuers are looking to increase the number of small business customers by sweetening the pot with lucrative cash and mileage offers.

The competition in the business card market heated up with the recent introduction of a line of products from Capital One.

“Just like consumer cards, if you pay off your balance each month, the rewards can be very beneficial,” says Bill Hardekopf, CEO of LowCards.com. “But small business cards have higher interest rates than consumer cards. If you carry any type of balance from one month to the next, your top priority is getting a card with the lowest interest rate possible.”

Here are some small business credit cards with generous rewards:

Capital One Spark Cash
Offers a $100 bonus once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first
three months. Earn 2% cash back on all purchases. There is no limit to the
amount of cash you can earn. The $59 annual fee is waived the first year.

Capital One Spark Miles
Offers 10,000 bonus miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the
first three months. Earn two miles for every dollar spent on purchases. There
is no limit to the number of miles you can earn. The $59 annual fee is waived
the first year.

New Ink Cash Business
Offers 15,000 bonus points for your first purchase which is worth $150. Earn
an additional 10,000 bonus points or $100 when you spend $5,000 or more on
your card in the first 3 months. Earn 5% cash back at office supply,
wireless, cable and landline services, and 2% cash back at restaurants and
gas stations. Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all all other business
purchases. 0% APR for the first six months. No annual fee.

Ink Classic Business
Offers 15,000 bonus points for your first purchase, and an additional 10,000
bonus points when you spend $5,000 within your first 3 months. Earn 1 point
per $1 spent on all purchases. Earn 2 points for every $1 spent on the first
$25,000 worth of gasoline and lodging. Plus, you’ll earn five points per $1
on the first $25,000 spent annually on office supplies, wireless services,
landline communication and cable services. 0% APR for the first six months.
No annual fee.

The Plum Card from American Express
You can earn a 1.5% discount by paying your full balance within 10 days of
your statement closing date. The $185 annual fee is waived the first year.

CitiBusiness World MasterCard
Offers 10,000 Thank You bonus points after you make $300 within the first
three months of card membership. Earn three ThankYou points for every $1
spent at certain office supply merchants and on professional services. Earn
one ThankYou point for every $1 spent on other purchases. 0% APR for
the first six months. No annual fee.
Applying for a Small Business Card
Just like personal credit cards, issuers give the best terms to
businesses that have an excellent credit history and have been
operating for several years. Accessing credit for your small business
depends on a number of factors: your personal credit history, how long
you’ve been in business, cash flow and credit history for the
business, and other available credit lines. Card issuers want to
extend credit to businesses that show a track record of timely payment
to suppliers and positive cash flow. Typically, the best business card
offers are extended to companies that have been in business at least
two years. A business owner’s personal credit will usually be assessed
during the credit process when applying for a business card.
Concerns on Small Business Cards
Business cards function like consumer cards, but lawmakers did not include
business cards in the CARD Act regulations. Hence, business cards contain
many of the punitive terms that are no longer legal for consumer cards.
Issuers may still change the card terms at any time without notice,
including raising the interest rates on existing balances. Issuers may also
apply a penalty rate immediately without providing notice of a violation,
and this rate can last indefinitely. Issuers may direct payments to the
lowest interest rate first, maximizing interest payments. Some issuers,
like Bank of America and Capital One, voluntarily apply some of these
consumer card protections on their business cards.

Business owners need to study the credit terms to see how the issuer
will handle the card debt if the small business fails. Many cards have a
provision called the “Individual and Company Liability” clause stating
that the individual who applied for the card and the business are jointly
responsible for the card debt. The applicant thus becomes personally
liable for all charges on the card. If the business has trouble paying off
the card, it will pull down the cardholder’s personal credit history. Some
card issuers don’t use this provision in their credit terms. You must have
well established credit history to avoid such a clause.
LowCards.com ( http://www.lowcards.com) simplifies the confusion of
shopping for credit cards. It is a free, independent website that helps
consumers easily compare credit cards in a variety of categories such as
lowest rates, rewards, rebates, balance transfers and lowest introductory
rates. It also gives an unbiased ranking and review for each card. The
LowCards.com Complete Credit Card Index
( http://www.lowcards.com/CreditCardIndex.aspx) is the most objective
and comprehensive resource on the Internet which allows consumers to compare
rates for over 1000 credit cards offered in this country. Created by Hampton
& Associates, the company has been analyzing the credit card industry and
supplying objective websites on various consumer expenses for eleven years.

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