Business credit card 101

April 21, 2021

If you’re looking into a business credit card for the first time, get a head start by learning the basics, so you can hit the ground running when it’s time to shop around.

There’s no better feeling than when your small business starts to take off. Whether you just registered your business with the state or you’ve gone from pop-up to brick-and-mortar, hitting such milestones takes your dream to a new level. But as any entrepreneur knows, as business grows, so do financial demands, which is why many small companies rely on business credit cards to help keep things running smoothly.

Small businesses can take lots of different shapes, so it makes sense that business credit cards are designed to suit a variety of needs. If your business is a passion project you handle alone, you likely won’t need the same type of card as one with 50 employees. Here we share some best practices and considerations as you weigh what a business credit card could mean for you, so you feel prepared to shop, apply and give your small business a boost when the time is right.

 

What makes business credit cards different

A business credit card isn’t the same as a personal credit card. It has different functions and features designed for business purchasing rather than consumer purchasing. Business credit cards generally have higher limits and specific rewards that you might not find on a personal credit card. Phone bills, office supplies and gas station purchases are common categories for which business credit cards offer spending rewards. Many banks will also send an itemized report of your spending at the end of the year to make tax filing simpler.

The U.S. Bank Triple Cash Rewards Visa® Business Card includes Spend Analysis, an exclusive online reporting tool that gives you a clear picture of your total business spending It breaks down all your spending by category, so you know how much money is going where. Business credit cards also help keep your personal and professional finances separate — when your business has its own card, it also has its own credit identity that won’t affect your personal score. Good rule of thumb: you’ll know business credit cards are a good option when your business spending starts growing and getting more complex.

 

What business credit cards can help you do better

Business credit cards are a long-term play to help make running your business easier and more streamlined. Maybe you have growing inventory costs, machinery in need of repair or replacement or an international business trip coming up. The higher limit on business credit card can be a lifeline in these situations.

And while they may seem like a nice-to-have, card rewards shouldn’t be overlooked when considering opening an account. Cash back rewards can add up quickly when you’re using your card for regular business purchases. On top of 2% cash back in two of your most-used categories, the U.S. Bank Business Leverage™ Visa Signature® card has no annual point limits, so there’s no cap on the amount of rewards you can earn. Having a credit card for your small business can make tax season easier, too. The itemized report of your yearly spending means you don’t have to spend weeks going through old receipts when it’s time to file.

Just like being strategic about key purchases for your business, a good rewards program can go a long way — especially if you use your credit card to make payments, and route payments from customers to the same account. 

 

8 things to know about business credit cards

  1. Business credit cards give you access to unique rewards personal credit cards don't offer
  2. You can build credit for your business so you'll be better-positioned to apply for loans.
  3. They come in handy for recurring inventory costs.
  4. Having little to no business history won't ruin your chances of getting approved for a card.
  5. Different kinds of cards work better for different kinds of businesses. We have multiple options to meet your unique needs.
  6. You can use credit card rewards to offset other business expenses.
  7. Business banking specialists and U.S. Bank branch managers are there to help you at any time.
  8. You can use business credit cards in place of checks, ACH and debit cards to help protect your business from checking account fraud.
     

These basics of business credit cards are just a start as you weigh what one could mean for your company.

 

Learn more about how you can make the most of a business credit card with these eight points in mind.

Learn about U.S. Bank

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Disclosures

Start of disclosure content

Loan approval is subject to credit approval and program guidelines. Not all loan programs are available in all states for all loan amounts. Interest rates and program terms are subject to change without notice. Mortgage, home equity and credit products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Deposit products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Member FDIC.