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

Related content

Why credit cards should be the first choice for business payments

High-yield bond issuance: 5 traits lawyers should look for in a service provider

10 ways a global custodian can support your growth

For small business growth, consider the international market

Easier onboarding: What to look for in an administrator

Service provider due diligence and selection best practices

3 tips to maintain flexibility in supply chain management

Insource or outsource? 10 considerations

Refinancing your practice loans: What to know

What type of loan is right for your business?

Administrator accountability: 5 questions to evaluate outsourcing risks

Business risk management for owners of small companies

Complying with changes in fund regulations

Addressing financial uncertainty in international business

Webinar: CSM corporation re-thinks AP

Webinar: Approaching international payment strategies in today’s unpredictable markets.

Digital banking and cloud accounting software: How they work together

Evaluating interest rate risk creating risk management strategy

ePOS cash register training tips and tricks

How to make the most of your business loan

5 tips for managing your business cash flow

Money Moments: How to finance a home addition

Increase working capital with Commercial Card Optimization

A simple guide to set up your online ordering restaurant

Tech tools to keep your restaurant operations running smoothly

The future of financial leadership: More strategy, fewer spreadsheets

The surprising truth about corporate cards

How Everyday Funding can improve cash flow

4 ways Request for Payments (RfP) changes consumer bill pay

Cashless business pros and cons: Should you make the switch?

Higher education and the cashless society: Latest trends

How to fund your business without using 401(k) savings

Building a business with a great product and a greater purpose

The growing importance of a strong corporate culture

Is your restaurant Google-friendly?

Mapping out success for a small-business owner

Employee benefit plan management: trustee vs. custodian

Preparing for your custodian conversion

Save time with mobile apps for business finances

High-cost housing and down payment options in relocation

Crypto + Relo: Mobility industry impacts

For today's relocating home buyers, time and money are everything

How to increase your savings

How to accept credit cards online

Unexpected expenses: 5 small business costs to know and how to finance them

How to identify what technology is needed for your small business

Tools that can streamline staffing and employee management

Honey Luxury Beauté: growing a side project into an eye-catching beauty business

Improve online presence your business

How increased supply chain visibility can combat disruptors

How a family-owned newspaper is serving its community

Making the leap from employee to owner

How small business owners can budget for the holiday season

Refining your search for an insurance custodian

In a digital world, Liberty Puzzles embraces true connection

8 Ways for small business owners to manage their cash flow

3 simple brand awareness tips for your business

How to get started creating your business plan

ABL mythbusters: The truth about asset-based lending

Authenticating cardholder data reduce e-commerce fraud

3 ways to secure purchasing power

5 ways a business credit card program can grow your business

5 tips to use your credit card wisely and steer clear of debt

How to improve your credit score

6 essential credit report terms to know

Leverage credit wisely to plug business cash flow gaps

Webinar: CRE technology trends

5 winning strategies for managing liquidity in volatile times

Managing the rising costs of payment acceptance with service fees

What corporate treasurers need to know about Virtual Account Management

4 questions you should ask about your custodian

Putting home ownership within reach for a diverse workforce

How this photography business persevered through tough times

How jumbo loans can help home buyers and your builder business

How to apply for a business credit card

5 questions business owners need to consider before taking out a loan

Prioritizing payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic

Meet your business credit card support team

How to establish your business credit score

5 tips to help you land a small business loan

7 uncommon recruiting strategies that you may not have tried yet

Omnichannel retail: 4 best practices for navigating the new normal

How to reward employees and teams who perform well

8 ways to increase employee engagement

Planning for restaurant startup costs and when to expect them

The moment I knew I’d made it: The Cheesecakery

Business tips and advice for Black entrepreneurs

How a bright idea became a successful business (in Charlotte, North Carolina)

What is needed to apply for an SBA loan

10 tips on how to run a successful family business

Empowering team members

Why retail merchandise returns will be a differentiator in 2022

How business owners are managing during the supply chain crisis

How a travel clothing retailer is staying true to its brand values

Use this one simple email marketing tip to increase your reach

Technology strategies to complement your business plan

Opening a business on a budget during COVID-19

How I did it: Grew my business by branching out

How a small business owner is making the workplace work for women

How small businesses are growing sales with online ordering

When small business and community work together

6 common financial mistakes made by dentists (and how to avoid them)

How (and why) to get your business supplier diversity certification

Business credit card 101

Do I need a credit card for my small business?

What kind of credit card does my small business need?

Checklist: Increase lead generation with website optimization

The role of ethics in the hiring process

Choosing your M&A escrow partner

How to test new business ideas

How a group fitness studio made the most of online workouts

7 steps to keep your personal and business finances separate

Year-end financial checklist

Community and Coffee: How one small business owner is breaking down barriers

How community gave life to lifestyle boutique Les Sol

The San Francisco bridal shop that’s been making memories for 30 years

Community behind Elsa’s House of Sleep

How Wenonah Canoe is making a boom in business last

How Lip Esteem is empowering women

How running a business that aligns with core values is paying off

How Gentlemen Cuts helps its community shine

Meet the Milwaukee businessman behind Funky Fresh Spring Rolls

How to choose the right rewards credit card for you

5 steps to selecting your first credit card

How to build a content team

What applying for store credit card on impulse could mean

Credit: Do you understand it?

Test your loan savvy

How to use credit cards wisely for a vacation budget

Dear Money Mentor: How do I begin paying off credit card debt?

Travel for less: Smart (not cheap) ways to spend less on your next trip

Tips to overcome three common savings hurdles

Helpful tips for safe and smart charitable giving

Allowance basics for parents and kids

How Shampoo’ed is transforming hair and inspiring entrepreneurs

Should you give your child a college credit card?

Webinar: AP automation for commercial real estate

The different types of startup financing

Myth vs. truth: What affects your credit score?

How to spot a credit repair scam

Dear Money Mentor: How do I set and track financial goals?

6 ways to spring clean your finances and save money year-round

How to cut mindless spending: real tips from real people

Real world advice: How parents are teaching their kids about money

How to stop living paycheck to paycheck post-pay increase

Practical money tips we've learned from our dads

Give a prepaid rewards card for employee recognition

Making a ‘workout’ work out as a business

5 unique ways to take your credit card benefits further

5 reasons why couples may have separate bank accounts

5 tips to use your credit card wisely and steer clear of debt

How to build credit as a student

30-day adulting challenge: Financial wellness tasks to complete in a month

Celebrity Cake Studio’s two decades of growth and success

How Al’s Breakfast is bringing people together

What you should know about licensing agreements

Webinar: CRE Digital Transformation – Balancing Digitization with cybersecurity risk

Webinar: CRE Digital Transformation – Balancing Digitization with cybersecurity risk

5 steps for creating an employee recognition program

How to hire employees: Employee referral vs. external hiring

Break free from cash flow management constraints

How tenacity brought Taste of Rondo to life

How a bar trivia company went digital during COVID-19

Evaluating interest rate risk creating risk management strategy

Authenticating cardholder data reduce e-commerce fraud

How Everyday Funding can improve cash flow


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 rate and program terms are subject to change without notice. Mortgage, Home Equity and Credit products are offered through U.S. Bank National Association. Deposit products are offered through U.S. Bank National Association. Member FDIC.