Veterans own 9.1% of American businesses, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. If you’re a veteran and a business owner, you have access to certain credit cards and credit card benefits that aren’t available to the general public.
If you can, it’s important to take advantage of these options when they suit your business’ needs. As we compared top business credit cards on the market today, we came up with four that would be particularly beneficial to veteran business owners.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides active-duty members of the military with financial relief while they’re serving the U.S. at home or abroad.
American Express has a liberal interpretation of the law, which includes waiving the annual fees on all of its credit cards. Yes, that includes the with its annual fee.
To qualify for SCRA benefits with American Express, including a waived annual fee, you must meet one of the following requirements:
- Be a member of the U.S. armed forces serving on active duty, a member of a reserve component called to active duty, or a National Guard member under a call or order to active duty for more than 30 consecutive days.
- Be a Commissioned Officer for the Public Health Service or NOAA.
- Be a U.S. citizen serving with the forces of a nation with which the U.S. is allied in war or military action.
- Be the spouse of active duty, where credit is extended to a servicemember and spouse jointly.
Here’s what you’ll get with the card: When you first apply, you’ll earn up to 75,000 bonus points — that’s 50,000 points after you spend $10,000 in the first three months and another 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 during that same time.
The card also offers a suite of travel benefits, including:
- $200 annual airline incidental fee credit.
- Fee credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application every four years.
- Complimentary access to more than 1,200 airport lounges worldwide.
- Elite status with Hilton Honors and Starwood Preferred Guest.
- 35% of your points back every time you redeem them for an eligible flight.
- Complimentary membership with premium rental car programs that provide special discounts and upgrades.
- 10 complimentary single-flight Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi passes each year.
- No foreign transaction fee.
If you’re an active-duty servicemember and own a business, The Business Platinum® Card from American Express is hard to beat.
If you’re not expecting to go into active duty anytime soon, the may be too expensive with its annual fee.
A good alternative is the . The card’s annual fee can feel like nothing in comparison, and it too can be waived if you do end up in active duty. What’s more, the card’s rewards program is more conducive to a typical business owner’s expenses.
. Those categories include:
- Shipping purchases
- Internet, cable and phone services
- Advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines
You’ll get 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. When it comes to redeeming your points, you’ll get 25% more value if you use them to book travel through Chase.
You can also opt to transfer your points to one of the bank’s 13 airline and hotel partners. The card also has no foreign transaction fees.
3. Navy Federal Credit Union Visa® Business Card
Sometimes it’s worth giving up flashy bonuses and rewards to work with a financial institution that truly understands your needs.
You may be able to get that with the Navy Federal Credit Union Visa® Business Card. The credit union serves over eight million members, primarily in the military community.
The card features no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, and 1 point per dollar spent. You can also save up to 15% on qualifying business purchases when you sign up for Visa SavingsEdge.
While your annual percentage rate can vary based on your creditworthiness, rates start at 5.90% plus the prime rate, which, as of January 2019, is 5.50%.
4. USAA Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card
While the USAA Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card isn’t a business card, you can still use it for your everyday business expenses. Plus, you’ll get the benefit of working with a military-minded institution.
The card offers 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make, plus no annual fee or foreign transaction fees. You can also get a military affiliate card design to show support for your branch of the military.
The card doesn’t come with a lot of frills, but if that’s what you’re looking for, it’ll do just fine.
How to pick the right credit card for your business
There’s no single best business credit card out there for veteran business owners, so it’s important that you know your business’ spending habits and your personal preferences.
While these credit cards are among the best available for business owners, take time to compare them with other top business credit cards to make sure you find the right one. Also, consider looking into other ways to start or fund your business, including business grants and loans and other programs.
As you take the time to research financing options that will reward you for your service, you’ll have an easier time taking your business to where you want it to be.
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