Carefully spending money can be one way to help make your small business successful. As you evaluate your spending, you’ll not only want to think through what you’re buying, but also how you’re paying for those purchases. Not all payment methods are equal.
For your everyday spending, you may want to consider a business charge card. Here are five reasons why:
1. It helps keep spending in check.
Some business owners are nervous about using credit because they are afraid they will be tempted to run up debt. A charge card must be paid in full each month, making it a perfect alternative to checks or cash.
2. It’s safer.
Business credit and charge cards offer greater protections than checks, and even business debit cards, in the case of fraud. Business debit cards are not covered by the same federal law that protects consumer debit cards in the event of unauthorized use. (Read: Why You Shouldn’t Use a Business Debit Card.) And if your checking account is compromised, you may find yourself scrambling to pay bills while you straighten out the mess. Not so with a charge card, which you should be able to simply replace with a new one if your account is compromised. Plus, with a charge card or credit card, you can set up alerts to instantly inform you of purchases over a certain amount, adding another layer of fraud prevention.
3. It’s better for budgeting.
Spread your purchases among many different payment methods (a debit card, credit card and checks, for example) and you’ll have a harder time keeping track of how much you’ve spent on what. Sure, you can look at your accounting program to see where the money is going, but if that’s something you delegate (or procrastinate on doing) you may not realize you’re overspending until it’s too late. Business credit and charge cards will often give you a spending summary that quickly categorizes your purchases so you can see at a glance whether your spending in a particular category is higher than you expected.
4. Your credit scores will thank you.
Use a business charge card or credit card instead of a personal one, and your credit scores may benefit. Most business cards are not reported to your personal credit reports unless you default. That means if you need to use your card for large purchases (inventory, supplies, business travel, etc.) you don’t have to worry about your personal credit scores dropping because those balances appear on your personal credit reports. Plus, if your business card bills are paid on time you can build stronger business credit scores.
5. It can be very rewarding.
Business owners, on average, spend a lot more than individual consumers. You can get rewarded for all that spending if you choose a card that offers rewards. Choose reward points, cash back, or travel miles that can help pay for a vacation or other perks you have no doubt earned for all your hard work.
Keep in mind that even young businesses can often qualify for these cards, as long as the owner’s personal credit scores are good. You can use Nav to help you shop for credit cards you’re more likely to qualify for based on your credit scores and other factors.