- Two-thirds of businesses spend money on online advertising, mostly focused on social media ads, display ads, and paid search ads.
- Small business owners can benefit from using the best business credit cards for advertising if the cards have the right rewards programs.
- Some business credit cards have rewards dedicated to advertising spending.
- Learn how a business credit card can help you maximize your small business’s advertising spend, which purchases qualify as advertising expenses, how to pick the right credit card for you, and some of the best business credit cards for advertising on the market today.
Why Consider Using a Business Credit Card for Advertising Expenses
When you’re determining your small business marketing plan, advertising often has its own line in your budget. You might decide to buy ads on social media platforms, spend on paid search ads, or buy traditional advertising. Using a credit card for advertising expenses offers a way to earn back on what you’re already spending.
Many small business credit cards provide cardholders perks like a rewards program. Some cards have bonus points or cash back only on select categories — and advertising is included in the cards we discuss below. Others have a flat rewards rate across all your business purchases, which includes advertising. Imagine using a cash back card for your advertising dollars and then receiving a statement credit for a percentage of your spending. It really can be that easy.
Additionally, some business credit cards offer a sign-up bonus or welcome offer on account opening. You usually have to make enough qualifying purchases within a few months of card membership to get the welcome bonus, but you may already be spending that amount anyway. This strategy allows you to get money back on what you’re already spending. Other cards offer bonus miles or a cash bonus on your account anniversary year. Not to mention, many business credit cards for travel also offer travel rewards. All of these benefits can add up over time.
Because credit cards are revolving, so they don’t need to be paid off immediately, using them can increase your business’s access to cash flow. With many of these cards, you’ll pay no annual fee and may even get a low or 0% introductory APR (annual percentage rate) up to your credit limit, which can be especially helpful for avoiding interest using balance transfers.
If you’re wondering about using personal credit cards vs. business credit cards for advertising expenses, know that some business credit cards may help you build business credit. Personal credit cards can’t offer that advantage. Not all business credit cards will do this, though, so check Nav’s list of cards that may help build your business credit before applying.
What Qualifies as Advertising Expenses on Business Credit Cards
What counts as a qualifying purchase depends on the credit card you’re applying for. Some cards have a flat rewards rate, so every business purchase should be an eligible purchase (including advertising). Others have a specific advertising category and only certain advertising expenses will receive membership rewards points.
This is where a merchant category code (MCC) comes in: Each expense you make is categorized using a four-digit merchant category code that tells the credit card provider how to categorize it (e.g. transportation, groceries, office supplies). Citi provides a useful breakdown of general MCC codes used by payment processors like Visa and Mastercard.
Business services are classified using MCC 7300 to 7999, and most advertising services will fall under code 7311. However, not all advertising expenses are always covered — some cards only cover digital marketing while others will also cover traditional advertising. We recommend clarifying before you apply and also making a small purchase to make sure your credit card provider classifies the expense as a rewarded category before you spend a lot.
How To Determine Which Credit Card Rewards Are Most Important to Your Business
Small business owners have a lot of choices to make, so we’re here to make it easy to select a rewards credit card for your advertising spending. How do you choose a business credit card? We highlight the recommended steps below.
1. Choose your ideal rewards type
Decide whether you would prefer cash back rewards, points, or miles. Each of these rewards offers pros and cons. If you want to receive a monthly statement credit at the end of your billing cycle to be used toward other business expenses, consider cash back. Points can be redeemed for things like gift cards or travel purchases but you’ll have to understand how many points make up a dollar. Miles may work well for a frequent business traveler to use toward airfare, hotels, or car rentals. The card may also give discounts on perks like TSA Precheck or Global Entry, or access to airport lounges, which can make business travel much easier.
Also, consider whether the card offers purchase protection or an extended warranty on items you buy as an added benefit.
2. Line up the right bonus categories
You’ll then want to look at all the rewards categories — aside from advertising purchases — that a credit card offers and determine whether it matches up with your business spending. Some credit cards have specific rewards categories and others apply a flat rewards rate to every purchase — which may be lower but is simpler to keep track of.
Some common rewards spending categories include:
- Gas stations
- Office supply stores
- Cell phone or internet service
Pick the card (or cards) with rewards that make sense for what you’re already buying for your business.
3. Look at fees
Check to see whether there is an annual fee. Many business credit cards don’t charge an annual fee, but the rewards rate may counterbalance the annual fee and make the card worth it. Also look into interest rates and APR to make sure yours wouldn’t be too high and whether or not there’s an intro APR offer. If you travel, try to find a card without a foreign transaction fee for using the card overseas, and make sure the spending limit will work for your business. Make sure additional employee cards or corporate cards are free as well, if that’s a concern for you.
4. Check cardholder requirements
Any type of business entity can apply for a business credit card — even sole proprietors. However, each credit card issuer has different requirements for who’s eligible for their cards. Typically, personal credit score and credit history are the biggest factors in determining who qualifies, so make sure yours is high enough.
All that’s left is to apply. Make sure to gather all your necessary documents before starting the application. Credit card applications are usually fully digital, and you’ll often find out within a few minutes whether you were accepted.
Best Business Credit Cards for Overall Advertising Expenses
When you’re looking to earn rewards on advertising expenses overall, you can go in two directions: Choose a credit card that targets advertising spending or choose a card with one rewards rate across the board. For a card that will definitely cover all your advertising expenses, a flat rate rewards card might be the best option.
Theis one card with a standard rewards rate across all purchases, including advertising. Get an intro APR of for a annual fee.
Theoffers a high rewards rate across all categories: You may also qualify for a welcome offer: , so this is best for businesses that make only U.S. purchases. Terms apply, so see .
Best Business Cards for Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is important to most small businesses’ growth, and the best business credit cards for online advertising can help get the most out of every dollar. You can look for a card that offers a rewards program that targets online marketing specifically or gives rewards on all spending.
With the, you’ll earn rewards on social media and search engine advertising expenses. There’s also a welcome offer: You’ll access your rewards through Chase Ultimate Rewards. The card costs annually. See .
Thecard has a flat rate rewards program where you can earn . There’s also a welcome offer where you can get . You’ll pay . And a foreign transaction fee? .
Best Business Cards for Facebook (Meta) Ads
If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck with your Facebook ad spending, there are several credit cards that can help you do that.
Thecomes with a higher annual fee than others on this list ( ) but the rewards may make it worth it. Advertising is included in its rewards program. See .
The charge card rather than a credit card, so you don’t pay interest. . It may be a good option for anyone new to credit, especially with the annual fee.offers rewards based on your payments: It’s a
Best Business Credit Cards for Google Ad Spend
When you’re looking for a card that will reward you for purchasing Google ads, you can either find one with a rewards program that includes social media advertising or a card with a flat rate rewards program across all spending.
With the , you’ll get rewards on all your spending: There’s a annual fee, too. Plus, there’s a welcome offer: However, this isn’t the best option for travel because you will pay a foreign transaction fee.
Theis also a good fit for Google ad spend because you’ll earn rewards on social media ads. There’s also a welcome offer: You’ll access your rewards through Chase Ultimate Rewards. The card costs annually. See .
Best Business Credit Cards for Traditional Advertising
Traditional advertising means you’re marketing on a platform that isn’t online, like radio, television, or billboards. Here are some of the best cards you can use for those purchases.
Thegives you excellent rewards on the categories you spend the most in: So, if you have a large advertising budget, this card could work in your favor. There’s also a welcome offer: The annual fee is high at but the rewards may make it worth it. See .
Theis also a good option for traditional advertising spending. Also, access an intro APR of for a annual fee. See the American Express Terms, Rates, and Fees.
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