- Business credit cards are a helpful tool for dental practices to buy equipment, inventory, or make daily purchases, which can free up working capital and cash flow for other purposes.
- Many business credit cards offer rewards that can help you earn a percentage back on your dental practice expenses.
- Find out the best business credit cards for dental practice owners in this article from Nav’s experts.
Why Business Credits Cards Are Useful for Dental Practices
A business credit card can help a dental office stay on top of their monthly costs in a number of ways. Because patient billing can be delayed for a dental practice, similar to other healthcare offices, it can be hard for dental practices to stay on top of their own expenses. Dentistry often involves working with dental insurance, which can take months to send payments. Keeping cash free for emergency expenses, payroll, and other needs can be difficult — but having a business credit card can help.
Dental offices and clinics have a number of purchases they need to make, sometimes on a recurring basis. For instance:
- Laboratory costs
- Personal protective equipment
- Dental supplies
- Office supplies
- Software subscriptions for scheduling or health data
- Marketing and promotional materials
- Equipment repairs
Dental equipment can also be extremely expensive, costing up to $50,000 or more per item. Even if these purchases are one-time, they can wreak havoc on your monthly cash flow to need to purchase equipment such as:
- X-ray systems
- Cameras for inside the mouth
- Computer imaging systems
- Drilling and cutting instruments
- Air abrasion systems
- Computers for office use
Dental offices also need to have cash on hand for payroll every other week so that dental assistants, receptionists, billers, and other employees can cash their checks without worrying they won’t be paid.
Having business credit cards for your dental practice can help you pay for everyday expenses so that you can keep cash in your bank account for other purposes, like payroll, or emergency expenses, including equipment purchases or repairs. You can also get employee cards, often without charge, so other team members such as managers can make purchases for the business as well.
Many business credit cards also allow you to earn rewards, which you can use to help grow your small business in other ways, too. And cardholders can often use a credit card for a cash advance, which can help pay for items that you can’t usually use a credit card to purchase, like equipment repairs or upgrades. Of course, it’s important to understand the rates on cash advances can be steep, and terms apply, so always double check before using a business credit card for these types of transactions.
What to Look for in a Business Credit Card for a Dentist Office
When looking for the best business cards for dentists, you’ll want to consider a number of factors. There are seemingly endless card offers available, but you should be able to find one that suits your small business needs and helps your dental practice to grow.
1. What’s the credit spending limit?
The credit limit on your business credit card will depend on a number of factors, especially your personal and business credit scores and your credit history. This is because lenders consider these scores to determine whether or not you’ll be able to make your monthly payments. The less risky you are to lend to, based on your credit scores, the higher your credit limit will be.
2. What’s the annual percentage rate (APR)?
The annual percentage rate (APR) is the interest rate you’ll pay on any balance that carries over from month to month. Many cards will offer an introductory APR, usually of 0% for the first year, and then increase it to a regular fee after a year. It’s important to make sure you can make regular credit card payments, because missing a payment can negatively affect your credit score. Paying your card off entirely every month is also a great idea, but the APR will increase your debt if you can’t.
3. What’s the annual fee?
There are lots of business credit cards that offer no annual fee, sometimes as an introductory offer. But just because they don’t have a fee doesn’t mean they’ll be the best business card for your dental practice. You may be willing to pay an annual fee if they have a really great rewards program, like cash back on all purchases, because the perks outweigh the cost of the fee.
4. What are the rewards?
Business credit cards tend to offer great rewards for businesses, particularly when it comes to travel rewards, office supplies, and even advertising. Find a card that allows you to get points or cash back for bonus categories like cell phone bills or other business expenses. Many cards offer a flat-rate cash back reward that is applied at the end of every billing cycle, making it easy to get the reward for your business. It’s a good idea to look for no-fee employee cards, too.
5. Is there a possibility to use a balance transfer?
Another perk of getting a new business credit card is being able to transfer a high APR balance to the new card in a balance transfer with a 0% intro APR. You’ll still need to make minimum monthly payments, but not accruing interest can help you pay off debt faster. You may also want to use the card for a cash advance,
How to Qualify for the Best Business Credit Card for Your Dental Practice
While there are many business credit cards on the market, finding one that checks all your boxes and that you qualify for can feel like a Goldilocks situation. Luckily, small business owners can apply for a credit card even if they don’t have a long business history and regardless of what business structure they have.
Having good credit — both personal and business — is the best way to qualify for a credit card with no fee, 0% APR, and great rewards perks. But you can still qualify for relatively good business credit cards with low credit scores.
It’s a good idea to learn how to establish business credit if you aren’t already building yours. Like personal credit, you can build your business credit scores by paying bills on time, including credit card bills.
Each credit card issuer will have different requirements and qualifications for each credit card that they offer. It’s important to research all the terms and conditions before you sign on.
Best Business Credit Cards for Dental Practices
Dental offices have a number of specific needs to consider when looking for a business credit card. Finding the best business credit card for your dental practice depends on how you spend money, what you buy, and what kinds of rewards you want. Here are some of our choices for best credit cards for dental practice owners.
Getting the word out about your dental practice is an important part of getting new business and building a reputation as a good dentist in your community. Dental offices can use credit cards to pay for advertising, like social media, search engines, or even traditional media ads in newspapers and magazines. These cards are a great option for any dental practice that spends a lot of money on Google ads, Facebook ads, or other advertising.
Although dental clinics don’t often need to send employees on business trips, travel rewards can be great if you attend conferences, lectures, or other events for your dental practice. Good travel rewards and perks to look for are no foreign transaction fees, miles on your preferred airline, and lounge access. These cards are best for any dental practice that spends money on airline tickets or other travel-related services.
Cash back rewards
Cash back rewards can be an easy way for a small business owner to get money back for buying office supplies and paying for services like internet or phone bills. These cards tend to give you some percentage back on anything you buy, with bonus rewards for office-related expenses.
Many business credit cards will offer an intro APR of 0%, which can be great for helping you pay off business expenses and get your head above water. Make sure you know the details of the APR offer and what your rate will be once the offer is over. The offer may extend to balance transfers, too, which can be helpful if you have a high-interest credit card balance on another card.
Nav’s Verdict: Best Credit Cards for Dental Practices
The bottom line: Getting a business credit card can be a great way for a dental clinic to manage their cash flow and maintain good working capital. If you make sure you can afford monthly payments and are careful about the APR and interest, a business credit card can be an excellent way to help your dental practice pay for everyday purchases and earn rewards.
Find out what card offers you’re likely to qualify for, plus business loans and other financing options, with Nav. Add your business details — like your credit scores and annual revenue — to find your best options for business financing and other tools for your business’s financial health. Sign up today to start seeing your options.