How to Choose a Business Card
When you launched your business, you probably spent a lot of time deciding on your product or service niche, the prices or fees you would charge, and even the colors of your logo.
The choices you make about your business finances deserve the same due diligence — and that includes picking the right credit card for your business-related purchases. Here are some guidelines to follow when you're shopping for a business credit card.
Consider your business spending needs
To choose the best card, you'll need to factor in your most important and most frequent business expenditures:
- Business travel: Perhaps you own a business that has sales markets in several locations. Or maybe your business is involved with lots of remote projects or consulting clients. If travel expenses make up a significant portion of your annual budget, you'll want to find ways to control that spending, and business credit cards with travel perks can help you do just that.
- Supplies: On the other hand, maybe you and your business associates only travel occasionally, but your business does spend a lot of money on certain categories of equipment or supplies. You need to keep those regular expenditures affordable, taking advantage of any opportunities to save money when you purchase these items. A purchasing card (P-card) may be the solution you're looking for.
- Multiple cards for employees tied to the same master account: You can also look for cards that offer solutions for businesses that need to manage certain types of costs. For example, you might consider a corporate card that lets employers give multiple employees their own individual cards to pay for business-related expenses. These cards also include flexible spending limits, allowing business owners to set different spending limits for each employee card.
- Fleet management: Alternatively, if you have employees that do a lot of driving, a fleet card lets you issue each driver their own credit card (again, with individual spending limits) to pay for fuel and other vehicle-maintenance expenses on the road.
With some business credit cards, you can earn points on all purchases, which you can redeem for gift cards or even cash back credited to your balance.
Get the right rewards
By selecting a business credit card that offers rewards that fit your primary spending patterns, you can accomplish your budget-controlling and money-saving goals. A credit card that rewards you with extra points for travel-related purchases like airfare, lodging, and car rentals is a good choice for a business whose operations require frequent travel.
For a company with other types of spending needs, a card that provides points on any type of purchase might be a better option. With the right business rewards credit card, you can earn points for all purchases and then redeem the points for things like gift cards or even cash back credited to your balance.
Be sure to compare the system for earning points to the categories of eligible purchases, and examine the expiration rules for business credit card rewards to select the cards that offer the best benefits for your needs.
Aim for lower interest rates
Another important consideration is whether you will be paying the balance on your business credit card in full each month or anticipate carrying a balance. If you expect to use the card to make expensive purchases that you'll need time to pay off, selecting a card with a low annual percentage rate (APR) is paramount.
For example, let's say you're comparing two credit cards: one with a 15% APR and no annual fee, and one with a 10% APR and a $50 annual fee. If you anticipate carrying an average monthly balance of $2,000, you'd pay $300/year in interest with the no-fee card and only $200/year in interest plus a $50 annual fee with the other card. In other words, you'd save money overall with the second option, even with the annual fee.
Some card issuers offer a 0% introductory APR (typically for a limited time) that may enable you to purchase some major items interest-free, even if your cash flow requires you to take a few months to finish paying for them. This can be a great option for newer businesses that are more likely to be strapped for cash.
Balance fees with benefits
All other things being equal, having no annual fee is certainly a desirable feature in a business credit card. But there may be times when a card that charges a fee (perhaps after waiving it for an introductory period) offers perks that make it worth paying.
Rewards that help you earn points and save money where you spend the most — and competitive rates that keep interest payments low when you need to carry a balance — may be more significant than fees when you're comparing cards.
Synovus offers several credit cards for businesses of all sizes. To help you take charge of your cash flow, learn more about our business credit card options as well as our corporate cards, P-cards, and fleet cards.
Important Disclosure Information
This content is general in nature and does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.
Interested in a business credit card?
Visit your local branch to apply. Be sure to bring all of the information required to apply a business credit card account.
More details are available in the Cardholder Agreement or the listing of Rates & Fees.