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The best small business credit cards for 2013

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 1:57pm | by Helen Hoart

This post was submitted by Michelle Gregory.

 Entrepreneurs looking for a financial boost are in luck. Experts at predict that credit card companies will continue to lure consumers with big bonuses and substantial rewards. Small businesses can take advantage of these considerable incentives, which include cash back bonuses, air miles and discounts on gas and office supply purchases.

However, entrepreneurs beware. Failing to make credit card payments on time can have serious consequences on a business. A new Kauffman Foundation study finds that every $1,000 of credit card debt increases the probability that a business will close by 2.2% on average compared with having no such debt.

Take payments seriously and take advantage of these credit card offers to promote growth in 2013.

If You Have a Steady Cash Flow ...

The Plum Card at American Express offers a 1.5% cash back reward for entrepreneurs that pay early. Through this offer, a business that charges $100,000 and pays early will receive a $1,500 discount on its next statement. The Plum Card also offers 60 days to pay without interest, giving flexibility with cash.

However, these appealing perks fade fast. American Express charges high interest rates after 60 days, so if you're business doesn't have steady cash rolling in, look elsewhere.

If You're a Start-Up ...

Start-ups looking for convenience coupled with rewards will appreciate the Ink Cash Business Card from Chase. The card carries no annual fee, offers an introductory 0% APR and delivers a $200 cash back bonus for businesses that spend $3,000 in the first three months. It's easy to sign up employees to the account, and the Ink Cash Business Card even offers small business management tools online. Low risks and generous rewards make this card a viable option for start-ups looking to build credit.

If You Travel ...

Launching a small business can mean life on the road, and credit card air miles can reduce travel expenses. Capital One's Spark Miles Business Credit Card provides two air miles for every dollar spent — without a limit. Entrepreneurs also receive 10,000 bonus miles if they spend $1,000 within the first three months, and 5,000 bonus miles if they sign up for one or more employee cards within the first 60 days. The bonuses alone could pay for a $150 plane ticket with any airline (just add two zeros to the price of the ticket, i.e. for a $100 ticket, you need 10,000 miles). There's no annual fee for the first year, but a $59 fee applies to subsequent years. The frequent traveler would be hard pressed to find a more valuable credit card.

If You Have Poor Credit ...

It will be difficult to earn much in terms of rewards with poor credit, but building your score will open opportunities for future incentives. Capital One's Secured MasterCard is a good place to start. Capital One reports to the three major credit bureaus, and the CreditInform service allows you to track credit information and receive tools. For a reasonable $29 annual fee, Capital One provides a credit line of up to $3,000. It's not much, but it's a start toward bigger and better credit offers.

Michelle Gregory is a financial consultant for middle class individuals and families.  She loves helping her clients climb out of debt and into a more financial secure future.


Michelle Gregory Michelle is a financial consultant for middle class individuals and families. She loves helping her clients climb out of debt and into a more financially secure future.  



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