• Staff

Find the Best Business Credit Card by Looking for These 7 Features

There’s no shortage of business credit cards on the market. The real question is: which business credit card best serves your business?

To help you make the best choice, we’ve whittled down seven business credit card features that have the largest impact on a card’s performance and how well it can fulfill your needs to help you in choosing the best business credit card for you.

Features to look for when choosing a business credit card

1. A personal guarantee requirement

Most business credit cards require a personal guarantee. This basically states if your business goes belly-up, you’re personally responsible for covering any debts remaining on the card account balance.

A reasonable enough requirement, but this is a bit of a risky proposition for businesses that aren’t already established—think small businesses or startups. If you’re worried about this potential personal finance burden, look for a business card that requires no personal guarantee.

There are admittedly fewer of these, but the market has seen a few new players in the space recently, including business cards aimed at startups. The only catch is that the qualifying requirements for these cards may skew greater than traditional business credit cards.

2. Reward categories and earning rates

The bread-and-butter feature for most credit card enthusiasts, a business card that offers rewards on purchases can potentially put a lot of money back in your business account. However, there are a few items to look at when reviewing rewards.

The first is whether the card earns cash back or points. The rule here is generally pretty simple: cash back is simpler to manage and consistent. Once you make a purchase, your business typically receives the cash back to your account automatically.

Points, on the other hand, are potentially more lucrative, but require more active management. You can often use these points to travel and net a bigger value than if you had converted them to cash back. But the trade-off is you’ll have to do some airline research to land that best point value.

Aside from choosing cash back or rewards, consider a card’s earning categories. A huge earning rate isn’t all that impressive if it’s in a category your business never spends on. Dig through your business spending for the prior year or look at what you’ll need to invest in during the coming year to figure out which categories you should look for in a business rewards card.

3. Sign-up bonuses

Though it may not seem prudent to choose a business card based on a single one-time offer, a strong welcome offer is no joke. Some of the top offers in the market can bring in a value of thousands of dollars. There are two major types of welcome offers to consider here.

Traditional welcome offers give you a solid cashback or reward point windfall after you meet the spend requirements. These are straightforward to obtain if you’re in the middle of making some big investments for your business, such as furniture or equipment.

Introductory APR offers are your other big option in this space. They come in two flavors: introductory 0% APR on purchases or a 0% balance transfer APR.

Both allow you to save big on interest, depending on your needs. If you need to float a balance after making some big business investments, an intro APR on purchases is your go-to. And if you need to save on interest for existing debts, a strong balance transfer card lets you transfer the balance over and pay it off interest-free within the allotted time.

4. Additional business perks

Many business cards come with an assortment of features meant to make your business life easier. Travel-oriented business cards, for example, may offer free checked bags, airport lounge access, or no foreign transaction fees. Traditional reward or cashback cards, on the other hand, may offer bonus rewards on rotating business categories or purchase protection.

These types of features can range from “nice to have” to “essential” and can be worth hundreds of dollars on their own. You’ll find many of these perks advertised front and center on the card’s landing page, but many are also tucked away in the fine print. A careful review of the card’s perks can make or break a card decision, particularly as you start reviewing cards with similar rewards or features.

5. Business finance integration

One of the newest types of business credit card perks to hit the market is finance and accounting integration. Cards with this feature offer a unique financial management platform that integrates with your existing financial software. By connecting the two, these platforms can perform a variety of tasks, such as automating certain bookkeeping tasks or identifying areas of your business spending where you might save money.

These features are most frequently found on business credit cards designed for startups, though you can also find them on a few cards designed for small to mid-sized businesses.

6. Free employee cards

Credit card providers tend to handle additional employee cards differently, depending on the card type and its features. Many will happily grant an unlimited number of employee cards to your account at no additional cost.

Other providers, however, may only grant a limited number of free cards before charging you for more; some, of course, don’t grant free employee cards at all. If you plan to give your employees cards for business purchases—and you might if you want an easier time earning rewards on business purchases—look carefully at how the provider handles employee cards.

7. The provider behind the card

While not as crucial as the other features we’ve listed, the provider behind a business credit card can play a sizable role in the card’s value. American Express and Chase, for example, both have their own rewards programs, with each offering a different selection of travel partners. How and where you redeem your earned rewards will depend on these programs, so make sure to review them in addition to the card itself.

In addition, some cards are also more widely accepted abroad than others. For example, American Express cards have traditionally been accepted in fewer areas abroad than MasterCard or Visa cards.