Getting a small business credit card is easy.
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Finding one that offers a low rate and big benefits . . . Now that's a different story.
Unfortunately, the credit card rewards programs offered by various credit card companies only make your job more difficult.
But with the right attitude and a little information, you can successfully navigate the rewards maze and find the small business credit card that is just right for your company.
From the outset, it's important to step back and take an objective look at the reason why credit card companies offer rewards programs in the first place.
Rewards are designed to be an enticement, an incentive, a little extra motivation for you to sign on the dotted line. Sometimes perks and rewards are intended to obscure the fact that your credit card company is charging you an exorbitant interest rate. Other rewards programs are simply the result of a competitive credit marketplace.
Either way, the credit card company doesn't offer rewards for altruistic reasons. You can count on the fact that the costs of reward programs are passed on to cardholders one way or another, so it is imperative to make sure that you are getting a competitive rate and that the rewards will actually end up saving money for your business. Keeping that in mind, here are some of the most common perks and rewards on the market.
Airline Mile Credit Cards
Free airline miles are the most popular perk in the credit card industry. The deal is usually that for every dollar charged to your credit card, you get a free mile in the airline's frequent flyer program. This may sound attractive, but there are a couple of things you need to consider. If your business doesn't require you to frequently travel by air, free airline miles really aren't much of a reward. Additionally, most rewards programs limit free miles to a specific airline, which may or may not be of value depending on your destination and flight availabilities.
Cash Rebate Credit Cards
Some credit cards offer rebates to cardholders. For every X amount of dollars you charge, the credit card company gives Y amount of cash back. Although rebates offer more flexibility than airline miles, they can easily be used as a cover for high rates, so be cautious about how much interest the credit card charges you in exchange for a periodic rebate.
Discounts and Credit Card Rewards Programs
Rewards programs often use discounts to beef up the package they offer cardholders. These discounts apply to a wide range of purchases including car rentals, hotels, office supplies, shipping, and other business expenses. Under the right circumstances, discounts can translate into substantial savings – but only if you are disciplined about your purchasing habits.
Credit Card Memberships
Another interesting perk included in many rewards programs are memberships to exclusive clubs like the American Express Admirals Club lounges at airports. If the credit card terms are agreeable to you, the luxury of an exclusive lounge can be a nice benefit, especially for weary road warriors looking for a little peace and quiet between flights.