Credit cards are a common occurrence in almost every household and small business. Of course it would be nice if this wasn’t the case, but it is, so it’s important to understand how to deal with them and handle them successfully.
If you play your cards right (ha!) you can actually use them to your advantage — once you’re aware of the tricks they try to sneak past you.
I’m not a big supporter of relying on credit cards to run my business, but I do understand that sometimes you need a little boost to help get your business off the ground and keep it running smoothly.
Here are four tips for getting the most out of your small business credit card.
1. Pay attention to caps on rewards and points.
Credit card companies are always changing and updating their terms, so it’s hard to keep up with the new rules.
But that isn’t an excuse for you to avoid paying attention to the fine print and updating yourself on any recent changes — in fact it should become more of an incentive.
Of course they’re in the business to make money, which means they often have to cap the amount of rewards and points you can accumulate within a given period. But most of the time the rewards are still a pretty decent deal, you just gotta sure you’re aware of any limits.
2. Beware of the pros and cons.
Using a small business credit card has pros and cons — as does using any type of credit card or line of credit.
But in some cases they can be helpful in protecting your personal assets, organizing your business transactions and assist in keeping a solid record.
Not all credit cards are created equal, so it’s vital to take time and sift through small business credit card offers to find the one that’s the best fit for your business (or not).
3. Don’t let your rewards expire.
Some credit cards advertise that points never expire, but the majority of credit card programs do have a time limit on redemption — typically 36 months or less.
Make sure you understand when your points, miles, or cash back will expire, and that you don’t wait until last minute to cash them in.
It takes a long time to rack up a good amount of points, and you don’t want to lose them because you weren’t paying attention to the expiration date.
Credit card offers can vary widely and may be disguised as something better than they actually are. I know you’ve seen this before, when you get a credit card offer in the mail saying you’re “pre-approved” for a new credit card.
However, being “pre-approved” doesn’t actually mean you’ll get approved for the card. In fact, it doesn’t mean much of anything. You’ll still have to go through the approval process, apply for the card and wait to accepted or rejected.
Don’t be swayed to choose a card just because of it’s “exclusive” special offer since it’s most likely a sneaky way of tricking you to sign up.
Small business credit cards can sometimes not be the best idea, depending on the type of business you run and how responsibly you use the card.
But if you know what to avoid and handle them wisely, they can be used to help your business run better! It’s just a matter of being smart with them, researching the best card offer and using them sparingly.
What’s another sneaky trick your business needs to be aware of?