Starting a new business involves a lot of moving parts, like whether or not you should have one or multiple credit cards for your business. So, what is the ideal number of business credit cards: How many? Let’s deep dive into some of the benefits of having several business credit cards and help you decide how many you should get.
Should You Have Multiple Business Credit Cards?
In many ways, business credit cards are very similar to personal credit cards. They both serve a similar purpose: access to credit. They share many other characteristics as well, like the possibility of earning rewards, building credit, and additional money-saving perks. With personal credit cards, you may have noticed cardholders tend to have more than one. Most likely because they each serve a different purpose and play a vital role in building credit.
So, should you have multiple business credit cards too? The short answer is yes. Small business owners can truly benefit from having a larger business credit card portfolio. However, the start of a small business venture will begin with one credit card. When you first start a business, your business credit will be non-existent. Therefore, getting approved for one business credit card is typically what you have to work with.
Before we discuss the ideal number of business credit cards in your wallet, here are a few reasons why having multiple cards could benefit you as a business owner.
The Benefit of Having Many Business Credit Cards
|Instant borrowing power||Access to large Capital|
|Business-centric perks||Build business credit|
Probably the main reason for having multiple cards is the vast access to capital. Business credit cards typically have high credit limits. For this reason, having multiple cards will aid your business with further access to monetary needs for business expenses and managing operations. It is the added protection you need as a business owner to make high-priced purchases for your small business.
Additionally, credit cards are mostly instant borrowing power meaning it’s a faster process for approval than that of a business loan. On the other hand, business loans are tougher to qualify for because approval requirements may include an established company history with proof of revenue stream – all things that a new small business venture might not have.
Let’s not forget that the business credit card you choose, whether it reports to the business credit bureaus or your personal credit score, then its healthy for your finances to keep in mind your credit utilization. If you are maxing out your business credit card it may not be a good look for your credit utilization which is a major factor that affects your score. Your score will affect any future financial relationships you may want to establish with vendors, merchants, or banks.
A Rainbow of Business Perks
Furthermore, business credit cards are not all made equal. As you do more research and begin reading various business credit card reviews, you may encounter a different set of perks for each card. For example, the BILL Divvy Corporate Card is a corporate business credit card that comes with a spending management platform. With it, business owners can take control of their spending through BILL’s accounting integrations, finance reporting, and more.
In contrast, a card like the U.S. Bank Business Altitude™ Connect World Elite Mastercard® might not include a spend management platform but it is a lucrative business credit card for entrepreneurs looking for travel benefits. The card earns up to 5X points on things like hotel bookings, car rentals, airfare, and more, in addition to no foreign transactions, and a $0 introductory annual fee ($95 after that.)
More than likely, one card will not contain all the sought-after business perks available on the market. Stay intentional when choosing multiple credit cards to layer the different benefits that best fit your business needs. Keep an eye out for the following business benefits in your next business credit card:
|0% Intro APR offers||Rewards programs|
|Unique perks||Free employee cards|
|Business credit building (Before you apply, contact the issuer and ask about its reporting practices as not all cards report to business bureaus)|
When Should You Get Another Business Credit Card?
Previously, we mentioned having multiple credit cards will impact your business (or personal) credit score. A higher credit limit will allow you more space for making business purchases without maxing out your credit cards and affecting your credit utilization ratio. But don’t get wild with the credit card applications. It is best practice to space out your card applications – at least six months in-between so as to not pull up as a red flag for future lenders. Whit that said, we recommend that if you are starting your business you begin with only one business credit card.
Also, keep in mind that you need to define your business name first, before applying for a business credit card. Additionally, your personal credit score needs to be “fair” at the minimum to consider your application for approval. Your personal credit is used because new businesses typically do not have an established credit score or history. After you have established yourself as a responsible business credit card holder, then you can explore expanding your card portfolio. Look for features you don’t already have with your existing credit card, such as:
|Cash back||Points or miles for travel-related expenses|
|High rewards on dining & entertainment for taking clients out of town||Statement credits related to services or products regularly used like cloud storage or Global Entry/TSA precheck|
Ideal Number of Business Credit Cards: How Many?
You should start your business credit card journey with one credit card. After you have grown your business credit responsibility, then feel free to seek out additional credit cards. How many credit cards should you get, is really up to you and your business needs or budget. Overall a business credit card should help you cover unexpected business expenses or emergencies. They should have benefits that will aid you as a business owner and help you reach your business goals.
Related Article: How To Build Business Credit
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