“Credit card” was first coined in 1887 when writer Edward Bellamy used it in a utopian novel called Looking Backward to describe a card that you could buy stuff with. Soon after that, merchants started giving their patrons a “charge coin,” which was basically a coin with a unique number on it. The customer could use the charge coin in place of money, letting the cashier make an imprint of the coin on a piece of paper so as to keep a record of what the customer owed the store.
A hundred years later and charge coins have evolved into the credit cards we use today. There are many different types of credit cards to choose from, and since the card companies want your loyalty, they are willing to offer you special perks to choose their product.
What to Look for First
When you first start looking for a small business credit card, you should consider what kind of rewards you want. Here are few of the major reward categories that are out there:
Experts say that you’ll get the most bang for your buck with a travel rewards card, but that’s only if you travel. A rewards card is great if you’re willing to study out the point categories (sometimes they rotate) to make sure you’re earning as many points as possible. Cash back is perfect for those who don’t want to jump through a lot of hoops.
Best Brands for Your Wallet
We’re not going to recommend any specific brands or cards here. It’s not because we don’t have our favorites – it’s just that too many credit card reviews are just trying to sell you a specific card. We don’t want this article to be confused for one of those. So instead of showing you a specific card, we recommend using the tips outlined in this article to find the one that suits you best.
This method might actually end up getting you better rewards, because …
Better Rewards for Direct Traffic
Many credit card sites will offer bigger bonuses to direct customers. If you go to an affiliate site first and follow a link to the credit card company’s site, the landing page might show a lower bonus reward. This is because the affiliate has either put a cookie in your browser or sent you to a specific landing page with a less valuable offer.
Why does this happen? One reason is because when you go through an affiliate, the credit card company isn’t making as much off your business. So they might make the reward worth less to make up for what they have to pay the affiliate. But if you show up on the credit card site first, you may see better rewards. So clear those cookies and check out the sites directly.
Is the Annual Fee Worth It?
There are a few reasons why a credit card requires an annual fee:
When deciding whether or not the annual fee is worth it, you should factor in how much the rewards are worth. If it’s as simple as getting more cash back for each purchase, look at last quarter’s numbers and figure out how much more you would have made with the card. If that number is more than the annual fee, then the card might be a good decision. If the card grants you special perks, it can be a little trickier to determine the value of having the card. If you’re on the fence, then you should probably go with a card that doesn’t have an annual fee.
We definitely recommend using a small business credit card. You should even make sure your employees are outfitted with a card that’s tied to the company so you’re earning points on their business related expenses. But you should take a moment to consider some of the dangers that are associated with this type of credit:
Like any type of credit, it goes without saying that you should be responsible with it. Always pay your bills on time, try to pay your balance off in full each month, and don’t get too close to your limit if you don’t have to.
A small business credit card can help you earn rewards on the purchases you are already making. Just be sure to get the right one for your company.