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Small-business owners can reap benefits of credit card use

By , CardRatings contributor
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American Express and Citi are CardRatings.com advertisers.

It's no secret that a sizable percentage of small businesses are financed with credit cards, but there's enough to think about when starting your own business without having to sift through the tons of business credit cards currently on the market. We talked to a few entrepreneurs and did some digging of our own into rewards credit cards for everything from stocking the office to traveling for trade shows and keeping that work truck on the road. Here's hoping you find a card that suits your needs and below are some suggestions.

Points for everyday and on-the-road expenses

Ink Plus® Business Credit Card by Chase has a lot to offer the small-business owner. Those who travel for work will appreciate no foreign transaction fees on international purchases and discounted travel when purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Ink Plus Business Credit Card isn't only great for time away from the desk -- it also offers Chase's business-tailored package of 5X points per dollar on the first $50,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year. The card also offers 2X points per dollar, again, on the first $50,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and for hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel each account anniversary year. All this with a variable purchase APR currently sitting at 15.24 percent and a $0 annual fee for the first year, then $95. What's not to love?

Getting the most out of business travel

Vladimir Gendelman, owner of Company Folders in Keego Harbor, Mich., doesn't leave home without his The Platinum Card® from American Express. While it's not technically a business card, Gendelman says the card suits his travel-heavy work schedule.

"As I travel to trade shows all over the country, I use AmEx points for flights and hotel stays," says Gendelman, "which helps save my business money."

The annual fee of $450 might seem a bit steep to some, but The Platinum Card from American Express offers no foreign transaction fees with purchases made on your Platinum Card, access to Platinum Card Concierge to help secure last minute reservations or shop for a hard-to-find gift, and the potential to receive up to $200 a year in statement credits for airline incidental fees like checked bag fees, flight-change fees and snacks after a qualifying airline is selected. Terms and restrictions apply.

Unlimited cash back on business purchases

With an introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $59 after that, the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business is a great choice for entrepreneurs with good credit. Jeff Kear, owner of organizational software company Planning Pod in Highlands Ranch, Colo., swears by his.

"Between the 2 percent back (which we take advantage of by putting lots of expenses on our card) and the reliability and support of Capital One, it is a no-brainer," he says.

On top of that, this card features some handy Visa Business benefits like Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver Program, Travel and Emergency Assistance and 90-Day Purchase Protection.

Maximize mileage on your work wheels

If you drive a Toyota while on the clock, consider the Toyota Rewards Visa. The prime-pegged variable purchase APR of 12.99-22.99 percent on all purchases based on your creditworthiness and other factors when you open your account is nothing to sneeze at, and the introductory 3.99 percent fixed-rate purchase APR for the first six billing cycles can help you save while you stock up on inventory during those vital first six billing cycles. With a rewards structure of five points per dollar spent at participating Toyota dealerships and one point per dollar spent everywhere else Visa is accepted, using this card for your everyday business expenses can put you well on your way to your next Toyota truck when the time comes to trade up. Terms, conditions and restrictions apply.

The business credit card market is always changing, with issuers adjusting or withdrawing offers with little or no warning. If one of these great deals disappears, though, never fear. When one good credit card comes off the market, a new one tends to pop up not long after.

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