Other than applying for the Shark Tank many small businesses have the perception that, given the economy, there aren’t any avenues to either finance their start-up or receive an influx of cash into their established business. Although this is generally true, and even more true if the financial stability of your businesses is in question, there are some options out there for those who are willing to look. Generally the sources of cash are in the form of equity and debt. The following is a brief survey of various options for credit cards. The next article will review loan options and the last article will review equity options.
I hate giving people information that I don’t really believe in. My personal goal for my business at this time is to be debt free, so I am in no way advocating debt, especially credit card debt. However, it is a good tool when all other options aren’t available.
Chase has multiple business cards but to me the Slate has the better mix of features. Chase is offering 0% APR for 6 months on both purchases and balance transfers. After the 6 months the APR will be 13.24-19.24 % depending on your credit score. There is no fee for this card and a couple of perks. You will receive cash back on the first $25,000 in purchases. The amount of cash back differs based upon the type of purchase but the minimum is 1%. The cash back accruals do not expire. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on where you stand, you will need excellent credit in order to be approved for this card. However, if you have accounts with Chase, I am sure that the standard will be a little more lenient.
Bank of America Cash Rewards for Business Mastercard is very similar to the Chase Slate. They are offering 0% APR for 9 billing cycles, no fee, cash back. If you have great credit, your APR could be as low as 11.24% after the 9 billing cycles.
Amex Gold is the best card to use if you are really only interested in accruing points because it requires payment in full every month and therefore is a very, very short term loan. You need to be sure that the point accrual is worth it to you because the fee after the first year is $175. The American Express OPEN card gives you an incentive (1.5% rebate) to pay in full within ten days after the purchase but also gives you the option to use two months to pay off the balance interest free.
Capital One Business Platinum is a good option if your credit worthiness has declined in the past year or so. Although it has 0% APR until June 2012, this only applies to purchases and will jump to 19.99% APR. The card also has a $39 annual fee. Another option for shaky credit is the Small Business Micro Loan Visa Card. However, the limits on this card is $750 and the APR is 23.99%. This may be a viable option for very new businesses who have a contract that will pay them sometime in the future but need the money to run the business until that time.
This article in no way endorses any of these products or guarantees the rates described herein. Please review any contracts or agreements that you sign BEFORE you sign. If you are smart enough to smart a business, you are smart enough to review and understand any contract you enter into.