The reading level for this article is All Levels

There are a number of credit card options that are offered by the four major credit card issuers: Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.  Small business credit cards, after personal credit cards, are the most commonly used cards in the country.  In order to apply for a small business credit card, you must first establish your business by registering it with a Federal EIN, submit all the necessary permits and fees, establish a few lines of trade with merchants, and submit files with the three major credit reporting bureaus.  A small business credit card can help you build credit independently of your personal credit.

Business credit cards, like personal credit cards, offer a number of rewards that follow similar lines.  Many offer an introductory offer of 0% interest for the first few months.  Most offer some form of points, or special credit rewards that are built from credit card payments, making you eligible for rewards from certain merchants.  Some (particularly the Discover and American Express small business credit cards) offer direct cashback rewards for certain purchases (often a blanket 1% cashback from most retail purchases, and up to 5% cash back on specific purchases, generally dependent upon the merchants offering the card.  Many include extra data control so that it is easy to itemize your business expenses come tax time.

Larger business cards (often sold as “platinum” credit cards) tend to offer much more extravagant rewards to individuals with excellent business credit.  They typically offer extended warranties and fraud protection, and very high credit limits.  These usually come at the cost of of difficult eligibility and high annual costs.  They do allow you to build credit at a much faster rate than most conventional credti cards, and have become a status symbol as well among the very successful.

This Financial Services article was written by Mark Karavan on 10/31/2009

American Express Small Business Credit Card Information and Resources on American Express Small Business Credit Cards