You probably started your small business because you’re an expert at what you do. What you probably didn’t expect is how many other things you need to be an expert in just to keep your business running!
While small business finances are so important to the success of any venture, it’s also one of the most perplexing areas of business to many. Here we’ll tackle some of the most common questions small business owners have when it comes to business credit cards.
How many credit cards should a small business have?
The short answer? To operate a small business, you should have between 1 and 3 business credit cards.
The longer answer? How many business credit cards you should have depends on how you run your business. Every small business owner has unique needs and spending patterns. The best thing you can do to assess your small business credit card needs is to know your numbers inside and out. Know how much you spend, on what, and how often.
Every small business owner has unique needs and spending patterns. The best thing you can do to assess your small business credit card needs is to know your numbers inside and out. Know how much you spend, on what, and how often.
If you don’t spend more than $5,000 per month on your small business credit card, one is probably more than enough.
If you’re above that threshold, assess your spend and payment patterns. Are you paying off your balance in full each month? Do you have substantial business credit card debt?
If you’re not struggling to find the cash to pay for what you’re spending, opening up a second or third small business credit card could be beneficial to your business. Dividing your spend between a few different cards will optimize your utilization ratio, which is great for your business credit score.
If you’re leaving a balance on your credit card, intuitively it seems like you should only have one small business credit card. However, that’s not always the best option. If you’re trying to pay off a growing debt on the same credit card that’s carrying your day-to-day business expenses, it can be difficult to dig yourself out of the debt hole - not to mention emotionally taxing.
Opening a second card to cover daily expenses while chipping away at the balance on your first allows you access to a higher aggregate credit limit so you can keep your operations flowing to successfully grow your business. You just need to make sure you have the discipline not to spend superfluously just because you can.
If that’s not the case, or if you’re able to substantially cut back on your expenses while you tackle your debt, it might be prudent to just stick to the one.
Is it good for a business to have multiple credit cards?
Let me phrase it this way: it’s bad to have multiple credit cards if they make your bookkeeping harder, not easier.
Having at least one small business credit card dedicated to business spend is absolutely critical to keep your personal and business finances separate. Getting these two entangled is a logistical nightmare.
You may want to segment even further by opening different small business credit cards for different categories of spend. For example, you may designate one card to operational overhead while another handles all business transportation and travel.
Having separate cards for separate areas of your business can help you stay organized and make it easier to manage your expenses.
But having too many cards can also become overwhelming to manage. Missing payments or having cards closed because you’re not meeting the minimum spend is not good for your business’s financial health. Really, it’s about finding that sweet spot for your business based on how much you’re spending, how frequently, and across how many categories.
How many business credit cards can I apply for?
There is no limit as to how many business credit cards you can apply for - but it’s good to be wary of business credit cards that have hard inquiries as these can hurt your business credit score, especially if you apply for several in a short period of time.
The main factor you will probably want to consider when determining the right number of credit cards for your small business is their rewards programs. Your small business credit card shouldn’t just “house” your expenses - it should also work for you. Look for cards not only with high spend limits, but also cash back, travel perks, and the option to redeem points at discounted rates.
Something else to think about when deciding how many business credit cards to carry is if and how many cards you will want for your employees. Make sure you understand how any business credit cards you’re considering handle issuing employee cards and managing their spend limits.
The Capital on Tap Business Credit Card
The Capital on Tap Business Credit Card is custom-built for the unique needs of small businesses. Whether your business is best suited for 1, 3, or more business credit cards, the Capital on Tap Business Credit Card, issued by WebBank, is definitely one you’ll want in your wallet. Business owners enjoy access to unlimited 1.5% cash back, credit limits up to $50,000, and as many employee cards as they need for their business for free to run smoothly and efficiently – all for free. They can also redeem points for gift cards at a 2% discount from a number of airlines and brands including Amazon, Apple, and Uber.