In search of a credit card for your business? Here's how American Express, Capital One, CitiBusiness, and Discover stack up
Lately, even the funding source of last resort has dried up. A year ago, business owners with credit scores of 690 or 700 could easily find a good credit card, says Curtis Arnold, CEO of CardRatings.com. Now, anyone with a score of less than 730 will have a tough time finding a reasonable interest rate. But all is not lost for the business owner in need of funds. If your credit rating is 730 or higher, there are still good cards to be found. Here are five of the best.
BEST FOR BUSINESS TRAVELERS: DISCOVER BUSINESS MILES CARD
Travel anytime, on any airline, without restrictions or blackout dates with this frequent-flier card from Discover. For most purchases, you will get one mile per dollar, but you get two miles per dollar for the first $5,000 spent on travel and gas each year. You can redeem 5,000 miles for a $50 travel credit or $25 cash back. The annual percentage rate ranges from 10.99 percent to 18.99 percent. Discover will also give you free cards for your employees; you can customize the credit limit for each one.
BEST FOR PAYING IN FULL: PLUM CARD FROM AMERICAN EXPRESS
Pay your bill in full within 10 days of receiving it, and American Express will give you a credit equal to 1.5 percent of the bill. Other perks include discounts of up to 25 percent at preferred vendors such as FedEx, Hertz, and Hyatt. Amex also offers a 60-day grace period: Pay 10 percent of the balance by the due date, and you can take another billing period to settle the rest without incurring interest charges. The $185 annual fee is waived for the first year.
BEST FOR CARRYING A BALANCE: SIMPLYCASH BUSINESS CARD FROM AMERICAN EXPRESS
This card has a 0 percent APR on purchases for up to 12 months. After that, the interest rate is a low 7.24 percent -- by contrast, the average APR is 13.21 percent, according to research from CardRatings.com. There's no annual fee, and cardholders get 1 percent cash back, with purchases in certain categories earning 3 percent or more. The low APR is subject to change, of course, and it will rise if you miss two payments.
BEST FOR EARNING REWARDS: CITIBUSINESS CARD WITH THANKYOU NETWORK
Usually, you will earn one point per dollar spent with this rewards card. But there are ways to earn more. After your first $250 in spending, you get a 10,000-point bonus, which can be redeemed for a $100 gift card. Plus, CitiBusiness offers double points in the first year. Earn extra points by booking travel at Expedia and shopping at preferred vendors such as Dell and Apple through the ThankYou Network website. The APR is 0 percent for the first six months and starts at 10.24 percent after that.
BEST FOR TRANSFERRING A BALANCE: CAPITAL ONE VISA BUSINESS PLATINUM WITH NO HASSLE MILES
With this card, the APR on purchases and balance transfers is 0 percent for 12 months. After that, it ranges from 9.99 percent to 22 percent, though it could rise if you miss two payments in one year. The 3 percent balance-transfer fee is, unfortunately, about as low as you will find these days. Capital One also has a good miles program; as with the Discover card, you can earn one mile per dollar spent and redeem it on any airline, at any time.