In the last eight years, since the financial crisis drastically increased the unemployment rate and many people had to rely on their entrepreneurial instincts, there has been a surge in people going into business for themselves.
It hasn't hurt that the Internet now provides a global marketplace and social media is a cheap way to advertise.
Small business owners, as they grow, usually find the need for a business credit card, to keep business expenses separated from personal spending. And credit cards designed specifically for business use come with some tools and advantages that a small business owner might find useful.
Here are three credit cards small business owners might consider. While the three cards have different features, all three have a very important one – no annual fee.
Spark Cash Select From Capital One
The Spark Cash Select From Capital One is a rewards card, providing unlimited 1.5% cash back on every business purchase. There is no minimum to redeem and cardholders earn a one-time $200 cash bonus once they spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months.
If employees need cards, they can be added to the account at no cost and their spending helps rack up rewards.
If you need to finance some purchases, the card has a 0% intro APR until January 2017. After that, the rate can vary from 13.24% to 21.24%.
Blue for Business Credit Card from American Express
With the Blue for Business Credit Card from American Express, you get 10,000 Membership Rewards points as soon as you make a purchase during the first three months of card membership. Like the Capital One card, you have the option of carrying a balance for nine months at a 0% rate. After the introductory period, the rate ranges from 11.49% to 19.49%, based on your creditworthiness.
While the Amex card is nice for using points toward purchases and payment flexibility, it also comes with purchase protection features. Eligible purchases made with the card are protected against accidental damage and theft for up to 90 days from the date of purchase.
There is also a baggage insurance plan, protecting the cardholder against lost, damaged, or stolen baggage when you pay for the entire fare with your card.
Ink Cash Credit Card
The Ink Cash Credit Card from Chase is another rewards card intended for business, providing 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at a number of business retailers and service providers each account anniversary year. They include office supply stores, cellular phone providers, and landline, internet, and cable TV services.
Cardholders will get 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. It pays 1% cash back on all other purchases.
This card comes with some handy tools. You can set individual spending limits on employee cards and get an instant alert every time a purchase is made.
You can also snap, tag, and file receipts instantly with the card's mobile app.