I volunteer office hours at a number of co-working spaces that cater to entrepreneurs. I love helping other entrepreneurs, but it also helps me better understand the most common issues and roadblocks that small business owners face when getting started. And one of the most frequent questions I hear is: “which are the best credit cards for entrepreneurs to use?” This is a great question because when you Google ‘best small business credit cards’, about 200 pop up. All look great, all seem to have strong rewards, so how do you know what to look for and what to stay away from?
Well, I have a very simple way of looking at credit cards….use a card that gives you the most and costs you the least. Straight ROI. So when you look below at our cheat sheet on the best credit cards for entrepreneurs, you’ll notice I don’t focus on any cards that give you rewards or points for travel, hotels, or anything else. Instead, they all offer cash back. Why? Because the greatest return I can get as an entrepreneur is cold hard cash.
So to make the comparison of rates easier, we’ll assume you have good credit scores. Rates will obviously increase across all cards if you have average or poor credit scores.
With that in mind, here’s a quick cheat sheet that may be helpful when looking at the countless number of credit card offers that show up in the mail.
Cash Back Reward: 5% office supplies + phone +internet, 3% category of your choice (gas, restaurants, travel), 1% everything else
Rate: 0% for 9 mths, 12.2% thereafter
Annual Fee: None
These are a few of our favorite because they have great cash-back incentives with low rates. Our strong preference when it comes to best credit cards for entrepreneurs is to avoid cards that earn you points for things like travel and other perks. If you travel a lot in your business at an early stage, and you wish to apply those points toward your travel, then you might have a case for looking at some rewards-centric cards. But, you wouldn’t want your customers paying you with perks, so why would you want credit card rewards that aren’t cash?