Top Credit Cards For Small Business Owners

CardHub and WalletHub have recently released reports concerning the best credit cards and bank accounts. It is of immense importance for small business owners to know their industry well and be well aware of issues concerning credit card processing. This way, you can easily find the best for your business wants and needs.

Business Credit Cards

CardHub and WalletHub have recently selected 2016’s Best Business Credit Cards based on how they excel in the categories of 0% rates and/or CARD Act Protection, approvability, and lucrative rewards.

Be aware, the CARD Act doesn’t cover business credit cards. This implies business cards don’t benefit from protections like arbitrary interest-rate increases, outlawing universal default, and unfair payment allocation. Most large credit card companies are competent to raise the cost of your debt whenever they wish.

Merchants looking for secure and reliable payment processing for their company should consider turning to First American Merchant. FAM specializes in high risk businesses and offers                credit card bad credit instant approval for merchants of all type and size. With FAM, you can get the best for your company.

Best Business Credit Cards by CardHub

  • Best for Excellent Credit – American Express Credit Cards make up approximately 24% of the total dollar volume of credit card transactions in the United States. These are the highest numbers currently available.
  • Best Initial Bonus - Ink Plus Business Credit Card account for up to $750 in travel rewards when you spend $5.000 within 3 months of account opening.
  • Best Cash Back – Capital One Spark Cash for Business makes up 2% cash back regarding all purchases, $500 bonus for spending $4.500 in the 1st 3 months, and requires no first-year annual fee ($59 thereafter).
  • Best for Financing – Citi Diamond Preferred Card counts for 0% on purchases for the 1st 21 months and requires no annual fee.

Best by WalletHub

  • Best Overall Bank of Internet USA Business Interest Checking with 0.80% APY, $10 monthly fee that can be avoided with a $5.000 average daily balance, and 60 free account transactions on a monthly basis.
  • Best Rewards – First Bancorp Business Essentials Checking that requires no monthly fee as long as you maintain a minimum balance of $1.000, and 0.56% cash back on debit card purchases.

Cash Management and Business Bank Accounts

Small business success is largely based on effective cash management. Personal accounts, specifically online checking accounts, are the preferred choice for many small business owners these days.

As for business bank accounts, they still offer advantages. Business checking and savings accounts, like business credit cards, still have certain features tailored to the needs of corporations. Thanks to a business checking account, you can simplify tax preparation, regardless of whether you have a personal account as a compliment to it or not.

Bank of America is still the most small-business-friendly credit card company. It is the only major issuer to offer extended major CARD Act protections that consumers enjoy to its business-branded cards.

Online Credit Card Payments – Safe or Risky?

Online payment through credit cards is similar to in store credit card transactions when paying for a product or service only this is done over the internet. So online credit card payments have just as much risks and safety as in store credit card transactions. It seems scarier since the customers cannot see who are doing the transactions and they don’t know where their card numbers are going. But this is also similar to people handing over their credit cards to the waiters in restaurants or the retail clerks in stores. People also give their card numbers to travel agents when they book flights, to hotel personnel when they book rooms in hotels or to delivery personnel when they want food delivered to their home – all over the phone. It’s just that many people have put their card numbers into insecure and shady websites thus have become victims of fraud over the internet.

When people hand over their credit cards to personnel in a store or a restaurant, they become more vulnerable to skimming especially when they bring the cards to the back rooms. Anyone who has a camera phone in the back room can easily take a picture and steal any customer’s credit card number. This can happen in any place accepting card payments including gas stations. So sending your card online is pretty safe since no human gets to see the card information. It goes straight to a computer software that encrypts the card information.

People must always remember to make card online payments to professional businesses that they already know of and that they trust. These professional and reputable companies usually use a credit card system that has software that will encrypt the customer’s card number so it is not readable when it is send over the internet. And once the customer’s card number is stored on the merchant’s computer, it will be secured and the card information will be safely kept with them. Since the risk of exposure for card information is lesser over the internet, this increases the information security and lessens the risk and likelihood of identity theft.

So when you make a card payment online, make sure you are on a secure site. Secure sites start with So take note of the “s”. And make sure you trust the website that you are on. Websites that are not familiar and whose designs look makeshift may be questionable. Trusted merchants handle e-commerce well and have a trusted card gateway such as Authorize.net. Simple Card Payments is a program that makes Authorize.net work for merchant websites and assures that card payments online are made easy and safe for both customers and the merchants.

Free Credit Report and Free Credit Score

Every U.S consumer is entitled to get a copy of his or her free credit report from all the three major credit reporting agencies in the country; namely; Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union once in a year under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) enforced by the Federal Government.

The basic objective of such provisions for providing each consumer with a copy of credit reports is prevention of identity theft as well as regulating the actions of the lenders and credit reporting bureaus. The report serves another very important purpose as it keeps the consumer informed about his or her financial status.

Another objective of providing a copy of a report free of cost to consumers is that the consumer will know that the entries made in his or her record is correct and in case any mistake is detected the consumer will have the scope to challenge and get it rectified.

These reports and scores play an important part in shaping the financial life of a consumer since most financial agencies, and lenders will have a look at their report and credit score of the consumer concerned before approving any financial assistance. While people with good credit scores will find getting financial assistance easier, the reverse happens in case of those with bad credit scores. Getting a copy of credit sheet, therefore, a useful purpose for the consumer interests.

You can obtain a copy of your free report by logging onto and applying through the only federally approved credit reporting agency, annualcreditreport.com. Other agencies that claim to offer free credit scores do not actually give them freely as there are multiple associated costs and fees involved. That is why every other agency has to make the mandatory declaration in their ads or website that the consumers can get their copy of the report from the federally approved agency annualcreditreport.com.

Like credit reports, the credit scores of any consumer are also very important. In fact, the credibility of the consumer is assessed by the money lending agencies based on their credit scores. Hence getting one’s score without paying anything could come up very handy for the consumers. Unfortunately, there is no provision in the FCRA or any complementary legislation for the consumers to get such free credit scores.

While there are different types of credit scoring, Vantage scores and others; the most widely used and well known scoring system is the FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation) scores. But FICO scores are not available free of cost anywhere.

A round about way of getting such a asking the lender about your score. When you apply for a loan, in all probabilities, the lender will look forward to your credit score from one of the credit reporting bureaus to assess your loan credibility. In such case, you can learn about your scores from them without having to pay anything for it.

And if after getting that score if you feel it is abnormally low or there is something wrong about it, you can always go back to your report that you got from the agencies and assess the scores calculated by the reporting bureau assuming it and file complaint if they do not match accurately.

Should I Close My Credit Card?

Should I close my credit card? This is a great question that I get all the time, and today I’m going to break it down. First we have to understand what a credit card actually is. Yes, it is a piece of plastic that we can use when we want to buy “stuff”. No, it’s not paper money; however, sometimes we look at it as if it were.

A credit card is almost like a paycheck that is based off of your name. It’s always going to be there no matter if you have a job or not.

Let’s look at it a little closer. A financial institution gave you this credit card with some sort of credit limit because they trust that you will pay them back and they get to make a little money off of you in the process. It doesn’t matter if you have a $300.00 dollar credit limit or a $10k credit limit, the fact is, you are trusted in some way with a certain amount of money.

Now, I’m going to paint a little picture for you. The years go by and let’s say you have five credit cards that you are not really using and you are thinking about closing the credit card account. The real question is why you are not using those credit cards. Is it because of high interest? Or maybe it’s because of the perc’s the card offers are not all that great.

Out of those five credit cards you total amount that you can spend is somewhere around $2k – $5k, and that’s great, but you just don’t use the accounts.

It’s important to understand what happens when you close the accounts, let’s look at the details a little closer.

Walking away from credit history
Giving up available credit limits

In short, you are saying, “No, I don’t want to show that I’m trusted with this high of available credit.” If someone ever tells you to close the credit cards that you are not using, do not listen to them.

Walking away from credit history

This means that all the positive credit history that is showing up on your credit report will no longer be factored into your credit score. By doing this you are saying that you do not need positive credit history because you are just so awesome as you are.

Giving up available credit limits

These are just fictional numbers, so I’m just hypothetically speaking. This means that you started out with $20k of available credit with all your credit card accounts, and now, you are saying I want to show that I’m not trusted with as much. You are saying, I don’t want companies to know that banks trust me with so much, I want them to know that I’m only trusted with small amounts.

Needless to say, this is not a good thing.

Imagine you are trying to get a job and you’ve got a masters degree in business management. You find a company that you are really interested in, but instead of putting on your resume that you have a master’s degree, you say you have an associate’s degree.

Now, you are probably thinking “Why in the world would I do that? I’m just selling myself short!”

I completely agree and that’s exactly what you are doing with your credit resume. You are in fact selling yourself short when you start closing credit cards.

In closing, do not sell yourself short with your credit cards and credit score, we have a hard enough time in this economy as it is. There’s no need to add more road blocks initiated by ourselves.

Have Credit Cards Evolved?

When surveyed, the one mystifying statement merchant service providers hear when talking to business owners is, “We do not accept credit cards for our retail business.”… Or, better yet, “I tell my customers to go to the ATM and come back.” In a day and age where currency is becoming more and more electronic, it mystifies many how some businesses fight technology. Well, business owners and merchant service providers (alike), are on notice; because credit cards may have just evolved.

Thanks to the Smart phone technology, the mobile wallet app has arrived. The most popular, Paycloud, allows buyers to manage their rewards and gift cards, receive exclusive discounts and promotions, earn points, punches and cash back from local retailers. This is all done without any forms or no obligation to share your personal information. All is simply done by the touch of a phone.

Paycloud, when coupled with Google, creates a unique shopping experience. According to Google, it has no intention of getting into the merchant services business. It is merely a vehicle to make the difficult simple. [Isn't that the definition of genius?]

As a sign that the mobile wallet may be a revolution, MasterCard has just come on board. On May 7, MasterCard Worldwide announced Pay Pass Wallet Services. When launched later this year, it will allow customers to make purchases by utilizing smartphones, computers, and/or tablet screens. Expected to arrive in the third quarter, Pay Pass Wallet will be introduced, initially in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. Among the first merchants to move forward, American Airlines and Barnes and Nobles are currently integrating Pay Pass on the websites.

The noticeable trend is the parallel development of the cell phone and and the world of credit cards,When examined closely, cell phones are now becoming preferred alternatives to wireless terminals. In addition, wifi and bluetooth applications are now leading edge marketing tools when used for billboard and text marketing. The only caveat is that no one has considered, is that security is becoming harder to come by.

The trusted landline is now a handheld laptop.How do the banks keep pace with this new technology? Are we opening ourselves up to be potential wifi / cellphone victims?Those questions will, undoubtedly, be answered in the near future. As we progress, however, it is evident that electronic currency is convenient, and it increases merchant revenue.I would just prefer to address any “bugs” sooner rather than later.

Credit Cards – Which One Is Right For You?

Is a Credit Card better than a personal loan? Well, strictly speaking a credit card is a form of personal loan although interest is paid only on the balance that has accrued. Everyone in business knows that having adequate cash flow is vital to the life of the business. The same could be said about our personal lives. If the cash runs dry where do we turn for assistance? Having a card on hand can be useful for getting through periods where we seem low on cash as long as we know money is coming down the track. Not all credit cards are created equal, however, and some will fit your personal situation much better than others.

There are many kinds of credit cards with various rewards. There are cards for big spenders, cards for travelers, professional people and students. Some cards like the American Express Platinum Card have a very high annual fee, $450 in this case, but they offer fantastic rewards. The rewards are only worthwhile if you earn enough to cover the annual fee.

Other cards, such as the United Mileage Plus Credit Card reward those who like to fly. If you travel a lot for work or holidays then finding a card that provides free travel insurance and rewards you for every ticket you purchase can be worthwhile. You might find you are able to earn enough rewards throughout the year for a free flight or hotel stay. The United Mileage Plus gives you a free baggage check-in which is a saving of $50 per flight, on top of all the other mileage rewards.

The Chase Sapphire Card is also great for flyers as it has numerous travel benefits. It also comes with free travel insurance and has no annual fee.

Some cards accrue no interest for a certain period of time. This can be really handy if you are transferring a large debt over from another credit card. Usually the interest free period is one year but can be longer such as with the Chase Freedom Credit Card which has a zero APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for the first 15 months. You also receive $100 cash back just for signing up!

Finding the best credit is not as simple as looking for the card with the lowest rate. You must compare the benefits of each card with your current situation and see how those benefits will affect you. If you like cash rewards look for a card that offers cash backs. If you like to travel find a card that rewards you for traveling. Interest rates become a factor if you can’t pay off your card from month to month, something to bear in mind.

Tips on Getting a Free Personal Credit Report Online

Taking the time to go through your credit history is usually a big help in ensuring that your credit score information is accurate. Because credit reports affect ones interest rates, employment chances and insurance premiums, going through your records helps you protect yourself from your creditor’s mistakes. This article highlights the importance of getting and reviewing credit statements and offers suggestions on where and how to go about getting a free credit report.

Reasons Why Check Your Credit Report Important:

Credit reports are usually factored in by many companies when they are making their respective decisions about you. All lending institutions typically categorize their client’s loan applications on the basis of their payment history. People with bad credit usually find themselves having to pay more for such services in terms of interest payment and loan terms. Similarly, other factors in ones life such as car insurance, life insurance and employment applications are by in large generally based on ones credit scores, risk level and life choices.

Other than payment history, these reports typically include other information such as records on where you live, whether you have ever been arrested, sued, or taken out any insurance policies costing over $150,000. These records usually stay on a person’s credit statement permanently unlike payment history reports which start with a clean slate every 7 years.

Getting a Free Credit Statement:

There are a number of different places you can look when trying to access a free credit statement. The internet is usually the best place, since it offers the convenience of accomplishing the task for the comfort of ones home or office. Making your credit history report application online will basically give you instant access to a free report.

The other alternative available to accessing credit information is to write or call for a copy of your credit history; however this usually takes longer than the online option since applicants are required to wait a generally period of 10 to 15 days before receiving it.

Free online reports can be directly accessed from a number of websites such as Trans-Union, Equifax and Experian. Other than the direct websites mentioned you can also obtain your free credit report from third party sites that generally offer additional services like providing FISCO scores (a service that is not offered for free from other credit reporting organizations).

How to Use Your Credit Report History:

When you get your credit information it is usually recommended that you look over it to identify any possible mistakes. Both credit reporting agencies and credit information providers such as banks, creditors, government agencies etc are responsible for rectifying errors.

Credit history can generally be used to access loans, mortgages, and free car insurance. In addition to these they are usually a great help when it comes boosting your employment chances.

How A Small Medical Bill Can Destroy Your Credit

Many doctors and hospitals, frustrated with slow payments from insurance companies, have resorted to the use of collection agencies. The problem has become so prevalent that I heard a story recently of a doctor that turns all of his third party billing directly over to a collection agency. He does not even wait the customary 30 to 60 days before converting his billing into a collection matter. Insurance companies are notorious for delaying payments and I truly believe this is a deliberate part of their business plan.

One small unpaid medical bill, however, can wreak havoc on your credit score. All it would take is for a medical collection to show up while you are in the midst of obtaining a mortgage and you will likely face an increase in your interest rate. Even though you have insurance and it should have paid the bill in a timely manner, you are held responsible when it is not paid. Despite a medical bill eventually being paid, it can still stay on your credit report for several years.

Your credit score affects any loan or credit application you submit. It will also affect your insurance rates in some states, approval for an apartment rental, and even play a role in an employment application.

What Can You Do?

Remember that when you receive medical services you are ultimately responsible for the bill to be paid. If your insurance company does not pay the bill in a timely manner your credit will be affected. For this reason it is a very good idea to stay in close communication with your medical provider to find out if your medical bills are being paid. I have heard many stories of individuals that wrongly take the position that it is not their problem and the matter is between the insurance company and their doctor or hospital. These individuals ignore phone calls and letters assuming that ultimately things will get worked out and their insurance company will make the appropriate payment.

Not that there is any time that you should be ‘off your guard’ but if you are planning on obtaining a mortgage or other credit, you should especially be aware of what may be happening with any pending medical bills you owe.

We have our health insurance through my wife’s employer. As a school teacher she has some very good (and very expensive) coverage. Nonetheless, we literally have had to fight battles with her insurance company over small bills that are clearly covered by the policy we have. It is unfortunate that insurance companies are operated in such an unethical and disorganized manner, but if you don’t take a very active role in managing pending medical bills your credit score may be damaged for years to come.