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You've been dreaming about it forever.
It's a hot idea for a new business. But, you don't have start-up capital. You aren't alone. Access to seed money is a big hurdle for many business start-ups. Small business loans can be tough to get for entrepreneurs with no business credit history.
You may have considered tapping a credit card to generate your start-up costs, but are wary of taking on high-interest debt. Here's a way around that. Discover the power of introductory zero-percent rates.
In real estate, the mantra is location, location, location. When it comes to business financing the magic phrase is interest rate, interest rate, interest rate.
Some business credit cards offer an introductory 0% annual percentage rate (APR) on purchases. That means no interest charges for up to 12 months on some cards. Using a business credit card wisely can be a powerful tool for entrepreneurs. Call it plastic with muscle.
Zero percent intro APR offers are basically no-interest loans for a specific time period. Common sense is required, though. You'll need to make the minimum payment each month. If not, you could rack up penalty fees or even lose your promotional APR period.
Treat it like a loan, because it is.
When properly used, 0% intro APR financing can be the lifeblood of a young business. Here are four tips to responsibly use this credit:
- Crunch the numbers. Estimate a budget for your start-up costs and follow it. You don't want to be stuck in a situation where you can't pay off the debt by the end of the introductory period.
- Build positive business credit history.
Using good credit sense could help boost your business credit score. That can help if you ever want to apply for a business loan.
- Don't make late payments.
- Try to make more than the minimum payment each month.
- Don't go over your credit limit.
- Mark your calendar. Days fly by quickly when you are immersed in the excitement of building your new business. Stay on top of the dates. Know the length of your APR period and when it ends. Make it a goal to pay off your credit card debt within that period so you can avoid interest payments.
- Minimum payment. Remember, you must make your minimum payment each month. If not, you may be subject to penalty fees and could even lose your promotional APR period.
Quick access to financing.
It doesn't take long to fill out a credit card application. Raising seed money from investors or crowdfunding sources takes time. A business credit card can provide the capital injection you need and creates a standing credit line as expenses emerge. It can be a valuable tool to get your business up and running.
If you are ready to launch your business these cards essentially give you a long interest free loan.
If you are ready to launch your business these cards essentially give you a long interest free loan. Many of us have the urge to ditch the 9-5 job and be our own boss. Are you ready to get started now?
Our Editor's Picks
There are several business credit cards that come with 0% intro APR. This may be the easiest and fastest way to fund a new business.
If your business needs new equipment or there is a big inventory purchase looming, this card offers a long intro APR rate of 0% for 12 months. That gives you breathing room to carry your balance interest free for a long period of time.
The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card dazzles with its industry-leading high cash back rewards on popular business spending categories. This card is a great match if your business spends money on office supplies, phone or internet services. Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year. Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other card purchases. Start out with a generous sign-up bonus. Earn $300 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
The simplicity and strong cash-back rewards make this card a great partner for your business if you don’t want an annual fee and have business expenses in their categories. This fully loaded card offers many valuable perks. Add employee cards at no additional cost and set individual spending limits on those cards. If you travel for business, benefit from auto rental insurance and travel assistance services. This card also provides purchase protection and extended warranty protection on eligible purchases made with this card. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance named this card "A Great Card for Small Businesses."
This card’s extra-long 0% intro APR is a valuable financing tool for businesses. Get one of the longest 0% APR periods available with the generous 0% for 15 months on purchases.
American Express made headlines when it rolled out this new offer with a flat 2X Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners. 2X applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, 1 point per dollar thereafter. No category restrictions. That’s a compelling rate for a no-annual fee business card. This card also comes with powerful features to help entrepreneurs fuel their business. Rely on this card to cover unexpected business expenses or new growth opportunities with the card’s expanded buying power feature. If you are looking for the longest 0% intro APR period available and expanded buying power, this card is the financial cushion your business needs. If your credit isn’t perfect, don’t worry. This card is aimed at those with excellent/good credit.
Get 0% for 9 billing cycles on new purchases. (Then it switches to a variable rate.) If you drive from place to place for business or have a fleet of trucks or delivery vehicles, take note of the big reward rate on gas with a generous annual cap offered here. You will earn 3% cash back on purchases at gas stations and office supply stores, 2% on purchases at restaurants, and 1% on all other purchases (Annual cap of $250,000 on combined gas station and office supply store purchases; then 1% earn rate after that). If your business spends big on gas and office supplies, the high annual cap means you could generate meaningful cash-back rewards with this no-annual fee card. Other business cards cap category spending at $25,000 or $50,000, but not here.
Every business owner can benefit from more cash, and this card will help. Redeem your cash rewards for cash-back or apply to your Bank of America® savings or checking account. Get a $200 statement credit after $500 in purchases within 60 days of account opening. Enjoy a quick capital injection to your bottom line with this low spend requirement to earn your sign-up bonus. This card has $0 annual fee.
This is the best no-annual fee business credit card for flexible travel rewards. If you want to quickly rack up travel rewards for your business spending with no annual fee this card can’t be beat. The 0% intro APR period offers breathing room if you have a new business purchase or cash flow lags.
Get 0% for 9 billing cycles on new purchases. (Then it switches to a variable rate.) This card starts out with 25,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in the first 60 days. Earn 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases. Use Bank of America® Travel Center, powered by Orbitz®, to book your travel and you'll earn 3 points for every dollar spent. There’s no limit to the number of points you can earn and the points do not expire.
Redeem your points for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees. That means you won’t have to deal with blackout dates or travel restrictions when you book your trip. There is $0 annual fee and no international transaction fees. This card comes packed with travel perks like travel accident insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, trip cancellation coverage, and trip delay reimbursement when you use this card.