In July, credit card companies Chase and MasterCard independently announced that they were going to begin offering enhancements to their existing small business credit card offerings. The intention is that by expanding small business programs, this will foster much needed business expansion by giving entrepreneurs access to a greater degree of purchasing power (essentially, the type of buying power that big businesses are generally privy to). In addition, both companies are offering improved expense management tools as well, to provide additional support so that small business owners are able to more easily monitor and manage their finances.
Depending on the small business credit card program, the enhancements and expanded offerings might include exclusive product line discounts or a new rewards programs with points that won’t expire, where opportunities to earn more points per dollar spent are aligned with typical business expenses such as office supplies, travel expenses and incidentals, and certain business oriented utility services (including cell phone, landline, Internet, and cable).
Other perks include several benefits for frequent business travelers, including discounts on travel purchases, free access to airport lounges, waived foreign transaction fees, and no blackout dates. There are also upgraded expense management features being offered to entrepreneurs, with free access to expense reports and tracking tools, and other online perks.
This trend comes at a good time for small business owners who are seeking to drive growth and business expansion despite a very tight lending market. By offering incentives that are aligned with typical small business purchasing habits, these credit card companies are providing ways for business owners to save on overhead while streamlining expenses and capitalizing on rewards and other incentives.
Small business credit cards have long played an important role in financing and supporting small businesses, particularly startups. These card programs have traditionally offered small business owners an opportunity to build their credit history and ratings, control employee spending, and streamline and consolidate bookkeeping processes. Business credit cards also typically offer higher credit limits than personal credit cards, allowing entrepreneurs to make major business purchases as needed.
Andrew, Peter. “Small Business Credit Cards Enhanced by Chase and MasterCard.” Fox Business. 8/24/12.