Best Small Business Credit Cards for Ad Agencies

Best Credit Cards for Ad Agencies

Moving your expenses to a small business credit card is one of the best ways for your company to start getting more out of every dollar spent. Depending on the size and scale of your ad agency, a different type of card may fit your situation better than another.

We’ll cover the top small business credit cards for ad agencies, how to qualify for the card you want, and why a credit card makes sense for you and your company.


TOP SMALL BUSINESS CREDIT CARDS FOR AD AGENCIES

Depending on your business’s expenses and cash flow, you should be able to use the different reward systems strategically to maximize the benefit to your bottom line.

Note: In most cases, small business credit card applications are based on your personal credit score. Be sure to know if you qualify before you apply for a new card.

These are the top three cards available right now for ad agencies. If you know your credit isn't stellar, check out our Top 4 Cards For Building Credit.

Cash Back Rewards

A cash back card will give you a set rate of cash back for every purchase you make with the card. Your ad agency can use the card to buy many of the things you need throughout the year and get cash back on all of it. Equipment, supplies, computers, software, furniture, utilities, internet service, rent—the list of possible ways to use the card goes on. The more you use it, the more cash back you can expect.

Most cash back cards offer 2% cash back on purchases. For example, if your ad agency was to spend $90,000 on the card throughout the year, you would get $1,800 back. You can also get cash back cards that offer higher rates for specific types of purchases, such as travel purchases.

#1 Cash Back Reward Small Business Credit Card

CAPITAL ONE SPARK BUSINESS

Ideal for: Business owners who want the highest rewards for the least amount of effort, and who don’t mind an annual fee.

Talk about straightforward: You earn 2% cash back on all purchases—and without any spending caps. There’s also a nice early spend bonus that eclipses the $95 annual fee that kicks in the second year.

REWARDS AND BENEFITS (TERMS APPLY)

  • Early-spend bonus of $500 after you spend $4,500 within three months of opening an account
  • 2% cash back on all purchases
  • Free employee cards
  • Quarterly and annual spending reports

FEES

  • Waived annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • No balance transfer fee.
  • No foreign transaction fee.
  • 3% or $10 cash advance fee (whichever is greater per transaction).

Airline Miles and Benefits

If your ad agency spends a lot on travel expenses, airline miles & benefits cards can help you defray some of those costs. These cards give you miles as rewards for the purchases you make with the card. The miles can quickly add up, especially if you make purchases that give you extra miles—which often happens when you buy plane tickets. You can use the miles you accrue to get free plane tickets and other travel perks.

Check to see which airline miles card makes the most sense for your business. You may prefer one airline over another, for instance. Pick the card that will provide the most benefit based on your needs.

#1 Airline Miles Reward Small Business Credit Card

CAPITAL ONE SPARK MILES FOR BUSINESS

Ideal for: Business owners who don’t travel regularly and have a steady cash flow to pay their full balance each month.

Capital One offers an attractive package of rewards and benefits that helps you earn miles quickly and protects your business purchases. It also provides extremely flexible rules for redeeming miles across multiple travel categories, and your miles won’t expire while your account remains active. However, with high cash advance and penalty rates, you’ll need to be able to pay down your balance every month or risk incurring steep additional charges.

REWARDS AND BENEFITS (TERMS APPLY)

  • One-time bonus of 50,000 miles—equal to $500 in travel—once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first three months of opening an account
  • Unlimited 2x miles per dollar spent on all purchases with no blackouts, seat restrictions, or minimum to redeem
  • Zero fraud liability and automated fraud alerts via text, email, or phone
  • Free employee cards
  • Redeem miles on flights, hotels, and vacation packages—or transfer miles to one of Capital One’s 10+ travel partners
  • Purchase protection for eligible items in the event of theft or damage within 90 days of purchase
  • Free additional warranty protection on eligible purchases, up to one year past the manufacturer's warranty
  • Visa SavingsEdge: Allows you to save up to 15% on eligible purchases at participating merchants (e.g., 12 percent off HyperOffice, a cloud collaboration service; 10% off Standard Legal, a do-it-yourself legal document service; and 5% off hotel rooms at La Quinta Inns & Suites)
  • Downloadable purchase records
  • Auto rental damage waiver
  • Travel and emergency assistance services

FEES

  • Waived annual fee for the first year, then $95
  • No balance transfer fee
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • 3% or $10 cash advance fee (whichever is greater per transaction)

0% Introductory Rate

A 0% introductory APR card is a great way to make some big purchases that you know will help you generate more revenue from your ad agency. For example, if you think that upgrading your computers at the office will help your employees produce better work or become more efficient, you could use the card to buy the equipment you need. Once you bring in more revenue you can pay off the card.

Every 0% intro APR card has an intro period where you do not have to worry about accruing interest. Be aware of your intro period so you can make sure you pay the balance before it ends. If the balance is not paid off before the end of the intro period, you will lose most of the benefit that comes from buying business purchases with a 0% intro APR card.

#1 Business Financing Reward Small Business Credit Card

AMERICAN EXPRESS BLUE BUSINESS PLUS

Ideal for: New business owners, and those with irregular cash flow, who don’t travel overseas.

This card’s 0% intro APR offer lasts 12 months, one of the longest on this list. That makes it an ideal card for brand-new businesses and those whose cash flow is temporarily unpredictable.

What is predictable: If you use this card overseas, you’ll pay an extra 2.7% foreign transaction fee, which is a surcharge if your purchase passes through a foreign bank. Unlike, say, annual fees that are often offset with upgraded rewards and benefits, you get nothing but the fee for your trouble. If you travel out of the country for business, this isn’t the card you should use.

REWARDS AND BENEFITS (TERMS APPLY)

  • 0% intro APR for 12 months
  • 2x points per dollar spent on the first $50,000 of every calendar year
  • 2x points on business purchases like office supplies and client dinners
  • 1x point per dollar spent after that
  • Spend Manager: American Express mobile app. Helps add receipts and notes to transactions
  • Get up to 99 employee cards for free
  • Spend beyond your credit limit
  • Exclusive access to ticket pre-sales and cardmember-only events in your city
  • Complimentary ShopRunner membership: Provides two-day shipping at participating retailers
  • American Express personal loans: Apply for a pre-approved loan of $3,500 to $25,000
  • Access to Quickbooks to label and transfer your transaction data from American Express

FEES

  • No annual fee
  • No cash advance fee
  • 3% or $5 balance transfer fee (whichever is greater per transaction)
  • 2.7% foreign transaction fee

Cards For Multiple Uses

Most businesses start with one card that fits their largest need and transfer most or all of their expenses to that card. Once you get to a certain size, however, it may make sense to have different cards with specific rewards programs catering to the different types of expenses you have. Most larger businesses use multiple cards to optimize for rewards.

Remember, you aren't limited to just one credit card, just be careful not to overextend yourself for unnecessary purposes.

How to Qualify for Small Business Credit Cards

Unless your business has a positive credit history of its own, your eligibility will be based on your personal credit rating. If you have a new or existing business that has never had a credit card or loan before, it’s likely that your business has no credit history.

Since your personal credit will be measured when you apply for a business credit card, it’s wise to have a good idea of what your credit score is.

If you don’t know your credit score, check out our article: How To Find Your Credit Score.

Once you have your score you can make a decision on which card to apply for. If you have good, great, or excellent credit, then go for one of the cards at the top of this article! If your credit isn’t quite there yet, check out our article: What Business Credit Card Can I Get With My Credit Score?

The great thing about credit scores is that they can be improved over time! We have a great article on the Best Business Credit Cards To Build Credit.

A rejected credit application can have a negative effect on your credit score, so act with responsibility and make careful decisions when deciding to apply.

Qualifying for a Small Business Credit Card

It’s important to note that if your business doesn’t have any credit history of its own, your eligibility for these cards will be based on your personal credit score.

The card above is for eligible people with a good to excellent credit rating, generally a score of 660 or higher.

If you don’t know what your credit score is, visit our article on how to find your credit score.

If you do know your credit score, but it’s not quite high enough for these cards yet, check out our article on the best small business credit cards for building credit.

A rejected credit application can have a negative effect on your credit score, so act with responsibility and make careful decisions when deciding to apply.

Why You Should Get A Small Business Credit Card

There are many reasons why a company would want to have a business credit card. Depending on the type of business you operate, the strategies you employ may be different than one another, but we will describe the basic benefits of small business credit cards.

Separates Personal And Business Expenses

No matter the size of your company, you should keep all of your business finances separate from your personal finances. This means paying any bills you have in the business from a business account and paying for all personal expenses from a personal account.

This separation accomplishes two main tasks:

  • Simplified Accounting - Keeping your accounts separate will allow you to fully understand the numbers of your business. If you have personal dollars in a business bank account or vice versa, it will be more difficult to understand how much you are spending, how much your revenue is, and therefore, your bottom line.
  • Prevents Commingling - Commingling funds is one of the most basic and damaging errors a small business can make. Separating your funds, along with operating your business in a structure such as an LLC, will create your corporate veil. A corporate veil works to keep your personal assets safe if your business is ever sued.

There should never be a reason to mix your business and personal money, even if you run a small sole-proprietorship. The risks are too great, and there are no benefits.

Before you get a small business credit card, if you haven’t opened a business checking account for your company, you should do that right now.

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Recommended: Get $200 when you open a business checking account with Chase. Learn more.

Smooths Inconsistent Cash Flow

Some businesses, such as those with long sales cycles, can often go a few months without revenue, then see a large spike when a sale is finalized.

While it’s exciting to see large numbers come in all at once, it can be stressful in the meantime to pay bills, salaries, and other expenses with little to no income.

Credit cards offer business owners the ability to spend money that they haven’t made yet, capitalizing on future sales right now.

While you absolutely need to be careful about spending money you don’t have, this is a method that businesses can use to keep the doors open between sales cycles.

Credit Card Rewards

There are two main types of business credit card rewards: cash back and travel rewards.

Cash Back Rewards

There are multiple ways a small business can get the most out of cash back rewards programs.

For each dollar that your small business spends with these credit cards, you can get some money back. Some cards even have higher rates for specific purchases.

For example, businesses that do a lot of road travel can maximize their driving costs with a card that offers cash back on gas purchases.

Other businesses may require a lot of office supplies and can find a cash back or points program that rewards them for these costs or others like telecommunications, advertising, shipping, and more.

Finally, most cash back cards offer a flat percentage rate back on general purchases.

Travel Rewards

On the other hand, businesses that fly to visit conferences, do on-site visits with clients, or any other activities that usually involve airline trips or hotel stays can benefit from general or brand-specific travel rewards.

These usually come in the form of points or mileage rewards, where for every dollar you spend, miles you fly, nights you stay, or any other qualifying action you take, you’ll get rewarded. These build up and can be spent on upgrades, free nights and flights, and more.

Finally, there are typically premium versions of these cards that cost more in terms of annual fees but have more luxurious rewards such as access to airport lounges, events, and activities most people wouldn’t have access to.

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