Few small-business owners would argue that pulling out a credit card is sometimes the only way to pay for a necessary operating expense. What many business owners don't know, however, is that the plastic they pull out doesn't have to be a personal credit card--and it probably shouldn't be.
"According to our research, many small-business owners aren't aware of their options when it comes to credit cards," says Mindy Chanaud, business-card product manager for First USA Paymentech Inc. in Dallas.
Rather than use one of the corporate cards available, many small-business owners pull out their own personal credit cards, but that's not necessary or even advisable, says Chanaud. There are a variety of credit cards specifically created for small-business owners that enable them to keep personal and business finances separate.
In the last couple of years, many large creditors have started offering credit cards targeted at small-business owners.
American Express recently launched their first-ever revolving corporate credit cards to meet the needs of small-business entrepreneurs seeking more extended credit, says Ernie Berger, senior vice president of small-business services marketing for American Express Inc. in New York City. For more than 10 years, the American Express pay-in-full Corporate Card has served the small-business market.