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Getting Credit

The lowdown on business credit cards--what's out there and what to watch for

This story appears in the March 2010 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The credit card industry is still making its way through recessionary times, and business card issuers are no exception. A report by the National Small Business Association found that 59 percent of small businesses surveyed used credit cards to finance their businesses, and 33 percent had their credit lines decreased during the past year.

But there are still opportunities for small businesses to get credit, according to credit card guru Scott Bilker, founder of DebtSmart.com, a credit card information site, and author of Talk Your Way Out of Credit Card Debt. "The key is to have several cards open so you have the credit lines you need when you need them," he advises. But be smart about it: Check interest rates and fees to make sure you're getting the most competitive deal out there. Check sites such as CreditCards.com, CardRatings.com and Bankrate.com. He also suggests that small-business owners look for cards that offer rewards that will be useful to them, such as airline miles, discounts or cash back at certain retailers.

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