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Putting Money to Work for Business Owners Why it's important for business owners to establish and build credit, and find the right card(s) to meet their needs.
Amid the economic uncertainty of the last two years, one of the brightest spots in the U.S. economy has been the rapid growth of small businesses. From home remodeling and coding to virtual health care and digital fitness, more people are working to turn passion projects into lucrative businesses. An estimated half-million businesses are started each month1 and now account for nearly all (99.9%)2 of U.S. businesses.
We sat down with Jenny Shum, General Manager, Chase Ink, to discuss how business owners can leverage credit cards to start, manage and grow their business—from building credit to maximizing the spend potential of business expenses through valuable rewards.
ENTREPRENEUR: How have the needs of business owners changed over the last two years?
SHUM: Whatever the industry, the pandemic has changed almost all aspects of business. Small business owners have had to innovate and, in many cases, reimagine their entire business plan to survive. While no two enterprises have adapted in quite the same way, many owners have pivoted by moving business online and becoming more flexible in their operations.
This ability to be agile and nimble also means that business owners are looking for a financial partner to help reduce the complexity of business processes. According to our recent Chase Small Business Survey, business owners are prioritizing ease-of-use and accessibility when it comes to their business accounts. In fact, 83% of small business owners say being easy to work with is an important attribute in a financial services partner, and more than 80% say they're looking for a financial partner that is easy to use and easy to contact.
ENTREPRENEUR: Why is it important for business owners to establish and build business credit?
SHUM: Establishing and building credit is critical to the long-term stability and resilience of a small business. Whether entrepreneurs are just starting a business, navigating through a challenging time, or experiencing tremendous success, chances are they will likely need to borrow money at some point in their journey to grow, manage, and scale their business.
Strong business credit can provide business owners with the necessary flexibility to maintain cash flow to help ride out the inevitable ups and downs that come with being a business owner. It can serve as a safety net, providing cash on hand to weather tough times. It can also provide businesses with the financial opportunities to grow their business, whether to physically expand, hire additional staff, or purchase more inventory.
ENTREPRENEUR: What other ways can business credit cards help business owners grow and manage their business?
SHUM: Chase's long history of working with small businesses means that we understand their issues well. We want to provide the tools and support our business owners need to succeed and so our products are designed to solve their real-world challenges and also provide a variety of benefits.
One of those benefits is giving cardmembers the opportunity to earn rewards points or cash back on their most frequent purchases. Simply put, cash back rewards are important to small business owners. Nearly two-thirds of small business owners who already have a business credit card (64%) rank cash back in the top three most important rewards they look for in a business credit card—far more than any other reward category. These rewards can be incredibly helpful for business owners, allowing them to earn rewards on their expenses, from the day-to-day to larger purchases.
Additionally, more than half of small business owners with a business credit card find that it allows them to more closely monitor their business expenses. Our business credit cards also allow cardmembers to enjoy peace of mind at home and on the road with a suite of built-in travel and purchase protection benefits.
ENTREPRENEUR: What business credit card options are available for business owners through Chase Ink and how do they know which one is best for their business?
SHUM: Chase Ink provides customers with a variety of business credit cards, allowing business owners of any size and at any stage of their development to choose the card that's right for their business.
They can select a credit card based on the unique needs of their business, as well as types of business expenses. This gives cardmembers the opportunity to earn reward points or cash back on their more frequent purchases with the flexibility to redeem on what matters most to them. Among other things to consider, the interest rate should suit their budget, and the repayment schedule should align with their expected cash flow.
Some options the Chase Ink card portfolio offers, include:
- Ink Business Unlimited® – Offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
An entry-level card with no annual fee, this is a great option for business owners who need a card for expenses that don't fall under a specific bonus category. For those with a wide variety of expenses, this card nets business owners cash back on every dollar spent. For example, freelancers and creators, this card helps to maximize their spending power on all of their business expenses.
- Ink Business Cash® – Offers 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent at office supply stores, on internet, cable and phone services, then 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent at gas stations and restaurants, and finally unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. This card also insures new purchases against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account, for up to 120 days.
For businesses with physical offices, or for those who work from home and purchase their own office supplies, this is a great option because business owners can get valuable cash back in the categories they spend the most on, allowing them to reinvest in their business.
- Ink Business Preferred® – Offers three points per $1 on the first $150,000 spend on shipping, travel, internet, cable and phone services, as well as advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines. Business owners earn unlimited one point per $1 on all purchases thereafter.
For established business owners with offices and employees, especially those with frequent business travel needs, they'll want to take advantage of this card. It is our only Ink card that earns full Ultimate Rewards points that can be easily transferred to airlines and hotels, and the only card that earns bonus rewards specifically on travel purchases. The annual fee is only $95, and the low cost is easily offset by the reward points.
ENTREPRENEUR: Where can those interested learn more about the Chase Ink suite of business credit cards?
SHUM: Interested business owners can learn more by visiting Chase.com/Ink or stopping by any of our more than 4,700 branches nationwide.
1(2022, March 7). Small Business Statistics [Guide to Success in 2022]. Review 42.
2 (2020, August 11). Small Businesses are the Backbone of the Economy. Better Accounting.