As e-commerce business owners, we live and die in the margins. A percentage here, a few hundred dollars there – these are the negotiations and deals that may not make or break us today, but surely will make life more difficult for us later if not tended to carefully. This is especially true for small entrepreneurs like so many e-commerce store owners, in an increasingly competitive world.
For many new entrepreneurs, one of the places where that inexperience shows up most often is (unsurprisingly) in our wallets – specifically, in our credit card holders. Some of us are using rewards cards that we transferred over from our private lives and have earmarked for our businesses. Others are using personal cards or lines of credit because, well, we already have them, so why ding the credit report to try and switch?
The answer is embarrassingly simple: because credit card companies have created rewards systems that could save our businesses thousands of dollars a year in rewards points and cash back bonuses. These cards are built specifically to reward behavior that most e-commpreneurs are already doing – and are easy enough to get that I’m personally embarrassed that it took me writing this article to research getting one. Here are three cards that will provide an immediate bottom-line boost to businesses that spend a large portion of their expenses online.
There’s a reason that the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business card is WalletHub’s Best Business Credit Card for 2018. Actually, there are 2,000 of them. The card gives new users $500 cash back if they spend $5,000 in the first 90 days, and $1,500 if they spend $50,000 in the first six months.
That’s 4% off the first $50,000 spent on the card in the first six months in addition to the card’s 2% cash back on all purchases - with no multiplier spend cap.
While other cards may ultimately outperform the COSB in terms of total redeemable value through rewards points, there’s something satisfyingly simple about more cash in your pocket at the end of each transaction.
Brex Exclusive is part of a new breed of business credit card designed specifically for the globe-trotting e-commerce startup in mind. Brex aggressively targets digital startups by offering massive rewards multipliers on the types of services that those businesses use most; 7x rewards points on rideshare/taxi servicers, 3x on restaurants and travel, and 2x points on recurring software and SaaS charges, which are an increasingly large part of the monthly expense report for any digital company. Plus, Brex has partnered up with startup ecosystem companies like Amazon Web Services, WeWork and Google Ads to offer more than $25,000 in value on day one – no minimum purchase limits required.
All Brex asks is that you make it exclusive by selecting them as your sole corporate business card. This might be a tough ask for established companies, but for startups who are looking for their first corporate card, Brex is a very attractive (if not slightly possessive) suitor.
The AMEX Busines Gold Card is American Express’ attempt to bludgeon its competition by making consumers an offer that offers both value and versatility, and almost gave The Points Guy a heart attack when it came out earlier this month. Cardholders get to select two of their biggest expenditures each year from a list and receive 4x points for each of those two categories, which include shipping, airfare, gas, restaurants, advertising and computer hardware/software. The card does have a $295 annual fee, but businesses will more than recoup that if they choose their categories wisely.
Depending on where you are with your business, one of these three cards will make a significant addition to your bottom line. More than that, they’ll make you take stock of how you’re making your purchases – an exercise that could reap significant rewards for your business.