Can I Use a Personal Credit Card for My Business?
If you are just starting a new business, you may need capital to purchase everything from office supplies to furniture. If you have a personal credit card that offers rewards for your spending, or if you find yourself short on cash, you may be wondering if you can use your personal credit card for your business.
While there is no law stopping you from using a personal credit card for business expenses, it is much better to open a new credit card for your business.
Keeping Personal and Business Expenses Separate
The first reason to open a new credit card exclusively for your business is to separate your personal and business expenses. This is beneficial for a number of reasons. First of all, you will likely be able to write-off business expenses on your taxes, and it will be easier for you to identify these deductible expenses if you use a bank account and credit card exclusively for your company.
Not only can you deduct business expenses and services on your taxes, you can also deduct credit card interest for purchases made for your business. Again, it will be much easier to identify the interest if you have a card used only for business expenses.
Finally, if you combine your personal and business expenses, you could find yourself in a murky legal area. If there is no clear line between your personal and business assets, your personal assets could be at-risk if your company is ever sued or if the business files bankruptcy.
Building Credit for Your Business
It is also a good idea to open a credit card for your business because it is one of the easiest ways for your company to build its own credit history. When you first start your company and apply for credit, card issuers and banks may look at your personal score when making a determination on your credit worthiness. Once your company has a history of responsibly using credit, though, the company itself will be able to apply for loans and additional credit cards. This will further protect your personal assets and allow you to purchase more assets for your company.
Increased Rewards for Business Expenses
If you will be making a lot of business-related purchases for your new company, having a business credit card means you may be able to earn increased cash back or other rewards on these types of transactions. For example, the Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® allows cardholders to choose which spending categories they would like to earn increased rewards. Cardholders can earn 3% cash back on the category of their choice. Other perks of the card include 2% cash back on dining for the first $50,000 in combined choice category/dining purchases each calendar year, and 1% cash back after the threshold is reached and on all other purchases. Cardholders also receive a $300 statement credit when they make at least $3,000 in net purchases within 90 days of opening the account.
Access to Employee Cards
Finally, your business may grow to a point where you need to give employees access to the business credit card. To protect yourself and your company, it is smart to find a business credit card that allows you to monitor employee spending. The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business gives you free cards for your employees, and you earn 2X miles from their purchases. Additionally, you can set up alerts so you are notified every time the card is used, which helps make sure employees are not using the card on unauthorized spending. Capital One also gives you $0 fraud liability if the card is ever lost or stolen. While there is a $95 annual fee, it is waived the first year. You can earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles, which equates to $500 in travel, when you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first three months of opening the account. The miles never expire and there are no foreign transaction fees on any Capital One card.
While it is possible to use your personal credit card for business expenses, it is much smarter to open a business credit card that you use exclusively for your company.