Published: August 25, 2020 | Updated: September 15, 2020 | Posted by: Venus Zoleta | Credit Card
For entrepreneurs, a credit card for small business is not just an option but rather a necessity. Whether you’re a freelancer, online seller, or solopreneur with several employees, there’s a card that best meets your needs for managing your business finances.
Here’s everything to know about small business credit cards in the Philippines and how to find the perfect card for your business.
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Having a small business credit card allows you to conveniently pay for various costs—like equipment purchase, accounts payable, and more—without using cash or issuing a check.
When you need to pay with cash, you can use a card as a source of credit instead of getting a loan. Access to cash is faster with a credit card than a business loan. Also, you get to borrow only what you need with a card compared to a loan.
The best advantage of a credit card for small business is how it makes tax preparation and filing more convenient. With a dedicated credit card, you can keep your personal and business expenses separate. It’s easier to compute your income tax that way. You may also deduct from your tax the interest and other credit card fees as part of your business expenses.
Perks such as credit card rewards and cashback vary from one card to another. Choose a small business credit card that rewards you the most on the types of purchases and payments you often make. For example, some credit cards offer higher rates for earning rewards or cashback on certain business spending categories, like groceries, fuel, travel, utility bills, telecommunications services, or dining.
If your business spending is more or less the same across various spending categories, a credit card with a fixed rebate or rewards earn rate is good enough.
Not interested in earning credit card rewards? Focus your search on cards with features that will help you manage your business finances better. For example, if you think you’ll be carrying over unpaid balance each month, go for a credit card with a low interest rate, so you can save on interest charges.
Will you be making a lot of big-ticket purchases? Small businesses will benefit much from a credit card with a 0% installment program. This feature allows converting payments for large purchases (such as kitchen equipment for food businesses or laptops for tech startups) into smaller monthly installments at zero interest.
If you have employees doing business on your behalf or you’re paying many suppliers, a corporate credit card is an excellent choice. This type of business credit card has features that help you manage and monitor your business expenses, as well as allow you to issue cards to your employees.
Of course, you’ll need a higher credit card limit for your small business than a typical credit limit for personal credit cards. Business costs, even for small businesses, can get huge especially at the beginning. With a high credit limit on a card, you avoid getting maxed out easily and hurting your credit score.
The credit limit you’ll get on a card will depend on your income and other factors, so you can’t tell for sure how much the bank is willing to give you until your new card arrives. Your best bet is a premium credit card (usually with a “Gold” or “Platinum” branding) that carries a higher credit limit than basic cards.
If your credit limit turns out to be lower than your projected monthly expenses, you may request the bank to increase your credit limit around one year after receiving your card.
In the Philippines, there’s no credit card specifically targeted toward small business owners. Credit cards in the country are either for personal use by consumers or for corporate use by larger, established businesses.
However, you can find plenty of great options for a credit card for small business use. Here at Moneymax, we have listed 10 best credit cards—a mix of consumer cards and corporate cards—to consider for your small business.
This Metrobank credit card is ideal for freelancers, licensed professionals, and online businesses because it offers double the rewards points on purchases typically made by such types of enterprises. Earn 2 points for every PHP 20 spend on electronic products (like smartphones and laptops), telco services, transport services, and online purchases.
Looking for the best credit card for small business with rewards? This versatile rewards credit card from HSBC makes for a great card if your business expenses mostly include shopping (for office supplies), gas, and dining. If you frequently purchase your products and supplies online or from overseas, you’ll earn rewards fast with the Red Mastercard.
With a premium credit card from AUB (whether it’s a Gold or Platinum Mastercard), small business owners can enjoy savings through its no annual fee for life features, as well as a higher purchasing power through its high credit limit.
On top of these business-friendly benefits, AUB cardholders can also earn rewards fast and set the due date for their credit card bill on any day of the month.
For a practical entrepreneur, earning rebates per month is better than rewards. The best cashback credit card for grocery businesses—whether online or not—comes from Citibank. The Citi Cash Back Visa lets you earn a high cashback rate on supermarket purchases and electricity bill payments to Meralco. All other purchases charged to the Citi Cash Back earns a rebate as well.
Offering a higher credit limit and high rewards earn rate, this credit card from Security Bank makes a good option for small businesses that pay for a lot of expenses. Accumulated points can be redeemed anytime for cash rebates, e-vouchers, e-gift certificates, and items like gadgets and luggage.
Not your typical credit card, the BDO Installment Card is the right card to use if you need access to cash for your business expenses from time to time.
This BDO credit card for small business lets you convert up to 100% of your credit limit to cash. Using this card, you can request for cash when you need it through SMS, BDO’s cash availment hotline, or at any BDO branch nationwide.
Like typical loan repayments, you can pay back what you’ve borrowed in up to 36 monthly installments at interest rates comparable to BDO’s personal loan rates.
Do you buy wholesale products from Lazada for reselling? Make your online purchases more rewarding with a UnionBank Lazada Credit Card. The card provides generous perks for Lazada purchases and even rewards you with e-wallet credits for transactions made elsewhere using the card.
The demand for online groceries is huge in the new normal. If you’ll open an online supermarket—or even a physical grocery store or convenience store—you can purchase your grocery products using this UnionBank credit card from Suy Sing, the leading grocery distribution company in the Philippines. This lets you re-allocate your capital for other important startup costs for your small business.
Every purchase at Suy Sing charged to the card earns you both rewards points and rebates. The UnionBank Suy Sing Visa also has flexible payment terms or up to 53 days of credit.
For your growing business, consider getting a corporate credit card that can help you manage your business and employees’ expenses. One of the best credit cards for small business is the UnionBank Corporate Visa because of its low interest rate and automated expense reporting and management.
UnionBank allows cardholders to choose between rewards or cashback as a benefit. If you choose the rewards program, the accumulated points on the card can be redeemed for employees’ rewards such as gift certificates. If you prefer the rebate program, the cashback will be credited back to your corporate account.
Another excellent credit card for small business, the BPI corporate credit card features an online expense management tool for an automated reimbursement process and better financial control of business spending.
You can issue as many BPI corporate cards to your employees or get just one card for your own use. BPI allows corporate cardholders to assign a credit limit per employee based on their individual spending requirements.
Generally, banks require self-employed applicants to have a registered business operating profitably for at least two years. Freelancers and licensed professionals may also apply for a credit card, but they should be practicing for at least one year to qualify.
Documents that are usually asked from small businesses applying for a credit card include the following:
The application process for a non-corporate credit card for business use is similar to those applying for personal use. It’s done either online through the bank’s website or in-person at any bank branch.
If you want a corporate credit card, inquire through the bank’s hotline or email first to get specific details on the product. The bank will guide you through the corporate card application process.
While it’s good that you have many options for a credit card for small business, what matters more is picking the right card for you. Compare credit cards in the Philippines using Moneymax, a free online platform that can help you easily find and get the best credit card for your business.