Do you have a business credit card for emergencies?
Over the last few years, I have heard these words from several people both in business and personally “I have a credit card but it is only for emergencies”.
Who decides what constitutes an emergency?
Does the emergency rule change if you decided you want something new but don’t have the cash available right now?
Have you ever used that emergency card for something that was a non-emergency?
Yes, I am calling you out today! Not to make you mad but more importantly, my goal is to help you shift your beliefs about using credit cards. If you can do this and make some shifts on how you utilize credit cards in your business and in your life you might find that credit cards are not evil but can be very valuable to your business.
Let me share some ways on how to save and earn money with your business credit cards.
Credit cards can be a great tool and can make you money if you utilize them the correct way.
Did you know that if you use your bank debit card and someone else gets access to your card information and steals your money, you have to do the leg work to recover that money? If you can get the money back at all? Do you have to pay all the fees and any attorney costs to prosecute if the DA’s office is not willing to take on a fraud case? Can you imagine how much time and energy you will have to put into recovering your money because some lawbreaker stole your money?
If you utilize a credit card and pay for your groceries and any purchases each month then pay the credit card off before it is due it doesn’t cost you anything and if fraud happens from your credit card the attorney’s from the credit card company will fight to get “their” money back. It is their money and they will do anything they can to get track and get that money back and you will just get a new credit card number. How cool is that! They will do all the work and you just keep going. I don’t know about you that that creates a time win for me.
So how do you use a business credit card to make yourself some money for you and your business?
- Most credit cards today will give you points that when you accumulate enough points it will pay you back 1,2 or 3% of what you spend. Every little bit adds up. One year we used points from our American Express card to pay for hotel and rental car for a trip to Hawaii. That was in 2008 after the recession happened and we were short on cash but had the trip planned a year earlier. We were able to go on our trip with our four children and still have a great time even in a time of crisis. I would say that was a win and American Express paid for us to do that.
That percentage back can be used as a savings. It wasn’t your money, to begin with. They are giving that to you as an incentive to keep you loyal. If you go into it with the mindset that it was your money then you will not see the benefit of utilizing a credit card to make money. You can get points, mileage and cashback if you choose the correct card for you to utilize.
- Use your credit card for your everyday goods and services. Your groceries, gas and utilities. Many credit card companies will give you bonuses or rewards for utilizing your everyday purchases and then you pay the credit card off and get the extra bonuses. Like I stated above, use their money and get your normal shopping done. Whether in person shopping or online shopping let them do the heavy lifting if there is a problem and you get the safety and get your shopping needs met.
- Utilize low interest rates and card transfer options to save on interests for those months when you have a balance to carry over. This is something that I have seen used often by clients. If one of your credit cards is offering 0% APR for 6 months if you transfer a balance and you are paying down the “emergency” credit card then take advantage of that 6 month time frame. Saves you money right now so you are making payments interest free.
- Make large purchases on your credit card that you have the cash for and earn more points! My husband and I do this all the time. Buying a new stove? Buy with your best point producing card and then pay it off. Purchasing a coaching or training program? Pay for with your credit card and then pay it off. Are you getting the vibe here? Utilize the rewards so you win and you get what you need for your home and business.
Look I am not telling to you to get a credit card and get into debt! Please don’t do that! I have worked with many clients to pay down their credit card debt including one client who paid off $60,000.00 in credit card debt in ten weeks! What I am sharing with you are ways that you can make money while doing your everyday shopping. Utilizing the tools you have readily available to you helps you build credit, make some money and create a little more peace of mind. Almost every credit card company has an app for you to have easy access to pay and protect your credit cards. Makes it so easy to pay on the app weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. They will even send you reminders to make your payments every month. It is easier than ever to stay out of debt. That is the part that will be up to you.
Do I use my credit cards for purchases that take more than a month to pay it back? Absolutely! A few months back I did a $5000 donation on my credit card. I wanted to give that money to a non-profit and I wanted the points. Therefore I charged the donation and paid it off in two months. I could have paid it off right away but I made the choice to not focus on it. Paid off in two payments and done. I work hard to not let things ride for more than 3 months. In my earlier years when my cash flow was challenging, I sold items I was no longer using in my home to pay my credit cards off quickly. Get in the habit of seeing credit as a tool and resource instead of something only for emergencies.
How to save and earn money with your business credit cards is important if you are an entrepreneur and/or a sole proprietor with your new business that you started. Reducing the fees and still having a chance to get what you need for your growing business. Utilize credit don’t abuse it.
Quick mentor tip: If you have not yet built up enough credit in your business to get a business credit card. Get an extra personal credit card and only use that card for business purchases. Pay it with your business income. It is easy to keep track of your business purchases when it is all right there on one credit card statement. Don’t co-mingle your personal with your business accounts. This prevents the IRS from trying to say that you don’t have a legitimate business if you are audited. You can show you use your business bank account and your “business” credit card for purchases that were only related to business.
Here are a couple of simple tips if you are currently in business credit card debt:
More than one credit card that you are paying minimum payments on?
- Make minimum payments on one and then get the other one paid of faster by finding ways to come up with a little extra cash to put towards the one to focus on. This allows you to get one paid off and then you can move your focus to the other one. I recommend that you choose to pay off the one with the highest interest first. But you could put your focus on the lowest balance and get it paid of more quickly to create that feeling of accomplishment you will get and that helps to give you momentum to pay off the rest of your credit cards.
Have a balance on your card?
- Don’t buy extras for a week and instead send that money to your credit card. (Yes that’s right make your own coffee and don’t buy the fun fancy ones.)
- Have some things around the house that you are no longer using? Sell them and put all the money towards your credit card debt.
- Eat cheap for a month. Spaghetti for the win! Whatever it is, make your budget lean and put all extra cash towards your debt.
- Do some odd jobs for neighbors and friends for a week or a month (keep going if it works). Food prep, yard work, laundry, dog walk, etc. Set a realistic price and help someone and you can help yourself.
- Simple ask is: I know money is tight for most, but I am looking to create an extra $100 (or more) this month, is there anything I can do for you that you would be willing to pay me to do so it frees you up?
Need a coach to help you pay down that credit card debt? Yes, it may cost you now, but a great coach will help you pay back what they charge because they have helped you find the right tools to create consistent cash flow for the future. Reach out and find a coach who is committed to you reaching your goal!