(BPT) - More and more American small businesses are using credit cards for business expenses, indicating a nationwide shift away from cash and checks toward more modern purchasing alternatives. In fact, according to Capital One's latest Spark Business Barometer, 79 percent of business owners indicate they're utilizing credit cards in some fashion, with about half (52 percent) saying they use business credit cards for at least a portion of expenses. Additionally, more than a quarter (27 percent) are reportedly combining personal and business cards for their business purchasing needs.
But with 20 percent of small businesses not utilizing credit cards of any kind, and a significant amount of purchases being split between cash, checks and personal cards, the study also revealed many businesses are still bypassing meaningful value and perks.
'It's great to see more businesses using credit cards given the many benefits they come with - from high rewards, to expense tracking, to features uniquely tailored to help business owners manage and grow their enterprises,' says Buck Stinson, head of Small Business Card at Capital One. 'But a lot of value is still being left on the table. As a business owner, take time to explore your options and understand the potential benefits and rewards your credit card offers - and make a plan to maximize them daily. Most likely, there is opportunity to save more and be rewarded more than you are today.'
Utilizing a business credit card for business expenses can offer an array of valuable benefits, including:
*Great rewards: Many small business credit cards offer compelling rewards that can have a major impact on a business' margins or deliver high value remunerations. For instance, Spark Business offers unlimited two percent cash back or 2X miles on any purchase, any time.
*Higher credit lines: Business credit cards also tend to offer higher credit lines to better accommodate business-sized spending needs.
*Detailed accounting: Streamlining your expenses onto one credit card provides a more detailed account of your business expenses, which can be particularly beneficial when tracking specific projects or vendor relationships, especially when your account is integrated with the business accounting software.
*Tax benefits and savings: Having a dedicated business credit card enables business owners to track expenses separately, which can be useful come tax season as it not only saves time, but can also help maximize deductions and minimize tax burdens.
*Features tailored for your business: Many business credit cards offer useful features like customized account and employee card management tools, which can help owners manage access and credit limits of employees' cards, all from one account.
*Opportunity to build business credit: Utilizing a business credit card can help you build business credit, which will be helpful if you plan to apply for additional credit or financing down the line.
'Consolidating business expenses currently purchased with checks or cash onto a business credit card can save valuable time, enhance margins and offer other meaningful benefits when utilized strategically,' Stinson continues. 'Now is a great time to evaluate your approach to business expenses and credit, and review the products and tools available in the marketplace.'
Capital One commits to understanding the challenges, trends and perceptions that affect small businesses' overall performance and day-to-day operations. For more helpful information on managing a small business, visit www.sparkbusinessiq.com or follow along on Facebook and on Twitter with the hashtag #SparkBizBarometer.