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5 Things Entrepreneurs Need to Know About Business Credit Cards

Career

A business credit card can be a smart way to earn rewards on your company’s expenses, pay purchases off over time and keep your personal and business spending separate. But make sure you’re smart in choosing and using your card by knowing these 5 things:


1

Some Rewards and Perks are Better for You Than Others

The business card rewards field is diverse. Some cards earn flexible travel rewards you can redeem for any travel expense. Others earn miles for a specific airline. Others earn cash back.

The bonus categories (categories that let you earn extra rewards on certain purchases) are diverse as well, encompassing everything from car rentals, to office supplies to digital advertising.

So instead of applying for the first card your bank offers you, research the field. Match your biggest expenditures to a card’s bonus categories. Make sure the rewards currency you earn will be something you actually use.

2

There’s a Difference Between Credit Cards and Charge Cards

Some of the most premium business cards on the market are actually charge cards. That means the balance is due in full every month. If you prefer to carry a balance and pay it off over time, a credit card is what you want.

Having your credit pulled can temporarily ding your credit score.

3

Your Personal Credit Will Probably get Pulled When You Apply for a Business Card

Especially if your business is a start-up, the bank will use your personal credit to get a read on you, in addition to looking into your business financials. If your personal credit isn’t great, you may not get the best terms on a business card.

There’s another hitch, too: Having your credit pulled can temporarily ding your credit score. So, if you’re planning on getting a big loan anytime soon to finance your personal goals (buying a home, for example), consider holding off on applying for the business card.

4

You May Have to Personally Guarantee Your Business Debt

Many business cards from major issuers have “personal guarantee” fine print. Scan the application for language referring to you being “personally responsible” both “individually and jointly” for charges made on your business credit card. It means that you’re personally responsible for any charges your business can’t pay. After all, the bank is taking a risk in extending credit to your business.

It’s possible to get a business card without a personal guarantee, but it can be tough, especially for start-ups without much money to show. So, recognize the risks -- if your business can’t pay off the card and you can’t either, collections and serious credit damage may be in your future.

5

Business Credit Cards Offer Things Personal Credit Cards Do Not

Once you recognize the risks of business cards, you can enjoy the rewards.

Issuers of business cards have created products tailor-made for entrepreneurs, with rewards and payment schemes personal cards may not offer. American Express, for example, offers a flexible-payment arrangement on its Plum Card, which gives you a rebate if you pay in full -- and 60 days interest free if you can’t.

Business rewards cards, meanwhile, offer bonus categories you won’t find on personal cards but that can represent significant outlays for companies – things like telecommunications expenses, shipping, office supplies and online advertising.

Depending on the rewards program, you can then feed cash rewards straight back into your business, or transfer points to travel programs for a future trip (business or pleasure).

Once you recognize the risks of business cards, you can enjoy the rewards.

Culture

A Modern Day Witch Hunt: How Caster Semenya's Gender Became A Hot Topic In The Media

Gender divisions in sports have primarily served to keep women out of what has always been believed to be a male domain. The idea of women participating alongside men has been regarded with contempt under the belief that women were made physically inferior.


Within their own division, women have reached new heights, received accolades for outstanding physical performance and endurance, and have proven themselves to be as capable of athletic excellence as men. In spite of women's collective fight to be recognized as equals to their male counterparts, female athletes must now prove their womanhood in order to compete alongside their own gender.

That has been the reality for Caster Semenya, a South African Olympic champion, who has been at the center of the latest gender discrimination debate across the world. After crushing her competition in the women's 800-meter dash in 2016, Semenya was subjected to scrutiny from her peers based upon her physical appearance, calling her gender into question. Despite setting a new national record for South Africa and attaining the title of fifth fastest woman in Olympic history, Semenya's success was quickly brushed aside as she became a spectacle for all the wrong reasons.

Semenya's gender became a hot topic among reporters as the Olympic champion was subjected to sex testing by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). According to Ruth Padawer from the New York Times, Semenya was forced to undergo relentless examination by gender experts to determine whether or not she was woman enough to compete as one. While the IAAF has never released the results of their testing, that did not stop the media from making irreverent speculations about the athlete's gender.

Moments after winning the Berlin World Athletics Championship in 2009, Semenya was faced with immediate backlash from fellow runners. Elisa Cusma who suffered a whopping defeat after finishing in sixth place, felt as though Semenya was too masculine to compete in a women's race. Cusma stated, "These kind of people should not run with us. For me, she is not a woman. She's a man." While her statement proved insensitive enough, her perspective was acknowledged and appeared to be a mutually belief among the other white female competitors.

Fast forward to 2018, the IAAF issued new Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification (Athlete with Differences of Sexual Development) that apply to events from 400m to the mile, including 400m hurdles races, 800m, and 1500m. The regulations created by the IAAF state that an athlete must be recognized at law as either female or intersex, she must reduce her testosterone level to below 5 nmol/L continuously for the duration of six months, and she must maintain her testosterone levels to remain below 5 nmol/L during and after competing so long as she wishes to be eligible to compete in any future events. It is believed that these new rules have been put into effect to specifically target Semenya given her history of being the most recent athlete to face this sort of discrimination.

With these regulations put into effect, in combination with the lack of information about whether or not Semenya is biologically a female of male, society has seemed to come to the conclusion that Semenya is intersex, meaning she was born with any variation of characteristics, chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals. After her initial testing, there had been alleged leaks to media outlets such as Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper which stated that Semenya's results proved that her testosterone levels were too high. This information, while not credible, has been widely accepted as fact. Whether or not Semenya is intersex, society appears to be missing the point that no one is entitled to this information. Running off their newfound acceptance that the Olympic champion is intersex, it calls into question whether her elevated levels of testosterone makes her a man.

The IAAF published a study concluding that higher levels of testosterone do, in fact, contribute to the level of performance in track and field. However, higher testosterone levels have never been the sole determining factor for sex or gender. There are conditions that affect women, such as PCOS, in which the ovaries produce extra amounts of testosterone. However, those women never have their womanhood called into question, nor should they—and neither should Semenya.

Every aspect of the issue surrounding Semenya's body has been deplorable, to say the least. However, there has not been enough recognition as to how invasive and degrading sex testing actually is. For any woman, at any age, to have her body forcibly examined and studied like a science project by "experts" is humiliating and unethical. Under no circumstances have Semenya's health or well-being been considered upon discovering that her body allegedly produces an excessive amount of testosterone. For the sake of an organization, for the comfort of white female athletes who felt as though Semenya's gender was an unfair advantage against them, Semenya and other women like her, must undergo hormone treatment to reduce their performance to that of which women are expected to perform at. Yet some women within the athletic community are unphased by this direct attempt to further prove women as inferior athletes.

As difficult as this global invasion of privacy has been for the athlete, the humiliation and sense of violation is felt by her people in South Africa. Writer and activist, Kari, reported that Semenya has had the country's undying support since her first global appearance in 2009. Even after the IAAF released their new regulations, South Africans have refuted their accusations. Kari stated, "The Minister of Sports and Recreation and the Africa National Congress, South Africa's ruling party labeled the decision as anti-sport, racist, and homophobic." It is no secret that the build and appearance of Black women have always been met with racist and sexist commentary. Because Black women have never managed to fit into the European standard of beauty catered to and in favor of white women, the accusations of Semenya appearing too masculine were unsurprising.

Despite the countless injustices Semenya has faced over the years, she remains as determined as ever to return to track and field and compete amongst women as the woman she is. Her fight against the IAAF's regulations continues as the Olympic champion has been receiving and outpour of support in wake of the Association's decision. Semenya is determined to run again, win again, and set new and inclusive standards for women's sports.