By Jill Jaracz


5 Min. To Read

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Managing a small business can be an exhilarating experience--you get to be your own boss, you put your products and ideas out into the world, and you can really impact your community.

But when it comes to managing cash flow for your small business, well, that can be a little stressful. Sometimes clients are slow in paying you for your services. Sometimes you need to make an unexpected purchase, like getting a company car repaired or restocking the office supply closet. Other times you need to invest in materials that will help your business grow--but if you have a situation where you're waiting for money to come in, it's really difficult to buy something when you don't have money in the bank.

That's when it's handy to have a credit card for your business. Small business owners have several options for business credit cards, but American Express has launched a new one that's designed to help small businesses grow.

The Blue Small Business Cash Card is a no annual fee card that offers two percent cash back on eligible purchases--and you get that cash back automatically credited to your statement to help you manage cash flow.

"We know that three-quarters of small business owners experience unexpected business costs on a monthly basis, but less than a quarter of them feel fully prepared to deal with those unexpected costs," said E-Bai Koo, executive vice president, Global Commercial Services at American Express, in a statement. "We launched the Blue Business Cash Card to help alleviate some of the most common pain points of running a business so that business owners can concentrate on growing their business."

One of the other elements that makes this card useful for businesses that are expanding is that American Express will allow you to buy above your credit limit--and earn rewards on those purchases--without charging a few, so if you have a really large purchase to make, that barrier doesn't prevent you from making it--within reason. Amex does limit that overage allowance depending on how you use the card, how good your payment history, credit record and other factors. If you go over your credit limit, you will have to pay the entire amount of the overage along with your minimum payment each month.

The card's APR is zero percent for the first twelve months. After that it ranges from 15.49 percent to 21.49 percent. The card has no annual fee, but it does have fees for balance transfers, foreign transactions and late payments.

American Express allows businesses to add cards for their employees at no additional charge. This allows employees flexibility to make business purchases without having to use their personal credit cards, and the cards are eligible for earning rewards. Whoever is administrating the cards for the business can set spending limits for each card, and they can get summary reports of spending.

Other features of the card include a Spend Manager that allows you to attach receipts and notes to your transactions to make expense reporting easier. For those who use QuickBooks, you can label and transfer transaction data from the card to your QuickBooks account. Amex also provides a spending summary at the end of the year, which categorizes card purchases by type and month. You can also use your card to pay bills

Other handy features, particularly if you have cards for multiple employees, are the ability to designate an Account Manager to do the bookkeeping for you and account alerts that warn you about late payments and irregular activity on the card. These also allow you to monitor your employees' card usages.

For small businesses, this card can be a real help in managing business expenses and handling large purchases, all while earning rewards. But like any other credit card, you have to use it wisely and keep an eye on how much you're spending in interest to make sure the rewards are truly rewarding.

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