How Credit Cards Benefit Real Estate Investors
There are several reasons why a credit card is worth having in a real estate investment:
- More purchasing power: With some types of real estate investing, like house flipping and commercial real estate, the bills add up quickly. This can be difficult to manage if you pay everything in cash from your bank account. A credit card is a convenient way to make purchases on credit and pay them back when the bill is due. If you need even more time, you can get a card with a 0% APR intro offer.
- Building your credit: When you pay your credit card bill on time and follow other good financial habits, it can improve your credit history. This is a crucial step if you are trying to achieve sufficient credit for an investment property.
- Earn rewards: A rewards credit card is an easy way to save on money you spend anyway. For example, if a card offers 2% cash back, it’s like getting 2% back on your spending. Over time, these rewards translate into significant savings.
- Track business expenses: Getting a credit card just for your real estate business helps you track your business expenses and make the right choice Tax deductions. Many business owners use a business credit card for this. However, you can do this with any credit card that you only use for business expenses.
What Real Estate Investors Should Look For In A Credit Card
The most important factors real estate investors should look for in a credit card are purchase rewards and 0% APR introductory offers. These two benefits can help you save money on every real estate investment. Shopping rewards allow you to recover the value of all your expenses. Introductory 0% APR offers give you time to pay off qualifying purchases or balance transfers at 0% annual percentage rate (APR).
There are several other things you can look for when looking for the best credit cards for real estate investors. A high credit limit gives you more purchasing power, which can help you manage your cash flow. The credit card you choose should have a reasonable annual fee or no annual fee. Bonus opportunities and purchase protections are also valuable perks for a real estate investor.
To recap, here are the factors to consider when choosing a card to invest in real estate:
- Buy rewards
- Intro Offers at 0% interest
- A high credit limit
- A reasonable annual fee
- Bonus Opportunities
- Purchase protections
Now let’s take a closer look at how each of these factors works and why they are important.
Cards with shopping rewards give you a percentage of all qualifying purchases. Depending on the type of rewards credit card you have, you may earn cash rewards, travel rewards, or other types of rewards points.
Real estate often involves many different expenses, so with the right credit card, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to earn rewards. You usually can’t pay your mortgage with a credit cardbut everything else is fair game.
0% introductory APR offers
A credit card may offer a 0% APR on purchases, balance transfers, or both for a specified period. This type of offer is useful when you know you won’t be able to pay your credit card bill in full. For example, if you have an expensive renovation on a rental property and need to pay it off over time, a 0% purchase APR allows you to do so without interest.
A high credit limit
The credit limit is the maximum amount you can spend with your credit card. Since real estate investing can be expensive, a card with a high credit limit is nice to have. You will be able to spend more without reaching your credit limit.
A reasonable annual fee
Some credit cards charge an annual fee, but you can also find many cards with no annual fee. If you decide to get a card with an annual fee, make sure the benefits are worth more than what you pay for the card.
Credit cards often offer bonus opportunities, especially for new cardholders. The most common is a welcome bonus. This is a bonus you can get after opening the credit card, and it usually requires you to spend a certain amount.
For example, a card might offer $500 in cash rewards if you spend $5,000 in the first three months. Bonuses like these are a great way to earn money back from your daily purchases.
Purchase protections are among the most underrated benefits of credit cards. A credit card might offer additional insurance covering eligible new purchases against damage or theft. Another popular protection is extended warranty coverage.
Whether your real estate business buys tools, hardware, or any other supplies, purchase protections can cover you if something goes wrong.
Do real estate investors need a business credit card?
You don’t need a business credit card to invest in real estate, but there are benefits to getting one. Here are the benefits of opening a small business credit card as a real estate investor:
- A business credit card can separate your business expenses from your personal expenses.
- Business credit cards often have features designed for business owners, such as expense tracking reports.
- If your company has employees, you can ask them for employee cards.
While business cards have their benefits, a consumer credit card can also work well. You may find it best to focus on choosing the card that offers the benefits you value the most, whether it’s a personal or business credit card.
Best for Cash Rewards: Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card
If you want to earn competitive cash rewards on your purchases, the Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ card is the best choice. It offers unlimited 2% cash rewards – the highest, hassle-free flat rate we’ve come across. Additionally, new cardholders who spend $1,000 in the first three months will receive a $200 cash sign-up bonus.
This card has no annual fee, so it will not add any additional costs to your business. It also includes an introductory APR of 0% for the first 15 months on purchases and balance transfers made within 120 days of account opening, giving you time to pay off large business expenses or refinance credit card debt.
Best for a Welcome Bonus: Chase Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
The Chase Ink Business Preferred℠ credit card offers a welcome bonus of 100,000 points for spending $15,000 on purchases in the first three months. These Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth $1,250 when redeemed for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal. You can also transfer them to Chase airline and hotel partners or redeem them for $1,000 in cash back. This is an extremely valuable bonus, especially for a card with a reasonable annual fee.
You can earn even more extra points through the bonus categories of this business credit card. The card offers three points per dollar on the first $150,000 in combined purchases each year in the following categories:
- Internet, cable and telephone services
- Advertising purchases via search engines and social networks
Best for 0% APR Intro Offer: Citi Simplicity® Card
With the Citi Simplicity® Card, you get one of the longest credit card APR intro periods we’ve come across. The introductory 0% APR lasts for the first 21 months for balance transfers and 12 months for purchases.
Investing in real estate often involves paying significant upfront costs and then paying them back over time. If you must, this card can save you a lot of money. You will be able to avoid interest charges for a year and a half. You also won’t need to pay any additional fees to carry the Citi Simplicity® Card, as it doesn’t charge an annual fee.
Best for Home Improvement Spending: Lowe’s Advantage Card
When your business is repairing an investment property or flipping houses, there are usually many trips to home improvement stores for supplies. This is where the Lowe’s Advantage card comes in handy. It’s a great value for the store’s frequent shoppers.
The Lowe’s Advantage card offers a 5% discount on all your eligible purchases, including in-store and online. On certain types of purchases, it offers special financing plans with interest rates as low as 0%. When a special financing plan is available, you can choose between getting a 5% discount or taking advantage of the financing offer.
There is no annual fee for the Lowe’s Advantage card. The card issuer is also flexible on who they approve, so you don’t need a good credit score for this card.
Ideal for flexible rewards: American Express Business Gold Card
The American Express Business Gold Card offers bonus rewards to match your spending habits. Each billing cycle, this American Express card earns four points for $1 in the two bonus categories on its list where you spend the most ($150,000 annual spending cap, conditions apply). This list includes airline ticket purchases directly from airlines, as well as purchases in the United States in the following categories:
- Online advertising, TV and radio
- Hardware, software and cloud systems from certain technology providers
- Service stations
You earn bonus rewards on up to $150,000 in bonus spend per calendar year. All other qualifying purchases earn one point per $1. This business credit card costs $295 per year for the annual fee, but the rewards can offset that if you have high expenses.