We advise small-enterprise owners not to use their personal credit cards for business purposes. This is because it helps separate a company and personal expenses.
It is easier to file taxes if you keep a clear line between personal and business spending. Business expenses are often exempt from tax.
But events do occur. You might accidentally pick the wrong card at the shop, or your business trip, whatever it may be, unexpectedly becomes a mini-vacation.
Personal Credit Cards Versus Business Credit Cards
It is easy to understand the differences between commercial and personal credit cards. Personal credit cards can be used for everyday purchases such as groceries, gas, and movie tickets. A business credit card, on the other hand, is used to make business-related purchases such as gas, groceries, movie tickets, and travel. It is best to avoid buying with a business credit card if you think I have an emergency.
Business credit cards do not have the same protections as consumer credit cards. CARD Act (Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act) provides safeguards, such as limiting upfront fees that card issuers may collect in the first year of account creation and regulating when card issuers can raise interest rates.
The Golden Rule is to Keep Business and Personal Expenses Separate
When you apply for a business card, you will usually need to sign a cardholder contract. This agreement states that you won’t use the card to pay personal expenses such as those for your family members or home. The card issuer will email clients occasionally to remind them that the card is intended only for business use. If you use your corporate credit card to pay personal expenses, it is technically a violation of your cardholder agreement. The issuer could terminate your card.
Corporate credit card companies don’t have to carefully review your monthly transactions in order to identify whether the charges are personal or business expenses. It would be difficult for them to determine in many cases. You won’t get in trouble if you accidentally use your corporate credit card for grocery shopping. You can find out why your request to business credit was denied.
Separating personal and business expenses from the same credit card statement every month can be frustrating and time-consuming. This can also lead to mistakes in bookkeeping, which could cause future legal and tax problems. However, this could have a negative effect on your long-term financial prospects.
There are Risks Associated With Using a Business Credit Card for Personal Purposes
If you violate the credit card issuer’s rules, your business card could be canceled or your credit limit reduced. If the card is canceled for violating the rules, you could lose all your reward points. It’s interesting to note that the household ratio of debt to GDP also decreased significantly later in the year. This is in contrast to the pre-pandemic levels.
Even if your agreement does not prohibit you from using your business credit card for personal purposes, it is important to keep your personal and professional expenses separate. It will be easier to keep them all together and not mix them up with personal spending when you submit your tax-deductible company expenses.
It will have an Impact on Both Your Personal and Company Credit Ratings
In order to improve your consumer credit score, you might be tempted to make personal transactions using your corporate credit card. This may seem like a good idea, but it won’t get you the results you desire. Commercial credit bureaus that receive most credit card reports may have them reviewed. Improvements to your company’s credit score will not have any effect on your personal credit score.
If you add personal expenses to your company credit card but are unable or unwilling to pay them back, it could affect your personal credit score. This is because when you applied for company credit cards, you gave a personal guarantee. If you cannot pay your amount, your personal credit rating will likely decline.
Avoiding Personal Charges with a Business Credit card
When participating in Zoom meetings, have you ever heard the saying “Act as though your microphone never goes off and your camera never turns on”? This is a reminder not to say or do anything in front of coworkers that could humiliate you.
The same applies to your company credit card. Do not do anything that could raise red flags with an accountant. It is possible to accumulate personal debt while you travel for business. It may seem appealing, but charging personal expenses to your company card could make it difficult for you to manage your cash flow or file your taxes.
What Should You do If Your Corporate Credit Card was Used for Personal Expenses?
Don’t worry! Keep calm! Tax fraud is not a risk as long as the expenditures are reported separately and personal expenses are not routinely used from your company credit card.
The terms of service prohibit the use of a company credit card to pay personal expenses. Although it could result in account cancellations, a small-scale error is unlikely to cause serious consequences.
Although it is legal, there are many good reasons to not use a personal credit line for company purchases. If you own a business, it pays to separate your personal and professional lives. A business credit card can help you increase your sign-up incentives and get benefits that are specific to your industry. You can also keep better track of your outgoing cash flow. Many personal credit cards have business versions to allow you to keep earning the points and miles that you love. A business card can help you reap the benefits for your company.
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