Are business credit card offers a good idea? Probably not. Beware of those credit card offers that look like small business cards and are anything but. There have been a slew of them in the past few months. I’ve received them myself. They look intriguing – lots of points for purchases but they have hidden fees and are not covered by the Credit Card Accountability and Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 because they are “professional” cards.

The Wall Street Journal Weekend Investor, August 28, 2011, warns that: While the Credit Card Act bars issuers from raising rates on existing balances unless a cardholder is at least 60 days late with a payment, there isn’t any such prohibition on the Ink from Chase card. The card agreement says Chase is free to implement a default rate of 29.99% if a customer is late by just one day on a payment. And holders of Capital One Financial’s Business Platinum Card, meanwhile, can see their low introductory interest rates spike if they are just three days late with payment twice in a 12-month period, far less than the 60-day notice period required under the Card Act.

The are Personally Guaranteed

Even more distressing is the small business owner that applies for one of these credit cards without realizing that they are personally guaranteeing the card. So if the business goes under the owner will still owe on the credit. A close reading of the application indicates that rather than true business credit cards these are an attempt by the big banks to have the best of both worlds — Business card regulations with few restrictions and a personal guarantee to sweeten the pot.

Check out Jay Fleischman’s post where B is for Banking. He discusses the unbanked and how having an account makes your finances tidier.

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