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This post is part of our Field Guide to DTC eCommerce Capital. Click the links below to read more chapters from the guide.
Credit Cards, New Banks and Expense Management Platforms
You obviously know how to use a credit card. Fintech has exploded in this space and there are multiple entrants offering combinations of banking, credit cards, and expense management (Brex, Ramp, Divvy, and Mercury are all examples).
The biggest concern in using credit cards is putting your personal credit on the line. The good news is these new entrants are offering much higher credit lines than your traditional business credit card and without using your personal credit. They also have interesting options like extended repayment terms and other perks. If you are VC-backed with a lot of cash in the bank, you should look into one of these options. If you are scrappy and self-funded, the credit lines will be much smaller (if you can get them at all).
- Everyone can get a credit card.
- There is a revolver mechanism built in, so you can keep borrowing as long as you pay it back.
- You can use this money to pay for things directly (like ad spend).
- It’s easy to repay, and thus reload, the facility — just make a payment.
- Credit cards offer the potential to earn points or perks for your CEO.
- High interest rate.
- Very limited credit availability.
- You’re often putting your personal credit on the line.
- Not everyone accepts credit cards (such as your international suppliers).
- Everyone. (True story: Our founders used to work with a massive eCommerce company who channeled their ad spend on one channel (high tens of millions per year) through a series of American Express cards!)
- New banks like Brex, Ramp, and Mercury are good for VC-path companies, which have a lot of money in the bank but aren’t profitable.