(By Gerri Detweiler) Waiting for an affiliate or advertiser payout for your podcast can be stressful. You have expenses you need to pay for, so what do you do if your microphone breaks, you want to invest in new software, or you need to pay your intern?
Having a business credit card can help you cover gaps in cash flow and ensure you can buy what you need to keep your podcast business chugging right along.
Here I interviewed three podcasters to understand how they use their business credit cards.
Use Your Card to Maximize Points Back
Many business credit cards offer rewards or points you can use to cover card charges, redeem for gift cards, or book travel. Some purchases earn more points than others.
Andrew M. Kerr is the host of The House Hacking Podcast, which educates people on how they can reduce or completely eliminate their housing expenses through real estate investing.
He uses the American Express Business Gold card for most purchases and pays attention to which categories let him earn more points. The card, he says, gives him 4x points for purchases for advertising:
“Right now I am running Google Ads, and Facebook and Instagram ads. This falls under the 4 times spending category.”
Be Strategic About the Card You Choose
There are plenty of business credit cards out there but pay attention to the perks and benefits of each, and align your business goals with them to find the best option.
Cody Berman, co-host of The FI Show, a podcast dedicated to financial independence, personal development, and life optimization, says when he and his co-host Justin Taylor started looking for the perfect business credit card for their podcast, they mapped out all of their expenses and determined which had the highest dollar amounts.
“We ended up choosing the Chase Ink Business Preferred since it offers 3X points in digital advertising, web-based services, and travel — all which made up a large percentage of our spending.
“Now, we enjoy this 3X multiplier when we run Facebook Ads, pay for web hosting, or take a business trip. To top it all off, the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal is extremely easy to navigate and grants us access to thousands of different rewards.”
Redeem Rewards to Boost Your Podcast Business
Certainly, you can use your business credit card points to go on a family vacation or buy something fun for yourself, but Lee Huffman, host of We Travel There, a travel podcast, leverages those rewards to do more for his business.
He says he has used “credit card rewards to pay for my flights and hotel to attend Podcast Movement in Orlando last summer. It made it easier to attend since the only cash I was using was for registration fees, food, and fun during the conference.”
Becky Blake, host of Find Your Freedom Podcast, which aims to help twenty-somethings design their ideal life and achieve financial freedom, also leverages her business credit card to grow her business.
“I use the Southwest Premier Business credit card for business travel to conferences and events such as FinCon. At FinCon in September 2019, I went to workshops about starting a podcast and networked with many of my future podcast guests. That event was the catalyst for my podcast launch.
“This year I will be flying to several conferences to network with more podcast guests and sponsors, and learn more about the craft of podcasting.”
She says she appreciates the travel benefits like lost luggage reimbursement and baggage delay insurance.
Leverage More Than Rewards
A former podcast host myself, I’ve always used business credit cards for as many purchases as possible. Credit cards are the safest way to pay for purchases; under federal law, your liability for fraudulent purchases is $50 at the most. And like the other podcasters I interviewed, I love reward points!
But I’ve also used those cards strategically in two other ways:
- To smooth out cash flow. While I try to avoid debt, I’ll be the first to admit there are times that my cards were a cash flow lifesaver. Strategically time a purchase by charging it right after the close of the billing cycle and you can get almost two months interest-free on a purchase. And I’ve used low-rate balance transfers a few times when clients were slow to pay.
- To separate my business and personal credit. Many business credit cards don’t report to personal credit. If you do need to carry a balance from time to time — or even if you just have a month of high spending— your personal credit scores don’t have to suffer.
Using a business credit card, especially one with a rewards program, can help you take your podcasting business further. Try to avoid carrying balances, but if you do, make sure you’re using the right card with a low interest rate.
Gerri Detweiler is the author or coauthor of five books, including her most recent, Finance Your Own Business: Get on the Financing Fast Track. Today, Gerri serves as the Education Director for Nav, an online platform that matches small business owners to their best financing options and gives free access to personal and business credit scores.