How to Maximize Your Nonprofit or Small Business Credit Card Benefits During Tough Times
Nearly every organization in operation today utilizes a business credit card or a consumer credit card for business purposes. Is your organization’s credit card helping or harming your operations? Ideally, your credit card helps you improve your cash flow, minimizes personal liability to staff and owners, and brings you real value in the form of a straightforward rewards program.
With the current state of the economy, there is no place for unnecessary fees or personal guarantees. Every dollar your organization earns is needed to pay essential line items such as payroll, your rent or mortgage, and utilities.
We have outlined a few simple questions that you should be asking your credit card provider in order to get most from your credit card during the economic downturn.
1. Will you waive our annual fee?
Many business credit cards and even consumer credit cards (that you may be using for your organization) charge annual fees. This is an unnecessary fee used to pad the credit card issuer and processors’ bottom lines. If you’re paying an annual fee, this is automatically cutting into the value of the cash back or other rewards tied to your program. Find out if your provider is waiving fees for 2020.
2. Can we defer payments for a few months?
Deferring payments on your credit card could be an enormous help to your cash flow and may even provide the flexibility you need to maintain your payroll, rent, or bills to your most important vendors. Just be careful to inquire about any potential fees that may be charged to your account during a payment forbearance program, such as interest.
3. Will you waive late fees and interest fees?
Whether your provider is offering payment forbearance or not, they may be (and arguably should be) waiving late fees and interest fees for at least a couple of months. Ask your provider if they will waive or refund these fees that may be hitting your account in the coming months.
4. Can we remove the personal guarantee from our program?
If you or someone else at your organization is personally guaranteeing your credit card, you should be especially careful right now! Credit cards tied to personal credit may weigh down the guarantor’s personal credit score as balances rise and possibly become past due. This is never a good situation, but especially troublesome right now as we experience an economic downturn from COVID-19 causing many cardholders to allow accounts to fall into bad standing. The personal guarantor may be negatively impacted by derogatory marks placed on organization accounts.
The Charity Charge Nonprofit Business Card is backed by Backed by Mastercard’s Zero Liability and ID Theft Protection so that cardholders can have peace of mind knowing that the financial institution that issued your Mastercard won’t hold you responsible for unauthorized transactions.
5. Can I get a replacement credit card mailed to my home?
Do you use a certain organization credit card to pay specific vendors? If your credit card is locked away in your office drawer and out of reach, contact your provider to get a replacement card. Let them know that your current card is not lost or stolen so that the fraud department does not have to get involved. Simply request to have a new card mailed to your residential address so you can continue to use it for imperative purchases while working from home.
It is important at all times to work with a credit card provider who has your best interest in mind, but ever more important right now. We urge you to audit your provider and ask them any or all of these five simple questions if they are not proactively offering these services.