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With the competition becoming fiercer every day, e-commerce businesses need to pull all the stops to ensure they continue beating the competition.
One simple yet powerful marketing tool you can use to your advantage is the Google Customer Reviews feature.
Research shows that 70 percent of people trust online reviews more than they trust advertisements. That’s why getting as many reviews as possible from your customers can be one of the best things you can do for your business.
Google has made that easy with Google Customer Reviews.
Let’s dive right in and see what these reviews are all about.
An Overview of Google Customer Reviews
Google Customer Reviews is a service that allows businesses to collect reviews on their website. To participate in Google Customer Reviews, you must have a Google Merchant account.
Google does most of the heavy lifting by helping collect customer feedback for you. To do that, Google sends your customers an email asking if they want to provide feedback on their experience with your brand. Customers who choose to participate then receive a short survey form to fill out.
The reviews and ratings that customers provide in the surveys can be displayed on your website and other marketing platforms. They also help determine seller ratings that Google gives to merchants, including the average star rating and the number of ratings. The higher the rating, the more trusted the merchant is.
A replacement of the retired Trusted Stores program, Google Customer Reviews is an excellent way to prove to prospects that they can trust you to deliver on your promises.
Why Are Google Customer Reviews Important?
If you’re wondering whether you should even bother with the Google Customer Reviews program, let me quickly give you three important reasons why you should.
Help Build Social Proof
One of the essential ingredients to running and growing a successful e-commerce business is to gain your customers’ trust.
That’s what Google Customer Reviews helps you do.
The customer reviews you gather are great for building social proof you can use to gain the trust of new customers. Social proof simply means evidence that other people trust you to provide them with a positive shopping experience. It makes other customers feel comfortable shopping with you. As a result, this positively impacts your conversion rates.
Participating in Google Customer Reviews allows you to build social proof and add a badge with the Google brand on your website, helping drive conversions.
Help Build a Better Brand and Products
Besides helping you win your customers’ trust, Google Customer Reviews is also an excellent way of getting feedback from your customers. You can use this feedback to improve your product and service delivery. As a result, you can build a better brand and create buyer journeys that your customers will love.
Boosts Your Local SEO
Want to boost your local SEO? Then leverage Google Customer Reviews.
Search engines, particularly Google, want to serve up the most relevant businesses in local search queries. To do so, they consider what your brand does.
Most importantly, they value the opinions left by people who have had a first-hand experience with you.
That’s where Google Customer Reviews come in. They help search engines know which businesses to recommend to users. Google rewards brands with better reviews by ranking them higher on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Google Customer Reviews also helps users decide which brands to do business with. To get a fair share of the business, you’ll need to have more positive reviews than your competitors.
Ignoring Google Customer Reviews could deprive you of the opportunity to give your business and marketing more mileage. That’s especially true as studies show that 87 percent of people read online reviews when researching local businesses.
How Does Google Customer Reviews Work?
How does this program work? Thankfully, it’s much simpler than Trusted Stores. All it takes for you to get a customer review are three simple steps:
1. Google Asks Your Customers to Opt-In
When a customer buys something from you, Google sends them an email around the day they’re expected to receive their purchase. The purpose of the email is to ask the customer to opt-in to receive a survey about their experience shopping on your site.
2. Customers Take the Survey
Customers who opt-in are then directed to a survey consisting of a star rating system (from one to five). There’s also space for additional comments if customers wish to provide more information about their shopping experience.
3. Google Aggregates the Reviews and Data
Once the survey information is submitted, Google aggregates it to form star ratings for your business. These are displayed on your website and in organic and paid search results.
While Google Customer Reviews is a Google initiative, it benefits you as a merchant.
Try as much as possible to encourage your customers to participate. This way, you get more reviews, and more reviews mean a better seller rating (Google’s average rating for your store).
That, in turn, will encourage more people to shop from your business.
What Can You Do With Your Reviews?
You’ve managed to collect some reviews using the Google Customer Reviews program. What’s next?
Well, this is where the fun begins, as you can use these reviews for many things. Here are just a few ideas:
Incorporate Them in Your Business Listings
Your reputation is one of your most valuable business assets. What better way to show customers that you’re a reputable business than by showing them what other customers say about you?
Include your reviews in all business listings of your business across the web to build customer confidence.
Display Them on Your Website
One of the first things you can do with your reviews is to display them on your website. Doing so helps earn your customers’ trust. It also lets customers see that you’re transparent, a value that 81 percent of customers look for in brands.
Use Them on Social Media
We all know social media can be a very powerful marketing tool. When you run your social media marketing campaigns, you can leverage your reviews by incorporating them into your posts or ads.
You can use your reviews on any marketing platform and with any marketing strategy. The whole point is to demonstrate to potential customers that your business is reputable and is known for delivering good customer experiences.
So, if you feel your marketing message could benefit from a review or two, pull one up from your Google Customer Reviews.
How Is Google Customer Reviews Different From Google Product Ratings?
Another Google program you can participate in is the Google Product Ratings program.
Participating in Google Product Ratings allows you to collect customer reviews on the products you sell. Like customer reviews, the product reviews’ results are aggregated and can be used across other marketing platforms like Google Search and Shopping Ads.
The main difference is that product ratings are not a reflection of your business. Instead, they reflect how satisfied customers are with the product.
As you’ve already seen, customer reviews are a rating of your customers’ overall experience with your brand. This can take into account the product (and its ratings), shipping, and customer service, among many other factors.
To put it simply, product ratings help other customers pick quality products, while customer reviews help other customers choose reputable sellers.
Product ratings and customer reviews are two different programs. However, you can edit your Google Customer Reviews code snippet to include certain products, so your customers can rate them in the same survey.
What to Do When You Get Negative Google Customer Reviews
Negative reviews are inevitable in business. There will always be a customer or two who are not satisfied with their experience with your brand. Legitimate or not, these negative comments can impact your business.
What do you do when you get a negative Google customer review?
First of all, don’t ignore the review. While you must respond to all reviews posted, negative reviews must be handled with extra care. That means:
Don’t let a negative review sit unanswered for a long time. Doing so results in everyone who reads the review either believing it or drawing a conclusion. Both can be harmful to your business.
Before you rush to respond, however, make sure to assess the feedback your customer has left. Use it to come up with a positive and helpful response.
When you respond, make sure to personalize the response by mentioning their name and the product they purchased.
It’s also crucial that you don’t turn a negative review into a debate or finger-pointing battle. Instead, thank the reviewer for taking the time to offer their feedback.
Also, make sure to apologize for the negative experience. By accepting the blame, your customers will see there’s an empathetic human behind your brand.
Move the Conversation Offline
Another vital step to dealing with a negative review is to ask the reviewer to get in touch with your customer support department. Moving the conversation from the Google Customer Reviews platform can help you take care of the customer’s gripe in a better environment.
It also shows prospective customers that you care about providing the best experience.
Do it well, and they may end up changing their review and leaving a good one. What customers really want is to know that you care about them.
If you can go out of your way to provide a good customer experience (CX), the chances of them becoming loyal to your brand increase.
Offer a Solution
When a customer leaves a negative review, it’s a sign they’re not happy about an aspect of their experience with your brand. Besides just leaving your response, you should offer a solution to rectify the situation. Offering a solution also shows that you truly empathize with the customer.
The way you respond to negative reviews can either make or break your brand. If you do it well, you can reduce customer churn. You can also increase the chances of your customers leaving glowing reviews and becoming your brand ambassadors.
Google Customer Reviews is a great way to boost your brand’s credibility and visibility.
As an e-commerce business, reviews are the lifeblood of your business. Yes, even the negative ones, as you can leverage them to show your brand’s human side.
Take advantage of Google Customer Reviews and give your customers a voice. Doing so will let your customers know that you value them and can also help boost conversions.
What’s your experience with Google Customer Reviews?
Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.
You want people to trust your site and that requires a valid secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate.
SSL certificates are issued by a certificate authority (CA) and they build trust in two important ways:
- The CA authenticates the identity of the organization that wants the certificate. This way, people know that they are in fact sending their information to PayPal, for example, and not someone who has set up a fake PayPal site.
- The SSL certificate encrypts the data travelling between your website and visitors. This way, potential attackers can’t steal the information people share on your site, such as their username, password, or credit card number.
Today, all of the popular browsers like Google Chrome will warn users anytime they attempt to visit a site without an SSL certificate. It’ll say something like “This site is not secure,” or “Any information you share may be vulnerable to attackers.”
It’s not great for business, to put it lightly.
Would-be visitors are going to head to a different site where they feel comfortable entering their credit number. I know I would.
There are a lot of different CAs to choose from and they sell a range of SSL certificates designed to help companies establish their online identity and protect their customer’s privacy.
For some people, going with a free SSL certificate is going to be perfectly safe to use. All that’s required is a quick demonstration that you control a particular domain. These are known as DV (domain validated) SSL certificates.
For companies that need to establish a greater level of trust, OV (organization validated) or EV (extended validation) SSL certificates involve real-world background checks on the organization making the request.
The rigorous authentication process isn’t free, but it conveys a much higher level of trust.
Paid SSL certificate providers also make the process of obtaining and renewing certificates much easier through an intuitive online platform.
So, how do you choose the best SSL certificate provider?
It can seem tricky at first, given that they are all selling the same essential service. There are important differences, though, and you want to figure them out before you decide.
In this post, I’ve reviewed the top SSL certificate providers. These are big names with a long history of protecting websites. The reviews are followed by a short guide that will help you make sense of your options and ask the right questions moving forward.
#1 – SSL.com — The Best for Budget-Friendly SSL Certificates
SSL.com is perfectly suited for small and growing businesses that need to secure their sites, but can’t afford to spend thousands of dollars a year.
They are a nice, mid-range product which works for companies that have outgrown their ability to use entirely free SSL certificates, but don’t have especially complex security needs that justify the premium pricing of DigiCert or GlobalSign.
The best part about the budget prices is that the level of encryption is the same as you get with much more expensive SSL certificates.
You might think that the downside would be lower-quality customer service, but nothing could be further from the truth.
SSL.com offers 24/7 chat, email, and phone support. In review after review, happy customers have thanked their SSL.com customer service agent for walking them through installing their first SSL certificate or helping them handle a complex issue.
I think SSL.com has struck a good balance between price and customer service. It’s not dirt cheap, by any means, but it’s certainly less expensive than some of the premium—dare I say, enterprise-only—SSL certificate providers like Digicert and GlobalSign.
In addition to affordable pricing, SSL.com offers a range of certificates flexible enough to accommodate the needs of many different businesses:
- Basic SSL: starting at $36.75/year (domain validation)
- Premium SSL: starting at $74.25/year (comes with three subdomains)
- High Assurance SSL: starting at $48.40/year (organization validation)
- Enterprise EV SSL: starting at $239.50/year
- Wildcard SSL Certificate: starting at $224.25/year
- Multi-domain UCC/SAN: starting at $141.60/year
- Enterprise EV UCC/SAN SSL: $319.20/year
Like other SSL certificate providers, you have to sign a longer contract to get the lowest price. With SSL.com, however, the single-year pricing still comes in lower than competitors.
As you can see above, SSL.com has really low rates for wildcard and Subject Alternative Name (SAN) certificates. This can save a ton of money and streamline certificate management.
Wildcard certificates cover an unlimited number of subdomains. Instead of buying, installing, and renewing a separate certificate for neilpatel.com, info.neilpatel.com, and so on, I just need one Wildcard.
SAN Certificates protect multiple domains. The exact number depends on the SSL certificate provider. More domains covered with fewer certificates will make your life much easier.
Just for comparison, GlobalSign’s EV SSL certificate starts at $599 and it costs extra to add domains and subdomains from there.
With SSL.com, on the other hand, the Enterprise EV UCC/SAN SSL lets you secure up to 500 additional domains for a lot less money. And with GlobalSign, you are limited to 100 additional subdomains per SAN certificate.
Compared to Digicert, the difference is more pronounced as a multi-domain EV is nearly $3,000 per year.
If you think that SSL.com is coming in at the right price for you, give it a shot. The 30-day unconditional refund is not a marketing gimmick. If you are not happy, they will credit your account immediately. Get started now.
#2 – GlobalSign — The Best Managed SSL for Enterprise
GlobalSign is the SSL certificate provider of choice for large organizations with complex needs. They have some of the highest rates in the industry, but also some of the happiest customers because of the quality of their service.
If you just need a couple SSL certificates, I would go with something less expensive. On the other hand, if you need a lot of certificates, and managing so many of them is starting to cause problems, then GlobalSign is a wise choice.
Its best-in-breed certificate monitoring and inventory tool, combined with heavy discounts for volume licensing, reduces the total cost of ownership for complete SSL security.
Decrease the frequency of the costly problems associated with certificate expiry, regardless of how many you have to manage. You can even set policy preferences and receive reminders when certificates aren’t compliant, regardless of who issued the certificate.
No more having to track down certificates manually. Everything is available with a quick scan.
Think about it. If your staff saves an extra couple hours each month due to GlobalSign’s intuitive platform and concierge support, then the service has already paid for itself.
I highly recommend GlobalSign for businesses that can’t play the normal waiting game to get new certificates. After GlobalSign authenticates your business, they can issue certificates virtually on-demand because they have pre-vetted all domains.
The initial authentication process is fairly quick (between three and four business days for EV). Some people have reported being able to get certificates quicker due to emergency situations simply by calling up GlobalSign.
GlobalSign offers the full range of traditional SSL certificates:
- DV SSL certificate: starting at $249/year
- OV SSL certificate: starting at $349/year
- EV SSL certificate: starting at $599/year
- DV Wildcard SSL certificate: starting at $849/year
- OV Wildcard SSL certificate: starting at $949/year
GlobalSign offers SAN SSL certificates for multiple domains at $199/year on top of the base certificate price. So, an OV SAN SSL from GlobalSign would run you $549/year. A single SAN certificate will cover up to 100 additional domains.
You can choose to add subdomains for an additional cost, as well, though a wildcard SSL certificate will be more cost effective if you need coverage for a lot.
The warranty for the GlobalSign EV tops out at $1.5 million. If your digital certificates don’t provide the protection promised, GlobalSign will foot the bill for damages.
This is half a million less than a comparable certificate from DigiCert. Ideally, you’ll never have to worry about the difference, but it’s something to be aware of.
Another nice aspect for enterprise customers is that GlobalSign supports document signing, code signing, digital signatures, and secure email. Being able to centralize all of these SSL security concerns in a single platform can make managing them much easier.
GlobalSign also offers intranet SSL for securing internal servers and applications. This means companies no longer have to run their own CA or use self-signed certificates.
For companies that provide cloud-based services, GlobalSign’s CloudSSL can help them meet the complex security requirements of these next-generation environments.
Not every company will realize the benefit from GlobalSign’s premium suite of managed SSL certificates and services. For simple websites, it’s overkill.
But for enterprises, especially companies with complex SSL security needs, going with GlobalSign is worth every penny.
Request a GlobalSign managed SSL demo today, and see the difference it makes.
#3 – DigiCert — The Best for Premium SSL Certificates
Digicert Group owns a handful of the most trusted CAs (GeoTrust, RapidSSL, Thawte, and Verisign) and has become one of the largest SSL certificate providers in the world.
It’s one of the more expensive options, for sure, but Digicert includes security features with its premium SSL certificates that can make a huge difference for the right businesses.
This includes automatic malware detection across all your sites, PCI (payment card industry) compliance scans, and blocklist checks, which ensure that your site isn’t under suspicion on any government or country-specific blocklist.
Importantly, most of these features only come with Digicert’s higher-tier plans. The provider breaks down its offerings into three tiers: Basic, Secure Site, and Secure Site Pro.
You can buy different types of certificates for each tier, but I don’t recommend going with Basic. It costs a lot more than comparable protection from other SSL certificate providers and you miss out on the extra security features that make Digicert’s premium pricing a good buy.
If you need the basic domain validation that comes with Digicert Basic, I’d go with SSL.com. On the other hand, if you are running an ecommerce website where users are entering financial information, Digicert offers a high level of protection that is very appealing.
At the Secure Site tier (which comes with organization validation), pricing breaks down as follows:
- Secure Site SSL: starting at $399/year
- Secure Site EV SSL: starting at $995/year
- Secure Site Multi-domain SSL: starting at $1,296/year
- Secure Site Multi-domain EV SSL: starting at $2,785/year
- Secure Site Wildcard SSL: starting at $1,999/year
All Secure Site certificates are backed by a $1.75 million Netsure Protection Warranty for your businesses, and a $2 million aggregate Relying Party Warranty for your customers.
This is one of the most comprehensive warranties out there, and this isn’t even the premium DigiCert plan.
You also get priority support, which means that Digicert agents will respond to your concerns faster than they would if you went with the Basic tier. Another good reason to avoid that.
Of course people still run into issues, but Digicert customers with priority support constantly praise the company for their responsiveness and expert advice.
The company really does walk their customers through the installation process for free. They expect you to have questions and they are ready to help.
All of this and more comes with the SecureSitePro tier:
- Secure Site Pro SSL: starting at $995/year
- Secure Site Pro EV SSL: starting at $1,499/year
These plans are backed by a slightly better warranty, which covers your business up to $2 million. There’s also certificate transparency log monitoring that alerts businesses whenever an unauthorized certificate is assigned to one of their domains.
In addition to priority support Secure Site Pro also includes priority validation, which cuts down the time it takes to issue new certificates.
Not every company needs the extra security, but those that do will appreciate the totality of what Digicert offers with its Site Secure Pro certificates:
All Digicert certificates are managed via CertCentral, which is remarkably easy to use. CertCentral is designed to work at scale, so it doesn’t matter how many certificates you have—it’s going to be easy to manage.
Digicert backs all of their SSL certificates with a 30-day, money-back guarantee. No questions asked, no hassles.
What I Looked at to Find the Best SSL Certificate Provider
You want people to know, without a doubt, that your site is safe and trustworthy.
The exact range of SSL certificates and capabilities you need will depend on the type and number of websites your company operates.
Price is an important factor—especially when you look at long-term costs—but it can’t be the only thing you focus on. In a very real sense, you get what you pay for.
Some companies will be completely covered by the bargain SSL certificates. Others will be extremely grateful they went with a premium product that really delivers the security they need.
To find out which SSL certificate provider is going to work best for your specific situation, pay attention to the following X criteria as you evaluate your options.
Types of SSL Certificates
You want to get the right type of SSL certificates for your site. Understanding the basic differences between them will help you avoid buying more than you need, or not getting enough.
There are three types of SSL certificates you’ll encounter. They vary according to validation level:
- Domain Validated (DV): DV certificates show that the certificate authority has validated that you are the owner of a particular domain. These are typically free, but since you don’t have to demonstrate anything beyond control over a domain, they have the lowest level of trust.
- Organization Validated (OV): OV certificates show that the certificate authority has validated that your organization is real, has a known physical location, and controls the domain. These are not free and may take several days to acquire, as they require a real-world identity check. As such, OV certificates have a higher level of trust than DVs.
- Extended Validation (EV): EV certificates have the most extensive validation process. In addition to checking everything required for an OV, an EV also requires the examination of corporate documents.
Generally speaking, different types of SSL certificates from the same provider will have the same level of encryption. It’s the authentication process that adds the extra level of trust.
The encryption that comes with DV certificates is key. But when encryption is tied to the rigorous identity check of and OV or EV certificates, it becomes much harder for bad actors to carry out phishing or man-in-the-middle attacks.
In some industries, like finance and healthcare, you may have to get an EV SSL certificate. This is just a bullet to bite. This is also true if you have a high-profile website that could be a juicy target for attackers.
Some choose to get OV or EV certificates for branding purposes. This was more important when browsers like Chrome showed a green padlock next to the site’s URL.
Google started phasing that out and now everyone gets the same gray padlock, regardless of the type of validation. Even PayPal doesn’t have a green lock in Chrome any more:
There is, of course, more information about the organization in the certificate details if you get an OV or EV, but who is checking that?
If you can avoid paying for OV or EV, I recommend doing that. Just check to make sure that it’s going to work for your industry and with any payment gateway software you use.
In terms of picking between different vendors, be sure you are making an apples-to-apples comparison.
For example, Secure Site SSL from Digicert is an OV certification, though it doesn’t say so by name, whereas a Single Domain OV certificate from Sectigo makes it more obvious.
Speaking of single domain certificates, there are two important subtypes of SSL certificates:
- Wildcard SSL certificates cover an unlimited number of subdomains.
- Subject Alternative Name (SAN) SSL certificates cover a certain number of additional domains. These may also be called “multi-domain” or UCC (unified communications certificate).
The exact limitations will vary from provider to provider. With GlobalSign, for example, you purchase the type of SSL certificate you want (DV, OV, or EV) and then pay an extra $199/year for every additional domain, and $99/year for each subdomain.
Alternatively, GlobalSign offers a Wildcard SSL that will secure an unlimited number of subdomains for $849/year.
If you need to secure multiple domains or lots of subdomains on a tight budget, I recommend SSL.com. They have Wildcards starting as low as $225 and SAN certificates that can secure up to 500 domains for $142/year.
One final note: it’s possible to use multiple certificate providers. Many company’s use free SSL certificates from Let’s Encrypt for everything they can, and use paid SSL certificates to cover everything else.
Speed to Issuance
How fast can you get the SSL certificates you need?
While DV SSL certificates can be issued more or less instantly, the OV and EV SSL certificates can take several days and possibly longer.
If you need one of these higher validation certificates badly, then definitely go with an SSL certificate provider who promises in the 1-3 day range, like DigiCert. Of course, you’ll want to check the reviews to see if they walk the walk when it comes to shipping certificates quickly.
SSL.com has some of the fastest turn-around-times, judging from reviews, so they can be a good choice if you need an SSL certificate yesterday.
For companies that develop software, Digicert and GlobalSign solve the problem of issuing certificates at the speed of DevOps.
They set up an enterprise account which lets you pre-validate domains. With Digicert and Globalsign, this is simple to manage, so you pre-validate as many domains as you think you might need, and certificates can then be issued on-demand.
One of the major benefits to going with a paid SSL certificate over a free one is that you are covered by a warranty. It’s like an insurance policy. If an incorrectly issued SSL certificate causes problems, you won’t be on the hook for making it right.
These warranties vary depending on which type of certificate you choose. DV SSL certificates are backed by warranties of around $10,000, whereas EV SSL certificates may cover more than $1 million.
DigiCert has one of the most comprehensive warranties. For their EV SSL certificate, your business is covered by a $2 million warranty and your customers are backed by a separate $2 million warranty.
Hopefully you will never need this, but if you do, it’s important to know which companies are backing you with a suitable warranty.
Whether you are purchasing a single SSL certificate or thousands a week, the quality of customer service matters a lot.
There can be a lot of steps to installing and renewing SSL certificates. It’s a little different for every host and type of server. Sometimes the “easy installation” process is going to be more difficult based on your specific hardware.
Being able to pick up the phone and talk to an expert who can walk you through the process is worth a lot. SSL.com has a great reputation, with hundreds of reviewers describing reassuring customer service throughout their first installation of an SSL certificate. The agents stay on the line, from start to finish, ensuring that everything is done right.
Let’s Encrypt is a great option for free SSL certificates, but are you saving money if it takes your paid employees several hours a month to finagle with an unfamiliar system?
This is why companies like GlobalSign and Digicert can charge a lot more for SSL certificates than others. You are paying for the on-demand, concierge customer service so that you don’t have to hire experts yourself.
If you can’t use the best free SSL certificates to protect your sites, it’s important to find the right paid option.
Much is going to depend on finding an SSL certificate provider who offers the range of certificates you need at a price that makes sense.
For companies looking for affordable SSL certificates, make SSL.com your first and only stop. On top of their excellent prices, they have a great reputation for helping their customers. If you need a Wildcard or SAN certificate, going with SSL.com could save you thousands of dollars each year.
If you only need OV or EV certificates, and you want a serious warranty to back them up, Digicert is a great choice. There’s definitely a higher price tag, but the platform comes with many additional tools to maintain top-level SSL security across all of your sites.
GlobalSign is my recommendation for enterprise customers who want a provider that helps them manage their complex SSL needs. There is no more user-friendly certificate management system out there, and you can depend on their customer service agents to be there when you need them.
There are many, many more options out there for SSL certificates. These are my top three. They have stood the test of time, helped thousands of companies keep their sites secure, and continuously evolve their technology to stay on top.
- SSL.com: The Best for Budget-Friendly SSL Certificates
- GlobalSign: The Best Managed SSL for Enterprise
- DigiCert: The Best for Premium SSL Certificates
Need an LLC credit card? You’ve come to the right place. And they are still available, despite the COVID-19 situation.
The Very Best LLC Credit Card
We researched just about every LLC credit card for you. So, here are our top picks.
Per the SBA, company credit card limits are a whopping 10 – 100 times that of personal credit cards!
This shows you can get a lot more cash with business credit. And it also means you can have personal credit cards at retail stores. So, you would now have an additional card at the same retailers for your small business.
And you will not need collateral, cash flow, or financials to get company credit.
LLC Credit Card Benefits
Perks vary. So, make certain to choose the perk you would prefer from this selection of options.
Get a Secure LLC Credit Card for Fair Credit Scores
Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business
Check out the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business. It has no annual fee. There is no introductory APR offer. The regular APR is a variable 24.49%. You can earn unlimited 1% cash back on every purchase for your company, without any minimum to redeem.
While this card is within reach if you have average credit scores, beware of the APR. Yet if you can pay promptly, and in full, then it’s a bargain.
Get a Trustworthy LLC Credit Card for Fair to Poor Credit, Not Calling for a Personal Guarantee
Brex Card for Startups
Take a look at the Brex Card for Startups. It has no annual fee.
You will not need to provide your Social Security number to apply. And you will not need to provide a personal guarantee. They will take your EIN.
However, they do not accept every industry.
Also, there are some industries they will not work with, and others where they want added documentation. For a list, go here: https://brex.com/legal/prohibited_activities/.
To determine creditworthiness, Brex checks a business’s cash balance, spending patterns, and investors.
You can get 7x points on rideshare. Get 4x on Brex Travel. Also, get triple points on restaurants. And get double points on recurring software payments. Get 1x points on everything else.
So you can have bad credit (even a 300 FICO) to qualify.
Find it here: https://brex.com/lp/startups-higher-limits/
Establish business credit fast with our research-backed guide to 12 business credit cards and lines.
Get an LLC Credit Card with No Annual Fee
No Annual Fee/Flat Rate Cash Back
Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card
Take a look at the Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card. Beyond no annual fee, get an introductory 0% APR for the first year. Afterwards, the APR is a variable 14.74 – 20.74%.
You can earn unlimited 1.5% Cash Back rewards on every purchase made for your business. And get $500 bonus cash back after spending $3,000 in the first three months from account opening. You can redeem your rewards for cash back, gift cards, travel and more using Chase Ultimate Rewards®. But you will need excellent credit scores to receive this card.
Get an LLC Credit Card for Luxurious Travel Points
Flat-rate Travel Rewards
Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business
Take a look at the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business. It has an introductory yearly fee of $0 for the first year, which then rises to $95. The regular APR is 18.49%, variable due to the prime rate. There is no introductory annual percentage rate. Pay no transfer fees. So late fees go up to $39.
This card is terrific for travel if your expenses do not fall into typical bonus categories. You can get unlimited double miles on all purchases, without any limits. Get 5x miles on rental cars and hotels if you book through Capital One Travel.
Get an initial bonus of 50,000 miles. That’s the same as $500 in travel. However you just get it if you spend $4,500 in the initial 3 months from account opening. There is no foreign transaction fee. But you will need a good to superb FICO score to qualify.
Bonus Travel Categories with a Sign-Up Offer
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
For a wonderful sign-up offer and bonus categories, check out the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card.
Pay an annual fee of $95. Regular APR is 17.49 – 22.49%, variable. There is no introductory APR offer.
Get 100,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 in the initial 3 months after account opening. This works out to $1,250 towards travel rewards if you redeem via Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Get three points per dollar of the first $150,000 you spend with this card. So this is for purchases on travel, shipping, internet, cable, and phone services. Plus it includes advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year.
You can get 25% more in travel redemption when you redeem for travel with Chase Ultimate Rewards. But you will need a good to superb FICO score to qualify.
No Yearly Fee
Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World MasterCard® credit card
For no yearly fee while still getting travel rewards, have a look at this card from Bank of America. It has no annual fee and a 0% introductory APR for purchases during the first nine billing cycles. After that, its regular APR is 13.74 – 23.74% variable.
You can get 30,000 bonus points when you make a minimum of $3,000 in net purchases. So this is within 90 days of your account opening. You can redeem these points for a $300 statement credit towards travel purchases.
Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases, everywhere, every time. And this is despite how much you spend.
Also earn 3 points per every dollar spent when you schedule your travel (car, hotel, airline) through the Bank of America® Travel Center. There is no limit to the number of points you can get and points don’t expire.
But note you will need superb credit to get this one (as in, 700s or better).
Hotel Credit Card
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card
Check out the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ Card from American Express. It has an annual fee of $125. There is no introductory APR offer. The regular APR is a variable 17.24 – 26.24%. But you will need good to exceptional credit scores to get this card.
You can get 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after using your card to make purchases of $3,000 in the initial three months. Get 6x the points for qualified purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels. You can get 4x the points at US restaurants and gasoline stations. And you can get 4x the points on wireless telephone services bought straight from American service providers and on US purchases for shipping.
Get double points on all other eligible purchases.
Also, you get a free night every year after your card anniversary. And you can earn one more free night after you spend $60,000 on your card in a calendar year.
You get free Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status with your Card. Also, spend $35,000 on qualified purchases in a calendar year and get an upgrade to Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status through the end of the next calendar year.
Plus, each calendar year you can get credit for 15 nights towards the next level of Marriott Bonvoy Elite status.
Business Credit Cards with a 0% Introductory APR – Pay Zero!
Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
Take a look at the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express. It has no annual fee. There is a 0% introductory APR for the first 12 months. Afterwards, the APR is a variable 14.74 – 20.74%.
Get double Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases like office supplies or client dinners for the initial $50,000 spent per year. Get 1 point per dollar afterwards.
But you will need great to outstanding credit to qualify.
American Express® Blue Business Cash Card
Also take a look at the American Express® Blue Business Cash Card. Note: the American Express® Blue Business Cash Card is identical to the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express. But its rewards are in cash as opposed to points.
Get 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year. Then get 1%.
So it has no yearly fee. There is a 0% introductory APR for the initial year. After that, the APR is a variable 14.74 – 20.74%.
But you will need great to excellent credit scores to qualify.
Establish business credit fast with our research-backed guide to 12 business credit cards and lines.
Get a Flexible Financing LLC Credit Card – Have A Look at Your Options!
The Plum Card® from American Express
Have a look at the Plum Card® from American Express. It has an introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year. After that, pay $250 per year.
Get a 1.5% early pay discount cash back bonus when you pay within 10 days. You can take up to 60 days to pay without interest when you pay the minimum due by the payment due date.
However, you will need great to excellent credit to qualify.
Get an LLC Credit Card for Cash Back
Capital One ® Spark® Cash for Business
Take a look at the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business. It has an introductory $0 annual fee for the first year. After that, this card costs $95 per year. There is no introductory APR offer. The regular APR is a variable 18.49%.
You can get a $500 one-time cash bonus after spending $4,000 in the initial three months from account opening. So you can get unlimited 2% cash back. Redeem at any time without any minimums.
But you will need great to exceptional credit to qualify.
Flat-Rate Rewards and No Annual Fee
Discover it® Business Card
Check out the Discover it® Business Card. It has no yearly fee. There is an introductory APR of 0% on purchases for one year. After that the regular APR is a variable 14.49 – 22.49%.
Get unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, with no category restrictions or bonuses. So they double the 1.5% Cashback Match™ at the end of the first year. There is no minimum spend requirement.
You can download transactions quickly to Quicken, QuickBooks, and Excel. But note: you will need good to outstanding credit to qualify for this card.
So you can get it here: https://www.discover.com/credit-cards/business/
Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
Take a look at the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card. It has no yearly fee. There is a 0% introductory APR for the initial year. After that, the APR is a variable 14.74 – 20.74%. You can get a $500 one-time cash bonus after spending $3,000 in the first three months from account opening.
You can get 5% cash back on the initial $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on net, cable and phone services each account anniversary year.
Get 2% cash back on the initial $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases. There is no restriction to the amount you can earn.
But you will need outstanding credit scores to receive this card.
Boosted Cash Back Categories
Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards MasterCard® credit card
Take a look at the Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards MasterCard® credit card. Get an 0% introductory APR for the initial 9 billing cycles of the account. Afterwards, the APR is 13.74% – 23.74% variable. There is no yearly fee. You can get a $300 statement credit offer.
Get 3% cash back in the category of your choice. So these are filling stations (default), office supply stores, travel, TV/telecom & wireless, computer services or business consulting services. Get 2% cash back on dining. So this is for the first $50,000 in combined choice category/dining purchases each calendar year. Then earn 1% after, with no limits.
But you will need exceptional credit to qualify.
And then you can find it here: https://promo.bankofamerica.com/smallbusinesscards2/
Get an Irresistible LLC Credit Card for Jackpot Rewards That Never Expire
Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business
Check out the Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business. It has no annual fee. You can get 1.5% cash back on every purchase. There is no limit on the cash back you can earn. Also get a one-time $200 cash bonus when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the initial three months. Rewards never expire.
So pay a 0% introductory APR for 9 months. Then pay 14.49% – 22.49% variable APR afterwards.
But you will need great to superb credit scores to qualify.
And then you can find it here: https://www.capitalone.com/small-business/credit-cards/spark-cash-select/
The Best LLC Credit Card for You
Your outright best company credit cards hinge on your credit history and scores.
Only you can select which features you want and need. So, make sure to do your homework. Because what is excellent for you could be disastrous for somebody else.
And, as always, be sure to build credit in the recommended order for the best, speediest benefits. The COVID-19 situation cannot last forever.
Can you still get recession corporate credit? Yes! Of course you can!
Your Business Needs Recession Corporate Credit
Recession corporate credit is credit in a company’s name. It doesn’t tie to an entrepreneur’s personal credit, not even when the owner is a sole proprietor and the sole employee of the business.
Consequently, an entrepreneur’s business and consumer credit scores can be very different.
Recession Era Financing
The number of United States financial institutions and also thrifts has been decreasing slowly for 25 years. This is from consolidation in the marketplace as well as deregulation in the 1990s, reducing obstacles to interstate banking. See: https://www.fundera.com/blog/happened-americas-small-businesses-financial-crisis-six-years-start-crisis-look-back-10-charts
Assets concentrated in ever‐larger banks is problematic for small business proprietors. Big banks are a lot less likely to make small loans. Economic slumps mean banks end up being much more careful with lending. Luckily, business credit does not rely upon financial institutions.
The Advantages of Recession Corporate Credit
Because company credit is independent from individual, it helps to protect an entrepreneur’s personal assets, in case of litigation or business bankruptcy.
Also, with two distinct credit scores, a business owner can get two separate cards from the same vendor. This effectively doubles purchasing power.
Another benefit is that even startups can do this. Going to a bank for a business loan can be a recipe for frustration.
But building business credit, when done right, is a plan for success.
Consumer credit scores are dependent on payments but also additional considerations like credit usage percentages.
But for corporate credit, the scores actually merely depend on whether a small business pays its debts on a timely basis.
The Process of Building Recession Corporate Credit
Building small business credit is a process, and it does not happen without effort. A company needs to actively work to establish small business credit.
That being said, it can be done easily and quickly, and it is much quicker than establishing individual credit scores.
Merchants are a big aspect of this process.
Undertaking the steps out of sequence will lead to repetitive rejections. Nobody can start at the top with recession corporate credit. For example, you can’t start with retail or cash credit from your bank. If you do, you’ll get a denial 100% of the time.
Corporate Credit and Fundability
A small business has to be fundable to lenders and merchants.
Therefore, a small business will need a professional-looking web site and e-mail address. And it needs to have site hosting bought from a vendor like GoDaddy.
Plus, business phone numbers ought to have a listing on ListYourself.net.
Likewise, the company telephone number should be toll-free (800 exchange or comparable).
A business will also need a bank account dedicated only to it, and it must have all of the licenses essential for operation.
These licenses all must be in the perfect, correct name of the business. And they need to have the same company address and phone numbers.
So keep in mind, that this means not just state licenses, but potentially also city licenses.
Learn more here and get started toward building business credit attached to your company’s EIN and not your SSN. Get money even in a recession!
Working with the IRS
Visit the IRS website and acquire an EIN for the business. They’re totally free. Select a business entity such as corporation, LLC, etc.
A small business can get started as a sole proprietor. But they will more than likely wish to change to a sort of corporation or an LLC.
This is in order to limit risk. And it will take full advantage of tax benefits.
A business entity will matter when it pertains to taxes and liability in the event of litigation. A sole proprietorship means the owner is it when it comes to liability and taxes. No one else is responsible.
Sole Proprietors Take Note
If you run a small business as a sole proprietor, be sure to incorporate.
If you do not, then your personal name is the same as the business name. Consequently, you can end up being directly responsible for all company financial obligations.
Also, according to the Internal Revenue Service, using this arrangement there is a 1 in 7 possibility of an IRS audit. There is a 1 in 50 chance for corporations! Steer clear of confusion and considerably lower the chances of an Internal Revenue Service audit as well.
But never look at a DBA filing as ever being anything more than a steppingstone to incorporating.
Beginning the Recession Corporate Credit Reporting Process
Start at the D&B website and get a totally free D-U-N-S number. A D-U-N-S number is how D&B gets a company in their system, to generate a PAYDEX score. If there is no D-U-N-S number, then there is no record and no PAYDEX score.
Once in D&B’s system, search Equifax and Experian’s sites for the company. You can do this at www.creditsuite.com/reports. If there is a record with them, check it for correctness and completeness. If there are no records with them, go to the next step in the process.
In this manner, Experian and Equifax will have activity to report on.
First you should build trade lines that report. This is also called vendor credit. Then you’ll have an established credit profile, and you’ll get a corporate credit score.
And with an established business credit profile and score you can begin to get retail and cash credit.
These kinds of accounts tend to be for the things bought all the time, like marketing materials, shipping boxes, outdoor work wear, ink and toner, and office furniture.
But to start with, what is trade credit? These trade lines are credit issuers who will give you preliminary credit when you have none now. Terms are typically Net 30, versus revolving.
Therefore, if you get approval for $1,000 in vendor credit and use all of it, you must pay that money back in a set term, like within 30 days on a Net 30 account.
Net 30 accounts must be paid in full within 30 days. 60 accounts have to be paid completely within 60 days. In comparison with revolving accounts, you have a set time when you must pay back what you borrowed or the credit you made use of.
To kick off your business credit profile properly, you should get approval for vendor accounts that report to the business credit reporting agencies. Once that’s done, you can then make use of the credit.
Then repay what you used, and the account is on report to Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, or Equifax.
Vendor Credit – It Makes Sense
Not every vendor can help like true starter credit can. These are merchants that will grant an approval with a minimum of effort. You also want them to be reporting to one or more of the big three CRAs: Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax, and Experian.
This is how to get started with recession corporate credit.
You want 3 of these to move onto the next step, which is retail credit. Here are some stellar choices from us: https://www.creditsuite.com/blog/5-vendor-accounts-that-build-your-business-credit/
Accounts That Don’t Report
Non-Reporting Trade Accounts can also be helpful. While you do want trade accounts to report to at the very least one of the CRAs, a trade account which does not report can nonetheless be of some worth.
You can always ask non-reporting accounts for trade references. And credit accounts of any sort will help you to better even out business expenditures, thereby making financial planning easier. These are providers like PayPal Credit, T-Mobile, and Best Buy.
Learn more here and get started toward building business credit attached to your company’s EIN and not your SSN. Get money even in a recession!
Once there are 3 or more vendor trade accounts reporting to at least one of the CRAs, then progress to retail credit. These are service providers which include Office Depot and Staples.
Only use your SSN and date of birth on these applications for verification purposes. For credit checks and guarantees, use the business’s EIN on these credit applications.
Are there more accounts reporting? Then move to fleet credit. These are service providers like BP and Conoco. Use this credit to buy fuel, and to repair and maintain vehicles. Only use your SSN and date of birth on these applications for verification purposes. For credit checks and guarantees, make certain to apply using the business’s EIN.
Have you been responsibly managing the credit you’ve gotten up to this point? Then move onto more universal cash credit. These are companies like Visa and MasterCard. Just use your Social Security Number and date of birth on these applications for verification purposes. For credit checks and guarantees, use your EIN instead.
These are frequently MasterCard credit cards. If you have more trade accounts reporting, then these are attainable.
Learn more here and get started toward building business credit attached to your company’s EIN and not your SSN. Get money even in a recession!
Monitor Your Recession Corporate Credit
Know what is happening with your credit. Make sure it is being reported and address any inaccuracies as soon as possible. Get in the practice of taking a look at credit reports. Dig into the particulars, not just the scores.
At Equifax, you can monitor your account at: www.equifax.com/business/business-credit-monitor-small-business.
Update Your Records
Update the data if there are mistakes or the details is incomplete. At D&B, you can do this at: https://iupdate.dnb.com/iUpdate/viewiUpdateHome.htm. For Experian, go here: www.experian.com/small-business/business-credit-information.jsp. So for Equifax, go here: www.equifax.com/business/small-business.
Fix Your Recession Corporate Credit
So, what’s all this monitoring for? It’s to dispute any mistakes in your records. Mistakes in your credit report(s) can be fixed. But the CRAs normally want you to dispute in a particular way.
Get your business’s PAYDEX report at: www.dnb.com/about-us/our-data.html. Get your company’s Experian report at: www.businesscreditfacts.com/pdp.aspx?pg=SearchForm. And get your Equifax business credit report at: www.equifax.com/business/credit-information.
Disputing credit report mistakes commonly means you send a paper letter with copies of any proof of payment with it. These are documents like receipts and cancelled checks. Never send the original copies. Always send copies and keep the original copies.
Fixing credit report errors also means you precisely itemize any charges you contest. Make your dispute letter as clear as possible. Be specific about the problems with your report. Use certified mail so that you will have proof that you mailed in your dispute.
Dispute your or your company’s Equifax report by following the directions here: www.equifax.com/small-business-faqs/#Dispute-FAQs.
You can dispute errors on your or your business’s Experian report by following the instructions here: www.experian.com/small-business/business-credit-information.jsp.
And D&B’s PAYDEX Customer Service phone number is here: www.dandb.com/glossary/paydex.
A Word about Recession Corporate Credit Building
Always use credit smartly! Never borrow more than what you can pay off. Monitor balances and deadlines for repayments. Paying off punctually and fully will do more to increase corporate credit scores than just about anything else.
Establishing recession corporate credit pays. Great business credit scores help a business get loans. Your loan provider knows the small business can pay its financial obligations. They recognize the business is for real.
The company’s EIN connects to high scores and loan providers won’t feel the need to require a personal guarantee.
Recession corporate credit is an asset which can help your company in years to come. We can help you get started toward growing corporate credit. The COVID-19 situation will not last forever.
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