The new rules for personal credit cards, which don’t apply to business cards, are making entrepreneurs rethink what plastic they choose, the WSJ‘s Emily Maltby reports.

Small-business owners who rely on their company’s credit card to purchase big-ticket items or finance day-to-day operations won’t see any benefits from this month’s federal credit-card reform–unless they put those expenses on a personal card.

The new law, which was passed last May and becomes effective Feb. 22, protects consumer cards against arbitrary interest rate increases, over-limit fees and clandestine term changes. But the reforms don’t apply to the business cards used by many entrepreneurs, which may tempt some small business owners to give up those cards in favor of a consumer card.

The problem, says Gerri Detweiler, a personal finance advisor for, is that business owners who rely on consumer cards could wind up damaging their personal credit scores.

There’s also the risk that a card used excessively for business purposes, even if it’s a personal card, wouldn’t be protected, says the NSBA, since the new legislation is an amendment of the Truth in Lending Act, which excludes credit that is extended “primarily for business, commercial, or agricultural purposes.”

Photo by mbdagov.

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