Spending More To Increase Advertising Profitability

The way banks and traditional credit card providers look at credit card spend isn’t compatible with the needs of advertisers. Unfortunately, it’s not just the big legacy credit card players like Capital One, Chase, or American Express that make it difficult to spend more, up-and-comers like Brex like to talk about spending controls to help you spend less too. This way of thinking works for the average small business, but it not only doesn’t work for advertisers trying to maximize the value of their digital ad campaigns on networks like Google, Facebook, or TikTok, it handicaps their ability to win profits.

They need a card that allows them to spend more when it makes sense.

Advertisers need a purpose-built card

Although banks and the major credit card providers see the value of making eCommerce brands their customers, they just don’t get the day-to-day challenges that come with running an eCommerce business.

It’s not really their fault. Legacy underwriting dogmas neither allow them flexibility when they look at the way eCommerce brands do business nor do they try to flexibly accommodate their needs. If your business is spending $10,000, $100,000, or more each day (like many online advertisers do) the average credit card provider handicaps your ability to maximize your ad spend.

For example, every day for six years Jim Crimella, of online retailer ShineOn, started the day with the same 30-minute phone call, first to his credit card provider, CapitalOne, and then a conference call into his bank, Bank of America. His $100,000 spending limit was the highest limit CapitalOne offered, but it wasn’t enough to keep his ads running, so every morning he called to pay off the card so his business could keep advertising.

“The way most credit cards work just doesn’t meet the needs of digital advertisers,” said Crimella. “If I paid my balance on Monday it would take until Wednesday for my payment to post. In other words, I didn’t have the ability to spend on that card until Thursday morning so I went two days before I could use that card again, even though I was paying off my balance every single day.” 

This isn’t a surprise to anyone trying to leverage a credit card, even a premium card like Chase Ink Preferred or AMEX Gold, to pay for daily ad spend. Many advertisers have to get creative and leverage multiple credit cards just to keep the wheels of commerce turning.

“It took four cards, at $250,000 each (Bank of America’s highest spending limit), to reach the million dollar credit line I needed to keep campaigns active through the month,” said Steward Wagner of Lift Foils. “I would use a card up to $250 K and then that particular card would become dead to me until the payment cycle was completed. I’d go through each card like that until the end of the month. It worked pretty well until last year when even that wasn’t enough.”

A purpose-built card helps ramp up ad spend when you need it

There are a number of roadblocks traditional card providers throw up that make it difficult for brands to scale their advertising. Any one of these could make it impossible to grow an online business, but making it difficult to meet the spending limits required by advertisers is at the top of the list.

“We bank with Chase and had a normal Chase credit card with a $100,000 spending limit. We would sometimes spend more than $100,000 a day in online marketing,” says Sean Frank of Ridge Wallet. “To keep our ads running, we were paying off the balance every day and had to switch to a debit card over the weekend so the card wouldn’t get declined. Chase doesn’t process credit card payments on the weekend, so this was the only way we could ensure our ads kept running; because we were spending so much.”

You would think a profitable and growing company might expect their bank to accommodate their credit card needs, but that wasn’t the case. “Chase is very hard to deal with, like most banks,” said Frank. “Even if you’re doing $20 million or $50 million a year, they really don’t care about your account.”

Lift Foils Wagner mirrors Frank’s sentiment.

“Our Bank of America card just wasn’t doing it for us anymore,” he said. “When one of our consultants mentioned that we should be talking to dash.fi, I decided it was worth looking into something that would potentially be better for us. I was trying to put around $2 million on multiple credit cards between May and August, but now I only need one.”

As a business owner, it makes sense that you would want to control spending, but as an online merchant, you also want the ability to ramp up ad spend when it will increase your bottom line. With a cardable expense like digital advertising, that means you need a card flexible enough to accommodate your peak needs during a busy season or holiday weekend.

What should you look for in a purpose-built card for advertising?

Traditional credit card providers and large banks don’t think about their credit card offerings in these terms. Even though providers like American Express acknowledge that advertising, sales, and marketing are at the top of their list of growing credit card users. The card a business uses to book a flight or a hotel room doesn’t have the same requirements as a purpose-built card for advertising. Such a card needs to offer:

  • Multiple paths to approval/appropriate spending limits: They need to look beyond your credit profile and consider a number of other factors into a full credit review—your anticipated ad spend is a very important part of that.

  • An understanding of the unique needs of digital advertisers: A credit card provider that understands the advertising business will help you spend more during seasonal opportunities with spending limits designed to maximize revenue-producing opportunities during those busy times of the year.

  • Competitive cash back: A card provider that is able to offer more than the typical 1% to 1-½% cash back on spend is optimal.


If you’re interested in learning how dash.fi can help your business optimize digital ad spend with the world’s first card designed for advertisers, visit www.dash.fi to schedule a demo.


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