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Finding net 90 vendors can substantially improve your cash flow as a small business, freeing up working capital for growth.
But obtaining vendor credit with 90-day net terms is almost impossible. Most vendor credit accounts only offer 30-day invoice payment terms.
In this article, we’ll teach you how to leverage awesome accounts like Amazon’s net 55 trade credit and the American Express Plum Card to get 90 day interest-free payment terms.
It’s Hard to Find Net 90 Vendors – Here’s What to Do Instead
The time between when a vendor invoices and when your payment is due is considered the payment term or net terms. The most common net terms are 15 and 30, followed by net 60. Unfortunately, net terms longer than 60 days are nearly impossible to find.
Also Read: Net 30 Accounts
A quick Google search of “net 90 vendors” doesn’t yield many search results. Why? Are vendors offering net 90 terms keeping it a secret?
Not necessarily. Net 90 terms are often only extended to customers that have an existing relationship with that vendor. New customers usually have to start at net 30 terms and work their way up.
Considering that many vendors will not offer new businesses net 90 terms, there are not many options left available for getting net 90 terms as a startup or small business owner.
Your best bet for getting 90 days to pay your invoice is to pursue alternatives. I.E., instead of asking for net 90 terms, ask for net 60 terms and pay with a credit card that has net 30 terms.
To recap, you can get 90 day terms with:
Net 30 + Net 60 Charge Card
Net 60 + Regular 30-day credit card grace period
Also Read: Net 60 Vendors
Net 90 Alternatives
It is unlikely that anyone will up and offer you an account with net 90 terms. Especially if you don’t have established vendor relationships.
So what are the alternatives?
You can try asking for net 60 or net 30 terms and work your way up to net 90 terms.
You can also extend your repayment period by utilizing a credit card. For instance, if you have an account with net 30 terms and pay your invoice balance with a credit card that has net 30 terms, you now have 60 days to pay your invoice.
We have put together a series of solutions for achieving the equivalent of net 90 terms.
We’ll also take a moment to analyze some options that you can pursue to build up your business credit enough to negotiate net 90 terms in the future.
Net 60 Credit Card: Plum Card from American Express
One great way to get net 90 terms when you are just starting out is to use a net 60 credit card as your payment method.
While there are not many net 60 credit card options, the Plum Card from American Express is one such card.
This unique card offers you 60 days interest-free to pay your statement balance. They’ll also offer you 1.5% cash back as an early payment discount (within 10 days after your statement).
This card also comes with zero foreign transaction fees and a sign-up bonus.
The downside is there is a $250 annual fee. And you are not likely to qualify for the card if you have poor/bad credit.
Amazon Net 55 Terms
The other method for achieving net 90 terms is to use a vendor account with net 60 terms and pay with a regular net 30 business credit card.
Using an Amazon credit line is one way of achieving this. Amazon offers two types of credit lines for businesses.
The first type is the pay-in-full account (where you pay the full invoice on the due date). This account comes with net 30 or net 55 payment terms.
Getting the net 55 terms may be tricky. You’ll need decent business credit, your business must be at least two years old, and you’ll need to personally guarantee the credit line.
And you are limited on which Amazon items you can buy.
Amazon’s second type of credit line is a revolving credit line, where you can pay a minimum balance and potentially accrue interest charges.
Net 30 Account: Business T-Shirt
If your business is less than two years old, you may want to put pursuing a vendor account with net 90 terms on the back burner.
Instead, focus on building your credit now to qualify for better terms later.
Applying for easy-to-get net 30 accounts, like Business T-Shirt, can help you build business credit faster.
This company sells various apparel items that can be customized with your business logo.
Signing up for their net 30 account is simple, and they’ll report your monthly activity to several business credit bureaus.Try Business T-Shirt Club
Net 30 Account: JJ Gold International
If you don’t need company-branded apparel, other net 30 account options are available.
JJ Gold international sells hair and beauty supplies, home decor, jewelry, etc.
Qualifying for their net 30 account only requires that your business be at least 90 days old.
Once you have the account, you can begin applying the net 30 terms to any purchase exceeding $100.
And JJ Gold International will report your payment history to Dun & Bradstreet.
The one downside is that new customers will have to fork over a 50% deposit. So, a $500 order would require an upfront deposit of $250.
Net 30 Account: Staples
If apparel and beauty items don’t work for your business, you can always open an account with Staples.
Staples sells a variety of office supplies, electronics, and more.
The application for net 30 terms is pretty straightforward. First, Staples will evaluate your credit to determine if you qualify and what account terms they are willing to extend.
For instance, you could get a $1000 credit line or a $10,000 credit.
You should also be aware that if your business credit history is not sufficient, they may request a personal guarantee.
How to Negotiate Net 90 Payment Terms
By far, the best way to land a net 90 vendor account is to negotiate your payment terms with your existing vendors/suppliers.
If you have a longstanding relationship with a vendor, you may be able to leverage customer loyalty for longer payment terms.
Before you start negotiations, you’ll want to ensure your account is in excellent standing. If you have a history of making late payments, the vendor will be unlikely to consider your request to lengthen your payment terms.
When you contact the vendor or supplier, you should be able to support your request with facts. For instance:
- Stellar account history
- Good business credit
- Increased purchases year over year
The vendor may also want to know what is in it for them. For example, will extending your payment terms allow you to grow faster and purchase more products from them?
You can also use other suppliers as a tactic. For example, suppose you already successfully managed a net 90 account. In that case, this may encourage this supplier to extend you the same terms.
Or, if you have an agreement with one of their competitors to give you 90 days to pay your invoices, you can use this as a negotiation point.
Just be sure to avoid making outright threats that you will switch to another supplier unless you are ready and able to make good on that promise.
Why Net 90 Vendors Aren’t the Easiest Way to Build Business Credit
Yes, net 90 vendors are great for improving the cash flow problems in your business. But they are not the best for building credit. And getting a net 90 account is far from the easiest way to build credit, especially when you are just starting out.
Think of net 90 vendor accounts as the end goal and building your business credit as the path to getting there.
Net 30 vendor accounts are where you’ll want to start. There are many vendors across industries offering net 30 terms with few business requirements. Sometimes all it takes is filling out an application.
Check out our list of the best net 30 vendors for the best chance at success.
These include suppliers selling construction equipment, office supplies, technology services, etc. We even included which credit bureaus they report to, which is a critical factor in improving your business credit.
You can also explore other ways of increasing your business credit scores. For instance, opening a credit builder business loan with CreditStrong will add an installment line to your business credit reports.
You can also open a Business Boost or Business Loan Builder subscription with Nav. These subscription services add a vendor tradeline to your credit, and their account tools help you track the changes to your business credit scores.
Cash flow is vital to any business, small or large. And while net 90 vendors can help with this, they are not the best when you are looking to build business credit.
Net 30 vendors are a better solution for improving your business credit history and credit score.
When you are just starting out, the most important part is simply adding trade credit to your business credit files. So, while vendors who invoice on a 90-day cycle are great, starting with net 30 vendors (vendors who invoice on a 30-day cycle) will get you to your goals faster.
Amanda Garland is a personal finance blogger living in Dallas, TX. 10 years ago she was living paycheck to paycheck and knew nothing about how credit works. She learned some hard lessons in her fight for financial stability. Now she has a friendly competition going with her husband to see who can reach a credit score of 850 first. She is also a poet, having obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing.