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Bill D'Alessandro

My Perfect DTC Finance Stack - The 5 Best Options for Banking, Credit Cards, and More

Published 2 months agoΒ β€’Β 5 min read

Hey everyone,

This week I'm writing about something I'm obsessed with - choosing the very best financial tooling for your business. Entrepreneurs love to hack on this stuff - credit cards, banking, lines of credit, and more.

After years of research and testing countless options, I've finally nailed down what I believe is the ultimate finance stack for DTC ecommerce businesses. And today, I'm sharing it with you.

Before we dive in, let me be crystal clear: none of these are sponsored mentions (though I did drop in affiliate links when they give you non-public benefits for signing up).

I personally use every single one of these tools in my own businesses. I've tried and tossed plenty of other choices along the way. The ones below are the best of the best, and none of them are paying me to be on this list. πŸ”₯

Let's get to it.

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🏦 Banking

​Mercury (use that link to get $250 when you sign up)

​Highbeam (use that link for a 0.5% APY boost for all of 2024 with no minimum)

You can't go wrong with either of these tech-forward banking options. Both offer free wires and ACHs, making it a breeze to send and receive payments. Both offer plenty of FDIC insurance so your funds are 100% safe. Here's what sets them apart in my view:

Mercury:

  • Awesome interface and app - one of the best I've ever used
  • Very slick payment send / receive workflow
  • Higher yields on their Treasury product (5%+ as of this writing) vs Highbeam's savings account (4%)

Highbeam:

  • Built-in line of credit with fair, transparent rates - a really unique and high quality credit product and much cheaper than other options out there
  • Integration with Shopify so you get your payouts a day or two sooner
  • Earn yield on your operating account (Mercury doesn't have this) + 4% on your savings account

Either one is a great option. Pick whichever works for you, but I'm begging you to move off your legacy mega bank that pays 0% interest, charges you for wire transfers, and has an app straight out of 1999.

​

πŸ’³ Credit Card for Ads

​American Express Business Gold​

If you're spending big on ads (and what DTC brand isn't?), this card is an absolute must-have. It earns 4X points on advertising across Meta, Google, Amazon, and more.

There's a catch (and a workaround!): The 4X earnings max out at $150k spend per year... but you can have up to 10 Gold cards on a single EIN! Once your first card is maxed out, you can apply for more cards. That means you could potentially earn 4X points on up to $1.5 MILLION of annual ad spend.

Do the math - that's 6 MILLION Amex points per year. Enough for ~20 around-the-world first-class plane tickets. Every. Single. Year. 🀯

Just put all your ad spend on these cards and set reminders to rotate to a new card every $150k. Don't bother optimizing other categories - your ad spend alone will generate more points than you can possibly use.

​

πŸ’Έ Credit Card for Everything Else

​Capital One Spark Cash Plus​

For all your other "card on file" expenses and general business purchases, use the Spark Cash card. It earns an unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase. No fuss, no muss.

Capital One also can be worked up to very generous limits - I've seen as high as $1M.

One word of caution: DON'T use the employee cards function. That's a recipe for spending chaos since Capital One doesn't include very many controls. If you need employee cards, use...

​

πŸ§‘β€πŸ€β€πŸ§‘ Employee Cards / Expenses

​Ramp (get $250 if you use that link)

Ramp is hands-down the most impressive fintech product I've ever used. The controls are so granular, I feel 100% comfortable giving every employee a company card (think how crazy that is).

You can restrict cards to specific merchants or categories (like hotels and flights). Employees can request one-time use virtual cards for single purchases that act like Visa Gift Cards. They can even get single-merchant cards with monthly limits for individual SaaS subscriptions.

You approve everything with one click and can cancel any card instantly from Ramp's interface. Oh, and did I mention they throw in 1.5% cash back as a bonus? The competition on the expense management side isn't even close.

​

πŸ“¦ Inventory Financing

​Parker​

Ideally, your business generates enough cash to cover POs. Or if not, you have a line of credit from Highbeam or a local bank. Beyond those, Parker is your best bet.

They offer net 60 rolling terms for just a 1.5% fee, or net 45 for no fee at all (but no cash back either). I've had great success getting high credit limits fast based on revenue, with no personal guarantee required.

​

πŸ’₯ Wrapping Up

A finance stack with the above 5 tools is more flexible, sophisticated, and optimized than 99% of businesses out there. Whenever I start a new venture, I just reach for these 5 and then get back to focusing on the actual business.

This stack gives you top-tier tech-enabled banking, 2% cash back on everything PLUS a ton of Amex points, total control over employee spending, and flexible borrowing when you need it.

Stop researching, implement the above stack, and get back to focusing on your business knowing you are fully optimized.

Cheers,

Bill

PS - I'm experimenting with a few "bullets" at the end of each newsletter. Hit reply and let me know what you think of the links below!

πŸ“¦ Cool Thing to Buy

​Sehnlich 1600K Flameless LED Candle - I've been trying to reduce my blue light exposure at night, and this modern LED candle sets an incredible ambiance. The 1600K color temperature means zero blue light. I have two in my bedroom, one on each night stand. I turn them on when my wife and I head upstairs for the night, and it's hard to describe how calming and relaxing the vibe is. A huge improvement to my nightly routine.

πŸŽ™οΈ Podcast Episodes

​"Optimize Your Financial Stack or Risk Going Broke" - Brett Curry was kind enough to have me on the OMG Commerce podcast to expand on the exact topics I wrote about in this email. If you enjoyed this email, the podcast episode is even more in depth.

​"Buying this Business Will Get You Free Masters Tickets for Life" (Acquisitions Anonymous) - I hosted this episode recently and it's a great example of "businesses within a business". Plus we got a hiliarous new video editor and the thumbnail cracks me up.

πŸ‘‹ Wrapping Up

If you liked this newsletter, there are 4 places you can get more like it:

  1. 😁 If you own a business, I do 1-1 coaching with CEOs and have ONE slot open.
  2. 🐦 I tweet. Follow me on X at @BillDA for bite sized content like this.
  3. πŸŽ™οΈ My podcast Acquisitions Anonymous, where we break down two real businesses that are actually for sale each week.
  4. πŸ“¬ This weekly newsletter - I’d appreciate you forwarding this email to a friend who you think would like it! You can click here to subscribe and read past issues.

Thanks so much for reading, I’ll see you next week!

Bill D’Alessandro

CEO, Natural Dog Company

Founder, Elements Brands

Founder, Wild Blue Ventures

4030 Wake Forest Rd, Suite 349, Raleigh, NC 27609
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Bill D'Alessandro

I've been an entrepreneur my whole life - now I coach others.

Join my newsletter and I'll send you non-public stories, tales from the ecommerce trenches, and even opportunities to invest in private deals with me.

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