Business card clean edge ink jet

If your small business accepts credit cards, there will always be credit card processing fees to pay. Typical merchant account companies charge up to 5% on everything a company earns from credit card sales, including processing costs, interchange costs and statement fees, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Consumers are increasingly choosing plastic over cash, so declining to accept credit cards likely isn’t the best way to avoid processing fees. Just 23% of all point-of-sale purchases will be made with cash by 2017, while credit card purchases are expected to increase from 29% in 2011 to 33% by 2017, according to Javelin Strategy & Research.

Credit card processing fees might be unavoidable, but here’s the good news: You can still reduce these fees and save your business money with some careful planning and research.

Think of all the business cards out there, exchanging hands in serendipitous encounters, potential-client meetings and large industry conferences . All of the best business cards  serve a purpose: They provide information about you and your work, and they hopefully encourage the receiver to follow up with you in some way. And as part of your identity, a great business card reflects your personality.

We reached out to 14  designers and firms at the top of their game to see what their   business cards look like—and to find out what they believe makes a good business card.

Check out the designs and insight below, and if you’re hungry for more, take at look at these  cool business card designs  next.

You can use a free business card template in Microsoft Word to create a custom business card all your own. Not only are the business cards free if you create and print them yourselves, you'll also get to create it just how you want it instead of relying on already created cards.

Some of these business card templates can be edited and printed all in your browser window and others require a download. The templates that require downloading are all compatible with Microsoft Word. You can open them in Word or another free word processor and edit the text and photos before printing.

The templates are pre-designed so you know exactly where to put all your information so people can get in contact with you. You can make a business card in a matter of minutes if you follow the templates or you can take the time to change the template's elements so you can make the business card just right.