Business credit cards
How to compare business credit cards
When weighing your business card options, keep four top factors in mind to find the best for your needs.
- Annual fee. Make sure you’ll use the card’s rewards and benefits enough to offset any annual fee.
- APR. Find the lowest APR you’re eligible for. If you’re looking to transfer a balance or make a large purchase for your business, look for a card with a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers.
- Rewards. Look for a card that offers cash back, miles or points on your business spending. Pick a card that offers accelerated points in the areas you spend the most.
- Signup bonus. A big bonus can help you earn a lot of rewards quickly. Make sure you can meet the spending requirement without overspending.
Business vs. personal credit cards
Business and personal credit cards are alike in lending approved borrowers a revolving line of credit that’s paid back each month, often with interest. Each also offers perks like rewards and interest-free promos.
However, they’re different products with advantages that go beyond merely separating your business and personal finances.
Business credit cards
- Typically offer higher credit limits with flexible repayment.
- Programs reward your business spending.
- Generally, interest on business expenses is tax-deductible.
- Some cards integrate tools to organize expenses.
- Helps you build business credit.
- Can hurt your personal credit if used irresponsibly.
- Offers few protections on your purchases.
Personal credit cards
- Often a stronger option for balance transfers.
- Covered by consumer protection laws.
- Helps you build personal credit.
- Can be difficult to categorize expenses.
- Separating out taxes for business could be confusing.
How to apply for a business credit card in 4 steps
Applying for a business credit card is not much different than applying for a personal credit card. Any owner or sole proprietor of a business can submit an application for a business card using their Social Security number and other personal details.
While the process varies slightly among providers, you can set yourself up for successful approval with a few easy steps.
1. Know your credit score.
Most applications for credit depend on your credit score — even for businesses. The credit provider typically weighs both your personal and business credit scores, if available, to determine whether you’re a trustworthy borrower.
If you haven’t established a history of business credit, you still may be eligible. Carefully read the card’s eligibility requirements to be sure.
2. Select the best card for your small business.
Compare business credit cards that you’re eligible for against the financial needs of your day-to-day operations. Look for perks like flexible repayments, rewards on your spending and helpful business management tools.
3. Complete the credit card application.
When applying for a business credit card online, you’ll provide personal and business information that can include detailed business financials.
All that’s left is reviewing your card’s terms and conditions and signing the application.
4. Learn the provider’s decision.
If approved, you’ll receive your business credit card by mail in about 10 business days. Then it’s just a matter of activating your card online or by phone with the provider.
Review your monthly statements, and pay at least the minimum on time to keep your account in good standing with the credit card issuer. Keep tabs on your credit limit, especially if there’s a fee for exceeding the limit.